Archive for May, 2015

1953 sees almost as much upheaval and change to teams as the previous season. With the announcement of Alfa-Romeo and Talbot pulling out of F1, Maserati were given 5 berths at the expense of all the British teams who were only given a single berth each, Gordini despite last seasons victories were also given less than their required places. ERA and Frazer-Nash declined to enter on these terms. Italian team OSCA who had attempted to field a team in 1951 were given a reserve place but the other newcomer, Germany’s AFM were declined entry. In personnel terms the big news is that Fangio is returning after his season long sabbatical. As Ferrari had had the pick of existing drivers and filled all their places, Fangio plumped for a rejuvenated Maserati team bringing with him a couple of Argentine debutants. Mike Hawthorn chose not to stay at Cooper but aiming for immediate success took up with Ferrari. Stirling Moss filled his place at Cooper. Despite only having a single entrant at the start of the season, all 3 remaining British teams entering were given priority for reserve places should slots become available in season.  

The season will increase to eight races with Buenos-Aires added to the calendar after a surge in interest in South America following news of Fangio’s return. Rheims (FRA) returns to replace Rouen Les Essarts (Fra)

Team details

ferrariFERRARI (IT) – Now the undisputed Italian no.1 team following Alfa-Romeo’s demise, this time they can expect a much stiffer challenge compared to last season. Line-up features the two World Champions past and present and the impressive Mike Hawthorn from Cooper.


#1 Alberto Ascari (IT)

#2 Giuseppe Farina (IT)

#3 Mike Hawthorn (GB)

#21 Luigi Villoresi (IT) 

maseratiMASERATI (IT) – Returning with their strongest team to date, led this time by the exceptional Fangio but with Ferrari having the pick of the Italian drivers having to settle on some untested debutants. Huge funds have been piled into the car and engine development. Team principal hinted that nothing less than the championship will do, failure could result in bankruptcy.


#8 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG)

#9 Felice Bonetto (IT)

#10 Onofre Marimon (ARG) debutant

#24 Oscar-Alfredo Galvez (ARG) debutant

#25 Hermann Lang (W. GER) debutant

GordiniGORDINI (FR) – Now solely representing French interests following Talbot’s decision to pull out. Hoping to improve on last season and targeting podiums. The only real competition to the Italian teams but may struggle as investment has been cut.


#11 Maurice Trintignant (FR)

#12 Harry Schell (USA)

#27 Jean Behra (FR)

HWMHWM (GB) –  Along with other British teams, only permitted a single car entry although 3 more drivers are on the reserve list. Hoping to continue where they left off and upset the applecart but unlikely to reproduce last season’s heroics.


#28 Lance Macklin (GB)


Cooper (GB) – Entering an official team after last seasons impressive privateer entry in Hawthorn’s hands had socooper impressed. Talented youngster Stirling Moss replaces him but don’t expect miracles.


#13 Stirling Moss (GB)


connaughtConnaught (GB) – Have struggled following injuries to their drivers last season. Hoping to improve reliability issues but unlikely to trouble the rest of the field


#19 Roy Salvadori (GB) debutant

The remainder are made up of 5 Privateer entrants comprising 2 Maserati’s, 1 Ferrari, Cooper & Connaught respectively.

Privateer Entrants:-

#26 Emmanuel de Graffenreid (SWI) Maserati

#22 Louis Rosier (FR) Ferrari

#14 Ken Wharton (GB) Cooper

#30 Johnny Claes (BEL) Connaught

#23 Prince B Bira (THAI) Maserati

Reserve Team:-

OSCA (IT) – Mention also goes to OSCA who following an aborted attempt to enter in 1951 have been granted a single reserve slot.

Attached below season template:-

F1 Results 1953

With the final race of the championship at a sunny Monza there were just 2 contenders left. Lying in first, ex champion Giuseppe Farina in the Works Ferrari on 30 points. His only rival capable of stealing the title was Rudi Fischer in a privately entered Ferrari on 23 points. Nothing less than a win AND the 1st lap leader bonus point would do to allow the unfancied Fischer to win the championship.

Qualifying in the wet was thankfully uneventful although Andre Simon (Ferrari) and Duncan Hamilton (HWM) became the 29th and 30th drivers to take part following Harry Schell and Eric Brandon’s injuries in the previous race. 

Don't stand so, don't stand so, don't stand so close to me - Lap 1 and it all gets a bit cosy at Retifilo

Don’t stand so, don’t stand so, don’t stand so close to me – Lap 1 and it all gets a bit cosy at Retifilo

LAP 1 – Fischer (Ferrari privateer) got the drop on pole-sitter Farina (Ferrari) just heading him into the first corner Retifilo. However, it was Peter Collins (HWM) who took an early lead. Peter Hirt’s (Ferrari privateer) race came to a premature end when he was forced to take avoiding action swerving past a stalled Eitel Cantoni’s privately entered Maserati only to clip Simon’s Ferrari before crossing the start line. Hamilton’s HWM came to grief shortly after at Retifilo soon followed by Andre Simpon’s Ferrari that retired with suspension issues. There were to be no heroics from Alberto Ascari winner of the last race as his Ferrari collected Paul Frere’s HWM at Della Roggia to the disappointment of the massed Ferrari fans watching on. Frere required medical attention although he did not suffer life threatening injury. At the front, Collins was soon overhauled his race ending at the Ascari Variante chicane leaving Fischer (Ferrari privateer) with Jean Behra (Gordini) for company.

Alle les Bleu! - Behra's Gordini exits Ascari Variante while Fischers Ferrari flounders

Allez les Bleu! – Behra’s Gordini exits Ascari Variante while Fischers Ferrari flounders

Then the championship deciding moment when exiting 2nd Lesmo Behra drove sublimely to enter Ascari Variante in 4th while Fischer completely mistimed his entry and had to drop down to 2nd gear so as not to overshoot allowing Behra to blast away. Crossing the line in the lead earnt him the bonus point but more importantly it meant that Fischer could not catch Farina’s points tally and as such Giuseppe Farina was World Champion again and all before he completed his first lap. Behra’s team mates were not so fortunate however as first Louis Rosier, then Maurice Trintignants Gordini’s pulled up with overheating engines. The final retirement on the first lap was Thailand’s Prince B Bira’s privately entered Maserati who engine expired at Parabolica.

  • Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Jean Behra (Gordini), 2nd Giuseppe Farina (Ferrari), 3rd – Robert Manzon (Gordini), 4th – Rudi Fischer (Ferrari privateer), 5th – Ken Wharton (Frazer-Nash)
LAP 2 – At the commencement of the 2nd lap Behra opened up a commanding lead as the majority of the chasing pack had to pit for fresh tyres. He continued to extend his lead to almost half a lap. Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari) joined the chasers when he too did not have to pit. As he passed Manzon into 3rd, the latter tried to regain the place attempting to pass on the narrow inside at 2nd Lesmo. The space was never wide enough and inevitably there was a coming together ending both drivers hopes for a finish and points. By virtue of this, Farina retook a distant 2nd place at the end of the lap. Throwing caution to the wind he decided not to pit in order to give him a slight chance of catching Behra’s Gordini.    
  • Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Behra (Gordini), 2nd – Farina (Ferrari), 3rd – Fischer (Ferrari privateer), 4th – Emmanuel de Graffenried (Alfa-Romeo privateer),  5th – Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari)

LAP 3 – Behra’s lead was so large that Farina had to gamble not to pit in an attempt to try to close the gap. Ultimately it proved too large as Farina shredded his tyres trying to catch up and Behra crossed the finish line well ahead of Farina who could now celebrate being crowned World Champion for a second time.  Emmanuel de Graffenreids first points after 3 seasons of trying in an ailing Alfa-Romeo were no more than a token reminder of a team that had for the last 2 seasons been the world no.1. Ferrari could now claim undisputed Italian no.1 status as Alfa announced they were quitting the championship. Farina must have looked back on his move from them to Ferrari at the start of the season as an inspired move. Mike Hawthorns 4th place and his season long consistency finishing in 6 of the 7 races had also caught the eye in the paddock and after Cooper’s announcement of entering an official team for next season it would be interesting to see if they could hold onto their protégé.    


1st – Jean Behra (FRA) Gordini – 7 points (8 points plus 1 bonus point for 1st lap leader minus 2 dropped points )

2nd – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Ferrari – 0 points (6 points for 2nd minus 6 dropped points)

3rd – Emmanuel de Graffenried (SWI) Alfa-Romeo privateer – 4 points

4th – Mike Hawthorn (GB) Cooper privateer – 3 points

5th – Luigi Villoresi (IT) Ferrari – 2 points 

 Final Championship placings after 7 races
1st –  Farina (IT) Ferrari – 30 points (2 wins)
2nd – Behra (FRA) Gordini – 28 points (2 wins)
3rd – Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer – 23 points (2 wins) 
4th – Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 14 points (0 wins)
5th – Ascari (IT) Ferrari – 10 points (1 win)                                                                                       

NEXT – A short break before the 1953 season and Juan Manuel Fangio’ return 


One cannot gaze too long at the sun …

Today is a very sad day as I mourn the passing of an actor whose role in my favourite film of all time, John Boorman’s Arthurian epic (& his take on Malory’s Le Morte de Arthur) “Excalibur” played a part in defining who I am and what I wish to become. Just look at the title of my wordpress blog if in doubt. Better obituaries have already been published. All I intend to add is:- R.I.P Nigel Terry, Avalon awaits