top of page

1954 Argentine Grand Prix

The first round of the 1954 World Championship took place on January 17 in Argentina on Buenos Aires circuit. The track was built in 1951 and was unique in that it had a whole set of configurations created with the help of numerous branches. Like last year, configuration №2 was used for the Grand Prix, which was 3.91 km long, but the direction of the race was reversed. In addition, after last year's tragedy, security measures were strengthened to prevent spectators from entering the track.

Buenos-Aires 1954.jpg

After two years spent under the Formula 2 technical regulations, the World Championship returned to Formula 1 again, and the Argentine Grand Prix became the debut for new cars with 2.5-liter engines. However, the spectators did not see all the novelties of this season, since neither Daimler-Benz nor Lancia were present at the first stage, still preparing their new cars. In this regard, world champion Alberto Ascari, who moved to the Turin team this season, was absent in Argentina, while Juan Manuel Fangio, who joined Daimler Benz, was still present at the home stage, temporarily continuing to drive for his former Maserati team.

Scuderia Ferrari arrived in Argentina with four drivers: Nino Farina, Mike Hawthorn, José-Froilan Gonzalez and Umberto Maglioli, equipped with new Ferrari 625. The main rival of the team from Maranello last year, Maserati, also fielded four cars, while two new 250F models went to the team leaders Juan Manuel Fangio and Onofre Marimon, and Luigi Musso and Prince Bira got behind the wheel of last year's A6GCM models.. The French Gordini team was represented by three drivers Jean Behra, Elie Bayol and Roger Loyer, who took the start behind the wheels of last year's Gordini T16 with modified engines. The rest of the entry list was taken by drivers in private cars Maserati A6GCM, as well as Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant in private Ferrari cars, who joined forces in this Grand Prix in Louis' team.


The first qualification of the season took place in the fight for pole position between Ferrari and Maserati, but the fastest drivers were still from the Maranello team. First place on the starting field went to Nino Farina, who managed to outrun his teammate Gonzalez by only 0.1 seconds, while Juan Manuel Fangio was the best of the Maserati drivers, who showed the third result in 0.9 sec. from pole position time. Mike Hawthorn was behind the Argentine in another Ferrari, and Maurice Trintignant was able to show the 5th time in the same car, only 0.7 seconds behind Mike. The rest of the top ten places went to Maserati factory and private drivers, and the fastest driver on last year's A6GCM was Luigi Musso in 7th place. The fourth Ferrari driver Umberto Maglioli did not perform very well and became only 11th, and local driver Carlos Menditeguy was also unlucky, who showed 9th time, but was forced to refuse to participate in the Grand Prix due to problems with the engine. Gordini cars, as in the previous year, were inferior to Italian cars and took only 14th, 15th and 16th places on the starting grid.



During Sunday training, the engine in Musso's car fails, and the Italian, after a good qualification, is forced to leave the Grand Prix prematurely. Shortly before the start of the Grand Prix, heavy clouds hang over the track, foreshadowing a rainy race.


Start. Farina gets off to a good start and stays in the lead, but Gonzalez lingered a bit and was passed by Fangio and Hawthorn. Trintignant also has a poor start, losing five positions and dropping to 10th place.
Position after lap 1: Farina, Fangio, Hawthorn, Gonzalez, Marimon, Mieres, Graffenried, Bira, Schell, Trintignant.
Lap 2: Rosier locks up brakes in his Ferrari and goes off the track! Fortunately, this accident does not affect the health of the Frenchman, but he is forced to retire.
Lap 3: Trintignant overtakes Schell for 9th place.
Lap 5: Gonzalez goes on the attack and passes his teammate Hawthorn to move up to third. On the same lap, Mieres overtakes Marimon and becomes 5th, and Trintignant wins back one more position, overtaking Prince Bira.
Lap 7: Trintignant passes Graffenried and becomes 7th!
Lap 8: Gonzalez catches up with Fangio and after a short struggle he is already in 2nd place!


Lap 10: Trintignant attacks Marimon for 6th place and passes him!
Lap 14: Gonzalez catches up with the leader Farina and tries to pass his teammate, but the Italian defends his position fiercely and does not allow himself to be overtaken.


Lap 15: After several overtaking attempts, Gonzalez still succeeds and becomes the new leader of the race!


On the same lap, Hawthorn passes Fangio and takes 3rd place.


Lap 16: Gonzalez is the fastest on the track and begins to break away from Farina, who is running second.
Lap 18: Trintignant wins another position over Mieres and already gets into the points!
Lap 20: Jorge Daponte, in last place, retires with gearbox problems. On the same lap, Roger Loyer leaves the race, on whose Gordini the oil pump failed.
Position after 20 laps: Gonzalez, Farina, Hawthorn, Fangio, Trintignant, Mieres, Marimon, Graffenried, Bira, Schell. Leading Gonzalez is already 5 seconds ahead of Farina, who is in second place, and Trintignant, driving in 5th place, loses Jose-Froilan for about a minute!
Lap 23: Gonzalez goes even faster and shows the best lap of the race!
Lap 31: The leaden clouds hanging over the track are falling in a downpour, and the its surface is immediately covered with a water veil!
Lap 32: Gonzalez and Farina turn into the pits at the same time: the Argentine puts wet tires on the car, and the Italian, in addition to wet tires, also installs a waterproof visor on his helmet.


As a result of stopping two Ferrari drivers in the pits, their teammate Hawthorn becomes the new leader!
Lap 33: Mieres also pulls into the pits for wet tires while Bayol attacks Maglioli's Ferrari and passes him!
Lap 35: Hawthorn makes a mistake on a wet track, causing his Ferrari to spin and Fangio rushes past, becoming the new leader of the race!
Lap 36: Bayol feels very confident in the rain and now leaves Schell behind!
Lap 38: Roberto Mieres' Maserati develops an oil leak and the Argentine comes into the pits, retiring.


Position after 40 laps: Fangio, Hawthorn, Gonzalez, Farina, Trintignant, Marimon, Graffenried, Bira, Bayol.
Lap 41: The rain stops and the track starts to dry out quickly.
Lap 43: On a drying track, the Ferraris gain the upper hand again, and Gonzalez and Farina begin to quickly catch up with Fangio.
Lap 45: Gonzalez and Farina pass Hawthorn one by one and move up to 2nd and 3rd!
Lap 47: Gonzalez passes Fangio and takes the lead again!
Lap 48: Farina also passes the Maserati and the Argentine drops to 3rd!


Lap 49: Marimon's Maserati suffers engine problems and the Argentine drops out of the race, losing 6th place.
Lap 51: The rain returns to the track with renewed vigor and the team immediately calls Fangio into the pits. The Argentine pulls into the pit lane and stops at the Maserati garage, where mechanics fit wet tires for him. However, not three people are working on Fangio's car, as prescribed by the regulations, but as many as five! This fact does not escape the attention of Ferrari manager Nello Ugolini, and he immediately submits a protest to the organizers of the Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Fangio drives back to the track in 4th, behind Hawthorn.
Lap 52: Hawthorn fails to hold his Ferrari in heavy rain and crashes off the track! The Englishman manages to avoid a collision with a fence, but after stopping his car stalls, and Mike manages to move only with the help of the audience.
Lap 53: Hawthorn is shown a black flag for assistance on the track, and the Englishman drives into the pits at the end of the lap, leaving the race and letting Fangio to third place. Meanwhile, Nello Ugolini, confident that the Argentine is about to be disqualified, displays a "Fangio is out of play" sign to his drivers, urging them to slow down in the pouring rain.
Lap 54: Gonzalez and Farina pass a lap for 10 sec. slower, and Fangio immediately takes advantage of this, rapidly catching up with the Ferrari drivers. Meanwhile Bayol is once again one of the fastest drivers on the track in the rain and passes Prince Bira's Maserati.
Lap 57: Bayol overtakes Graffenried for 5th place and already in points!
Lap 58: Fangio catches up with Farina and easily passes him, moving to 2nd place! Ugolini runs to the commissioners, demanding to clarify the situation with the disqualification, but they clearly take the side of their illustrious compatriot, which infuriates the Italian.
Lap 59: After a short struggle, Fangio also passes Gonzalez and takes the lead again!


Position after 60 laps: Fangio, Gonzalez, Farina, Trintignant, Bayol, Graffenried, Schell, Bira.
Lap 61: The rain does not subside, turning the track into a water pool! Under these conditions, even Fangio is mistaken and misses Gonzalez and Farina again.
Lap 62: Jean Behra crashes off the track and, like Hawthorn, returns to it only with the help of spectators, as a result of which the Frenchman is also disqualified.


Lap 63: Gonzalez, in the pouring rain, is also unable to control his Ferrari and spins around, losing half a minute and dropping to 3rd.


Farina is now taking the lead again.
Lap 65: Fangio is unstoppable in the rain, and he passes Farina again, regaining the lead in the race!
Lap 67: Farina clearly cannot keep up with the pace set by Fangio and begins to fall behind rapidly.
Last lap: Fangio crosses the finish line first with thunderous applause from his compatriots, winning a magnificent victory in the first race of the season! Meanwhile, Ferrari in rainy conditions could not keep up with the Argentine world champion, finishing only in 2nd and 3rd places, more than a minute behind Fangio. Fourth place goes to Trintignant, who had a great race and managed to earn points at the very beginning of the championship. Fifth is another race hero Bayol, who managed to demonstrate amazing skills in the pouring rain and earn his first points in Formula 1.


P.S. After the race, Ferrari submitted a protest against Fangio's victory in the FIA, but it was also rejected, and thus the Argentine went to the next stage as the leader of the championship.


Interesting facts:

- Jose-Froilan Gonzalez's 10th podium.
- Elie Bayol's first points.

Driver standings


Alternative GP results

bottom of page