Alberto Ascari

 
Curva di Vialone, the curve at which Ascari crashed at Monza is now replaced by a chicane, the Variante Ascari  |  Alberto and his father Antonio, both died when they were 36. Both father and son drove car number 26 and both had won 13 Championship Grands Prix before dying. Both died four days after escaping a crash without injuries, on the 26th day of the month. The father-son duo, after their deaths were survived by their wives and their two children each. They rest next to each other in their graves in Milan.  |  Ascari and Luigi Villoresi became the first set of drivers to race for Ferrari in the Formula One World Championship

FACTFILE

Name: Alberto Ascari
DOB: Jul 13 1918
Place Of Birth: Milan
Nationality: Italian
Most Races For: Ferrari - 27
No. Of Races: 32
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PROFILE
Alberto Ascari

A young man from Milan, Italy, Alberto Ascari started his racing escapades with motorcycles. Even though his father, Antonio Ascari who was a Grand Prix motor racing star was killed in an accident in the 1925 French Grand Prix, it did not deter young Alberto from taking to the wheel. After entering the Mille Miglia event in a Ferrari, Ascari was completely taken over by motor sports.

Born on July 13, 1918, Ascari’s career took shape with the help of fellow racer Luigi Villoresi who helped him out when they raced for Maserati post World War II. The FIA laid down rules for Formula One in 1946 and they would slowly take over in the transition period till 1950. In this gap of four years, Ascari won five races, two with Maserati and three with Ferrari in 1949. The first Formula One Championship was held in 1950 and Ascari made his F1 debut in the same season. He was second in Monte Carlo and in Monza, which was also hosting its first World Championship race. Although in a Ferrari, Ascari finished fifth in the drivers’ competition.

In the following season, Ascari won his first race on the Nürburgring circuit, and followed it up by a victory in the Italian Grand Prix. With four podium finishes, he was second in the Drivers’ Championship, behind Juan Manuel Fangio. In a surprise for the team, Ascari won six races in a row out of the seven GPs in the 1952 season. His fastest laps in all the six races, was just the icing on the cake. That season he became the first European in 11 years to race at Indy500 and also nearly scored maximum points that a driver could score in that championship. But because the points were awarded on fastest laps those days, he had to share one point with another driver who had the same lap time. He became Formula One’s third World Champion nonetheless and carried over his winning streak to the next season as well. In 1953, he won another World Drivers’ title with five wins and became a star, just like his father would have hoped to become.

The following season, Ascari did not live up to his own expectations and his performance was lacklustre with Maserati. Even after moving to Ferrari again, he could not do much to raise the performance level and the season was over before he even knew it. In 1955, he had retired in the first two races and crashed in Monaco in the second race. On May 26, he went to Monza where his friend Eugeno Castellotti was testing a Ferrari 750 sports car. Just before going home to eat lunch with his wife Mietta, Ascari decided to have a go at the 750 and in casual trousers and a sleeved shirt, he took the wheel of the Ferrari. On the third lap, as he came out of a fast curve, his car skidded, hit its nose on the track and somersaulted twice before coming to rest. Ascari who was only protected by his friend’s helmet, suffered multiple injuries and succumbed to them a few minutes later. It was the end of a champion of a racer, who faded as quickly as he emerged but not without having his name written in golden letters in the F1 history books.

-Anup Pareek

MILESTONE

  • YEARS
  • TEAMS
  • ENGINES
  • GPs
  • CIRCUITS
STATISTICS
YEARS
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
1950Ferrari5th4002011
1951Ferrari2nd7224028
1952Ferrari1st7656653.5
1953Ferrari1st8565446.5
1954Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia25th401021.14
1955Lancia-200000
Total 3213141712140.14

Alberto Ascari - HEAD TO HEAD (TEAM-MATES)

Alberto Ascari - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Curva di Vialone, the curve at which Ascari crashed at Monza is now replaced by a chicane, the Variante Ascari
  • Alberto and his father Antonio, both died when they were 36. Both father and son drove car number 26 and both had won 13 Championship Grands Prix before dying. Both died four days after escaping a crash without injuries, on the 26th day of the month. The father-son duo, after their deaths were survived by their wives and their two children each. They rest next to each other in their graves in Milan.
  • Ascari and Luigi Villoresi became the first set of drivers to race for Ferrari in the Formula One World Championship

QUOTES ON ALBERTO ASCARI

"I prefer to treat them the hard way, I don't want them to love me too much. Because they will suffer less if one of these days I am killed."
-Alberto Ascari to Enzo Ferrari, on being asked why he did not express his love to his family.



OTHER DRIVERS

Most successful drivers to have raced with Alberto Ascari