Ferrari debuted in the Formula One World Championship in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix with the 125 F1, sporting a supercharged version of the 125 V12, and two experienced and successful drivers, Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi. The company later switched to the large-displacement naturally-aspirated formula for the 275, 340, and 375 F1 cars. The Alfa Romeo team dominated the 1950 Formula One season, winning all eleven events, but Ferrari broke their streak in 1951 when rotund driver José Froilán González took first place at the 1951 British Grand Prix. Ferrari also won the 1950 and 1951 Mille Miglia sports car races, but was drawn into a lengthy litigation when Ascari crashed through a barrier and killed a local doctor.
After the 1951 Formula One season the Alfa team withdrew from F1, causing the authorities to adopt the Formula Two regulations due to the lack of suitable F1 cars. Ferrari entered the 2.0 L 4-cyl Ferrari Tipo 500, which went on to win almost every race in which it competed in the 1952 Formula One season with drivers Ascari, Giuseppe Farina, and Piero Taruffi; Ascari took the World Championship after winning six consecutive races. In the 1953 Formula One season, Ascari won only five races but another world title; at the end of that season, Juan Manuel Fangio beat the Ferraris in a Maserati for the first time.
The 1953 launch of the World Sportscar Championship also appealed to Enzo Ferrari, and the company launched a dizzying array of sports racers over the next three years. This included the traditional compact V12-powered 166 MM and 250 MM, the larger V12 290, 340, and 375 MM and 315, 335, and 410 S, the four-cylinder 500, 625, 750, and 860 Monzas, and the six-cylinder 118 and 121 LM. With this potent lineup, Ferrari was able to claim six of the first seven WSC titles: 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, and 1958.
The 1954 Formula One season brought new rules for 2.5 L engines; Ferrari's new car, designated the Ferrari Tipo 625, could barely compete against Fangio with the Maserati and then the Mercedes-Benz W196 which appeared in July. Ferrari had only two wins, González at the 1954 British Grand Prix and Mike Hawthorn at the 1954 Spanish Grand Prix. In 1955 Formula One season Ferrari did no better, winning only the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix with driver Maurice Trintignant. Late in the tragic 1955 season the Ferrari team purchased the Lancia team's D50 chassis after they had retired following Ascari's Death; Fangio, Peter Collins, and Eugenio Castellotti raced the D50s successfully in the 1956 Formula One season: Collins two races, Fangio won three races and the championship.
In the 1957 Formula One season Fangio returned to Maserati. Ferrari, still using its aging Lancias, failed to win a race. Drivers Luigi Musso and the Marquis Alfonso de Portago joined Castellotti; Castellotti died while testing and Portago crashed into a crowd at the Mille Miglia, killing twelve and causing Ferrari to be charged with manslaughter.
In the 1958 Formula One season, a constructor championship was introduced, and won by Vanwall. Carlo Chiti designed an entirely new car for Ferrari: the Ferrari 246 Dino, named for Enzo Ferrari's recently deceased son. The team retained drivers Collins, Hawthorn, and Musso, but Musso died at the 1958 French Grand Prix and Collins died at the 1958 German Grand Prix; Hawthorn won the World Championship and announced his retirement, and died months later in a road accident.
Ferrari hired five new drivers, Tony Brooks, Jean Behra, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, and occasionally Cliff Allison, for the 1959 Formula One season. The team did not get along well; Behra was fired after punching team manager Romolo Tavoni. Brooks was competitive until the end of the season, but in the end he narrowly lost the championship to Jack Brabham with the rear-engined Cooper.
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