The 1953 Formula One season was the seventh season of the FIA's Formula One racing. It consisted only of a number of non-championship motor races. As in 1952, all races counting towards the World Championship of Drivers, apart from the Indianapolis 500, were held for cars complying with Formula Two regulations rather than with Formula One, with the Indianapolis 500 held to AAA regulations.
The 4th FIA World Championship of Drivers, which commenced on 18 January and ended on 13 September after nine races, was won by Alberto Ascari, driving for a Scuderia Ferrari. Ascari became the first driver to successfully defend his title.
In addition to the non-championship Formula One races and the World Championship Formula Two races, numerous other non-championship Formula Two races were also held during the year.
Ferrari drivers again dominated the championship, taking seven of the eight grands prix, although Juan Manuel Fangio's challenge in his more fragile Maserati took him to second place in the championship and a win at Monza. Ascari extended his unbeaten run to nine consecutive World Championship grand prix wins before his teammate Mike Hawthorn broke the sequence in becoming the first ever British winner in the French Grand Prix at Reims after a thrilling battle with Fangio.
In 1953, all but one of the races counting towards the World Championship of Drivers were run under Formula 2 regulations, while the remaining one, the Indianapolis 500, was run under AAA Championship Car regulations. The 1953 championship was the first truly global World Championship of Drivers, with a championship event being staged outside of Europe or the United States for the first time. That race, the 1953 Argentine Grand Prix, was marred by an accident involving the Ferrari of Giuseppe Farina, which crashed into an unprotected crowd, killing nine spectators.
Alberto Ascari 13 July 1918 – 26 May 1955) was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion. He was a multitalented racer who competed in motorcycle racing before switching to cars. Ascari won consecutive world titles in 1952 and 1953 for Scuderia Ferrari. He was the team's first World Champion and the last Italian to date to win the title. This was sandwiched an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in 1952. Ascari also won the Mille Miglia in 1954. Ascari was noted for the careful precision and finely-judged accuracy that made him one of the safest drivers in a most dangerous era.
Ascari remains along with Michael Schumacher Ferrari's only back-to-back World Champions, and he is also Ferrari's sole Italian champion. As the first driver to win multiple World Championship titles, he held the record for most World Championship titles in 1952-54, as a result he is one of 3 drivers to have held the record for most World Championship titles. Juan Manuel Fangio held the record in 1951-52 and 1954-2002 (jointly with Ascari in 1952 and 1954) and Michael Schumacher has held the record since 2002.
When Alberto was a young child, his father, Antonio, who was also a famous racing driver, died in an accident at the 1925 French Grand Prix. Alberto 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. Ascari was notoriously superstitious and took great pains to avoid tempting fate. His unexplained fatal accident – at 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 tragic coincidences.