7 Jun 1953
On 7th June 1953 the Dutch Grand Prix was held at Zandvoort. True to form, Ferrari were favourites right from qualifying when the four factory 500s all secured top six places with Alberto Ascari on pole, even beating Juan Manuel Fangio by 1.6 seconds and Giuseppe Farina by 1.9.
The track presented an unexpected problem: the surface had recently been relaid, but the job was done in a hurry without much care and as a result it broke up with gravel flying dangerously at the drivers. Alberto Ascari complained to the organisers who did nothing but shrug their shoulders.
The Milanese driver remembered watching some American dirt track races the previous year and fitted his 500 with a protective mesh screen, a solution immediately adopted by all the other drivers.
In the race, Ascari took control from start to finish, to give Ferrari its twelfth win. Behind the victor came Giuseppe Farina which meant the Maranello marque had secured a ninth one-two finish. A clean sweep of the podium was not to be, because of a great climb up the order from Jose Froilan Gonzalez: the Argentine had to take over Felice Bonetto’s Maserati after his own had a problem and he managed to get all the way back to third, overtaking Mike Hawthorn in the Ferrari in the closing stages.