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Was Alberto Ascari 'mean' to his son?


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#1 fer312t

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:50

Hi all...

Just something silly I've also meant to ask about...

Awhile back I was reading Go like Hell, which I thought enjoyable page turner, but obviously geared towards a more general audience and thus a bit sensational at times...

Anyway, when speaking about the 'hardened' characters in motor racing history, my curiosity was piqued about the following line regarding Ascari:

"The racetrack was a place for ruthless men, like Alberto Ascari who was mean to his own so the boy wouldn't miss his father when he died in racing accident, which he did in a Ferrari at Monza"

Anyone know is this is just nonsense, or if not, can provide any context? What exactly constitutes 'mean' in this case? Sounds like fairly preposterous and cruel behavior and doesn't seem to mesh with what little I know about Ascari. Why put forth such efforts to abide by superstition if one is essentially a fatalist?




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#2 pilota

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:08

Hi all...

Just something silly I've also meant to ask about...

Awhile back I was reading Go like Hell, which I thought enjoyable page turner, but obviously geared towards a more general audience and thus a bit sensational at times...

Anyway, when speaking about the 'hardened' characters in motor racing history, my curiosity was piqued about the following line regarding Ascari:

"The racetrack was a place for ruthless men, like Alberto Ascari who was mean to his own so the boy wouldn't miss his father when he died in racing accident, which he did in a Ferrari at Monza"

Anyone know is this is just nonsense, or if not, can provide any context? What exactly constitutes 'mean' in this case? Sounds like fairly preposterous and cruel behavior and doesn't seem to mesh with what little I know about Ascari. Why put forth such efforts to abide by superstition if one is essentially a fatalist?


Ascari himself said "I usually try to give my children everything they need - even if it is only to satisfy a whim" but he also said "I think it is well that I should be severe with them. I don't want them to get too fond of me. One of these days I may not come back. They will suffer less if I have kept them at arms length".
But having said that Mietta (his wife) commented that he was always bringing them presents bought when he was racing abroad. His son, Tonino, said "I don't remember him inflicting punishment. Sometimes he was preaching, like most parents normally do."
I've been fortunate to be able to study Ascari, and to see and read many personal items, and he was not a man that I would call ruthless.
Nathan

#3 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:37

Ascari himself said "I usually try to give my children everything they need - even if it is only to satisfy a whim" but he also said "I think it is well that I should be severe with them. I don't want them to get too fond of me. One of these days I may not come back. They will suffer less if I have kept them at arms length".
But having said that Mietta (his wife) commented that he was always bringing them presents bought when he was racing abroad. His son, Tonino, said "I don't remember him inflicting punishment. Sometimes he was preaching, like most parents normally do."
I've been fortunate to be able to study Ascari, and to see and read many personal items, and he was not a man that I would call ruthless.
Nathan

And of course Alberto lost his own father in a motor racing accident and is unlikely to have been ruthless toward his own children. Having seen him racing and read all that I could about him I have the impression that he was a very nice man and good father.

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 14:11

I am not aware - or at least do not recall - anyone having a bad word to say about Alberto Ascari...except for Enzo Ferrari. One does not regard his pronouncements as coming from a reliable and impartial witness...

DCN

#5 D-Type

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 14:30

Subject to Doug's caveat, here's what Enzo Ferrari wrote in his memoirs, My Terrible Joys:
.

.. He [Ascari] loved his family, but in his own way. I once ventured to ask him why he was so severe with his two beloved children.

He replied: "Every time I come back from a race, I always bring them something that will make them happy, and i usually try try to give them everythingthey need - even if it is only to satisfy a whim. All the same, though, I think it as well that I should be severe with them: I don't want them to get too fond of me, in fact. One of these days, I may not come back and they will suffer less if I have kept them a bit at arm's length."


Edited by D-Type, 26 June 2012 - 14:32.


#6 jj2728

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 23:50

I think one has to take into context what one would consider 'mean' or otherwise to one's sbilings especially when it comes to Italians and even more so an Italian WDC. Having lived in 'bella Italia' for many years I'd venture to guess that Alberto's children were not of the opinion that their father was in any way mean or ruthless to them, it's just an Italian thing. A way of upbringing. We may think that he was in his way mean or otherwise to his siblings, but I am highly doubtfull if that were truly the case.

#7 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 16:32

I am not aware - or at least do not recall - anyone having a bad word to say about Alberto Ascari...except for Enzo Ferrari. One does not regard his pronouncements as coming from a reliable and impartial witness...

DCN


Remember Alberto Ascari was with Rangoni the very first customer of Ferrari, purchasding the AAC 815 in 1940. Also he was his driver, albeit one of his finest. But Ferrari was Ferrari.


#8 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 16:33

With due respect, I wonder what this "Italian thing" is.


In my experience: "Children are everything!!"

#9 ensign14

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 15:30

Remember Alberto Ascari was with Rangoni the very first customer of Ferrari, purchasding the AAC 815 in 1940. Also he was his driver, albeit one of his finest. But Ferrari was Ferrari.

Ferrari was indeed unique. And one of those unique abilities was his ranking of certain drivers. For example he was unique in thinking Collins and Castellotti faster than Fangio in 1956.

#10 fer312t

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:28

Thanks for your knowledge and insights guys...sounds like this one is most likely a 'non-story'...