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1953 Dutch Grand Prix

The second round of the 1953 World Championship took place on June 7 in the Netherlands on the Zandvoort circuit. The length of the track was 4.193 km, while the drivers had to complete 90 laps. This year the organizers decided to resurface the circuit, however, due to strong winds bringing sand from the nearby dunes, the track became extremely slippery, giving the drivers a lot of trouble.

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Unlike the first round of the World Championship in Argentina, which was attended by only four teams, the first European Grand Prix of the championship attracted the attention of many drivers and teams who did not have the opportunity to go overseas. Scuderia Ferrari was the Grand Prix favorite again, which won the race in Argentina, as well as several non-championship races held in the five-month period between the first two rounds. The line-up of the team's drivers has not changed, and behind the wheels of scarlet cars were Ascari, Farina, Villoresi and Hawthorn again.

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In addition, another private Ferrari 500 was brought to the start by the Frenchman Louis Rosier.


The Maserati team did not participate in non-championship races, choosing to focus on refining its A6GCM cars, which were clearly inferior to Ferrari in Argentina. And unlike the first stage, this time the team decided to limit itself to the three main drivers Fangio, Gonzalez and Bonetto, without involving local racers.

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However, the fourth Maserati A6GCM nevertheless appeared in the Netherlands, which was driven by Baron Tulo de Graffenried from Enrico Plate team.


Meanwhile, the Gordini team has undergone major changes in the line-up of the drivers. Robert Manzon, whose Gordini once again lost one of the wheels in the Argentine Grand Prix, considered that he had had enough and left the team. Jean Behra also missed this Grand Prix, due to his injury in the first round, and as a result Maurice Trintignant unexpectedly became the new leader of the team, while his new teammates were World Championship debutants Argentine Roberto Mieres and American Fred Wacker Jr. The fourth driver of the team was the American Harry Schell, who had already had some experience in previous world championships, but for the first time got a chance to drive a competitive car.


The Cooper team, which could not boast with speed in the first Grand Prix of the season, decided to interrupt participation in the World Championship, preferring to work on improvements of their cars. However, one private Cooper car did take part in the Grand Prix, driven by Englishman Ken Wharton.


The British teams Connaught and HWM, which missed the first round of the World Championship, on the contrary, appeared in the Netherlands in full force. Team Connaught was represented by Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori and Kenneth McAlpine, while HWM was represented by a pair of unchangeable drivers Peter Collins and Lance Macklin, who raced in updated HWM 53 cars.

Qualification

       Before the start of trainings, Ferrari installed wire nets on their cars to protect the faces of the drivers from the sand, and this idea was immediately adopted by Maserati.

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       Qualification in the Netherlands has developed almost according to the same scenario as in Argentina. Pole position was again easily won by Alberto Ascari, 1.6 seconds ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio. Farina and Villoresi this time switched places and took 3rd and 4th places respectively. 5th and 6th places, as in Argentina, were taken by Gonzalez and Hawthorn, who again lost to his three teammates. Tulo de Graffenried in the new Maserati immediately posted a good 7th time, and Louis Rosier also had a good performance in a Ferrari in 8th place. Stirling Moss was the fastest driver not to drive a Ferrari or a Maserati, but rounded out the top ten was Harry Schell, who turned out to be the fastest Gordini driver in his first qualifying round. At the same time, problems immediately arose on Schell's main car, and the American borrowed another one from his compatriot Wacker, who had to miss the Grand Prix because of this. It is also worth noting the good performance of Roy Salvadori, who managed to take 11th place and was only half a second behind Moss. Felice Bonetto, as in Argentina, was overcome by mechanical problems, and as a result, the Italian became only 13th. The HWM drivers, despite the new cars, weren't fast enough and took only 15th and 16th places, with Macklin managing to get ahead of his teammate for the first time. The Cooper car also did not shine with speed, allowing Ken Wharton to take only the penultimate place on the starting field.

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Race

     Start. Ascari has a great start, and the Italian immediately becomes the leader of the race. Meanwhile, Fangio's start is not so good, and Villoresi and Farina pass him at once, but things are even worse for the Argentinean's teammate Gonzalez, who loses nine positions and ends up in 14th place!

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Position after lap 1: Ascari, Villoresi, Farina, Fangio, Hawthorn, Graffenried, Moss, Schell, Rosier, Bonetto.
Lap 2: Ascari drives the fastest on the track and is already 2 seconds ahead of his pursuers.

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Meanwhile, Bonetto attacks Rosier and goes to 9th place, and Gonzalez, after a disastrous start, immediately rushes into battle and wins back four positions in one lap!

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Salvadori also wins back one position, who manages to get ahead of Collins.
Lap 3: Moss gets the most out of his Connaught but still can't hold back the faster cars of Schell and Bonetto and the Englishman drops to 9th.

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Lap 4: Fangio seems to have gotten the most out of his Maserati in qualifying as he clearly can't keep up with the pace of the Ferrari in the race and falls behind the top three lap after lap.

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Meanwhile, his teammate Gonzalez continues to break through, and he wins back three more positions, coming already in 7th place!

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Lap 5: For Louis Rosier, the race doesn't go as well as the qualifying and the Frenchman misses Trintignant and Salvadori to drop to 13th. Meanwhile, Macklin has problems with the throttle, and the Englishman lets through Mieres.
Lap 6: McAlpine passes Wharton to 15th and Macklin misses Claes to drop to last.
Lap 7: Gonzalez wins back one more position over Graffenried to move into 6th place.
Lap 8: Trintignant passes Moss and becomes 10th. Behind, Macklin finally retires due to problems with the throttle.
Lap 10: Farina attacks Villoresi for second place and passes him.

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Behind Collins manages to get ahead of Rosier.
Position after 10 laps: Ascari, Farina, Villoresi, Fangio, Hawthorn, Gonzalez, Graffenried, Schell, Bonetto, Trintignant. At the same time, Ascari is already 10 seconds ahead of his pursuers.

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Lap 15: The engine on Salvadori's Connaught loses power due to a blown valve, and the Englishman leaves the race. Claes also has problems with the car, and the Belgian drives into the pits for repairs, wasting a lot of time there.
Lap 16: Gonzalez manages to catch up with Hawthorn's Ferrari and José-Froilan goes on the attack on the Englishman and passes him! However, Mike continues to hang on the tail of the Argentinean. Meanwhile, Mieres is ahead of Wharton.
Lap 17: Hawthorn counterattacks Gonzalez and retakes 5th!

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On the same lap, Bonetto manages to get ahead of Schell.

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Lap 20: Wharton leaves the race, unable to cope with physical fatigue.
Lap 22: Schell and Bonetto continue to fight, and this time the American takes the lead.

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Lap 23: Gonzalez, having had a great race, has to pull over with a broken rear axle. However, having left the car, the Argentinean runs to the pits in the hope of continuing the fight behind the wheel of his teammate's car.
Lap 26: Gonzalez gets to the pits and announces that he is ready to continue the race. The team immediately signals Bonetto, and the Italian drives into the pits and hands over his car to his teammate. José Froilan returns to the track in 9th place, behind Trintignant.
Lap 28: Gonzalez is flying around the track again and leaves Trintignant behind.
Lap 29: Transmission failure forces Mieres to leave the race.
Position after 30 laps: Ascari, Farina, Villoresi, Fangio, Hawthorn, Graffenried, Schell, Gonzalez, Trintignant, Moss.
Lap 33: Gonzalez passes another Gordini of Schell and now is 7th!

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Lap 36: Gonzalez overtakes Graffenried for the second time in the race to move up to 6th! Now ahead of him is again Hawthorn, and the Argentine rushes in pursuit of the Ferrari.
Lap 37: Fangio has the same problem as Gonzalez and the Argentine has to retire for the second race in a row due to mechanical problems. Be that as it may, Juan Manuel claimed only 4th place in this Grand Prix.
Lap 39: Farina and Villoresi, who have been fighting for 2nd place the whole race, switch places again, and Gi-Gi takes the lead.

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Lap 43: Collins, blinded by the sand, makes a mistake and is passed by Rosier and McAlpine at the same time.

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Lap 47: Farina, who has been tailing Villoresi for a long time, attacks his teammate and takes 2nd place.

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Lap 49: Trintignant manages to overtake his teammate Schell and the Frenchman moves into 7th place.

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Lap 50: Collins manages to win back one position, overtaking McAlpine.
Position after 50 laps: Ascari, Farina, Villoresi, Hawthorn, Gonzalez, Graffenried, Trintignant, Schell, Moss, Rosier.
Lap 52: McAlpine counterattacks and passes Collins.
Lap 57: A stone from a car in front damages the oil line on Moss' Connaught and the engine begins to lose power. As a result, the Englishman is easily passed by Rosier.
Lap 58: Moss drives ever slower and McAlpine passes him.
Lap 59: Moss eventually stops in the pits for repairs and drops to last place. Meanwhile, Villoresi manages to show the fastest lap of the race.
Lap 60: Transmission problems force Schell out of the race.
Lap 64: McAlpine also retires with engine failure.
Lap 67: Villoresi forced to stop fighting for second place due to throttle problems. The Italian drives into the pits hoping to fix the problem, but the mechanics just shrug their shoulders, and Luigi can only leave the car. However, Villoresi still gets one point for the fastest lap of the race. Meanwhile, Hawthorn comes in third place, but Gonzalez behind him is faster than the Englishman and can still fight for the podium.
Lap 78: Gonzalez's long chase for Hawthorn finally comes to fruition as the Argentine passes the Ferrari to move up to third!

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Last lap: Ascari again maintains a clear victory, which is already the tenth in his career, but Villoresi's fastest lap prevents Alberto from another Grand Slam. Farina comes second to the finish line, who spent the entire race in the fight with Villoresi and, after the Italian retired, consistently finished 10 seconds behind Ascari. Third place went to the hero of the day, Gonzalez, who had to make a double break in the race and took his place on the podium with Bonetto, who gave the Argentine his car. Hawthorn finishes fourth for the second time in a row and is clearly unhappy after failing to hold on to third place late in the race. Baron Graffenried in the new Maserati gets fifth place, which is his best achievement since two years ago.

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Interesting facts:

- Alberto Ascari's 10th victory.

Driver standings

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Alternative GP results

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