Dou­ble tops

F1 Racing - - THE FEATURES -

If Alonso never wins an­other ti­tle, he’s in good com­pany…

Al­berto As­cari 1952, 1953

Be­tween the 1952 and 1953 Bel­gian Grands Prix, Al­berto As­cari won ev­ery world cham­pi­onship F1 race. He’d even tried his hand at the Indy 500. But a move from Fer­rari to Lan­cia in 1954 left him with­out a car, be­cause the D50 failed to ar­rive un­til the end of the sea­son. Then, in May 1955, he died test­ing a Fer­rari sport­scar.

Jim Clark 1963, 1965

Like As­cari, Jim Clark was peer­lessly quick – in 1967 he put his Lo­tus 49 on pole at the Nür­bur­gring by nine sec­onds. He was in his el­e­ment at the most de­mand­ing tracks, win­ning at Spa for four years in a row, and would have been cham­pion in 1964 and ’67 had his cars been more re­li­able. He was killed in an F2 race at Hock­en­heim in 1968.

Gra­ham Hill 1962, 1968

Al­though per­haps not as nat­u­rally gifted as some of his con­tem­po­raries, Hill earned his suc­cess through grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion, tak­ing BRM by the scruff of the neck to de­velop a ti­tle-win­ning car in 1962, and gal­vanis­ing Lo­tus in the aftermath of Clark’s death in ’68. His F1 ca­reer de­clined af­ter he over­turned his Lo­tus at the 1969 US Grand Prix and broke both his legs.

Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi 1972, 1974

The tal­ented Brazil­ian won his first world ti­tle just three years af­ter touch­ing down in Europe as a promis­ing rookie. In 1972 he had the best car in the field – the Lo­tus 72 – and made the best use of it; at McLaren in ’74 he honed the ex­tant M23 chas­sis into a cham­pi­onship win­ner. Then he joined his brother’s newly formed team and the cars were never com­pet­i­tive enough.

Mika Häkki­nen 1998, 1999

F1’s quin­tes­sen­tial ‘Fly­ing Finn’ re­mains an enigma; his F1 ca­reer was seven sea­sons old by the time he found him­self in a car ca­pa­ble of win­ning races reg­u­larly, and by then he had al­ready come back from a life-threat­en­ing ac­ci­dent. He blew hot and cold dur­ing 2000 and 2001 as McLaren lost re­li­a­bil­ity, then went “on sab­bat­i­cal”, never to re­turn.

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