• British Grand Prix 1953

Ascari on the brink after Silverstone victory

Martin Williamson July 18, 1953
Alberto Ascari wins the 1953 British Grand Prix © Getty Images
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Alberto Ascari reasserted his stranglehold over the world championship with victory at the British Grand Prix as Italian cars filled the first six places. Around 100,000 spectators who had descended on Silverstone hoping to see Mike Hawthorn repeat his success in Reims a fortnight earlier were left disappointed.

Ascari, who had experienced the strange feeling of not being on the podium at the French Grand Prix, was back to his best, taking pole, leading throughout and setting a new lap record for good measure. His margin of victory was a minute and would have been more had he not slowed because of large quantities of oil on the track, mainly from José Froilán González's Ferrari which spewed it all over the surface until he was black flagged. Only Juan Manuel Fangio kept Ascari within a lap.

Hawthorn's day was all but ended when he hit oil on the third lap, skidded and dented his Ferrari's tail. He did well to get going but lost more time when he pitted to check the damage. He did well to battle back to take fifth.

The Thai playboy Prince Bira, who had been a force before the war, led the non-Italian field in a Connaught which finished seventh, although he was eight laps behind Ascari.

In the 50-mile Formula Libre race which preceded the main event, Nino Farina in a Ferrari Thinwall Special beat Fangio in a BRM.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA

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Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA Martin Williamson, who grew up in the era of James Hunt, Niki Lauda and sideburns, became managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group in 2007 after spells with Sky Sports, Sportal and Cricinfo