The 555 F1, the latest version of the F1 single-seater with a 4-cylinder engine, was first used at the Bordeaux GP on 24 April ’55. It was the evolution of the 553, whose new helical spring front suspension it retained, instead of the transverse leaf-spring type. The further extended bodywork gave rise to the name Super shark. This type of car was still used by Peter Collins at the Argentinean GP in Buenos Aires on 22-1-56, whilst Fangio, Musso and Castellotti already had the modified D 50.

Despite these improvements, Ferrari was in a crisis faced with the sheer strength of the Mercedes, and Lampredi, the main designer, had left the Company after serious disagreements. The team only had one win, thanks to Maurice Trintignant in Monte Carlo, in a race marred by Ascari’s accident in the Lancia, which ended up in the sea. Four days later, on 26 May, the Italian driver died in an accident during trials at the Monza motor racing track.

Type front, longitudinal in-line four
Bore/stroke 100 x 79.5 mm
Unitary displacement 624.39 cc
Total displacement 2497.56 cc
Compression ratio 13 : 1
Maximum power 191 kW (260 hp) at 7200 rpm
Power per litre 104 hp/l
Maximum torque -
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, two valves per cylinder
Fuel feed two Weber 50 DCOA/3 carburettors
Ignition two spark plugs per cylinder, two magnetos
Lubrication dry sump
Clutch multi-plate
Frame tubular steel
Front suspension independent, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension de Dion, upper transverse leaf spring, twin radius arms, Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers
Brakes drums
Transmission 5-speed + reverse
Steering worm and sector
Fuel tank capacity 180 litres
Front tyres 5.50 x 16
Rear tyres 7.00 x 16