Alberto Ascari. Do you know that Ascari is the only Italian to ever win the Formula 1 World Championship with Ferrari? Well, technically, he won the Formula 2 championship with Ferrari, but it was the actual World Championship of Drivers.
Still, Ascari has a big place among the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, because he was as dominant as anyone while driving his red car to the 1952 and 1953 World Championships. Ascari was only the second Italian to win the World Championship after Giuseppe Farina won the inaugural title in 1950 with Alfa Romeo.
To date, Ascari remains the most recent Italian to win the F1 World Championship. Tragically, his career was cut short by an accident at Monza in 1955, in the corner that is now named after him.
Ascari was born on July 13th, 1918 in Milan. His untimely death came on May 26th, 1955 at Monza.
The Italian champion won 13 Grands Prix in 31 Formula 1 starts, took 14 Pole Positions and finished on the podium 17 times.
Between 1952 and 1953, Ascari won in nine consecutive starts, which would be tied with Sebastian Vettel for most consecutive wins in F1 history. However, Ascari’s streak is usually cut down to seven because he missed the 1953 Indy 500, the second race of 1953. Still, he competed in nine races between the 1952 and 1953 Belgium Grands Prix and won all of them, with seven Pole Positions in that stretch.