Formula Vintage: machines champions of F1: Ferrari 500


The first two seasons of the World Championship-played
under the regulations ‘Formula 1’- were dominated by Alpha
Romeo and his extraordinary 158, subsequently become 159. But
most of the manufacturers I was more interested in
to enhance the business of cars of the street
in contest a
expensive Championship of the World. After two consecutive titles, Alpha
took that path, leaving Ferrari as the only constructor
popularity willing to continue, leaving the list of entries to the

To minimize damage, the regulator of the time it took
the decision to adopt the Formula 2, more cheap and abundant
. With
engines less powerful cars that are lighter, such a formula
fits better with the marketing plans of the brands and allowed
tighter budgets. Thanks to this, many of the
specialists of the F2 they decided to participate, filling out the grills
Cooper, HWM, Gordini, Maserati, Connaught, Simca, and many others.

Great combination

Aurelio Lampredi went to work on the 500-so named
its the front unit – with three main principles: lightweight chassis,
compact engine and suspension efficient
. As a base, Lampredi used
the chassis from the F2 Ferrari designed in 1949: 166 with
V12 engine two-liter that had problems to beat the light
cars british with their small four-cylinder engines.
Enzo Ferrari had not forgotten that and gave instructions to his
chief designer, to take these premises into account

“Lampredi designed the type 500 with three main principles: lightweight frame, compact engine and suspension efficient”

In regard to the propellant, Lampredi decided by a block
manufactured in aluminium and with four in-line cylinders, double overhead
of cams, two spark plugs per cylinder, Weber carburetors and a double
on that threw 165 horse power, all this installed
on a tubular chassis type ladder
. The dual suspension
fork in the front and the axle, De-Dion at the back
-with double bar drag to stabilize the rear axle, something in
what Lampredi broke the usual rule-, provided
stability to a single-seater with gearbox four-speed
mounted with the differential and connected to the engine through a short
transmission shaft crossing under the driver’s seat.

Domain (almost) all

The season turned out to be a total success, with seven victories
seven possible
. At that time, the championship consisted of a
more proof: the Indianapolis 500-Mile race, which were held under
another regulation, and, obviously, Ferrari did not send any of the
type 500. Instead, he sent it to Ascari and three riders with the
375 of 1951 with a V12 engine, but the roadters americans were
perfectly adapted to the oval by american and the best
Ascari was able to get was a 19th position on the grid and the abandonment


Photo: Morten Brunjberg.

back to Europe, the rest of the season was a walk
total, with Alberto Ascari reigning World Champion for the first
time ahead of Farina and Taruffi, also with Ferrari.

“you Only escaped the Indianapolis 500-Mile race and the last race round at Monza”

For 1953, Ferrari have made improvements in the engine, modifying the
carbs and gaining 20 horses more power
. Despite the fact that
the competition had a whole year to develop their
cars, the gap did not close completely, with Ascari
winning five of nine races and Hawthorn and Farina coming out
victorious other two. Just escaped the 500 Miles of
Indianapolis -something that was within the script – and the last
career scoring that year: the Grand Prix of Italy in Monza
Ascari got pole position at home, but the Maserati A6GCM of
Fangio already had enough development to make in a hurry
to the Ferrari.

The race was decided in the last corner, to which
Ascari and Farina came paired. The first lost control
of the car and struck with Marimón, that was bent. Farina
came out of the asphalt in order to avoid them and Fangio, who came out unscathed from the
incident, crossed the finish line victorious. The argentine was proclaimed
runner-up, but that victory and the abandonment of Ascari were not
sufficient enough to prevent the Italian is claimed, again,
World champion with the Ferrari 500.

A good option for private pilots

In 1954, the growing competition of Maserati, along with the
arrival of Mercedes -not made his debut until the fourth race – and Lancia
-that you did in the last – taking advantage of the rules again
adopt the ‘Formula 1’, opened a new stage in the Ferrari
ceased to be the reference technology.

“The Ferrari 500 remains among the best cars of all time”

During those years-and until 1957 – many were the teams and
private pilots who enjoyed the Ferrari 500, allowing
large grills in the different races of the time, both the
that part of the World Championship and non-championship.
The 500 ‘client’ was, in essence, the same, but your motor reached less revolutions than the factory. His last appearance in the
Championship of the World is produced with Alessandro de Tomaso in the Great
Prize of Argentina of 1957, although the engine is modified to
to comply with the regulations in force and under the name ‘625’.

The Ferrari 500 remains among the best cars of all time and his effectiveness to achieve victories in the World Championship only is surpassed by the McLaren MP4-4 of 1988, which also lost a single race, but has played a more.


Specifications técnicas
Diseñador Aurelio Lampredi
Denomination Ferrari 500 F2
Chasis Ferrari
Potencia 165 hp (185 hp 1953)
Motor Ferrari 1.984 cc in front position
Number of cylinders 4 in línea
Sobrealimentado No
Transmisión Ferrari Manual 4 velocidades
Chasis Tubular
Peso 560 kg
Supplier carburante/lubricante Shell
Frenos drum
Distance between axes 2.197 cm
Tires Pirelli, Englebert
sports Results 1952 1953 1955 (625) 1956 (625) 1957 (625)
Drivers (Official and private) Rosier, Farina, Taruffi, Simon, Fischer, Ascari, Tornaco, Villoresi, Salvadori, Baird, Laurent Ascari, Farina, Villoresi, Hawthorn, Rosier, Swaters, Tornaco, Hirt Claes Scarlatti De Tomaso
Presence in Large Premios 41 44 1 2 1
Victorias 7 7 0 0 0
Poles 7 6 0 0 0
Turns rápidas 7 7 0 0 0
Podios 17 16 0 0 0
Km. liderados 2.799 2.928 0 0 0
First win GP Switzerland 1952 GP Argentina 1953
Last win GP Italia 1952 GP Switzerland 1953
Títulos 1 in 1952 1 1953

From 1055 until 1957, the Ferrari 500 was used by private pilots under the heading ‘625’, as its engine had grown in the front to conform to the current regulations.