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For 1952, the FIA announced that Grand Prix races counting towards the World Championship of Drivers would be run to Formula 2 specification rather than to Formula 1, after the withdrawal of Alfa Romeo from the sport. Ferrari were the only team to have a car specifically designed for the new formula. The car was powered by an inline four-cylinder engine which was mounted behind the front axle, improving weight distribution. Alberto Ascari used the car to win his first world championship, winning all but one race with the simple 500. The race he missed was because he was driving the 4.5-litre Ferrari at the Indianapolis 500, however Ferrari won the race he was absent from as well. The following season, Ascari won his second world championship, and Ferrari won all but the final race, which was won by Juan Manuel Fangio, back in racing after an accident which had damaged his neck.
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