F1: The Key to Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Championship Racing World
The Ferrari 500 carried Alberto Ascari to the marque’s 1st F1 drivers’ title in Y 1952, although it was actually a F2 car.
This makes it a Key car in Ferrari’s journey to becoming the most successful constructor in F1 world championship history, taking the 1st of the team’s combined total of 31 drivers’ and constructors’ titles.
Autosport’s Stuart Corring said, “Enzo Ferrari was conflicted when F1 stuttered and almost died in 1952, because he felt a lingering tug of affection for the departed Alfa Romeo and its potent supercharged F1 cars, whose design he had championed while working for Alfa in the 1930’s.
But he got over it well enough, for motor racing’s loss would be his gain: in the absence of enough decent F1 cars to populate grids, world championship races were open solely to F2 machines for 1952-53. And Ferrari already had a basic F2 car ready to go.”
There was nothing particularly super or terific about the Ferrari 500. It was a reworked version of The Scuderia’s previous F2 car, comprised of a ladder chassis with transverse leaf springs up front and a De Dion axle at the rear, now located by trailing arms, but with a simpler and much more powerful engine.
Enzo Ferrari directed his new chief engineer, Aurelio Lampredi, to design a 4-cylinder twin-cam engine as an alternative. It was competitive from the start.
Piero Taruffi won the 1st of the world championship rounds for Ferrari, but thereafter it was Alberto Ascari, the son of one of Italy’s great pre-war drivers, went on to become 1 of Formula One racing’s most dominant and best-loved champions.
Apart from at the Indy 500, which Mr. Ascari nevertheless had a crack at in a V12 racer based on the Y 1951 F1 chassis.
Outside of Indy, a Ferrari 500 won every world championship Grand Prix from May 1952, until Maserati racer Juan Manuel Fangio broke its run at Monza on 13 September 1953.
Mr. Ascari’s 9 consecutive wins, equaled but never exceeded, underline Ferrari’s absolute dominance of the era.
A Ferrari feature showcasing some of the famous Italian marque’s cars, including the Ferrari 488 GTE and the Ferrari FXX-K Evo, will be the main feature at Autosport International in Y 2018, held on 11-14 January. For ticket information, click here
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