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South America welcomed the F1 championship as the first continent outside Europe to host an F1 race. Buenos-Aires was the chosen circuit and thanks to Maserati’s acquisition of Fangio and 2 other Argentine drivers the circuit was packed for the weekend. Qualifying was carried out in the wet with Felice Bonetto (Maserati) & Prince Bira (Maserati privateer) both spinning out thankfully with no injuries. However the honours went to the Maserati team who took the top two places on the grid with debutant Hermann Lang just pipping Juan Manuel Fangio by less than a second. Jean Behra took the 3rd place on the starting grid with the Ferrari’s of Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina on the second grid. The best British qualifier was Ken Wharton (Cooper privateer) in an impressive 6th. 

Lap - 1 GRID. Maserati's of Lang on pole alongside team-mate Fangio and Behra (Gordini). 2nd row Ferrari's of Ascari and Farina joined by Wharton's privately entered Cooper.

Lap – 1 GRID. Maserati’s of Lang on pole alongside team-mate Fangio and Behra (Gordini). 2nd row Ferrari’s of Ascari and Farina joined by Wharton’s privately entered Cooper.

LAP 1 – All the drivers got off safely, with Lang (Maserati) just holding the lead under intense pressure from Fangio (Maserati) and Behra (Gordini). Half way into the lap all 20 cars were still going. The first retirements began shortly after, first Stirling Moss (Cooper) then Behra (Gordini) retired with engine trouble. Behra had been in 2nd. Another debutant Roy Salvadori (Connaught) was next with a collapsed suspension quickly followed by another debutant Oscar Galvez (Maserati). Meanwhile at the front of the field Wharton (Cooper privateer) clipped Ascari (Ferrari) forcing both out allowing Lang (Maserati) the opportunity to pull clear. With all the debris over the track at Vibratoria inevitably more cars succumbed. First veteran Louis Rosier (Ferrari privateer) with suspension damage, then Prince B Bira (Maserati privateer) collected the second Argentine debutant Onofre Marimon (Maserati) to hoots of derision from the locals. Next to fall by the wayside was Johnny Claes’ privateer Connaught leaving just the HWM of Lance Macklin running for the British marques. Macklin chose not to pit as just ahead of him Harry Schell (Gordini) rammed Farina (Ferrari) in an over ambitious move to try to get into the pits first. The result apart from 2 stricken cars on the home straight and a track further littered by debris was one of wild gesticulating and obscene gestures from the current World Champion Farina. Mike Hawthorn (Ferrari) who had been having a quiet race did choose to pit and paid the price as his car suffered terminal suspension damage forcing him to abandon his car past the pit entrance. Lang clear of all the shenanigans behind had already pitted for fresh tyres and of course the 1st lap leader bonus point.         

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Hermann Lang (Maserati), 2nd – Lance Macklin (HWM), 3rd – Emmanuel de Graffenreid (Maserati privateer), 4th – Juan Manuel Fangio (Maserati), 5th – Maurice Trintignant (Gordini)

LAP 2 – Only 7 cars remained, 4 of which were Maserati’s and with the demise of the Ferrari’s of Ascari, Farina and Hawthorn the race was set up for a first triumph for the Italian team so long in Ferrari’s and Alfa Romeo’s shadow. The field was now well spread with most cars racing on their own, only Fangio (Ferrari) and Trintignant (Gordini) were battling close to each other. HWM, the last British marque still going finally gave up the ghost at Curva de Ascari when Macklin’s engine blew.  It was back to the drawing board for the Garagista’s. Lang (Maserati) now only had to coast home such was his lead. He elected not to pit and risk running over the debris at the entrance. The battle for 2nd hotted up De Graffenreid (Maserati privateer) caught up with Trintignant (Gordini), and Fangio (Maserati). Trintignant spun at Vibratoria reducing it back to a 2 Maserati horse race for the remaining podium places. Luigi Villoresi who had been lying in 4th crashed out hitting debris at Vibratoria. All the Ferrari’s had now retired, the teams worst ever result and the first time since Rheims 1950 that the Prancing Horse failed to garner a single point.
Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Lang (Maserati), 2nd – Fangio (Maserati), 3rd – De Graffenreid (Maserati privateeri), 4th – Maurice Trintignant (Gordini), 5th – Felice Bonetto (Maserati)
LAP 3 – Lang (Maserati) successfully negotiated the debris at Vibratoria his last obstacle to victory but behind, Fangio (Maserati) and De Graffenried (Maserati privateer) were still keenly contesting the race, then Fangio spun coming out of Entrada Los Mixtos allowing De Graffenried to pass. Hitherto anonymous racers Maurice Trintignant (Gordini) and Felice Bonetto (Maserati) were also battling it out for the final places keenly aware that even coming in last would net points thanks to the driver attrition so far.  Bonetto’s superior Maserati eventually pulling clear. Lang took the chequered flag and a historic first victory for Maserati and a German driver. There was more drama still to unfold as De Graffenried still unable to shake off the attentions of Fangio entered Horquilla the final curve too fast causing him to spin at the exit allowing Fangio to claim 2nd place to the delight of the home crowd. Bonetto’s 4th place meant Maserati had claimed the top 4 places with just the battered Gordini of Trintignant showing any stamina by finishing in 5th and last place. 
1st – Hermann Lang (Ger) Maserati – 9 points (8 points for the win plus bonus point for 1st lap leader)
2nd – Juan Manuel Fangio (Arg) Maserati – 6 points

3rd – Emmanuel de Graffenreid (SWI) Maserati (privateer) – 4 points 

4th – Felice Bonetto (IT) Maserati – 3 points
 
5th – Maurice Trintignant (FRA) Gordini – 2 points
 
                                                                                                 
  NEXT – Race #2 – THE NETHERLANDS Zandvoort. Can Ferrari recover? 
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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.

Drivers:-

#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.

Driver:-

#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.

Drivers:-

#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.

Driver:-

#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.

Driver:-

#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

Driver:-

#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.    

RESULT

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 


As rumours abounded concerning the potential withdrawal of some/all of the British teams at the end of the season following the announcement of extra driving berths for the Italian and French marques at their expense, the current season moved to the Dutch dunes and the immense coastal circuit Zandvoort. This daunting track making its debut was more of a Mile Miglia attritional race than a out right sprint. In qualifying 3 of the 8 cars failed to complete a representative time with Tony Gaze (HWM privateer) suffering severe injuries after crashing badly not half way through his lap. Uruguayan Eitel Cantoni (Maserati privateer) took his place at the back of the grid becoming the 28th driver to race this season, the most in the short F1 history to date. He was joined by French star Louis Rosier marking his and Talbot’s return.

LAP1 - Fischer gets off to a flyer

LAP1 – DON’T LOOK NOW – Fischer gets off to a flyer on the mammoth 11 corner dutch circuit

LAP 1 – A third successive wet race began with 4 drivers stalling in the conditions although all managed to eventually get going. Zandvoort however is not a sprint, and is far better suited to drivers taking a more cautious long distance approach so the disadvantage of a poor start was not so keenly felt. Rudi Fischer (Ferrari privateer) still in with a chance of the championship despite missing the last race through injury got off to an absolute flyer passing his 2 championship rivals (Jean Behra (Gordini) & Giuseppe Farina (Ferrari)) before the first corner. However in his attempt to open up an early lead he overshot badly at Hunserug allowing the chasing pack to catch him with their tyres in better condition for this attritional race. Farina dropped down the field after failing to make the first corner in 4th gear but forgotten champion Alberto Ascari (Ferrari) with more than a point to prove stormed through the field passing 6 cars to move into 5th by the 2nd corner Hunserug and challenge for the lead 2 corners later. Even this impressive start was overshadowed by one of the best slip-streaming moves to be seen in the history of F1 as Mike Hawthorn (Cooper privateer) somehow managed to blast up from 18th place to 7th by the second corner, slip-streaming no fewer than 4 cars in a single move before continuing to move up the field more steadily. His achievement was almost emulated by Stirling Moss (ERA) who also had charged towards the front, but his fragile ERA engine was sadly not up to the task blowing up as he moved into 6th place. Doubts about the suitability of such a demanding circuit with the racing cars of the day soon began to grow as the list of first lap early retirements grew. Peter Hirt (Ferrari privateer) retired with engine problems, as did Peter Collins (HWM) Rosier (Talbot privateer) and Paul Frere (HWM). Prince B Bira (Maserati privateer) clipped a car terminally damaging his bodywork. Harry Schell (Maserati privateer), debutant Cantoni (Maserati privateer) and Brandon (Cooper privateer) all retired with suspension damage, the latter involved in a nasty crash resulting in hospitalisation. Then the most significant retirement when Behra’s Gordini engine blew up on the penultimate Mitsubishibocht corner ending his race and championship challenge.  Only 10 of the 20 starters completed the first lap although most of these were still in contention for points. With the demise of Behra, the race for the championship was down to 2 Ferrari entrants Farina and Fischer. The latter’s privately entered Ferrari took the bonus point for being the 1st lap leader and at this point was well clear of Farina in the team Ferrari and well set to close the points gap into the final race of the season. Owing to his previous results, only a first place would net Farina any more points although with a 10 point cushion he could afford to take the race more steadily.

  • Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Rudi Fischer (Ferrari privateer), 2nd – Ken Wharton (Frazer-Nash), 3rd – Alberto Ascari (Ferrari), 4th – Lance Macklin (HWM), 5th – Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari)
LAP 2 The remaining 10 cars half of which were Ferrari’s began the second lap with more caution. Despite this, Fischer (Ferrari privateer) leading made an identical mistake overshooting at Hunserug corner again, this time allowing Ascari (Ferrari) to take full advantage and charge into the lead. Wharton (Frazer-Nash) followed in 2nd. Further behind the pack shuffled with Farina (Ferrari) unable to make much headway. At the front Ascari’s lead had looked unassailable but a combination of overcautious driving from the former champion in his Ferrari and reckless abandon from Wharton in his Frazer-Nash allowed him to catch and then pass Ascari half way through the lap. Further back Fischer was struggling to keep in touch. Farina who had been languishing near the back in 8th place began to exert pressure on the other back markers and he slowly moved up the field although he was still too far behind to worry the leaders. Macklin’s HWM expired with a collapsed suspension driving over the debris at Hunserug. He became the 4th driver of the weekend to require hospital attention. Then somewhat surprisingly given the exemplary way he had been driving, Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari) crashed out while challenging Fischer his tyres destroyed.  Ascari and Wharton were neck and neck throughout the second half of the lap with Ascari just leading after fresh tyres for the final lap. Fischer (Ferrari privateer) made another crucial mistake at Bos-Uit corner falling further behind and into the clutches of the chasing pack now headed by Taruffi (Ferrari), his championship challenge was beginning to fade.   
  • Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Ascari (Ferrari), 2nd – Wharton (Frazer-Nash), 3rd – Taruffi (Ferrari), 4th – Farina (Ferrari),  5th – Hawthorn (Cooper privateer)

                                                                                                                                                                                        LAP 3 – Farina facing the likelihood of not collecting any points as a win looked unlikely was still sitting pretty with one hand on the championship trophy as he saw his only rival struggling behind in 6th. At the front the lead was exchanged between Ascari and Wharton although the latter was forced to begin taking bigger risks to maintain his challenge. Wharton’s luck eventually ran out as he pushed too hard destroying his tyres forcing him to retire. At this moment Ascari unleashed the true potential of his Ferrari and he stormed away taking the win with ease and leaving many to ponder what might have been had he not been injured in the season’s opener. Then disaster hit Fischer’s Ferrari as he attempted to reclaim 3rd place. Going into a corner too fast he spun out, restarting in 1st from stationary Farina and the others surged past him. Hawthorn took 2nd place from a strong challenge from Taruffi. Ever the bridesmaid up to this point with 3 no. 6th place finishes it was just reward for Hawthorn’s patience in what is clearly a competitive car. It also marked the best ever result of a British marque bettering HWM’s 2no. 3rd finishes this season. Farina coasted over the line in 4th and despite not picking up any points being his worst result of the season was content as Fischer came in 5th. After an scrutinising the results it transpired that Fischer could still wrestle the championship from Farina after the bonus point was added to his score. Only a victory in the final race AND the 1st lap lead bonus point would do however. This would tie him with Farina on 30 points but he would take the championship by virtue of 3 race wins to Farina’s 2. Slim though his chances were he was still in with a fighting chance.      

RESULT

1st – Alberto Ascari (IT) Ferrari – 8 points

2nd – Mike Hawthorn (GB) Cooper (privateer) – 6 points

3rd – Pierro Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 4 points 

4th – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Ferrari – 0 points (3 points for 4th minus 3 dropped points)
 
5th – Rudi Fischer (SWI) Ferrari (privateer) – 3 points (2 points for 5th plus 1 bonus point for 1st lap leader)
  • Championship placings after 6 races
1st –  Farina (IT) Ferrari – 30 points (2 wins)
2nd – Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer 23 points (2 wins) 
3rd – Behra (FRA) Gordini – 21 points (1 win) 
4th – Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 14 points (0 wins)
5th – Ascari (IT) Ferrari – 10 points (1 win)                                                                                                              
            
  • NEXT – Race #7 Finale – ITALY – Monza – Fischer attempts to wrestle the title from Farina. Only a win will do! 

Nurburgring was the setting for the fifth race of this hotly contested season. A number of changes to the established line up were imposed. British constructor Connaught announced that they were withdrawing from the remainder of the season owing to injuries sustained to their 2 drivers (Poore & Thompson) in the previous races. Stirling Moss in the sole ERA was also injured. But most importantly from the championships perspective was the absence of Rudi Fischers privately entered Ferrari also owing to injury. These absences allowed Emmanuel de Graffenreid to enter his Alfa-Romeo, as well as the debutants Australian Tony Gaze (HWM) and Swissman Peter Hirt (Ferrari) and for the third successive season American Harry Schell (Maserati). All of the replacements were privateer entrants. 

LAP 1 - steady as you go, in heavy rain Farina leads as the pack tip-toes its way down the home straight.

LAP 1 – steady as you go, in heavy rain Farina leads as the pack tip-toes its way down the home straight.

LAP 1 – Another wet start to a race saw the drivers pulling away cautiously before inevitably in thick traffic Schells Maserati clipped Hirt (Ferrari) and as he careered back across the track he then collected Hawthorn (Cooper privateer). Behind, the slow starting Prince B Bira crashed out as he hit debris left from the collision ahead. At Dunlop, Farina’s (Ferrari) superior pace began to tell and by Bit Kurve he had opened up a commanding lead, with the chasers more preoccupied fighting amongst themselves exchanging position than keeping track on Farina.

Brown (Cooper privateer) was injured as he hit the barriers after clipping a car ahead and Trintignant (Gordini) was also admitted to hospital as a precaution when his car’s suspension collapsed at Bit Kurve.   

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Giuseppe Farina (Ferrari), 2nd – Paul Frere (HWM), 3rd – Tony Gaze (HWM privateer), 4th – Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari), 5th – Peter Collins (HWM)

LAP 2 14 cars began the second lap (a healthy return compared to recent races) however Manzon (Gordini) soon joined the non-finishers suffering damage after a coming together with an unidentified car at Castrol S. Farina with a commanding lead began to ease off at the front allowing Frere (HWM) a slim chance to catch him if he was prepared to throw caution to the wind.  Opting for all or nothing glory Frere hit the high gears going into a series of corners allowing him to pass an incredulous Farina at Bit Kurve. The 2 pitted for the final lap almost neck and neck but with Farina’s car in better shape. Ascari (Ferrari) was finding his return to Formula 1 a fractious one as he struggled to move through a field of inferior cars and at one point found himself last when 2 of the backmarkers behind him (Bonetto (Maserati) & de Graffenreid (Alfa Romeo))collided. Macklin (HWM) also came to grief this lap leaving a relatively healthy 10 cars still running on the final lap.
  • Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Frere (HWM), 2nd – Farina (Ferrari), 3rd Taruffi (Ferrari), 4th – Collins (HWM),  5th – Gaze (HWM privateer)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        LAP 3 – Everything was still to play for with a relatively healthy 10 cars still running on the final lap. Frere and Farina led away with the next 3 positions well clear of the backmarkers. Farina made his move at Castrol S and thanks to the superior handling of the Ferrari compared to the HWM eased away extending his lead over the next few corners.  Frere then became embroiled in the battle for 2nd as a reckless Taruffi began to exert pressure at the expense of his tyres. Collins and Gaze were next up battling over the minor places.  Ascari who had had a poor first 2 laps finally began to use his Ferrari’s car to its full extent and exiting Castrol S was at the head of the backmarkers although still a long way off 5th place. Farina in the end took a comfortable 2nd successive win, and with neither of his closest rivals scoring he now has one hand firmly on reclaiming the championship for a 2nd time. A photo for 2nd saw Taruffi pip Frere and finally Ascari showed what the season could have been with a master-class final lap moving up from 10th to 5th to register his first points of the season.

RESULT

1st – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Ferrari  – 3 points (8+1 bonus point minus 6 dropped points)

2nd – Pierro Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 6 points

3rd – Paul Frere (BEL) HWM – 4 points 

4th – Peter Collins (GB) HWM – 3 points
5th – Alberto Ascari (IT) Ferrari – 2 points
  • Championship placings after 5 races
1st –  Farina (IT) Ferrari – 30 points (2 wins)
2nd – Behra (FRA) Gordini – 21 points (1 win)
3rd – Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer – 20 points (2 wins)
4th – Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 10 points (0 wins)
  • NEXT – Race #6 – THE NETHERLANDS – Zandvoort, while behind the scenes the British teams threaten boycotting next season after announcement of more team slots for Ferrari, Gordini & Maserati 

Silverstone welcomed Alberto Ascari’s Ferrari return after his serious crash at the seasons opener at Bremgarten. It would require a herculean effort to overturn Fischer’s privately entered Ferrari and team mate Farina’s points tally by the last race but such as Ascari’s pedigree that he showed no signs of defeatism as he confidently claimed the 4th quickest time in in qualifying putting him on the 4th grid behind the drivers who already had accumulated points. Talented youngster Stirling Moss also returned from injury with his ERA. Robert Manzon (Gordini) was absent after his crash in the previous race. His replacement was once again the Maserati privateer entrant of Gino Bianco. 

LAP 1 – The heavens opened prior to the start and as the cars took up position on the grid Ascari could be seen gesticulating wildly toward the Ferrari pit wall.  As the lights went out his car remained stationary.  He was in company as championship leader Fischer and Prince B Bira’s privately entered Maserati also stalled.  The latter 2 both managed to get away eventually but it was not to be the case for Ascari who despite his frantic efforts could not get going. An ignominious return for the reigning World Champion.

Back marker Gino Bianco (Maserati privateer) soon joined Ascari as an early retiree when he clipped a gaggle of cars ahead of him and crashed into the hay bales on the road side. Medical staff extricated the driver quickly from his car but it was obvious that his injuries were serious. Further up in the midfield pack, Johnny Claes (Gordini) shunted Alan Brown’s privately entered Cooper. Losing control Claes careered into the corner collecting privateer Eric Brandon’s Cooper before coming to a halt.  Claes also had to be helped from his car by medical staff. Paul Frere’s HWM then came to grief at the same corner driving over the debris left from the aforementioned collision.

As Farina stole a march on everyone, Peter Collins led the chasing pack as more drivers found their race coming to a premature end at Maggotts. Maurice Trintignant (Gordini) caught Moss’s ERA. Felice Bonetto (Maserati) then also collided with Moss who appeared to be knocked unconscious from the force of the second collision. Then another collision with potentially far reaching implications when Lance Macklin (HWM) took out himself and Championship leader Fischer at Club Corner. Fischer was the 4th driver to be admitted to the medical tent and due to the extent of his injuries will not be able to take part in the next race at the very least.  Other first lap retirements were Bira (Maserati privateer), Hawthorn (Cooper).

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Giuseppe Farina (Ferrari), 2nd – Peter Collins (HWM), 3rd – Jean Behra (Gordini), 4th – Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari), 5th – Dennis Poore (Connaught)

Lap 2 Copse Corner carnage - #21 Villoresi (Ferrari), #19 Poore (Connaught) & #30 Wharton (Frazer-Nash) negotiate the debris left from the first lap madness

Lap 2 Copse Corner carnage – #21 Villoresi (Ferrari), #19 Poore (Connaught) & #30 Wharton (Frazer-Nash) negotiate the debris left from the first lap madness

LAP 2 Just 7 cars remained which soon became 6 as Villoresi’s Ferrari succumbed driving over the detritus left at Maggots. Up front, Farina’s lead was cut dramatically for a short while as Collins got up to 5th gear approaching Stowe, unfortunately he lost control exiting the corner and spun undoing all his hard work by having to restart in 1st gear. Having to negotiate all the debris left at Club, Maggots and Copse inevitably forced the drivers to take more off corner entry points and Behra and Poore joined Collins spinning at various stages in the race. Fortunately all drivers managed to regain control and continue.

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Farina (Ferrari), 2nd – Collins (HWM), 3rd Behra (Gordini), 4th Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari), 5th – Poore (Connaught) 

LAP 3 – Farina leading from the very start extended his lead to by a massive unassailable margin despite damage to his suspension at Maggots. This in the main was due to Collins’ fate as he exited the pits for the last lap. Still in contention at that point his luck finally ran out as his fragile HWM succumbed almost inevitably at Copse driving over the debris that covered the entire corner. Behra (Gordini) now found himself in 2nd with Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari) who had had an abysmal season up to that point in 3rd. Farina took the win with ease but the battle for 2nd raged all the way to Luffield as Behra somehow managed to fend off Taruffi’s far more powerful Ferrari.  Poore who was in 4th had a horrific crash at Maggots but by way of there only being 4 other cars running collected 5th place and the points as the best of the non finishers. Scant reward for the multiple injuries received.  Ken Wharton in his Frazer-Nash gave the home fans some crumbs of comfort by managing to come in last of the runners in 4th and taking a handful of valuable points. 

RESULT

1st – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Ferrari  – 8 points +1 bonus point for 1st lap leader   

2nd – Jean  Behra (FRA) Gordini – 6 points 

3rd – Pierro Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 4 points 

4th – Ken Wharton (GB) Frazer-Nash – 3 points 

5th – Dennis Poore (GB) Connaught – 2 points (DNF)

Championship placings after 4 races

1st –  Farina (IT) Ferrari – 27 points (1 win)

2nd – Behra (FRA) Gordini – 21 points (1 win)

3rd – Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer – 20 points (2 wins)

4th – Wharton (GB) Frazer-Nash – 6 points (0 wins)

A mouth watering set up for the second half of the season as the top 3 drivers are separated by a single race win –  NEXT – Race #5 – WEST GERMANY – Nurburgring


A change of venue in France this time saw the Rouen-les-Essarts circuit welcome the F1 championship for the first time (ed Atlanta board used owing to lack of an existing official formula de board) instead of Rheims. Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari) returned after injury although Alberto Ascari (Ferrari) and Stirling Moss (ERA) were absent. Their places once more occupied by 2 privateer entrants, Thailand’s Prince B Bira, and Brazil’s first Gino Bianco both in Maserati’s. Qualifying was uneventful.

Lap 1 - the field begins to spread out as Farina and Behra pull away

Lap 1 – the field begins to spread out as Farina and Behra pull away

LAP 1 – At the start, Taruffi (Ferrari) collided with Brandon (Cooper privateer) eliminating the pair before crossing the start line, while Ken Wharton’s Frazer-Nash stalled although he managed to pull away quickly afterwards. Collins also retired almost immediately after hitting the leaders but only damaging his own car. Gino Bianco’s (Maserati privateer) race also came to a premature end when his suspension gave way going into the first corner. He was closely followed by Claes’ Gordini whose suspension collapsed driving over debris after clipping the slow moving Frazer-Nash of Wharton. Other 1st lap retirees were Manzon(Gordini) collision with Frere (HWM), Bonetto (Maserati) suspension and Trintignant (Gordini) tyres.  Meanwhile Farina (Ferrari) used the advantage of his superior horsepower to open up a lead at the 3rd corner with only Behra (Gordini) keeping him in sight. Not to be outdone, Championship leader Fischer in his privately entered Ferrari began to close as Farina made a mistake at the last corner.  Behra claimed the bonus point passing Farina before the line and Fischer moving up to 6th gear in the final corner made the race for the lead a 3-way battle at the end of the lap.

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Jean Behra (Gordini), 2nd – Giuseppe Farina (Ferrari), 3rd – Rudi Fischer (Ferrari privateer), 4th – Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari), 5th – Eric Thompson (Connaught)

LAP 2 The leading 3 cars continued to jockey for position until mistakes another mistake from & Farina saw him fall slightly off the pace. Further back Hawthorn (Cooper privateer) made steady progress while B Bira (Maserati privateer) looked impressive until he spun on the last corner forcing him to pit for fresh tyres. Eric Thompson lost control of his Connaught on the last corner as well and suffered a serious back injury as his car somersaulted down the home straight. Although the injury is not life threatening he will play no further part in this season’s championship. Villoresi (Ferrari) in his best race to date held onto 4th without the need to pit at the end of the lap passing a host of British marques fitting new tyres.

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – 1st – Behra (Gordini), 2nd – Fischer (Ferrari privateer), 3rd – Farina (Ferrari), 4th – Villoresi (Ferrari), 5th Lance Macklin (HWM)

LAP 3 – At the first chicane, Fischer entered too fast and was forced to brake heavily allowing Behra ahead (who had also made a few nervous errors at the start of the lap) to open a handy lead and Farina who had been dropped by the leading 2 to close up and ultimately pass Fischer. In Behra’s mirrors the Ferrari of Farina began to close and the home French fans must have dreaded the worst as Behra became more and more cautious as the lap went on. Fortunately for both, Farina could not maintain his momentum  in the final 2 corners and Behra crossed the line first to rapturous applause, Farina taking second. The last podium place was claimed by a resurgent Luigi Villoresi who passed the lack lustre Fischer. The final points paying place was fought over by the surviving British teams with Lance Macklin’s HWM picking up the points in the end, Hawthorn the bridesmaid again in his privately entered Cooper finishing 6th for the 3rd race in succession.  The drivers championship is now firmly a 3 horse race although with the return of World Champion Ascari expected in the next race, the top three might not have it all their own way.  For Ferrari, they now appear to have a more serious manufacturer challenge in Gordini who has spent so long in Talbots shadow. But for the British teams it was still a case of development and fighting over occasional scraps left by the aforementioned heavy weights.    

RESULT

1st – Jean Behra (FRA) Gordini – 8 points +1 bonus point for 1st Lap Leader   

2nd – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Ferrari – 6 points 

3rd – Luigi Villoresi (IT) Ferrari – 4 points 

4th –  Rudi Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer – 3 points 

5th –  Lance Macklin (GB) HWM – 2 points

Championship placings after 3 races

1st – Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer – 20 points (2 wins)

2nd – Farina (IT) Ferrari – 18 points (0 wins)

3rd – Behra (FRA) Gordini – 15 points (1 win)

NEXT – Race #4 – GREAT BRITAIN – Silverstone & the return of Alberto Ascari