Tonino Ascari, the 63-year-old son of 1952–1953 Formula One World Champion Alberto, stunned the Italian motor racing community on September 10th by saying he believed Eugenio Castellotti asked his father to sort out the rear-end handling of the factory Ferrari 750 the younger driver was testing at Monza on that fateful May 26, 1955. Additionally, Tonino confirmed that Alberto was suddenly confronted with an intruder crossing the track as he lapped Monza and was killed in an ensuing accident.
True revelations, because for 50 years mystery has surrounded the reason why Alberto Ascari, a highly superstitious man, donned Castellotti’s helmet instead of his own blue crash hat, without which he usually refused to take to the track, and began lapping the Bianza circuit. Obviously, Alberto did not expect to drive as he left his Milan home for Monza after speaking with Castellotti on the telephone, otherwise he would have taken his blue helmet with him. Some said he clambered into the Ferrari 750 to find his form again after he and his Lancia D50 plunged into Monte Carlo harbor four days earlier, while competing in the Monaco Grand Prix. And there have long been rumors that Ascari was suddenly confronted with a man crossing the track as he lapped Monza, forcing him to take immediate evasive action that resulted in his fatal crash at the kink in the circuit now named after him.
The disclosures were made by Tonino Ascari while he was attending the opening of an exhibition dedicated to his father at the Galleria Ferrari in Maranello. The display includes 40 photographs of Alberto Ascari by Italian Corrado Millanta, the driver’s trophies and many of his cars, including the extremely rare 815 Auto Avio Costruzioni—Enzo Ferrari’s first car, bearing that name to circumvent an agreement he had reached before leaving Alfa Romeo that he would not produce cars under his own name—and the Ferrari 750 in which Ascari crashed and died.