Saturday 19 July 2014

On This Day In Formula One - 19 July

Alberto Ascari won every race he entered and became world champion.
Alberto Ascari dominated 1952 and 1953 and unsurprisingly he did exactly that at the British Grand Prix. The Ferrari's of Ascari and Giuseppe Farina dominated for much of the race, although Farina finished sixth after spark-plug issues.

Peter Collins' win at Silverstone came against the backdrop of unrest inside Ferrari. Two weeks earlier the irascible Enzo Ferrari had demoted Collins to the No. 2 team but had been forced to backtrack when Mike Hawthorn stood up for his team-mate. Collins started brilliantly, moving into the lead from sixth on the grid within a lap, and when Stirling Moss' Vanwall blew its engine the competition was as good as seen off.

An epic battle between Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt was the highlight of the British Grand Prix was settled when Rindt was forced to pit twice for running repairs, allowing Stewart to cruise home by more than a lap. His achievement was notable because the day before he had crashed at Woodcote and had to commandeer Jean-Pierre Beltoise's car.

Emerson Fittipaldi wins the 1975 British Grand Prix.
Source: Getty Images.
A remarkable end to the British Grand Prix with the winner, Emerson Fittipaldi, in the pits when the red flag came out and the next four drivers extracting themselves from crashed cars around Silverstone. A sudden downpour on the 55th lap turned the track into an ice rink and within a lap many of those still running were in catch fences. Only six of the 26 starters were still functioning at the premature end. Fittipaldi, who had pitted to change tyres, was pronounced the winner, and fortunately there were no serious injuries. The record crowd of 77,000 - it would have been more but for gridlock for miles around - went home bemused. A varied field had been given even more spice when days before the race Jacky Ickx left Lotus by mutual consent, exasperated at waiting for a long-promised new car. Colin Chapman still entered three cars, as did March, but Frank Williams had only one entry because he had run out of engines.

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