Champion of Champions: Alberto Ascari vs Niki Lauda

Alberto Ascari vs Niki Lauda

Champion of ChampionsPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Champion of Champions: Alberto Ascari vs Niki Lauda
Champion of Champions: Alberto Ascari vs Niki Lauda

Only three drivers have won more than one world championship while driving for Ferrari – and here’s two of them.

The tricky thing about comparing Ascari’s career to other drivers is that he was often either in a position of dominance – as with the Ferrari 500 in 1952 and 1953 – or struggling with unreliable cars.

He beat Juan Manuel Fangio to the 1953 crown and it would have been fascinating to see what would have happened had the pair ended up as team mates at Ferrari in 1956. Sadly, Ascari was killed the year before.

Lauda, however, did share a berth with one of the top drivers of his day – Alain Prost, in 1984 and 1985. The result was one world championship for each of them.

Prior to that Lauda had been central to Ferrari’s revival in the 1970s. Arguably, only his dreadful Nurburgring crash prevented a hat-trick of world titles.

Lauda’s career was obviously much longer than Ascari’s. After leaving Ferrari he spent two years with Brabham, the latter season marred with so many technical problems he only finished twice.

But when he made his comeback with McLaren in 1982 after a two-year break he won in only his third race back.

Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Alberto Ascari Niki Lauda
Alberto Ascari Niki Lauda
Titles 1952, 1953 1975. 1977, 1984
Second in title year/s Giuseppe Farina, Juan Manuel Fangio Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost
Teams Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham, McLaren
Notable team mates Luigi Villoresi, Giuseppe Farina, Mike Hawthorn Carlos Reutemann, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost
Starts 32 171
Wins 13 (40.63%) 25 (14.62%)
Poles 14 (43.75%) 24 (14.04%)
Modern points per start1 13.94 7.85
% car failures2 18.75 34.50
Modern points per finish3 17.15 11.99
Notes Enjoyed success in several pre-championship Grands Prix Badly burned in 1976 crash, withdrew from title-deciding race in heavy rain
Won nine consecutive starts from 1952-3 Clinched second title for Ferrari in 1977 then left team
Killed during 1955 season driving a Ferrari at Monza Ended two-year retirement to return to McLaren and win third title
Bio Alberto Ascari Niki Lauda

1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Alberto Ascari (36%)
  • Niki Lauda (64%)

Total Voters: 490

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Images ?? Pirelli (Ascari), Patrice Tercier (Lauda)