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1954 Italian Grand Prix

The seventh round of the 1954 World Championship took place on September 5 in Italy at the famous Monza circuit. The length of the track was 6.3 km, while the drivers had to complete 80 laps.

Monza 1950.jpg

      Despite the fact that the fight for the championship title ended two weeks ago with a convincing victory of Juan Manuel Fangio, all the championship teams were set up for a serious struggle in Monza, hoping to win the prestigious Italian Grand Prix. The Daimler-Benz team, as usual, was represented by three drivers, but brought four cars to the track, two of each modification.


At the same time, the team leaders Fangio and Kling tested both models in training, and it turned out that the modification with a streamlined body allowed them to complete a lap 2 seconds faster, which is why they chose it to participate in the Grand Prix. Two other drivers Herrmann and Lang claimed the one remaining place, and as a result it was taken by a younger Hans, who turned out to be a little faster in training than the former European champion.


The Italian teams Ferrari and Maserati, for which the home stage was the most important in the season, had a much more impressive squad. The team from Maranello put up as many as five cars for the race, and one of the main surprises was the temporary return to the team of last year's world champion Alberto Ascari, who was eager to take part in the home Grand Prix, but did not have the opportunity to do it in his main Lancia team, which kept postponing its debut.


In addition to Ascari, Scuderia Ferrari was represented by the team's main drivers Jose-Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn and Maurice Trintignant, as well as another temporary driver Umberto Maglioli, who had already competed for Ferrari at the previous stage in Switzerland. At the same time, all the team's drivers drove intermediate Ferrari 625, with the exception of Gonzalez, who preferred the new Ferrari 553.

However, Maserati was represented even more impressive, entering for the home Grand Prix as many as six cars.


       At the same time, Stirling Moss became the leader of the team, as in Switzerland, and his teammates were Luigi Villoresi, Sergio Mantovani, Roberto Mieres, Luigi Musso and Louis Rosier. The latter, having failed to score a single point at the wheel of his own Ferrari in three years, finally decided to try to succeed at the wheel of another Italian car, while not forgetting to repaint it blue. 
      Unlike the Italian teams, the French Gordini was represented much more modestly, and its line-up remained the same: Jean Behra, Clemar Bucci and Fred Wacker. The British teams were this time represented only by Tony Vandervell's team, for which the Italian Grand Prix was only the second in its short history. At the same time, fearing overheating at the high-speed Monza track, the chief designer of the team, Owen Maddock, seriously redesigned the front of the Vanwall Special and moved the radiator to a more traditional area in the nose of the car, as a result of which it lost its original appearance and now differed little from competitors' cars. The only driver of the team, as before, was Peter Collins.



Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix turned out to be extremely exciting, becoming the fighting arena for pole position between three drivers from three different teams. However, Juan-Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes turned out to be the strongest in this fight again, showing a time of 1’59.0.


The second place was taken by the favorite of the local public, Alberto Ascari, who was ahead of his Ferrari teammates at the first attempt and lagged behind the Argentine by only 0.2 seconds.


Stirling Moss on Maserati was third, once again earning a place in the front row of the starting field and losing to Ascari by a negligible 0.1 seconds.


The last driver who managed to keep within one second of Fangio's time was the Argentine's teammate Karl Kling, who was quite fast and managed to get ahead of Gonzalez' Ferrari. Luigi Villoresi took a lot of risks in front of the home crowd and flew off the track several times, but it bore fruit, and he took 6th place ahead of Hawthorn.


Hans Herrmann on the only Mercedes with open wheels was expected to be unable to compete with his teammates and became only 8th, and two Maserati drivers Mantovani and Mieres closed the top ten. Meanwhile, the loser of qualifying was Maurice Trintignant, who was able to take only 11th place in the factory Ferrari, losing to Fangio for more than 3 seconds. The French Gordini clearly lacked power in Monza, and Jean Behra, who took 12th place, became the best of its drivers. Vanwall looked even worse, and Peter Collins managed to become only the 16th behind the wheel of a British car, losing more than 6 seconds to Fangio. The last was the private racer Giovanni de Rio, but he turned out to be so slow that the organizers did not allow him to start.



Given the close results of the drivers in qualifying, the audience is looking forward to an equally interesting race, however most tiffozis naturally expect their favorite Ascari to win.


Start. Kling manages an amazing start, and the German from the fourth position becomes the leader of the race! Meanwhile Fangio, Ascari, Moss and Gonzalez follow close behind him..


Maglioli also starts the race well, breaking through to 8th place, while Villoresi, on the contrary, fails the start and loses four positions.
Position after lap 1: Kling, Fangio, Ascari, Moss, Gonzalez, Hawthorn, Herrmann, Maglioli, Mantovani, Villoresi.
Lap 2: Gonzalez attacks Moss and takes fourth place!


Behind Villoresi begins to win back positions and passes Mantovani. Also at the end of the peleton, a struggle between Collins and Bucci unfolds, as a result of which the Englishman comes forward.


In addition, already at the very beginning of the race, the engine on Behra's Gordini fails, and the Frenchman drops out of the race.
Lap 3: Gonzalez attacks his teammate Ascari and gets ahead, rising to 3rd place!


Behind Bucci counterattacks Collins and leaves the Englishman behind.


Lap 4: Kling skids in the Lesmo turn, and the German drops to fifth position at once!


Fangio is now the new leader, and Gonzalez is already in second place! Meanwhile, Maglioli also makes a mistake, because of which he misses three rivals and drops to 11th place. Besides, Trintignant, who failed the qualification, becomes more active and passes Musso, rising to the 12th position.


Lap 5: Moss attacks Ascari and passes the former world champion!


Meanwhile, Herrmann's engine loses power, and the German misses Villoresi and Mantovani, while Mieres makes a mistake and misses three rivals. On the same lap, Bucci and Manzon have problems with their cars, and both drivers pull into the pits, dropping to the end of the peleton.
Lap 6: Ascari, getting used to the new car, goes on the attack and on one lap passes Moss, Fangio and Gonzalez, and becomes the new leader of the race, bringing tiffozi to full delight!


Meanwhile, Hawthorn manages to get ahead of Kling, taking 5th place, and his teammate Trintignant wins back another position, overtaking Herrmann.


Lap 7: Fangio attacks Gonzalez and takes 2nd place!


Behind Herrmann drives into the pits to replace a spark plug and drops to the penultimate place.


Lap 8: Mieres passes Musso and becomes 11th.


Lap 9: Villoresi attacks Kling and takes 6th place!
Lap 10: Villoresi passes Hawthorn and wins one more position!


Position after 10 laps: Ascari, Fangio, Gonzalez, Moss, Villoresi, Hawthorn, Kling, Mantovani, Trintignant, Maglioli. At the same time, the leader Ascari manages to win back from Fangio for a second per lap, and his gap is already 6 seconds!


Lap 11: Herrmann starts to win back the positions lost at the pit stop and passes Bucci.


Lap 13: Musso manages to get ahead of Maglioli and Mieres on one lap, and the Italian gets into the top ten.
Lap 14: Kling attacks Hawthorn in the fight for 6th place and passes him!


Behind Mieres passes Maglioli, and Bucci drops out of the race due to a transmission failure.
Lap 15: Fangio manages to shake off a pair of Gonzalez-Moss, and the Argentine begins to close his gap with Ascari.


Meanwhile, on the same lap, Moss goes on the attack and passes Gonzalez' Ferrari!


Behind Herrmann wins back another position, overtaking Daponte.
Lap 17: Gonzalez has problems with the gearbox, and the Argentine drives into the pits, leaving the race! Besides, Manzon drops out of the race with a failed engine.
Lap 20: Herrmann wins back another position, overtaking Rosier.
Position after 20 laps: Ascari, Fangio, Moss, Villoresi, Kling, Hawthorn, Mantovani, Trintignant, Musso, Mieres. Fangio is clearly faster than Ascari at this stage, and there are only two seconds left between them!
Lap 23: Fangio goes on the attack and passes Ascari, regaining the lead in the race!

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Lap 24: Ascari does not give up, counterattacks the Argentine and comes forward again!


Lap 26: Unable to hold the lead, Fangio slows down slightly, deciding to wait for a more favorable moment to attack.


Lap 30: Herrmann gets ahead of Wacker and rises to 13th place.
Lap 31: A crack forms in the exhaust pipe of Trintignant's Ferrari, and the Frenchman pulls in for repairs, dropping to 12th place.


On the same lap, Maglioli drives into the pits and passes his car to Gonzalez, who returns to the race in 10th place.
Lap 32: The engine on Kling's Mercedes starts spraying oil, which flies straight into the driver's face and settles on his glasses! Despite this, Kling continues to race, although he now has to drive the car almost blindly!
Lap 33: The transmission fails on Musso's Maserati, and the Italian drops out of the race.
Lap 35: Villoresi drives the fastest and rapidly catches up with Moss!


On the same lap, Mieres pulls out of the race due to a broken rear suspension.


Lap 36: Mantovani passes Hawthorn and Kling on one lap and rises to 5th place!


Meanwhile, Moss, having received information about the approaching Villoresi, also accelerates and begins to catch up with Fangio!


Lap 37: Hawthorn counterattacks Mantovani and regains 5th place!


Meanwhile, Kling takes off his completely oil-splattered glasses, but in the Lesmo turn, another oil fountain splashes out of the engine and hits the German right in the face! The blinded German immediately loses control of the car, which flies off the track and crashes right into the hay bales!


Fortunately, the German managed to avoid injury, but he still needed urgent medical attention due to eye burns.

Lap 38: Moss hangs on Fangio's tail and passes him, climbing to 2nd place!


Lap 39: Fangio counterattacks Moss and takes the lead again!


Lap 40: Villoresi catches up with the Fangio-Moss pair and also joins the fight, overtaking the Englishman! Now two Maserati and Mercedes are going in a tight group and thanks to the increased pace they are almost catching up with the leader Ascari!


Position after 40 laps: Ascari, Fangio, Villoresi, Moss, Hawthorn, Mantovani, Gonzalez, Collins, Herrmann, Wacker. 
Lap 41: Villoresi goes on the attack again and passes Fangio, coming in second place!


Lap 42: Villoresi catches up with Ascari and starts pressing the former world champion! Meanwhile, Trintignant catches up Rosier and passes his compatriot.
Lap 43: Villoresi's Maserati can't keep up with the driver's pace and the car's clutch fails! After a great race, the gray-haired Italian has no choice but to enter the pits and leave the race.
Lap 44: Moss, remaining the only Maserati representative among the leaders, goes on the attack and passes Fangio again!


Lap 45: Moss does not stop there and passes Ascari, becoming the Grand Prix leader for the first time in his career!


Lap 46: Ascari does not intend to give up the lead so easily, he counterattacks the Englishman and comes forward again!
Lap 49: Ascari suddenly loses speed and tiffosi grab their heads!


At the end of the lap, Alberto drives into the pits, and the mechanics discover a breakdown of one of the valves in the engine. Realizing that it is impossible to continue the race, the disappointed Italian leaves the car. After Ascari's retirement, Moss takes the lead again!
Position after 50 laps: Moss, Fangio, Hawthorn, Mantovani, Gonzalez, Collins, Herrmann, Wacker, Trintignant, Rosier. 
Lap 50: Moss, having got a clean track in front of him, drives the fastest and starts to break away from Fangio!


Lap 60: Moss breaks away from Fangio for 15 seconds in ten laps, and thus the Englishman becomes the main contender for victory in the Italian Grand Prix!
Lap 61: A crack appears in the Vanwall oil pressure sensor, and the oil begins to leak directly into the cockpit! As a result, Collins begins to lose pace and misses Hans Herrmann.


Lap 63: Collins drives into the pits, and the mechanics quickly solve the oil leak problem by simply flattening the sensor. Nevertheless, the Englishman still loses two positions, missing Wacker and Trintignant. Meanwhile, the race leader Moss brings his lead over Fangio already up to 20 seconds!
Lap 68: The engine on Moss' Maserati begins to rapidly lose oil, and the Englishman turns into the pits! The mechanics quickly top up the oil and release Stirling back on the track, but Fangio manages to rush past, becoming the leader of the race again!


Lap 69: Moss rushes in pursuit of Fangio, however, due to an oil leak, the Maserati engine overheats, and the Englishman fails to drive as fast as before!
Lap 70: Hawthorn catches up with Moss and, going to overtake, gestures to his compatriot at the oil trail coming out from under the Maserati!


Meanwhile, Mantovani has problems with the suspension, and he misses Gonzalez, while behind Trintignant catches up and passes Wacker.
Lap 71: The engine on Moss' Maserati eventually jams, and the Englishman can only turn to the side of the road! However, since this happens at the end of the lap, Stirling does not abandon his car and starts pushing it towards the finish line!


Lap 72: After pushing his Maserati to the finish line, Stirling sits on the wheel of the car and starts watching the end of the Grand Prix, drinking Coca-Cola!


Despite the fact that the first victory literally slipped out of the Englishman's hands, he shows absolute calm, believing that this Grand Prix is only a harbinger of his future successes! 
Meanwhile, Moss' teammate Mantovani drives into the pits, but the mechanics are powerless to do anything with the damaged suspension on the Italian's Maserati, and send him back to the track. As a result of the stoppage, Sergio misses Herrmann, dropping to fifth place.


Last lap: Fangio, having lost all his main rivals, calmly brings his Mercedes to the finish line, taking his sixth victory of the season!


The second place goes to Hawthorn, who, thanks to the numerous retirements of the cars ahead, gets on the podium for the third time this season, while Gonzalez and Maglioli share the third place. Meanwhile, Hans Herrmann, despite the forced pit stop, manages to finish fourth, and Trintignant gets the last two points for fifth place, who also failed to avoid problems in this race. Sergio Mantovani eventually crosses the finish line in 9th place, but unfortunately, despite an excellent performance, remains without points.


Interesting facts:

- Stirling Moss' first leading in Grand Prix;
- Umberto Maglioli's first podium and points.

Driver standings


Alternative GP results

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