Fangio drives a lap of Monaco in his Championship winning Ferrari-Lancia D50
Legendary Italian designer Vittorio Jano, dual world champion Alberto Ascari and the mastermind behind both the pre and post-war dominant Mercedes teams Alfred Neubauer.
Jano was famed for designing legendary cars such as the Alfa Romeo P3, Alfa Romeo 158/159 Alfetta, Lancia D50, and the original Ferrari 206 Dino road car, named in honour of Enzo Ferrari’s late son. Jano took his own life in 1965 after falling ill, months after the death of his own son.
Despite losing his father to motor racing (in a car designed by Jano), Ascari would go on to have great success, equalling his father’s number of Grand Prix victories, but also passing away in a similar way to his father at the same age (only a matter of days after this photo), also leaving behind two children and a wife. In his short career, he won two driver’s championship in dominant fashion for Ferrarin in 1952 and 53, and still holds seven different records fifty years later.
Alfred Neubauer was the brainchild behind the dominant pre and post Mercedes teams, winning a slew of Grand Prixs and Driver’s championships. He retired when Mercedes withdrew from motorsport after the tragedy at Le Mans in 1955. He died at the age of 89 in Stuttgart in 1980.
Alberto Ascari, Monaco 1955.
During what would be his final Grand Prix, Ascari started from the front row before suffering a horrific crash on lap 80, falling into the harbour only to be saved by aquamen.
Four days later, after making a surprise appearance at a Ferrari sports car test at Monza to watch his friend Eugene Castellotti, Ascari popped into the car to make a few laps (the two would be driving the car at the Supercortemaggiore 1000 km race later in the year) in trousers, short sleeves and Castellotti’s helmet.
Coming through the high speed left hander Curva di Vialone, Ascari lost control and was thrown from the vehicle as the car rolled. He would die of his injuries, and was buried alongside his father in Milan.
The corner was renamed in his honour, and was later reconfigured into the Variante Ascari which we know today.
Originally designed in 1954, the Lancia family fell on hard times and had to sell-off the Scuderia Lancia, with the car being purchased by Ferrari. Fangio would win the 1956 Driver’s Championship with it, rebadged as the Ferrari D50.