Saturday 13th July 1918
Born on this day, Alberto Ascari, Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion and is one of only two Italian Formula One World Champions in the history of the sport, and the only one to win his two championships in a Ferrari. He was a multitalented racer who completed in motorcycle racing before switching to cars. Back to back World titles in 1952 and 1953 sandwiched an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in 1952. Ascari also won the legendary Mille Miglia in 1954. He once admitted that he warned his children not to become extremely close to him because of the risk involved in his profession. So this proved when he was killed during a test session for Scuderia Ferrari at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. He was preparing for the Supercortemaggiore 1000 kilometre race that he was to have run with his protégé Eugenio Castellotti on the weekend that followed the accident. The son of one of Italy’s great pre-war drivers, Alberto Ascari went on to become one of Formula One racing’s most dominant and best-loved champions. Noted for the careful precision and finely-judged accuracy that made him one of the safest drivers in a most dangerous era, he was also notoriously superstitious and took great pains to avoid tempting fate. But his unexplained fatal accident – at exactly the same age as his father’s, on the same day of the month and in eerily similar circumstances – remains one of Formula One racing’s great unsolved mysteries.