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1951 German Grand Prix

The fifth round of the 1951 Formula 1 World Championship took place on July 29 in Germany at the famous Nurburgring circuit. This Grand Prix was the first major international race held in Germany after World War II, since until 1951 there was a ban on the participation of the German nation in international competitions. The track in the Nurburgring was huge, its length was 22.81 km, so the drivers had to complete only 20 laps, but considering that most of the route ran through the forest and was bordered by trees, it was rightfully considered one of the most dangerous.


        Before the Grand Prix, rumors circulated that Farina, dissatisfied with the way the championship was going, was thinking of leaving for the BRM team, which performed well in the debut Grand Prix, but all this remained rumors. Nevertheless, changes have taken place in Alfa Romeo. Consalvo Sanesi, who managed to score points in only one Grand Prix, decided to stop participating in races and return to the role of a test driver. In his place, Felice Bonetto, who has already held one race for the team at Silverstone, was appointed permanent driver. The temporary fourth driver became an experienced local racer Paul Pitsch, who participated in the Grand Prix races as part of the Silver Arrows back in the 1930s.

       The Ferrari team was also represented by four drivers, as Piero Taruffi got back in line after missing two Grand Prix due to illness. In addition, another private Ferrari, driven by Rudy Fischer, took part in the Grand Prix, which had already gone to the start at the beginning of the season in Switzerland.

       The BRM team, which performed well in the debut race at Silverstone, decided to take a break this time and missed the German stage. Equipe Gordini, on the contrary, returned to the track in full force after one missed Grand Prix. Also, the Enrico Plate team with Baron de Graffenried and a whole cluster of drivers on private Talbot-Lago took part in the German Grand Prix.


        After the success in the UK, Ferrari drivers were eager to fight and immediately showed their speed, easily outpacing Alfa Romeo. The fastest this time was Ascari, who drove a lap in 9'55.8 and won his first pole position in Formula 1. The hero of the last race, Gonzalez, became the second, losing 1.7 seconds to his partner. Fangio became the best of Alfa Romeo, showing the third time and losing to Ascari for more than three seconds, and Farina lost to the Argentine for 2 seconds and took the 4th position. He was followed by two more Ferraris of Villoresi and Taruffi, and Alfa Romeo newcomer Pitsch took 7th position. Fischer on his Ferrari sports car showed a good 8th time, and the "Pirate" Bonetto this time failed qualifying, lagging behind the pole position time by more than 50 seconds. and losing even to Manzon's Simca-Gordini, who took an excellent 9th position. The best representative of Talbot-Lago this time was Giraud-Cabantous, who managed to show the 11th result. There was also a serious accident in qualifying, in which David Murray on his Maserati got into. Fortunately, the driver was unharmed, but his car was completely destroyed, so the Englishman was forced to withdraw from the race.



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Start. Farina starts the best and breaks into the lead, followed by Fangio, Ascari and Gonzalez. However, even before the end of the first lap, all three pass the world champion, and he drops to the position from which he started. Etancelin also makes a great start, having broken through from the penultimate position to 14th place. Fischer and Chiron fail the start, and Graffenried rolls back to last place due to engine problems.

Position after the 1st lap: Fangio, Ascari, Gonzalez, Farina, Pietsch, Taruffi, Villoresi, Bonetto, Simon, Manzon.

Lap 2: The first four drivers begin to break away from the rest of the peleton. Pietsch who started the race well takes off from the track and becomes the last. Rosier overtakes Etancelin, and Chiron's car starts having problems with ignition, and he misses the drivers one by one.

Lap 3: Hamilton overtakes Claes. The problems on the cars of Chiron and Graffenried are progressing, and both are leaving the race.

Lap 4: Villoresi overtakes Taruffi and rises to 5th place. Bonetto makes a mistake, turns around, and he drops to 14th place. Trintignant overtakes Giraud-Cabantous and becomes 9th, and Branca drops out of the race with a failed engine.

Lap 5: Ascari attacks Fangio and passes him, becoming the leader of the race! Manzon misses Trintignant and Giraud-Cabantous, dropping to 10th place. Etancelin has problems with changing gears, and the Frenchman goes out of the race.

Lap 6: It's pit stop time for Alfa Romeo, and Fangio is the first to enter the pits, giving Gonzalez 2nd place. Taruffi is also heading to the pits to replace the spark plugs, releasing Simon to 6th place.

Lap 7: It's Farina's turn to go to refuel, and he misses Villoresi, dropping to 5th place. Taruffi overtakes Simon, and Bonetto overtakes Rosier.

Lap 8: Giraud-Cabantous overtakes Trintignant and takes 7th place. Simon and Manzon synchronously enter the pits and become 11th and 12th respectively. Also in pits is Bonetto, and he drives out behind them.

Lap 9: Farina has problems with engine overheating, and he pulls over to the curb, losing 5th place. Trintignant stops in the pits and drops to 12th place, and the Pietsch passes Levegh, Hamilton and Swaters on one lap.

Lap 10: In the middle of the race, it's time for Ferrari to refuel. The race leader Ascari drives into the pits, losing the lead to Gonzalez, and after refueling leaves the pits in 2nd place, slightly ahead of Fangio. Manzon overtakes his partner Simon and comes out in 9th place.

Position after 10 laps: Gonzalez, Ascari, Fangio, Villoresi, Taruffi, Giraud-Cabantous, Fischer, Rosier, Manzon, Simon.

Lap 11: A lap later, Gonzalez drives into the pits, missing both his teammate and Fangio. The latter manages to get ahead of Ascari in a lighter car, and the Argentine once again takes the lead of the race, but he is still waiting for the second pit stop. Fischer also stops by to refuel, and he drops to 10th place. Meanwhile, Manzon passes Rosier, Bonetto overtakes Simon, and Pietsch outruns Trintignant.

Lap 12: Bonetto overtakes Rosier and becomes 8th, Simon leaves the race due to engine overheating, and Pietsch loses control and flies off the track, crashing into an embankment at the curb. Fortunately, the German manages to avoid injury, but he drops out of the race.

Paul Pietsch flies off in the 1951 German Grand Prix

Lap 13: Magneto fails in Bonetto's car and the Italian is forced to get off. Thus, the last Alfa Romeo under the control of Fangio remains in the race. Also, due to the failure of the oil pump, Hamilton drops out of the race.

Lap 14: The engine on the Trintignant's Simca-Gordini fails, and the Frenchman has to get off.

Lap 15: Fangio pulls into his second pit stop. After refueling, the Argentine tries to move off, but the car stalls. It takes quite a long time to start the Alfa Romeo again, and Fangio misses Ascari, but he manages to leave in 2nd place ahead of Gonzalez. Giraud-Cabantous also enters the pits and drops to 9th place.

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Lap 17: A slow puncture forms on one of the tires of Ascari's Ferrari, and the Italian begins to lose speed! Alberto has to stop at an unplanned pit stop, where the wheels are changed for him, after which he rushes back to the track. However, his gap from Fangio was so great that the Ferrari driver retains the lead! Meanwhile behind Fischer overtakes Rosier and takes 7th place.

Lap 18: Fischer passes Manzon and becomes 6th. Giraud-Cabantous, who was in 9th place, flies off the track and crashes his car, but he himself comes out of the accident unharmed.

Last lap: Ascari crosses the finish line first and wins his first World Championship Grand Prix! In addition, this victory allows the Italian to rise to second place in the championship, behind Fangio. The Argentine himself finishes second, losing half a minute to Ascari. The third is Gonzalez, who still could not keep the pace set by the two leaders, and lost to Fangio for about four minutes. Nevertheless, the young Argentine gets on the podium for the third time in a row. The remaining places in the points also go to Ferrari of Villoresi and Taruffi.

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Interesting facts:

- Alberto Ascari's first victory;

- Alberto Ascari's first pole position.

Driver standings

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Alternative GP results

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