1955 Formula One season

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1955
FIA Formula One World Championship season
Previous: 1954 Next: 1956
Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes Benz W196, pictured at the Nurburgring in 1986. This was the car he used to win his 3rd driver's championship

The 1955 Formula One season was the sixth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1955 World Championship of Drivers,[1] which commenced on 16 January 1955 and ended on September 11 after seven races. Juan Manuel Fangio won his second consecutive World Championship title in a season that was curtailed by tragedies.

The season also included a number of non-championship Formula One races.

Season summary[edit]

Mercedes drivers again dominated the championship, with Fangio taking four races, and his new team mate Stirling Moss the British Grand Prix. Ferrari won at Monaco after all of the Mercedes cars broke down and Lancia driver Alberto Ascari crashed into the harbour. Although Ascari was apparently unscathed, the double World Champion crashed fatally at Monza while testing sportscars four days later.

The disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11 June which killed Pierre Levegh and over 80 spectators led to the cancellations of the French, German, Spanish and Swiss Grands Prix.[2] The French round, which was supposed to be held at Reims between the Dutch and British rounds, was cancelled first. Then the German event at the Nürburgring, the Swiss round at Bremgarten and the Spanish round at Pedralbes followed suit. Pedralbes and Bremgarten were then abandoned and never used again for racing; motor racing was banned altogether in Switzerland and since then, the ban remains. These cancellations effectively handed the driver's title to Fangio after he finished 2nd to Moss at the British Grand Prix; although he wasn't actually crowned champion until well after the British Grand Prix, because the German, Swiss and Spanish rounds were cancelled after the British Grand Prix took place.

1955 would be the final season for Mercedes Benz as a constructor until the team's revival in 2010. It would also mark the final win for Mercedes until the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.

Aside from Ascari's death this year, Italian Mario Alborghetti died at the non-championship Pau Grand Prix in France driving a Maserati; and during the Indianapolis 500, two drivers were killed during the month-long event: Americans Manny Ayulo in practice and previous race winner Bill Vukovich during the race 2 weeks later.

Season review[edit]

Rnd Race Circuit Date Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Constructor Tyre Report
1 Argentina Argentine Grand Prix Oscar Gálvez 16 January Argentina José Froilán González Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio West Germany Mercedes C Report
2 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix Monaco 22 May Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio France Maurice Trintignant Italy Ferrari E Report
3 United States Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis 30 May United States Jerry Hoyt United States Bill Vukovich United States Bob Sweikert United States Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser F Report
4 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps 5 June Italy Eugenio Castellotti Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio West Germany Mercedes C Report
5 Netherlands Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort 19 June Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Roberto Mieres Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio West Germany Mercedes C Report
6 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Aintree 16 July United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom Stirling Moss West Germany Mercedes C Report
7 Italy Italian Grand Prix Monza 11 September Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio United Kingdom Stirling Moss Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio West Germany Mercedes C Report

Teams and drivers[edit]

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1955 FIA World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
West Germany Daimler Benz AG Mercedes W196 Mercedes M196 2.5 L8 C Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 1–2, 4–7
West Germany Karl Kling 1, 4–7
United Kingdom Stirling Moss 1–2, 4–7
West Germany Hans Herrmann 1
France André Simon 2
Italy Piero Taruffi 6–7
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari
Lancia
625
555
D50
Ferrari 555 2.5 L4
Lancia DS50 2.5 V8
E Italy Giuseppe Farina 1–2, 4, 7
Italy Umberto Maglioli 1, 7
Argentina José Froilán González 1
France Maurice Trintignant 1–2, 4–7
United States Harry Schell 2
Italy Piero Taruffi 2
Belgium Paul Frère 2, 4
United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn 5–7
Italy Eugenio Castellotti 5–7
Italy Luigi Villoresi 7
Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 P France Jean Behra 1–2, 4–7
Argentina Roberto Mieres 1–2, 4–7
Italy Sergio Mantovani 1
Italy Luigi Musso 1–2, 4–7
Argentina Carlos Menditeguy 1, 7
Argentina Clemar Bucci 1
United States Harry Schell 1
Italy Cesare Perdisa 2, 4
France André Simon 6
United Kingdom Peter Collins 7
United Kingdom Horace Gould 7
Uruguay Alberto Uria Maserati A6GCM Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 P Uruguay Alberto Uria 1
Italy Scuderia Lancia Lancia D50 Lancia DS50 2.5 V8 P Italy Alberto Ascari 1–2
Italy Luigi Villoresi 1–2
Italy Eugenio Castellotti 1–2, 4
Monaco Louis Chiron 2
France Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 23 2.5 L6 E France Élie Bayol 1–2
Argentina Pablo Birger 1
Argentina Jesús Iglesias 1
France Robert Manzon 2, 5–6
France Jacques Pollet 2, 5, 7
Brazil Hermano da Silva Ramos 5–7
France Mike Sparken 6
France Jean Lucas 7
France Ecurie Rosier Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 P France Louis Rosier 2, 4–5
United Kingdom Vandervell Products Vanwall VW 55 Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 P United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn 2, 4
United Kingdom Ken Wharton 6–7
United States Harry Schell 6–7
United Kingdom Stirling Moss Ltd Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D United Kingdom Lance Macklin 2, 6
Belgium Johnny Claes 4
United Kingdom Peter Walker 5
United States John Fitch 7
United Kingdom E.N. Whiteaway HWM-Alta 53 Alta GP 2.5 L4 D United Kingdom Ted Whiteaway 2
Belgium Equipe Nationale Belge Ferrari 625
500
Ferrari 625 2.5 L4 E Belgium Johnny Claes 5
United Kingdom Gould's Garage (Bristol) Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D United Kingdom Horace Gould 5–6
United Kingdom Connaught Engineering Connaught-Alta B Alta GP 2.5 L4 D United Kingdom Kenneth McAlpine 6
United Kingdom Jack Fairman 6
United Kingdom Tony Rolt 6
United Kingdom Peter Walker 6
United Kingdom Leslie Marr 6
United Kingdom Cooper Car Company Cooper-Bristol T40 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D Australia Jack Brabham 6
United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D United Kingdom Peter Collins 6
United Kingdom Gilby Engineering Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D United Kingdom Roy Salvadori 6
Italy Scuderia Volpini Arzani-Volpini-Maserati F1 Maserati 4CLT 2.5 L4 P Italy Luigi Piotti 7

1955 Drivers Championship final standings[edit]

Pos. Driver ARG
Argentina
MON
Monaco
500
United States
BEL
Belgium
NED
Netherlands
GBR
United Kingdom
ITA
Italy
Pts.
1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 1 (Ret) 1 1 2 1 40 (41)
2 United Kingdom Stirling Moss 4† / Ret 9 2 2 1 Ret 23
3 Italy Eugenio Castellotti Ret† 2 Ret 5 6† / Ret 3 12
4 France Maurice Trintignant 2† / 3† / Ret 1 6 Ret Ret 8 11 13
5 Italy Nino Farina 2† / 3† 4 3 DNS 10 13
6 Italy Piero Taruffi 8† 4 2 9
7 United States Bob Sweikert 1 8
8 Argentina Roberto Mieres 5 Ret 5† 4 Ret 7 7
9 France Jean Behra 6† / Ret† / Ret 3† / Ret† 5† / Ret 6 Ret 4 6
10 Italy Luigi Musso 7† / Ret† Ret 7 3 5 Ret 6
11 West Germany Karl Kling 4† / Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 5
12 United States Jimmy Davies 3 4
13 United States Tony Bettenhausen 2† 3
14 United States Paul Russo 2† 3
15 Belgium Paul Frère 8† 4 3
16 United States Johnny Thomson 4 3
17 Argentina José Froilán González 2 2
18 Italy Cesare Perdisa 3† / Ret† 8 2
19 Italy Luigi Villoresi Ret† / Ret 5 DNS 2
20 Argentina Carlos Menditeguy Ret† / Ret 5 2
21 Italy Umberto Maglioli 3† 6 1 13
22 West Germany Hans Herrmann 4† DNQ 1
23 United States Walt Faulkner 5† 1
24 United States Bill Homeier 5† 1
25 United States Bill Vukovich Ret 1
United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Ret Ret 7 6† 10 0
United States Harry Schell 6† / 7† / Ret† Ret DNS 9† / Ret Ret 0
Monaco Louis Chiron 6 0
United States Andy Linden 6 0
France Jacques Pollet 7 10 Ret 0
United States Al Herman 7 0
France Mike Sparken 7 0
Italy Sergio Mantovani 7† / Ret† 0
Brazil Hermano da Silva Ramos 8 Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Lance Macklin DNQ 8 0
United States Pat O'Connor 8 0
France Louis Rosier Ret 9 9 0
United Kingdom Ken Wharton 9† Ret 0
United States Jimmy Daywalt 9 0
United States John Fitch 9 0
United States Pat Flaherty 10 0
United States Duane Carter 11 0
Belgium Johnny Claes DNS 11 0
United States Chuck Weyant 12 0
United States Eddie Johnson 13 0
United States Jim Rathmann 14 0
France Robert Manzon Ret Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Horace Gould Ret Ret Ret 0
Italy Alberto Ascari Ret Ret 0
France Élie Bayol Ret Ret 0
France André Simon Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Peter Collins Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Peter Walker Ret Ret† 0
Argentina Jesus Iglesias Ret 0
Argentina Pablo Birger Ret 0
Uruguay Alberto Uria Ret 0
United States Don Freeland Ret 0
United States Cal Niday Ret 0
United States Art Cross Ret 0
United States Shorty Templeman Ret 0
United States Sam Hanks Ret 0
United States Keith Andrews Ret 0
United States Johnnie Parsons Ret 0
United States Eddie Russo Ret 0
United States Ray Crawford Ret 0
United States Jimmy Bryan Ret 0
United States Jack McGrath Ret 0
United States Al Keller Ret 0
United States Johnny Boyd Ret 0
United States Ed Elisian Ret 0
United States Rodger Ward Ret 0
United States Jerry Hoyt Ret 0
United States Jimmy Reece Ret 0
United States Fred Agabashian Ret 0
United Kingdom Kenneth McAlpine Ret 0
Australia Jack Brabham Ret 0
United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Ret 0
United Kingdom Leslie Marr Ret 0
France Jean Lucas Ret 0
Argentina Clemar Bucci Ret† 0
United Kingdom Tony Rolt Ret† 0
United Kingdom Ted Whiteaway DNQ 0
United Kingdom Jack Fairman DNS 0
Italy Luigi Piotti DNS 0
Pos. Driver ARG
Argentina
MON
Monaco
500
United States
BEL
Belgium
NED
Netherlands
GBR
United Kingdom
ITA
Italy
Pts.
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Light blue Practiced only (PO)
Friday test driver (TD)
(from 2003 onwards)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
  • Italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded – point shared equally between drivers sharing fastest lap)
  • Bold indicates pole position
  • † = Car driven by more than one driver
  • Championship points were awarded on an 8-6-4-3-2 basis for the first five places at each race. One point was awarded for fastest race lap at each race.
  • Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

Non-Championship race results[edit]

Other Formula One races also held in 1955, which did not count towards the World Championship.

Race Name Circuit Date Winning driver Constructor Report
New Zealand New Zealand Grand Prix Ardmore 8 January Thailand B. Bira Italy Maserati Report
Argentina Gran Premio Ciudad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires 30 January Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio West Germany Mercedes Report
Italy VII Gran Premio del Valentino Valentino Park 27 March Italy Alberto Ascari Italy Lancia Report
France XVI Pau Grand Prix Pau 11 April France Jean Behra Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom III Glover Trophy Goodwood 11 April United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Italy Maserati Report
France IV Grand Prix de Bordeaux Bordeaux 25 April France Jean Behra Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom VII BRDC International Trophy Silverstone 7 May United Kingdom Peter Collins Italy Maserati Report
Italy VIII Gran Premio di Napoli Posillipo 8 May Italy Alberto Ascari Italy Lancia Report
France XVII Grand Prix d'Albi Albi 29 May France André Simon Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom III Curtis Trophy Snetteron 29 May United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom III Cornwall MRC Formula 1 Race Davidstow 30 May United Kingdom Leslie Marr United Kingdom Connaught-Alta Report
United Kingdom III London Trophy Crystal Palace 30 July United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom III Daily Record Trophy Charterhall 6 August United Kingdom Bob Gerard Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom III RedeX Trophy Snetterton 13 August United States Harry Schell United Kingdom Vanwall Report
United Kingdom II Daily Telegraph Trophy Aintree 3 September United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom II International Gold Cup Oulton Park 24 September United Kingdom Stirling Moss Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom I Avon Trophy Castle Combe 1 October United States Harry Schell United Kingdom Vanwall Report
Italy V Gran Premio di Siracusa Syracuse 23 October United Kingdom Tony Brooks United Kingdom Connaught-Alta Report

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 1974 FIA Yearbook, Grey Section, Previous FIA Championship winners, page 118
  2. ^ Lang, Mike (1981). Grand Prix! Vol 1. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 82. ISBN 0-85429-276-4.