1954 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgium  1954 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Spa-Francorchamps layout
Spa-Francorchamps layout
Date 20 June 1954
Official name XVI Grand Prix de Belgique
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium
Course Permanent racing circuit
Course length 14.120 km (8.774 mi)
Distance 36 laps, 508.320 km (315.855 mi)
Weather Sunny, mild, dry
Pole position
Driver Maserati
Time 4:22.1
Fastest lap
Driver Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati
Time 4:25.5 on lap 13
Podium
First
  • Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio
Maserati
Second Ferrari
Third Maserati

The 1954 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Spa-Francorchamps on 20 June 1954. It was race 3 of 9 in the 1954 World Championship of Drivers. The 36-lap race was won by Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio after he started from pole position. Maurice Trintignant finished second for the Ferrari team with Fangio's teammate Stirling Moss in third.

Background[edit]

The opening race of the 1954 Formula One season was held in Argentina in January and won by Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Maserati. The second race that counted towards the year's World Championship of Drivers, the 1954 Indianapolis 500, was, as in the years before, not attended by the European drivers (and won for the second time by Bill Vukovich). After the cancellation of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, the Belgian Grand Prix was the season's first championship race on European soil, held five months after the season opener.

While most of the other drivers had competed in the various non-championship races, it was the first appearance of the season in Europe for Fangio, the championship leader. Fangio had signed with the Mercedes team for the season, but since their new car was not finished in time for the Francorchamps race, he competed in the Maserati 250F as he did at his home Grand Prix. Alongside him in the Maserati team were compatriot Onofre Marimón and Italian Sergio Mantovani, while Stirling Moss, Prince Bira and Roberto Mieres entered Maseratis for private teams.

After recovering from an accident at the Mille Miglia, 1950 World Champion Guiseppe Farina returned to the field in his Ferrari 553. The team was completed by José Froilán González, and in last year's cars Maurice Trintignant and Mike Hawthorn. Jacques Swaters entered another Ferrari for his home Grand Prix.

The field was completed by the Gordini team with their drivers Jean Behra, Paul Frère and André Pilette. Although the newly formed Lancia team did make an entry for the Belgian Grand Prix, they withdrew, resulting in reigning World Champion Alberto Ascari missing another race of the season. Therefore, the field at Spa-Francorchamps only consisted of 14 drivers.[1]

Entries[edit]

Team No Driver Car Engine Tires
Belgium Ecurie Francorchamps 02 Belgium Jacques Swaters Ferrari 500/Ferrari 625 F1 Ferrari 2.5 L4 E
Italy Scuderia Ferrari 04 Italy Giuseppe Farina Ferrari 553 Squalo/Ferrari 625 F1 Ferrari 2.5 L4 P
06 Argentina José Froilán González Ferrari 553 Squalo/Ferrari 555 Supersqualo
08 France Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 625 F1
10 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn
France Equipe Gordini 12 France Jean Behra Gordini T16 Gordini 2.5 L6 E
16 Belgium Paul Frère Gordini 2.0 L6
18 Belgium André Pilette Gordini 2.5 L6
Thailand Prince Bira 20 Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
United Kingdom Equipe Moss 22 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
Argentina Roberto Mieres 24 Argentina Roberto Mieres Maserati A6GCM/Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati 26 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
28 Argentina Onofre Marimón
30 Italy Sergio Mantovani

Qualifying[edit]

On the first day of practise only the Ferraris were making an appearance. The battle for Pole Position became interesting, when Juan Manuel Fangio showed up on the second day. In his Maserati he managed to pulverize his own track record (set in 1951 in the Alfa Romeo 159) and qualified fastest with a time of 4:22.1. Behind him on second place was González who was very pleased with the improved handling of his Ferrari. Over two seconds behind him was Farina who wasn't satisfied at all with the car's set-up.

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 26 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 4:22.1
2 6 Argentina José Froilán González Ferrari 4:23.6 + 1.5
3 4 Italy Nino Farina Ferrari 4:26.0 + 3.9
4 28 Argentina Onofre Marimón Maserati 4:27.6 + 5.5
5 10 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 4:29.4 + 7.3
6 8 France Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 4:30.0 + 7.9
7 12 France Jean Behra Gordini 4:34.5 + 12.4
8 18 Belgium André Pilette Gordini 4:40.0 + 17.9
9 22 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Maserati 4:40.8 + 18.7
10 16 Belgium Paul Frère Gordini 4:42.0 + 19.9
11 30 Italy Sergio Mantovani Maserati 4:42.0 + 19.9
12 24 Argentina Roberto Mieres Maserati 4:43.8 + 21.7
13 20 Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 4:46.5 + 24.4
14 2 Belgium Jacques Swaters Ferrari 4:54.2 + 32.1
Source:[2]

Race[edit]

On 20 June 1954 the 14 cars lined up for the Belgian Grand Prix. Behind them a 15th car, the Maserati of Emmanuel de Graffenried was ready for the start to film authentic race footage for the upcoming movie The Racers starring Kirk Douglas. The start saw González take the lead in front of Farina while Fangio dropped back. During the first round the Maserati of Mieres caught on fire, but the driver was able to jump out of the moving car, getting away with only minor burns. Meanwhile, González' lead was only short lived; he had to retire after lap 1 with engine failure (as well as Swaters and two laps later Marimón). Farina led Hawthorn and Fangio, who managed to pull in front on lap 3. At lap 10 Fangio lost the lead due to a broken visor strap that forced him into the pit. However, he quickly recovered and retook the lead. Farina had to retire with engine failure on lap 14, which Fangio quite unchallenged with Hawthorn over a minute behind in second.

Hawthorn, who had not quite recovered from an accident at Syracuse, was slowing down during the following laps and therefore the Ferrari Team flagged him into the pits and had the car taken over by González, after a collapsed Hawthorn had to be lifted out of his car. Trintignant was therefore in second place. González soon discovered the reason for Hawthorn passing out: a broken exhaust pipe was allowing fumes in the cockpit, so the Argentinian pulled into the pits to have it fixed, losing a whole lap in the process.

Meanwhile, Fangio was sitting in a comfortable lead and rode to his second victory of the season, as well as recording the fastest lap of the race. Only seven cars were able to finish. The retirements had put Trintignant in second and Moss (who scored his first podium in a World Championship race) in his privately entered Maserati in third. After his long pit stop González managed to recover and finished fourth in front of Pilette, Bira and Mantovani. For Pilette it was his first and only finish in the points of his career. [1]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 26 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 36 2:44:42.4 1 9
2 8 France Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 36 + 24.2 6 6
3 22 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Maserati 35 + 1 Lap 9 4
4 10 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn
Argentina José Froilán González
Ferrari 35 + 1 Lap 5 1.5
1.5
5 18 Belgium André Pilette Gordini 35 + 1 Lap 8 2
6 20 Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 35 + 1 Lap 13  
7 30 Italy Sergio Mantovani Maserati 34 + 2 Laps 11  
Ret 4 Italy Nino Farina Ferrari 14 Ignition 3  
Ret 16 Belgium Paul Frère Gordini 14 Engine 10  
Ret 12 France Jean Behra Gordini 12 Suspension 7  
Ret 28 Argentina Onofre Marimón Maserati 3 Engine 4  
Ret 6 Argentina José Froilán González Ferrari 1 Engine 2  
Ret 2 Belgium Jacques Swaters Ferrari 1 Engine 14  
Ret 24 Argentina Roberto Mieres Maserati 0 Fire 12  
Source:[3]

Notes[edit]

  • Shared Drive – Car #10: Hawthorn (20 laps) then González (15 laps)
  • F1 Firsts: First podium finish for Trintignant and Moss; First points for Moss and Pilette (this would be Pilette's only points).
  • Records broken: Fangio's 11th career fast lap gives him sole possession of most fast laps.
  • This is the last race that Farina would start in 1954 (he would miss the rest of the season due to injury). He is the last driver to have started in all non-Indy 500 championship races. Thus ending his record string of 30 straight Grand Prix starts.
  • de Graffenried (Maserati) also participated as a camera car to record footage for the film The Racers.

Championship standings after the race[edit]

After his second win of the season, Juan Manuel Fangio was in a comfortable lead with 17 points. Trintignant was second with 9, while the Bill Vukovich, winner of the Indianapolis 500 was third in the championship standings (although he wouldn't compete in another World Championship race).

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1rightarrow blue.svg 1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 17
1uparrow green.svg 5 2 France Maurice Trintignant 9
1downarrow red.svg 1 3 United States Bill Vukovich 8
1uparrow green.svg 1 4 Argentina José Froilán González 6.5
1downarrow red.svg 2 5 Italy Nino Farina 6
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included. Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Grand Prix de Belgique". motorsportmagazine.com. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Belgium 1954 - Qualifying". statsf1.com. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "1954 Belgian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 


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1954 Indianapolis 500
FIA Formula One World Championship
1954 season
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1954 French Grand Prix
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