1953 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgium  1953 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 4 of 9 in the 1953 World Drivers' Championship
Spa-Francorchamps layout
Spa-Francorchamps layout
Date 21 June 1953
Official name XV Grand Prix de Belgique
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium
Course Permanent racing circuit
14.120 km (8.774 mi)
Distance 36 laps, 508.320 km (315.855 mi)
Weather Hot, dry
Pole position
Driver Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati
Time 4:30.0
Fastest lap
Driver Argentina José Froilán González Maserati
Time 4:34.0 on lap 2
Podium
First Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari
Second Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari
Third Argentina Onofre Marimón Maserati

The 1953 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula Two race held on 21 June 1953 at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. It was the fourth round of the 1953 World Drivers' Championship, which was run to Formula Two rules in 1952 and 1953, rather than the Formula One regulations normally used.

Race report[edit]

Two weeks after the previous World Championship race, the Dutch Grand Prix, the teams headed to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Ferrari were once again unchanged from the previous race, retaining the lineup of Alberto Ascari, Nino Farina, Luigi Villoresi and Mike Hawthorn, while there were also privateer Ferraris for Louis Rosier and the Ecurie Francorchamps duo of Jacques Swaters and Charles de Tornaco. The Maserati factory team added Johnny Claes and a third Argentine, Onofre Marimón, to their lineup of Juan Manuel Fangio and José Froilán González, while Felice Bonetto missed this race. Toulo de Graffenried drove the only privateer Maserati at Spa. Jean Behra, whose injuries prevented his participation at Zandvoort, returned for Gordini alongside Maurice Trintignant, and the American pairing of Harry Schell and Fred Wacker, while HWM called on the services of Paul Frère (as they had done the previous year) in their third car in addition to regulars Peter Collins and Lance Macklin. The field was completed by several privateers—Berger in a Simca-Gordini, Legat in a Veritas and Pilette in a Connaught.

A record crowd of over 100,000 spectators crammed into the forest track to watch this dramatic race. The Maseratis were definitely capable of matching the Ferraris for sheer speed – Juan Manuel Fangio put in a record-shattering practice lap of 117 mph, breaking Ascari's run of five consecutive pole positions (excluding the Indianapolis 500). The defending World Champion had to settle for second place on the grid this time. The Maserati of González completed the front row, while row two consisted of the Ferraris of Farina and Villoresi. On the third row were Marimón in a Maserati, the remaining works Ferrari of Hawthorn, and Trintignant in the leading Gordini. Toulo de Graffenried, in his own Maserati, out-qualified the fourth works Maserati of Johnny Claes, with both starting from row four, while the remaining Gordinis were split between the fifth and sixth rows of the grid.

At the flag, Fangio waved González past and stunned everyone with another blitzkrieg lap of 110 mph from a standing start. After 11 laps, González had pulled out a full minute's lead, but it had taken its toll on his engine which expired, leaving Fangio half a minute clear. On lap 13, it was the other Argentine's turn to fall prey to engine troubles and so Ascari inherited the lead, initially ahead of Farina, before his race was ended by engine problems, handing second place to Hawthorn, while Marimón and Villoresi were third and fourth, respectively. Engine problems for Marimón allowed Villoresi to move up to third on lap 28, and a fuel leak for Hawthorn meant that Villoresi inherited second place on the following lap. Shortly after his own car had retired, Fangio took over Claes's, and made something of a charge through the field: before Fangio retired on lap 14, Claes had been in ninth; by lap 30, Fangio had taken the car to third, behind only Ascari and Villoresi, who took another 1–2 victory. However, Fangio crashed heavily on the final lap of the race, giving his teammate Onofre Marimón his first podium position in the process. The remaining points were taken by the privateer Maserati of de Graffenried and the Gordini of Trintignant, while Hawthorn, in sixth place, just missed out.[1]

Alberto Ascari, who had taken his ninth consecutive World Championship victory (ignoring the Indy 500), already had a large lead in the points standings. He was twelve points ahead of his teammate Villoresi, while Bill Vukovich, who won at Indianapolis, was third. González, who took the fastest lap point for this race, now had seven points, putting him eighteen points behind Ascari, and the remaining Ferraris of Farina and Hawthorn only had six points each.

Entries[edit]

No Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre
2 Argentina José Froilán González Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati Maserati A6GCM-53 Maserati A6G 2.0 L6 P
4 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati Maserati A6GCM-53 Maserati A6G 2.0 L6 P
6 Belgium Johnny Claes1 Maserati Maserati A6GCM-53 Maserati A6G 2.0 L6 P
8 Italy Luigi Villoresi Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 P
10 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 P
12 Italy Nino Farina Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 P
14 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 P
16 France Jean Behra Equipe Gordini Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 2.0 L6 E
18 France Maurice Trintignant Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 2.0 L6 E
20 United States Harry Schell Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 2.0 L6 E
22 United Kingdom Lance Macklin HW Motors HWM-Alta HWM 53 Alta F2 2.0 L4 D
24 Belgium Paul Frère HWM-Alta HWM 53 Alta F2 2.0 L4 D
26 United Kingdom Peter Collins HWM-Alta HWM 53 Alta F2 2.0 L4 D
28 Argentina Onofre Marimón Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati Maserati A6GCM-53 Maserati A6G 2.0 L6 P
30 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati Maserati A6GCM-53 Maserati A6G 2.0 L6 P
32 France Louis Rosier Ecurie Rosier Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 D
34 Belgium Georges Berger Georges Berger Simca-Gordini-Gordini Simca-Gordini T15 Gordini 1500 1.5 L4 E
36 Belgium Arthur Legat Arthur Legat Veritas Veritas Meteor Veritas 2.0 L6 E
38 United States Fred Wacker Equipe Gordini Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 2.0 L6 E
40 Belgium André Pilette Ecurie Belge Connaught-Lea Francis Connaught A Lea Francis 2.0 L4 E
42 Belgium Jacques Swaters Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 E
44 Belgium Charles de Tornaco Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari Type 500 2.0 L4 E
Sources: [2][3]
^1 — Johnny Claes qualified and drove 14 laps of the race in the #6 Maserati. Juan Manuel Fangio, whose own car had already retired, took over the car for the remainder of the race.[4]

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 4 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 4:30.0
2 10 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 4:32.0 +2.0
3 2 Argentina José Froilán González Maserati 4:32.0 +2.0
4 12 Italy Nino Farina Ferrari 4:36.0 +6.0
5 8 Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 4:39.0 +9.0
6 28 Argentina Onofre Marimón Maserati 4:40.0 +10.0
7 14 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 4:42.0 +12.0
8 18 France Maurice Trintignant Gordini 4:45.0 +15.0
9 30 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried Maserati 4:49.0 +19.0
10 6 Belgium Johnny Claes Maserati 4:50.0 +20.0
11 24 Belgium Paul Frère HWM-Alta 4:52.0 +22.0
12 20 United States Harry Schell Gordini 4:53.0 +23.0
13 32 France Louis Rosier Ferrari 4:56.0 +26.0
14 16 France Jean Behra Gordini 4:57.0 +27.0
15 38 United States Fred Wacker Gordini 5:03.3 +33.0
16 26 United Kingdom Peter Collins HWM-Alta 5:03.0 +33.0
17 22 United Kingdom Lance Macklin HWM-Alta 5:14.0 +44.0
18 40 Belgium André Pilette Connaught-Lea-Francis 5:23.0 +53.0
19 36 Belgium Arthur Legat Veritas 5:41.0 +1:11.0
20 34 Belgium Georges Berger Simca-Gordini-Gordini 5:58.0 +1:28.0
21 42 Belgium Jacques Swaters Ferrari No time
22 44 Belgium Charles de Tornaco Ferrari No time
Sources:[5][6]

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 10 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 36 2:48:30.3 2 8
2 8 Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 36 + 2:48.2 5 6
3 28 Argentina Onofre Marimón Maserati 35 + 1 Lap 6 4
4 30 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried Maserati 35 + 1 Lap 9 3
5 18 France Maurice Trintignant Gordini 35 + 1 Lap 8 2
6 14 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 35 + 1 Lap 7  
7 20 United States Harry Schell Gordini 33 + 3 Laps 12  
8 32 France Louis Rosier Ferrari 33 + 3 Laps 13  
9 38 United States Fred Wacker Gordini 32 + 4 Laps 15  
10 24 Belgium Paul Frère HWM-Alta 30 + 6 Laps 11  
11 40 Belgium André Pilette Connaught-Lea-Francis 29 + 7 Laps 18  
Ret 6 Belgium Johnny Claes
Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio
Maserati 35 Accident 10  
Ret 22 United Kingdom Lance Macklin HWM-Alta 19 Engine 17  
Ret 12 Italy Nino Farina Ferrari 16 Engine 4  
Ret 4 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 13 Engine 1  
Ret 2 Argentina José Froilán González Maserati 11 Throttle 3 1
Ret 16 France Jean Behra Gordini 9 Engine 14  
Ret 26 United Kingdom Peter Collins HWM-Alta 4 Clutch 16  
Ret 34 Belgium Georges Berger Simca-Gordini-Gordini 3 Engine 20  
Ret 36 Belgium Arthur Legat Veritas 0 Transmission 19  
DNS 42 Belgium Jacques Swaters Ferrari Did not start  
DNS 44 Belgium Charles de Tornaco Ferrari Did not start  

Notes[edit]

Drivers' Championship standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points
Nuvola single chevron right.svg 1 Italy Alberto Ascari 25
1uparrow green.svg 1 2 Italy Luigi Villoresi 13
1downarrow red.svg 1 3 United States Bill Vukovich 9
1uparrow green.svg 2 4 Argentina José Froilán González 7
1downarrow red.svg 1 5 Italy Nino Farina 6
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Belgian GP, 1953 Race Report". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "1953 Belgian Grand Prix - Race Entries". manipef1.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "1953 Belgian GP - Entry List". chicanef1.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Belgian Grand Prix 1953 - Results". ESPN F1. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Belgium 1953 - Qualifications". statsf1.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "1953 Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying and Race Results". f1pulse.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 


Previous race:
1953 Dutch Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1953 season
Next race:
1953 French Grand Prix
Previous race:
1952 Belgian Grand Prix
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1954 Belgian Grand Prix