• British Grand Prix 1952

Silverstone witnesses Ascari masterclass

Martin Williamson July 19, 1952
Alberto Ascari quenches his thirst after winning the 1952 British Grand Prix © Getty Images

Alberto Ascari's third successive win all but secured him the drivers' title even though there still three of the eight rounds remaining. Such was his and Ferrari's dominance it was almost inconceivable that anyone else could match them.

More than 100,000 spectators descended on Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, many to see how the British Connaught and BRM teams were progressing even if it was accepted they could not compete with the higher-powered Ferraris.

Although Nino Farina took pole, his race was blighted by engine problems and Ascari took the lead from the start and was never challenged. He established a new lap record on a modified circuit and finished a lap ahead of team-mate Piero Taruffi.

The best of the Brits was Mike Hawthorn in his Cooper Bristol but the Surrey-based Connaught team gave good account of itself with Dennis Poore finishing in fourth ahead of team-mate Eric Thompson in their Lea Francis-engined machines, funded by Sir Kenneth McAlpine.

Farina, struggling with down on power engine, finally limped into sixth place. The Gordinis had problems so British drivers Reg Parnell, Roy Salvadori and Ken Downing took the next finishing positions.

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