Pictured here on the grid are four of the great post-war
From left; Alberto Ascari(Ferrari); Froilan Gonzalez (Maserati);
Mike Hawthorn (Ferrari) and
Juan Fangio (Maserati)
The Grand Prix racing season of 1953 turned into an exciting
duel between two Italian teams.
The Ferraris came into it having dominated in 1952, with their leading driver
Ascari winning his first World Championship.
The Maserati A6GCM cars were much improved and Fangio was back at the wheel for them, having been out of racing the previous year after he crashed at Monza in June.
Ascari started the season with wins for Ferrari in the Argentine, Dutch and Belgian Grand Prix. Ferrari newcomer Mike Hawthorn won in France from Maserati team leader Juan Fangio by just one second after a race-long wheel-to-wheel battle.
Here at the British Grand Prix, Ascari stayed in front for the whole of the 263-mile race to win from Fangio, with Farina’s Ferrari in third. Gonzalez finished fourth, with 23-year-old Mike Hawthorn, in fifth.
In the final round of the Championship in Italy, a
furious race-long battle between Ascari, Farina and Fangio ended on the last
lap when Ascari spun, colliding with Marimon’s Maserati, letting Fangio
sneak through to score his only Grand Prix victory of the year.
Ascari again won the Drivers’ Championship with Fangio in second place.
Ferrari Tipo 500 Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder twin overhead camshaft 1980 CC (90 x 78 mm) developing approximately 180 bhp at 7500 rpm. Gearbox: 4-speed. Chassis: Tubular, with front suspension by wishbones and transverse leaf spring and rear suspension by a de Dion axle and transverse leaf spring. Wheelbase: 7 feet 2.5 inches. Front Track: 4 feet 3.5 inches.
Rear track: 4 feet 1 inch Unladen weight: 11.96 cwt.
Maserati A6GCM Specification
Engine: 6-cylinder twin overhead camshaft 1988 CC (76.2 x 72 mm) developing approximately 190 bhp at 8000 rpm. Gearbox: 4-speed. Chassis: Tubular, with front suspension by double wishbones and coil springs and rear suspension by rigid axle suspended on quarter-elliptic leaf springs. Wheelbase: 10 feet 10 inches. Front and Rear Track: 4 feet 8 inches Unladen weight: 36 cwt.