Rodger M. Ward was a WWII P-38 aviator in the United States Air Force, an American race driver with 26 victories in top echelon open-wheel racing in North America, two Indianapolis 500 victories, two USAC National Championships, who conceived the classic tri-oval design and layout of Pocono International Raceway, modeled after his three favorite signature turns, at Trenton and Milwaukee. Ward was born in Beloit, the son of Ralph and Geneva Ward. By 1930, the family had moved to California, he died in California. Ward's father owned an auto wrecking business in Los Angeles. Rodger was 14 years old, he was a P-38 Lightning fighter pilot in World War II. He enjoyed flying so much, he was so good he was retained as an instructor. After the war he was stationed in Texas when a quarter mile dirt track was built, he began racing midget cars in 1946. He finished poorly, his skills improved in 1947 and by 1948 he won the San Diego Grand Prix. He won several races. Ward shocked the midget car racing world when he broke Offenhauser motor's long winning streak by using Vic Edelbrock's Ford 60 "shaker" motor at Gilmore Stadium on August 10, 1950.
The motor was one of the first to feature nitromethane for fuel. Ward and Edelbrock won again. Ward used his midget car in 1959 to beat the top expensive and exotic sports cars in a Formula Libre race at Lime Rock Park. Midget cars were considered competitive for oval tracks only before that time; that same year, Ward entered the United States Grand Prix for Formula One cars with the midget car, under the false belief that it was much quicker through the turns, a fact he found not true at the beginning of practice. He retired from the race after twenty laps with a mechanical failure, he won the 1951 AAA Stock Car championship. The championship gave him an opportunity for a rookie test at the 1951 Indianapolis 500, he qualified for the race. He finished 34 laps, he finished 130 laps in the 1952 Indianapolis 500. His 1953 Indianapolis 500 ended after 170 laps, his 1954 Indianapolis 500 ended after his car stalled on the backstretch, he completed all of the laps for the first time in 1956. In 1959 he joined the Leader Card Racers team with owner Bob Wilke and mechanic A. J. Watson.
Ward won his first Indianapolis 500. He won the USAC National Championship with victories at DuQuoin and the Indy Fairgrounds, his 1959 season ended by competing in the only United States Grand Prix held at Sebring Raceway. Ward battled Jim Rathmann for the lead in the 1960 Indianapolis 500. In one of the epic duels in Indy 500 history and Rathmann exchanged the lead 14 times before Ward slowed on lap 197 to nurse his frayed right front tire to the finish. Rathmann struggling with worn-out tires after such a furious pace, took the lead on lap 197 and the two drivers limped home in what is still regarded as one of the greatest duels for the win in Indianapolis 500 history. Ward led the rest of the race, he won the season championship that year. In the midst of the Lotus-Ford rear-engine invasion in 1964, car owner/chief mechanic A. J. Watson built the first rear-engined Watson, mated to the four-cam Ford, but the night before the 1964 Indianapolis 500, Ward and Watson made a uncharacteristic strategic error.
Going against the strong recommendation from Ford to use gasoline fuel instead of the cooler-burning but less powerful methanol/gasoline. The car was fast. Ward calculated that he had spent two minutes less on the track than winner A. J. Foyt, yet only lost the race by 1 minute. In addition, the horrific second-lap accident, in which his friends Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs both perished in a fiery, gasoline-fueled wreck, left an indelible impression on Ward. After a difficult month of May, 1965, Ward suffered the embarrassment of failing to qualify. At the banquet, Ward stood at the podium and made a painful announcement to the crowd: "I always said I'd quit racing when it stopped being fun," he said, he paused. "Today it wasn't fun anymore." He had 26 victories in his 150 starts between 1950 and 1964, he finished in the top ten in more than half of his starts. Ward retired to be a commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports for NASCAR and Indycars from 1965 to 1970. From 1980-1985, he served as a driver expert for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, before retiring in Tustin, California.
In years, he served as public relations director for the new Ontario Motor Speedway, managed the Circus Circus unlimited hydroplane team. He died on July 5, 2004, aged 83. In 1992, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995. Ward was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1995. Ward is a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, he was inducted in the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2003. Ward's finishes from 1959 to 1963 and 1960 to 1964 rank as the best and second best five-race finishing streaks in Indianapolis 500 history; the Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and
1953 Indianapolis 500
The 37th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 30, 1953. The event was part of the 1953 AAA National Championship Trail, was race 2 of 9 in the 1953 World Championship of Drivers. Bill Vukovich, after falling short a year before, earned the first of two consecutive Indy 500 victories. With the temperature in the high 90s, the track temperature exceeding 130 °F, this race is known as the "Hottest 500." Driver Carl Scarborough dropped out the race, died at the infield hospital due to heat prostration. Due to the extreme heat conditions, several drivers in the field required relief drivers, some relief drivers required additional relief. Vukovich, however, as well as second-place finisher Art Cross, both ran the full 500 miles solo. Sixteen year race veteran Chet Miller died in an accident in practice on May 15. Time trials were scheduled for four days. Saturday May 16 – Pole Day time trials Sunday May 17 – Second day time trials Saturday May 23 – Third day time trials Sunday May 24 – Fourth day time trialsVukovich qualified on pole, with a speed of 138.392 mph.
Polesitter Bill Vukovich dominated the race, leading 195 laps and recording fastest lap. The race is known as the "Hottest 500", with track temperatures exceeding 130 °F. Recent research, has suggested that the 1937 race had higher recorded temperatures. Half the drivers in the field used relief help, including: Duane Carter took over from Sam Hanks Paul Russo took over from Fred Agabashian Eddie Johnson took over from Jim Rathmann Gene Hartley and Chuck Stevenson took over from Tony Bettenhausen Bob Scott took over from Carl Scarborough Jim Rathmann took over from Bill Holland Duke Dinsmore and Andy Linden took over from Rodger Ward Johnny Mantz took over from Walt Faulkner Jackie Holmes and Johnny Thomson took over from Spider Webb Andy Linden and Chuck Stevenson took over from Jerry Hoyt Carl Scarborough retired from the race due to heat exhaustion, died at the infield hospital. Notes^1 – Includes 1 point for fastest lead lap First alternate: Eddie Johnson Pole position: Bill Vukovich – 4:20.13 Fastest lead lap: Bill Vukovich – 1:06.240 The purse for first place was $89,496.
One of the prizes awarded to the winner was a year's supply of dog food. The race was carried live flag-to-flag on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Instead of being produced by 1070 WIBC-AM, the network pooled together talent and technical staff from all five of the major radio stations in Indianapolis; the broadcast was anchored by Sid Collins, featured on-air talent from WIBC, WFBM, WISH, WIRE, WXLW. The broadcast signed on at 10:45 a.m. local time, carried live through the conclusion, until 3:45 p.m. local time. The broadcast was carried on 135 stations in at least 35 states across the country, on Armed Forced Network to Europe and Asia. World Drivers' Championship standingsNote: Only the top five positions are included. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship. Indianapolis 500 History: Race & All-Time Stats – Official Site Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 – Fleetwood Sounds, 1975 1953 Indianapolis 500 Radio Broadcast, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network: Re-broadcast on "The History of the 500" – WFNI
1953 Formula One season
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 Indianalpolis 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 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 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 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 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; the 1953 World Championship of Drivers was contested over a nine race series. The Spanish Grand Prix, scheduled to be staged on 26 October, was cancelled; the Indianapolis 500 counted towards the 1953 AAA Championship.
The following teams and drivers competed in the 1953 FIA World Championship of Drivers. Championship points were awarded to first five finishers in each race on 6, 4, 3, 2 basis. Points for shared drives were divided between the drivers, regardless of the number of laps driven by each. 1 point was awarded for the fastest lap in each race. The point was shared between drivers sharing the fastest lap. Only the best four results from the nine races counted towards a driver's total points in the World Championship. Numbers without parentheses are retained championship points and numbers within parentheses are total points scored. * Italics indicate fastest lap Bold indicates pole position † Position shared between more drivers of the same car ‡ Several cars were shared in this race. See the race page for details; the following Formula One/Formula Two races, which did not count towards the World Championship of Drivers, were held during 1953
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, United States, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend in late May, it is contested as part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel open-cockpit formula colloquially known as "Indy Car Racing". The name of the race is shortened to Indy 500, the track itself is nicknamed "the Brickyard", as the racing surfacing was paved in brick in the fall of 1909; the event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which comprises three of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world including the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The official attendance is not disclosed by Speedway management, but the permanent seating capacity is upwards of 250,000, infield patrons raise the race-day attendance to 300,000; the inaugural race was won by Ray Harroun.
The event celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, the 100th running was held in 2016. Will Power is the current champion; the most successful drivers are A. J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, each of whom have won the race four times. The active driver with the most victories is Hélio Castroneves, with three. Rick Mears holds the record for most career pole positions with six; the most successful car owner is Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske, which has 17 total wins and 17 poles. The event is steeped in tradition, in pre-race ceremonies, post-race celebrations, race procedure; the most noteworthy and most popular traditions are the 33-car field, the annual singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana," and the victory lane bottle of milk. The Indianapolis 500 is held annually at a 2.5-mile oval circuit. Technically, the track is a unique rounded-rectangle, with four distinct turns of identical dimensions, connected by four straightaways. Drivers race 200 laps, counter-clockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles.
Since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled around Memorial Day. Since 1974, the race has been scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is considered one of the most important days on the motorsports calendar, as it is the day of the Indianapolis 500, Coca-Cola 600, the Monaco Grand Prix. Practice and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race, while other preliminary testing is held as early as April. Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a starting grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece; the event is contested by "Indy cars", a formula of professional-level, single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel, purpose-built race cars. As of 2018, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower. Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport. Dallara is at present the sole chassis supplier to the series. Firestone, which has a deep history in the sport, dating back to the first 500, is the exclusive tire provider.
The race is the most prestigious event of the IndyCar calendar, one of the oldest and most important automobile races. It has been avouched to be the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself is regarded as the world's largest sporting facility in terms of capacity. The total purse exceeded $13 million in 2011, with over $2.5 million awarded to the winner, making it one of the richest cash prize funds in sports. Similar to NASCAR's Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 is held early in the IndyCar Series season; that is unique to most sports where major events are at the end of the respective season. The Indy 500 is the sixth event of the 17-race IndyCar schedule. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Indianapolis was the second or third race of the season, as late as the 1950s, it was sometimes the first championship event of the year. Due to the high prestige of the Indianapolis 500—rivaling or surpassing the season championship—it is not uncommon for some teams and drivers to concentrate on preparation for the 500 during the early part of the season, not focus on the championship battle until after Indy.
The traditional 33-car starting field at Indianapolis is larger than the fields at the other IndyCar races. The field at Indy consists of all of the full-time IndyCar Series entries, along with 10–15 part-time or "Indy-only" entries; the "Indy-only" entries popularly called "One-Offs", may be an extra car added to an existing full-time team, or a part-time team altogether that does not enter any of the other races. The "Indy-only" drivers may come from a wide range of pedigrees, but are experienced Indy car drivers that either lack a full-time ride, are former full-time drivers that have elected to drop down to part-time status, or occasional one-off drivers from other racing disciplines, it is not uncommon for some drivers, to quit full-time driving during the season, but race at Indy singly for numerous years afterwards before entering full retirement. Due to safety issues such as aquaplaning, the race is not held in wet conditions. In the event of a rain delay, the race will be postponed until rain showers cease, the track is sufficiently dried.
If rain falls during the race, officials can end the race and declare the results official if more than half of the scheduled distance (i.e. 101 lap
1954 Formula One season
The 1954 Formula One season was eighth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured a number of non-championship races; the World Championship of Drivers was contested over a nine race series which commenced on 17 January and ended on 24 October 1954. The championship was won by Juan Manuel Fangio who drove, won races, for both Maserati and Mercedes-Benz over the course of the series. Argentine drivers gained the first two positions in the championship with José Froilán González placing second to his compatriot Fangio. With Formula One changing to 2.5 litre unsupercharged engines for 1954, Mercedes re-entered grand prix racing for the first time since the Second World War at the French Grand Prix with a streamlined single seater which Fangio and Karl Kling took to a 1–2 win. Fangio's French success had come after switching from the Maserati team, with whom he had won the first two Grands Prix of the season. Although the streamlined, closed-wheel body proved unsuitable for Silverstone, Mercedes produced a more conventional open-wheel body for the Nürburgring race.
Reigning champion Alberto Ascari had a less successful switch of teams, choosing to leave Ferrari for the newly formed Lancia team. Lancia's car, the D50, was not ready until the final World Championship race, meaning he had to sit out most of his title defence. Championship points were awarded for first five places in each race on an 8, 6, 4, 3, 2 basis with 1 point awarded for the fastest lap. Only the best five of nine scores counted towards the championship. Points for shared drives were divided between the drivers, regardless of who had driven more laps unless one of the drivers was deemed to have completed "insufficient distance". Drivers who shared more than one car during a race received points only for their highest finish. Argentine Onofre Marimón was killed during practice for the German Grand Prix driving a Maserati 250F, it was the first fatality at a championship Formula One race weekend. The following races counted towards the 1954 World Championship of Drivers. All championship races were open to cars complying with FIA Formula One regulations with the exception of the Indianapolis 500, for cars complying with AAA National Championship regulations, counted towards the 1954 AAA Championship.
The Dutch Grand Prix was supposed to be held at Zandvoort but there was no money for the race to be held, it was cancelled. The German Grand Prix was given the honorary title of being the European Grand Prix of 1954; the following teams and drivers competed in the 1954 FIA World Championship of Drivers. Italics indicate fastest lap Bold indicates pole position † Position shared between multiple drivers of the same car ‡ Several cars were shared in this race. See the race page for details. Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; the following is a summary of the races for Formula One cars staged during the 1954 season that did not count towards the 1954 World Championship of Drivers
1951 Formula One season
The 1951 Formula One season was the fifth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1951 World Championship of Drivers, which commenced on 27 May 1951 and ended on 28 October after eight races; the season included 14 races that were open to Formula One cars but did not count towards the championship standings. Ferrari's newer, unsupercharged 4.5 litre cars offered a real challenge to the Alfas, which were nearing the end of their development potential. The Ferraris were able to capitalize on the inefficiency of the Alfa's thirsty engines at Silverstone. Although Alfas won four races, with Fangio taking the championship, Ferrari's three victories spelled the end for the Alfas. BRM made their only championship appearance with the V16 at Silverstone, the old, slow Talbots were outclassed. Points were given to top 5 finishers. 1 point was given for fastest lap. Only the best four of eight scores counted towards the world championship. Points for shared drives were divided between the drivers, regardless of who had driven more laps.
Although the official championship season would start in late May in Switzerland, there were a handful of non-championship events to be run. The first was the first Syracuse Grand Prix near the ancient city of Syracuse on the southern island of Sicily; this race was won by Italian Luigi Villoresi driving the new 4 1/2 liter Ferrari 375 on the 3.4 mile public road circuit. Villoresi would triumph again 2 weeks at Pau in southwest France over homeland hero Louis Rosier and Nino Farina, driving a Maserati for this race. On the same day Thai driver Prince Bira would triumph at the Richmond Trophy race at Goodwood in southern England in his Maserati. 3 weeks after the Goodwood and Pau races it was the San Remo Grand Prix in western Italy not far from Monaco, Alberto Ascari made his first appearance of the season and promptly won in a Ferrari 375 on this twisty and demanding 2.1 mile street circuit, ahead of his countryman Dorino Serafini and Swiss Rudi Fischer, both in Ferraris. A week was the Bordeaux Grand Prix in western France and it was won by Rosier in a Talbot, ahead of Fischer and Briton Peter Whitehead in a Ferrari.
Other than Farina this race did not feature any Italians in it because they were competing in the Mille Miglia. A week was the BRDC International Trophy race at Silverstone, with the Alfa Romeos making their first appearance in 1951. Of the first two heats, Fangio won the first. Two weeks after this was the Paris Grand Prix in the Bois de Boulogne Park in the French capital city, won by Farina in a Maserati. A week after the BRDC International Trophy race the Formula One Championship season started in Switzerland at the dangerous and tree-lined Bremgarten public road circuit near Bern around the time the Monaco Grand Prix would have been held, but that historic race was not held this year. Alfa Romeo, the dominant team in 1950 with its supercharged 159 Alfetta, took the first 5 places on the grid, with the exception of 3rd, taken by Luigi Villoresi in a Ferrari. Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio was on pole position, with his Italian teammate Giuseppe "Nino" Farina alongside him; the race started while it was raining, with its overhanging trees lining the road, this circuit was more dangerous in the wet.
But Fangio made no mistake and won the race from Piero Taruffi in a Ferrari and Farina, whose decision to run the race without changing tires proved to be the wrong decision. The Indianapolis 500 in the United States was run 3 days after the Swiss Grand Prix on a Wednesday, was the only non-European championship round and the only round not run to FIA Grand Prix regulations. Lee Wallard won this demanding race in his Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser. Farina had won again at Ulster Trophy held at the dangerous and fast Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland in an Alfa, the next championship Grand Prix was in Belgium at the fastest circuit of the year: the spectacular and rural 8.7 mi Spa-Francorchamps circuit. With Fangio and Farina once again 1–2 with the Ferraris of Villoresi and Alberto Ascari taking 3rd and 4th, the Alfas and Ferraris dueled around this circuit, with only 13 entries – small grids in all kinds of motorsports in Europe were commonplace at Spa, because of the fear most drivers had of the circuit.
Farina on a high after winning at Dundrod won by 3 minutes over Ascari and Villoresi, with Fangio finishing 4 laps down in 9th after one of his Alfa's wheels jammed on its hub. The French Grand Prix, given the honorary designation of the European Grand Prix this year was held at the fast 4.8 mile Reims-Gueux circuit deep in northern French champagne country played the host for an exciting race. Fangio, on pole again, was beaten off the line by 3rd placed qualifier Ascari, with 2nd placed qualifier Farina making a terrible start and dropping to 11th. On this triangular public road circuit, made up of long straights, slight kinks and slow, angular corners saw Ascari retire his car with a broken gearbox and Fangio nursing a sick car. Farina pushed hard and took the lead. Argentine Jose Froilan Gonzalez was 2nd in a Ferrari, 53-year old pre-war great Luigi Fagioli in an Alfa was 3rd in a one-off appearance for this year. Gonzalez was chasing Farina hard. However, during both the leader's pitstops, as was commonplace in Grand Prix racing up until 1957, when it was banned – Gonzalez handed his car over to Ascari, Fagioli exchanged his healthy car with Fang
Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950; the word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads; the results of each race are evaluated using a points system to determine two annual World Championships: one for drivers, the other for constructors. Drivers must hold valid Super Licences, the highest class of racing licence issued by the FIA; the races must run on tracks graded "1", the highest grade-rating issued by the FIA. Most events occur in rural locations on purpose-built tracks, but several events take place on city streets. Formula One cars are the fastest regulated road-course racing cars in the world, owing to high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce.
The cars underwent major changes in 2017, allowing wider front and rear wings, wider tyres, resulting in cornering forces closing in on 6.5g and top speeds of up to 375 km/h. As of 2019 the hybrid engines are limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 rpm and the cars are dependent on electronics—although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008—and on aerodynamics and tyres. While Europe is the sport's traditional base, the championship operates globally, with 11 of the 21 races in the 2018 season taking place outside Europe. With the annual cost of running a mid-tier team—designing and maintaining cars, transport—being US$120 million, Formula One has a significant economic and job-creation effect, its financial and political battles are reported, its high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, which has resulted in large investments from sponsors and budgets. On 8 September 2016 Bloomberg reported that Liberty Media had agreed to buy Delta Topco, the company that controls Formula One, from private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion in cash and convertible debt.
On 23 January 2017 Liberty Media confirmed the completion of the acquisition for $8 billion. The Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1930s; the formula is a set of rules. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, with the first non-championship races being held that year. A number of Grand Prix racing organisations had laid out rules for a world championship before the war, but due to the suspension of racing during the conflict, the World Drivers' Championship was not formalised until 1947; the first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950. A championship for constructors followed in 1958. National championships existed in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Non-championship Formula One events were held for many years, but due to the increasing cost of competition, the last of these occurred in 1983. On 26 November 2017, Formula One unveiled its new logo, following the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.
The new logo replaced F1's iconic'flying one', the sport's trademark since 1993. After a hiatus in European motor racing brought about by the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the first World Championship for Drivers was won by Italian Giuseppe Farina in his Alfa Romeo in 1950, narrowly defeating his Argentine teammate Juan Manuel Fangio. However, Fangio won the title in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, his streak interrupted by two-time champion Alberto Ascari of Ferrari. Although the UK's Stirling Moss was able to compete he was never able to win the world championship, is now considered to be the greatest driver never to have won the title. Fangio, however, is remembered for dominating Formula One's first decade and has long been considered the "Grand Master" of Formula One; this period featured teams managed by road car manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati. The first seasons were run using pre-war cars like Alfa's 158, they were front-engined, with narrow tyres and 1.5-litre supercharged or 4.5-litre aspirated engines.
The 1952 and 1953 World Championships were run to Formula Two regulations, for smaller, less powerful cars, due to concerns over the paucity of Formula One cars available. When a new Formula One, for engines limited to 2.5 litres, was reinstated to the world championship for 1954, Mercedes-Benz introduced the advanced W196, which featured innovations such as desmodromic valves and fuel injection as well as enclosed streamlined bodywork. Mercedes drivers won the championship for two years, before the team withdrew from all motorsport in the wake of the 1955 Le Mans disaster. An era of British dominance was ushered in by Mike Hawthorn and Vanwall's championship wins in 1958, although Stirling Moss had been at the forefront of the sport without securing the world title. Between Hawthorn, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Graham Hill, British drivers won nine Drivers' Championships and British teams won fourteen Constructors' Championsh