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1954 Swiss Grand Prix

The sixth round of the 1954 World Championship took place on August 22 in Switzerland on the Bremgarten track. The length of the track was 7.28 km, while the drivers had to complete 66 laps. The Bremgarten circuit was unique in that it did not have a single straight line, and numerous turns were interconnected by short curves, while this configuration of the track remained unchanged from its very foundation in 1934.


       Having won four victories in the first five stages of the World Championship, Juan-Manuel Fangio led the overall standings by a huge margin and came close to winning his second championship title.


The only one who could challenge him for the title was his compatriot Jose-Froilan Gonzalez, but for this the Ferrari driver needed to win all the remaining races in the season.


Realizing that this Grand Prix would be decisive, Scuderia Ferrari prepared as many as five cars for the race, and in addition to the team's main drivers Gonzalez, Hawthorn and Trintignant, Umberto Maglioli and Robert Manzon took part in the Grand Prix driving scarlet cars. At the same time, the team's main drivers got the intermediate Ferrari 625 cars, and Maglioli and Manzon drove the new Ferrari 553 used for the last time in the French Grand Prix.


Having won its most important home stage, Daimler-Benz, on the contrary, reduced the number of its cars to three, and only the main drivers of the team Juan-Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann took part in Swiss Grand Prix, who, as in Germany, drove Mercedes W196 cars with open wheels.


        At the same time, taking into account Karl Kling's problems with the rear suspension at the previous stage, this design element was reinforced on all three cars.
       The Maserati team, having tragically lost its leader Onofre Marimon in the German Grand Prix, arrived in Switzerland in a much updated lineup. The new leader of the team was Stirling Moss, who shone this season at the wheel of his own Maserati and made a strong impression on the management of the Italian team.


       The Englishman's teammates were Sergio Mantovani, who has already competed for Maserati this season, as well as two new team drivers Roberto Mieres and Harry Schell, who, like Moss, previously drove their own Maserati.
       There have also been some changes in the French Gordini team. The new driver of the team was the American Fred Walker Jr., who already had experience with Gordini last season and now became the teammate of Jean Behra and Clemar Bucci. The only British team in Switzerland was the team of Alfred Owen with its constant driver Ken Wharton, who performed in a Maserati car. The last participant of the Grand Prix was the Belgian Jacques Swaters, who brought to the start last year's Ferrari 500.


Both days of qualifying turned out to be cloudy, but the order on the starting grid was determined on the first day, when the racers managed to drive several laps on a relatively dry track. The fastest this time was Jose-Froilan Gonzalez, who gave 100% before his decisive race and showed a time of 2’39.5.


      The main contender for the title, Fangio, lost only 0.2 seconds to his opponent. and he took second place, and Stirling Moss became the third, who once again demonstrated excellent speed. Maurice Trintignant was on a roll this time and took fourth place, ahead of Karl Kling in a Mercedes and his teammate Hawthorn. Hans Herrmann, who performed for the first time on a Mercedes modification with open wheels, became 7th, ahead of two Maseratis of Ken Wharton and Sergio Mantovani, and Clemar Bucci, who became the fastest Gordini driver, closed the top ten.
        For the two new Ferrari drivers, qualifying was extremely unsuccessful. Umberto Maglioli was not fast enough and took only 11th place on the starting grid, and Robert Manzon had an accident at all, completely destroying his car.


Before the Swiss Grand Prix, the Frenchman was driving a private Ferrari 625, and taking a place behind the wheel of the new Ferrari 553 for the first time, on which the accelerator and brake pedals were located on the contrary, Manzon immediately felt uncomfortable, which led to his mistake. Flying off the track, the Ferrari rammed a couple of concrete pillars and small trees standing by the side of the track, and Robert himself flew out of the cockpit. Fortunately, the Frenchman was not badly injured, breaking only a couple of ribs, but his Ferrari could not be restored, and only four cars of the team from Maranello came to the start of the Grand Prix.




Start. Fangio manages a good start, and he immediately takes the lead of the race, pursued by his main rival Gonzalez.


However, Jean Behra starts even better, who manages to break through to 7th place from the end of the starting field! Meanwhile, the Frenchman's teammate Bucci has fuel pump broken on the first lap, and the Argentine drops out of the race.
Position after the 1st lap: Fangio, Gonzalez, Moss, Kling, Trintignant, Wharton, Behra, Hawthorn, Herrmann, Mantovani.
Lap 2: Fangio drives the fastest and starts to break away from the rest of the peleton, bringing his gap from Gonzalez going second to three seconds. Meanwhile, his teammate Kling does not hold his Mercedes in the Forsthaus turn and spins!


Unfortunately for the German, the engine stalls, but Kling does not give up, jumps out of the car, and starts pushing it, trying to start it again!


In the end, he succeeds and continues the race again, although in last place!
Meanwhile, Hawthorn, who started not very good, begins to win back positions and gets ahead of Behra and Wharton, rising to 5th place.
Lap 3: Moss attacks Gonzalez and takes second place!


Behind Hawthorn wins back another position, passing his teammate Trintignant, and Herrmann also wins back two positions, overtaking Wharton and Behra.


Meanwhile, at the end of the peleton, the struggle between Schell and Maglioli unfolds, and the Ferrari driver gets ahead.
Lap 4: Wharton makes a mistake and turns around, dropping to the end of the field.
Lap 5: Kling, after his mistake, catches up with the rest of the peleton and wins back two positions, overtaking Swaters and Wacker.
Lap 6: Jean Behra's clutch starts to slip, and the Frenchman misses Mantovani for 7th place. Meanwhile, the struggle between Schell and Maglioli continues, and the American now comes forward.
Lap 7: Wharton begins to regain the positions lost after his spin and passes Maglioli.
Lap 8: The clutch on Jean Behra's Gordini fails completely, and the Frenchman drives into the pits, leaving the race. Behind Wharton wins back another position, overtaking Schell.
Lap 10: Kling overtakes Maglioli and rises to 11th place.
Position after 10 laps: Fangio, Moss, Gonzalez, Hawthorn, Trintignant, Herrmann, Mantovani, Mieres, Wharton, Schell. Leader Fangio, winning back from his pursuers by about one second per lap, is already 11 seconds ahead of Moss, who is second!


Lap 11: Kling wins back another position, overtaking Schell, and already gets into the top ten. Behind Wacker on the last remaining Gordini drops out of the race due to transmission failure.
Lap 12: Kling passes Wharton and rises to 9th position. Meanwhile, Hawthorn sets the fastest lap in the race, starting to catch up with the Moss-Gonzalez pair.


Lap 16: Hawthorn catches up his teammate Gonzalez and passes him, climbing to 3rd place!


Behind Kling wins back another position, overtaking Mieres.
Lap 17: Hawthorn overtakes Moss and is already in second place! Behind Kling passes Mantovani and becomes the 7th.
Lap 19: Gonzalez follows Hawthorn and also passes Moss, regaining third position.


Meanwhile, Kling shows the fastest lap in the race!
Position after 20 laps: Fangio, Hawthorn, Gonzalez, Moss, Trintignant, Herrmann, Kling, Mantovani, Mieres, Wharton.
Lap 22: Two drivers from the leading group have problems on the same lap! On Hawthorn's car accelerator pedal stops responding, but the Englishman still manages to reach the pits, where the mechanics quickly solve this problem, and Mike returns back to the track in fifth place.


Meanwhile, Moss has much more serious problems, and the Englishman turns to the side of the road with a failed oil pump! However, this does not happen very far from the pits, and Stirling runs there in the hope of taking a seat in Schell's car and continuing the fight. Thus, Gonzalez now gets second place, and Trintignant comes in third.
Lap 23: Kling attacks Hawthorn in the fight for fifth place and takes the lead! Behind Schell has the same oil pressure problems as did Moss a lap earlier, and the American drives into the pits, dropping out of the race.
Lap 24: Moss gets to the pits and finds out there that Schell's car is no longer functional. The Englishman has no choice but to become an outside observer of the Grand Prix.
Lap 25: Mieres passes his teammate Mantovani and takes 7th place.
Position after 30 laps: Fangio, Gonzalez, Trintignant, Herrmann, Kling, Hawthorn, Mieres, Mantovani, Wharton, Maglioli.
Lap 31: Hawthorn is in trouble again! This time the Englishman is let down by the oil pump, and Mike turns to the side of the road, leaving the race.
Lap 32: Kling passes his teammate Herrmann, taking 4th place.
Lap 34: Trintignant drives into the pits with an overheated engine, dropping out of the race, and thus Kling is already in third place! Meanwhile, the race leader Fangio drives even faster and shows the best lap!


Lap 39: The failed fuel system negates all Kling's efforts, and the German retires, releasing his teammate Herrmann to third place.
Last lap: Fangio, after leading from start to finish, is the first to cross the finish line and wins his fifth victory of the season, which brings him his second championship title! Gonzalez, having failed to compete with the Argentine, finishes only second, but he clearly does not look disappointed, rejoicing at the success of his compatriot. The third place goes to Herrmann, who gets on the podium for the first time in his career, and Mieres finishes fourth, who earns his first points in Formula-1. The last two points for fifth place gets Mantovani, and for the Italian this is the second productive finish in a row.


Interesting facts:

- Hans Herrmann's first podium;
- Roberto Mieres' first points.

Driver standings


Alternative GP results

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