• German Grand Prix 1953

Ascari's title but Farina turns back the clock

Martin Williamson August 2, 1953
Nino Farina becomes the oldest man to win a grand prix © Getty Images
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Alberto Ascari duly secured his second successive world championship, although he did so while out of the places for only the second time in two seasons. The German Grand Prix itself was won by the 46-year-old Nino Farina, the oldest winner of a world championship race.

Maserati arrived at the Nurburgring weakened by the absence of José Froilán González who had been injured in a minor race the previous weekend. They brought in Onofre Marimón to partner Juan Manuel Fangio.

A record 32 cars started the race and Fangio, who was on pole, took an early lead before Ascari overtook. But Ascari lost a wheel and was forced to limp back to the pits where he had to commandeer Gigi Villoresi's Ferrari.

At the front, the battle between Fangio and Mike Hawthorn was joined by Farina who then passed them. A resurgent Ascari briefly caught up to challenge for second before his engine blew, and this time there were no chance of him swapping cars.

While the top five places were divvied up between the Italian manufacturers, Stirling Moss steered his Cooper Alta into sixth. John Cooper, who headed the small Surbiton-based outfit, admitted the car had been built in 12 days and only completed at the circuit. "When we started on the car a German representing the organisers came to see us and asked if we had Stirling's car," he said. "I pointed to a pile of parts - they looked like a pile of old junk - and told him that would be it. The poor man was speechless."

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