1954 Belgian Grand Prix

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1954 Belgian Grand Prix
Spa 1947.png
Spa-Francorchamps layout
Race details
Date20 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 Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Manuel FangioMaserati
Time 4:25.5 on lap 13
Podium
First
  • Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Manuel Fangio
Maserati
Second Ferrari
ThirdMaserati

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.

Contents

Background

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 Giuseppe 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

TeamNoDriverCarEngineTires
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Ecurie Francorchamps 2 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Jacques Swaters Ferrari 500/Ferrari 625 F1 Ferrari 2.5 L4 E
Flag of Italy.svg Scuderia Ferrari 4 Flag of Italy.svg Giuseppe Farina Ferrari 553 Squalo/Ferrari 625 F1 Ferrari 2.5 L4 P
6 Flag of Argentina.svg José Froilán González Ferrari 553 Squalo/Ferrari 555 Supersqualo
8 Flag of France.svg Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 625 F1
10 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Mike Hawthorn
Flag of France.svg Equipe Gordini 12 Flag of France.svg Jean Behra Gordini T16 Gordini 2.5 L6 E
16 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Paul Frère Gordini 2.0 L6
18 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg André Pilette Gordini 2.5 L6
Flag of Thailand.svg Prince Bira 20 Flag of Thailand.svg Prince Bira Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Equipe Moss 22 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Stirling Moss Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
Flag of Argentina.svg Roberto Mieres 24 Flag of Argentina.svg Roberto Mieres Maserati A6GCM/Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
Flag of Italy.svg Officine Alfieri Maserati 26 Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 250F Maserati 2.5 L6 P
28 Flag of Argentina.svg Onofre Marimón
30 Flag of Italy.svg Sergio Mantovani

Qualifying

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.

Qualifying classification

PosNoDriverConstructorTimeGap
126 Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 4:22.1
26 Flag of Argentina.svg José Froilán González Ferrari 4:23.6+ 1.5
34 Flag of Italy.svg Nino Farina Ferrari 4:26.0+ 3.9
428 Flag of Argentina.svg Onofre Marimón Maserati 4:27.6+ 5.5
510 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 4:29.4+ 7.3
68 Flag of France.svg Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 4:30.0+ 7.9
712 Flag of France.svg Jean Behra Gordini 4:34.5+ 12.4
818 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg André Pilette Gordini 4:40.0+ 17.9
922 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Stirling Moss Maserati 4:40.8+ 18.7
1016 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Paul Frère Gordini 4:42.0+ 19.9
1130 Flag of Italy.svg Sergio Mantovani Maserati 4:42.0+ 19.9
1224 Flag of Argentina.svg Roberto Mieres Maserati 4:43.8+ 21.7
1320 Flag of Thailand.svg Prince Bira Maserati 4:46.5+ 24.4
142 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Jacques Swaters Ferrari 4:54.2+ 32.1
Source: [2]

Race

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 left 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]

Race classification

PosNoDriverConstructorLapsTime/RetiredGridPoints
126 Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 362:44:42.419 1
28 Flag of France.svg Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 36+ 24.266
322 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Stirling Moss Maserati 35+ 1 Lap94
410 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Mike Hawthorn
Flag of Argentina.svg José Froilán González
Ferrari 35+ 1 Lap51.5
1.5
518 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg André Pilette Gordini 35+ 1 Lap82
620 Flag of Thailand.svg Prince Bira Maserati 35+ 1 Lap13 
730 Flag of Italy.svg Sergio Mantovani Maserati 34+ 2 Laps11 
Ret4 Flag of Italy.svg Nino Farina Ferrari 14Ignition3 
Ret16 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Paul Frère Gordini 14Engine10 
Ret12 Flag of France.svg Jean Behra Gordini 12Suspension7 
Ret28 Flag of Argentina.svg Onofre Marimón Maserati 3Engine4 
Ret6 Flag of Argentina.svg José Froilán González Ferrari 1Engine2 
Ret2 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Jacques Swaters Ferrari 1Engine14 
Ret24 Flag of Argentina.svg Roberto Mieres Maserati 0Fire12 
Source: [3]
Notes

Notes

Championship standings after the race

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

Drivers' Championship standings
PosDriverPoints
1rightarrow blue.svg 1 Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Manuel Fangio 17
1uparrow green.svg 52 Flag of France.svg Maurice Trintignant 9
1downarrow red.svg 13 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Bill Vukovich 8
1uparrow green.svg 14 Flag of Argentina.svg José Froilán González 6.5
1downarrow red.svg 25 Flag of Italy.svg Nino Farina 6
Source: [4]

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References

  1. 1 2 "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. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  4. "Belgium 1954 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
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