Motorsport

1950-59: The deadliest decade in motorsport history

Published 0929 GMT (1729 HKT) November 9, 2017
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"Ferrari: Race To Immortality" is a new documentary about the Italian Formula One team's rise to power in the 1950s.


'"Ferrari: Race To Immortality'" was released in cinemas on Friday November 3 and on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital platforms on Monday November 6.
© Bernard Cahier/ The Cahier Ar
Founder Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) steered the team to unprecedented success during his lifetime. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
"The Ferrari name is very important to F1 today because it's a very much a symbol of the history of the sport that was once the most dangerous sport on earth and still trades on those associations of risk and glamor," says Richard Williams, biographer of Enzo Ferrari and contributor to "Ferrari: Race To Immortality." © Bernard Cahier/The Cahier Ar
Ferrari and British driver Peter Collins, who raced for the Italian team from 1956 to 1958. Ferrari was an autocratic leader who would pit his drivers against one another in the belief that it would improve their performance. © Bernard Cahier/ The Cahier Ar
Collins was one of four Ferrari drivers to die on track. The Briton suffered a fatal crash at the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Victor Blackman/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Ferrari teammate and friend Mike Hawthorn was devastated by the loss of Collins, but went on to win the world championship in 1958 before retiring. He died at the wheel too when his car crashed while traveling up to London from his home in Surrey in January 1959. Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
British racing driver Stirling Moss (left) adjusts Hawthorn's helmet before a race. The documentary contains many gruesome moments, but also many previously unseen clips of drivers off the track -- in the pit lane, horsing about and on the road as they made their way from one race to the next.
Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The 1950s was the most deadly decade in motorsport history. The worst disaster happened at Le Mans in June 1955 when Pierre Levegh's car crashed before parts of the bodywork flew into the crowd. A total of 82 spectators were killed. AFP/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Alfonso de Portago (left), a Spanish aristocrat turned racing driver, with Collins before the start of Italy's Mille Miglia. Portago was killed when he crashed towards the end of the 1,00-mile road race. The tragedy also took the life of his co-driver and 10 spectators, which included five children. The accident led to banning of the race. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Ferrari attends the funeral of de Portago. Ferrari famously said to his drivers: "Win or die, you will be immortal." Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Luigi Musso was another Ferrari driver who died during the 1950s. A fierce rival of his British teammates Hawthorn and Collins, Musso was killed when he crashed at the French Grand Prix in July 1958. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images