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The 1952 German Grand Prix was the sixth race of the 1952 Formula One Season, set to take place at the Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany over the weekend of August 3rd, 1951.

This race was won by Alberto Ascari of Ferrari.


Background Edit

As a consequence for the Second World War, Germany had been banned from competing in international motorsport. In 1951, the FIA agreed to lift the ban on Germany's involvement in international motorsport.The previous year it had already secured its return to the international grand prix calendar and by 1952, manufacturers like AFM, Veritas and BMW were now beginning to bring their new cars into the international Formula Two scene. Mercedes, who had dominated the grand prix scene in the 1930's was already planning a return to grand prix upon the return to Formula One regulations in 1954. Mercedes had already met immediate success in 1952 with their W194 sportscar. With most of the British contingent remaining at home after Silverstone to participate in the Daily Mail Trophy, the grid was freed up to allow for a greater presence of the German local entries, all looking to finally make their mark on the international racing scene.

  • Ferrari: Alberto Ascari had dominated the season, with the exception of the Indianapolis 500, he had won all the world championship races he had entered. Ascari's form had meant that he had a decent chance of securing the world championship in Germany. Ascari simply needed to win and secure the extra point for fastest lap to take the championship. The only ones now able to stop Ascari, were his two Ferrari teammates, Giuseppe Farina and Piero Taruffi. both drivers needing to win in Germany to keep their championship hopes alive. Ecurie Espadon would also enter their modern Ferrari 500 for Rudolf Fischer, joining him in the team for his first race was Rudolf Schoeller, racing the team's Ferrari sportscar in place of an unavailable Peter Hirt. Ecurie Francorchamps returned to the grid with their Ferrari 500, now being driven in the hands of Roger Laurent. Piero Carini would also enter his outdated Ferrari 166 model. 
  • Gordini: Injuries at a non-championship race had kept Jean Behra from competing at Silverstone, however he returned to the team fully fit for Germany. Now joining Behra and Robert Manzon as lead drivers, Maurice Trintignant took Prince Bira's position in the team, Bira having left the team after a disappointing season.
  • Maserati: After a season of Ferrari domination, Maserati's new A6GCM chassis was expected to be the only car capable of challenging the Ferrari 500. The private team of Escuderia Bandeirantes had already run the chassis for their drivers Gino Bianco and Eitel Cantoni, however the Maserati works team who had been out of action since the end of 1950 had yet to make their debut with the car. The Bandeirantes pair would return in Germany whilst the works squad would make their return at the Nurburgring. Juan Manuel Fangio, the team's lead driver was still injured whilst second driver, José Froilán González, was in England racing for BRM at the Daily Mail Trophy. Felice Bonetto was therefore hired to substitute for the team's lead drivers.
  • HWM: HWM interestingly sought to compete in Germany, despite the majority of the British presence remaining at home for the Daily Mail Trophy. Peter Collins, racing at the Nurburgring for the first time was the only regular HWM driver, he was joined by Paul Frère and Johnny Claes, both of whom had previously acted as HWM guest drivers. The Australian Tony Gaze would also participate in his privately entered HWM.
  • Aston Butterworth: Aside from HWM, Bill Aston competing in his own Aston Butterworth chassis would also take part in Germany. Aston hoping for a better result than Silverstone where he failed to start due to reliability issues.
  • Veritas: Veritas had been one of the newer manufacturers to be born out of post-war West Germany. The Meteor chassis had already been present in the previous year's edition of the race and would return again in 1952. There was also a number of the local contigent racing the BMW powered RS Veritas chassis in the race. Racing in the Meteor was the experienced Paul Pietsch, Toni Ulmen, making his second appearance in the Meteor this season and Hans Klenk, a German World War Two flying ace. One of Germany's most experienced racers, Adolf Brudes, entered the Veritas-BMW RS, being joined by some of Germany's younger talent of Fritz Riess, Theo Helfrich and Joseph Peters.
  • BMW: The old BMW 328 was one of the more successful voiturette cars of the 1930's, however by 1952 had become severely outdated. Nonetheless, drivers had continued to modify the old BMW chassis and a number of German drivers were entering the old BMW's for their home event. The experienced Rudolf Krause was one, whilst Ernst Klodwig would enter the unique 328 'Heck' model, one of the first rear engined grand prix cars. Younger German talent of Günther Bechem and Harry Merkel also entered BMW's whilst France's Marcel Balsa was also seen in one.
  • AFM: The AFM manufactuer was mainly comprised of the same design team who had created the BMW 328 in the 1930's. The team had since reformed under the AFM banner following the conclusion of the Second World War. The AFM was effictevely, the modern version of the BMW enabling it to be more competitive in the modern Formula Two. Younger German drivers of Willi Heeks, Helmut Niedermayr, Willi Krakau and Ludwig Fischer were all entrants using the AFM chassis.

Entry list Edit

The full entry list for the 1952 German Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
101 Italy Alberto Ascari Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 L4 2.0 P
102 Italy Nino Farina Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 L4 2.0 P
103 Italy Piero Taruffi Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 L4 2.0 P
104 Italy Piero Carini Scuderia Marzotto Ferrari 166F2-50 Ferrari 125 F1 V12 1.5 P
105 Italy Felice Bonetto Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati A6GCM Maserati A6G L6 2.0 P
107 France Robert Manzon Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 L6 2.0 E
108 France Jean Behra Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 L6 2.0 E
109 France Maurice Trintignant Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 20 L6 2.0 E
110 France Marcel Balsa Marcel Balsa BMW Balsa Eigenbrau BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
111 United Kingdom Peter Collins HW Motors HWM HWM 52 Alta F2 L4 2.0 D
112 Belgium Paul Frere HW Motors HWM HWM 52 Alta F2 L4 2.0 D
113 Belgium Johnny Claes HW Motors HWM HWM 52 Alta F2 L4 2.0 D
114 United Kingdom Bill Aston W.B. Aston Aston Butterworth Aston NB41 Butterworth F4 2.0 D
115 Brazil Gino Bianco Escuderia Bandeirantes Maserati A6GCM Maserati A6G L6 2.0 P
116 Uruguay Eitel Cantoni Escuderia Bandeirantes Maserati A6GCM Maserati A6G L6 2.0 P
117 Switzerland Rudi Fischer Ecurie Espadon Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 L4 2.0 P
118 Switzerland Rudolf Schoeller Ecurie Espadon Ferrari 166F2-50 Ferrari 125 F1 V12 1.5 P
119 Belgium Roger Laurent Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 L4 2.0 P
120 Australia Tony Gaze Tony Gaze HWM HWM 52 Alta F2 L4 2.0 D
121 Germany Fritz Riess Fritz Riess Veritas RS BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
122 Germany Theo Helfrich Theo Helfrich Veritas RS BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
123 Germany Willi Heeks Willi Heeks AFM 50 (M8) BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
124 Germany Helmut Niedermayr Helmut Niedermayr AFM 50 (M6) BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
125 Germany Toni Ulmen Toni Ulmen Veritas Meteor BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
126 Germany Adolf Brudes Adolf Brudes Veritas RS BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
127 Germany Paul Pietsch Motor Presse Verlag Veritas Meteor Veritas L6 2.0  ?
128 Germany Hans Klenk Hans Klenk Veritas Meteor Veritas L6 2.0  ?
129 Germany Josef Peters Josef Peters Veritas RS BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
130 Germany Günther Bechem Bernd Nacke BMW Nacke Eigenbrau BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
131 Germany Ludwig Fischer Ludwig Fischer AFM 49 BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
133 Germany Willi Krakau Willi Krakau AFM 50 (M3) BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
134 Germany Harry Merkel Willi Krakau BMW Krakau Eigenbau BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
135 East Germany Ernst Klodwig Ernst Klodwig BMW Heck Eigenbau BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?
136 East Germany Rudolf Krause Rudolf Krause BMW Greifzu Eigenbau BMW 328 L6 2.0  ?

QualifyingEdit

ReportEdit

Alberto Ascari took his fourth pole position in a row,his best time was only 2.4 seconds clear of Giuseppe Farina's second fastest time. The long twisty nature of the Nurburgring had allowed the performance gap to narrow between Ferrari and their rivals. Gordini were quick in practice, Trintignant in third was only three seconds slower than Ascari. Manzon in fourth was only a further four seconds adrift, the two drivers pleased to beat Piero Taruffi's works Ferrari.

Fischer in the private Ferrari was sixth, whilst Paul Pietsch was the fastest of the German contingent to move into seventh in his Veritas. Hans Klenk also performed well to take eighth on the grid in his own Veritas whilst Willi Heeks was the fastest AFM in ninth. Maserati's hopes of challenging Ferrari were dashed, Felice Bonetto could only manage tenth on the grid. Behra still recovering from his Chimay injuries was only eleventh on the grid, ahead of Riess and the HWM's of Frere and Gaze.

The HWM's were having trouble, both Collins and Claes had crankshaft failures and were unable to participate in practice. Ludwig Fischer's AFM was having similar issues and he likewise failed to make it out on track in practice. Harry Merkel's BMW failed to even make it to the circuit. Collins would frustratingly be unable to start the race, unlike Claes and Fischer he had never had any experience on the track and was not permitted to race with so little experience.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 101 Italy Alberto Ascari Italy Ferrari 9:56.0 -
2 102 Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Ferrari 9:58.4 + 2.4s
3 109 France Maurice Trintignant France Gordini 9:59.0 + 3.0s
4 107 France Robert Manzon France Gordini 10:01.0 + 5.0s
5 103 Italy Piero Taruffi Italy Ferrari 10:02.5 + 6.5s
6 117 Switzerland Rudolf Fischer Italy Ferrari 10:04.0 + 8.0s
7 127 Germany Paul Pietsch Germany Veritas 10:05.3 + 9.3s
8 128 Germany Hans Klenk Germany Veritas 10:08.5 + 12.5s
9 123 Germany Willi Heeks Germany AFM-BMW 10:09.9 + 13.9s
10 105 Italy Felice Bonetto Italy Maserati 10:12.0 + 16.0s
11 108 France Jean Behra France Gordini 10:13.8 + 17.8s
12 121 Germany Fritz Riess Germany Veritas-BMW 10:14.3 + 18.3s
13 112 Belgium Paul Frère United Kingdom HWM-Alta 10:16.0 + 20.0s
14 120 Australia Tony Gaze United Kingdom HWM-Alta  10:16.7 + 20.7s
15 125 Germany Toni Ulmen Germany Veritas-BMW 10:17.9 + 21.9s
16 115 Brazil Gino Bianco Italy Maserati 10:19.0 + 23.0s
17 119 Belgium Roger Laurent Italy Ferrari 10:21.0 + 25.0s
18 122 Germany Theo Helfrich Germany Veritas-BMW 10.22.0 + 26.0s
19 126 Germany Adolf Brudes Germany Veritas-BMW 10:24.1 + 28.1s
20 129 Germany Joseph Peters Germany Veritas-BMW 10:24.5 + 28.5s
21 114 United Kingdom Bill Aston United Kingdom Aston Butterworth 10:25.0 + 29.0s
22 124 Germany Helmut Niedermayr Germany AFM-BMW  10:26.0 + 30.0s
23 136 East Germany Rudolf Krause Germany BMW 10:27.6 + 31.6s
24 118 Switzerland Rudolf Schoeller Italy Ferrari 10:29.1 + 33.1s
25 110 France Marcel Balsa Germany BMW 10:30.4 + 34.4s
26 116 Uruguay Eitel Cantoni Italy Maserati 10:31.2 + 35.2s
27 104 Italy Piero Carini Italy Ferrari 10:35.5 + 39.5s
28 133 Germany Willi Krakau Germany AFM-BMW no time -
29 135 East Germany Ernst Klodwig Germany BMW no time -
30 130 Germany Günther Bechem Germany BMW no time -
31 131 Germany Ludwig Fischer Germany AFM-BMW no time -
32 113 Belgium Johnny Claes United Kingdom HWM-Alta no time -
33 111 United Kingdom Peter Collins United Kingdom HWM-Alta no time -
34 134 Germany Harry Merkel Germany BMW no time -

GridEdit

RaceEdit

Report Edit

The Grand Prix was to be the final spectacle in what had been a large celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Nurburgring circuit with the circuit designer, Gustav Eichler held as the guest of honour. Support races had been held throughout the day, most notably, the Mercedes cars of Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann dominating the sportscar race. The Mercedes sportscars setting times faster than the third best time on the grand prix grid. It had been an impressive note of return for Germany to motorsport.

Ascari shot away from the start to take a somewhat expected lead of the race, behind him came Farina, Manzon and Taruffi. Bonetto had got an excellent start in his Maserati and had climbed to fifth. However after only half a lap, he suffered a puncture which sent him spinning into a ditch. After gaining assistance for the marshalls in pushing him out of the ditch, he limped around at the back of the field for another half a lap, only to return to the pits to be disqualified for receiving outside assistance. Bianco in the private Maserati would also retire his new A6GCM with engine failure. Trintignant was also having problems, he had dropped back at the start and then on the second lap he ran wide and damaged his suspension, forcing his retirement.

There was an extremely high rate of attrition at the Nurburgring, after only two laps, Carini, Peters, Helfrich, Frère and Pietsch had all joined Bonetto, Trintignant and Bianco in retirement. Aston, Schoeller and Krause were the next to retire on lap three. Cantoni in the final Maserati was out on lap four whilst lap five saw the retirements of Bechem, Balsa and Brudes. Gaze retired on lap six whilst Heeks was out on lap seven.

In the early laps, Taruffi had managed to make his way past the Gordini of Manzon to take third place. The Ferrari's once again seemingly unchallenged in their positions of 1-2-3 in the race. Ascari having set the fastest lap of the race on lap five and continuing to dominate the race, seemed likely to take the world title so long as nothing happened to his race lead. Manzon meanwhile was doing his best to keep pace with the Ferrari's, however on lap eight a wheel detached from his car, Manzon luckily managing to maintain control of his three wheeled Gordini to park his car in the grass.

The Ferrari's came in for a pit-stop during the mid-race, the three cars leaving the pits without drama. It seemed a relatively straightfoward 1-2-3 for Ascari, Farina and Taruffi, however drama began to unfold on the second last lap. Ascari who had opened up a massive lead to Farina in second decided to come in for a second pit stop. Ascari wanted his oil topped up, however the move had caught his mechanics unawares. The team in their desperation to serve Ascari quickly had let Farina take the lead of the race. More drama began to unfold when Taruffi began to suffer from a damaged suspension, causing him to fall into the clutches of Rudolf Fischer's private Ferrari.

Farina was left in the lead with a comfortable nine seconds to Ascari in second position. However Ascari returned to the track, determined to push on to take the victory and his first world title. Mid-way through the final lap, Ascari had caught his teammate and had pushed his way past to take the lead from Farina. Taruffi, meanwhile had lost third to Fischer who was now set for his first world championship podium. Taruffi being forced to be content with the three points for fourth, Behra in fifth place being too distant to challenge him.

After two seasons of close racing, 1952 had been dominated by a lone individual so far, that of Alberto Ascari. The man who allowed Ferrari to achieve their first championship success had thoroughly controlled the season. With Fangio still injured and Farina beginning to show his age, Ascari had ascended to the top of grand prix racing.

ResultsEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 101 Italy Alberto Ascari Italy Ferrari 18 3:06:13.3 1 9
2 102 Italy Nino Farina Italy Ferrari 18 +14.1 2 6
3 117 Switzerland Rudi Fischer Italy Ferrari 18 +7:10.1 6 4
4 103 Italy Piero Taruffi Italy Ferrari 17 +1 lap 5 3
5 108 France Jean Behra France Gordini 17 +1 lap 11 2
6 119 Belgium Roger Laurent Italy Ferrari 16 +2 laps 17
7 121 Germany Fritz Riess Germany Veritas 16 +2 laps 12
8 125 Germany Toni Ulmen Germany Veritas 16 +2 laps 15
9 124 Germany Helmut Niedermayr Germany AFM-BMW 15 +3 laps 22
10 113 Belgium Johnny Claes United Kingdom HWM-Alta 15 +3 laps 32
11 128 Germany Hans Klenk Germany Veritas 14 +4 laps 8
12 135 East Germany Ernst Klodwig Germany BMW 14 +4 laps 29
Ret 107 France Robert Manzon France Gordini 8 Accident 4
Ret 123 Germany Willi Heeks Germany AFM-BMW 7 Engine 9
Ret 120 Australia Tony Gaze United Kingdom HWM-Alta 6 Gearbox 14
Ret 126 Germany Adolf Brudes Germany Veritas 5 Engine 19
Ret 110 France Marcel Balsa Germany BMW 5 Engine 25
Ret 130 Germany Günther Bechem Germany BMW 5 Ignition 30
Ret 116 Uruguay Eitel Cantoni Italy Maserati 4 Axle 26
Ret 136 East Germany Rudolf Krause Germany BMW 3 Engine 23
Ret 118 Switzerland Rudolf Schoeller Italy Ferrari 3 Suspension 24
Ret 114 United Kingdom Bill Aston United Kingdom Aston Butterworth 2 Oil pressure 21
Ret 109 France Maurice Trintignant France Gordini 1 Accident 3
Ret 127 Germany Paul Pietsch Germany Veritas 1 Gearbox 7
DSQ 105 Italy Felice Bonetto Italy Maserati 1 Disqualified 10
Ret 112 Belgium Paul Frère United Kingdom HWM-Alta 1 Gearbox 13
Ret 122 Germany Theo Helfrich Germany Veritas 1 Engine 18
Ret 129 Germany Josef Peters Germany Veritas 1 Engine 20
Ret 104 Italy Piero Carini Italy Ferrari 1 Brakes 27
Ret 115 Brazil Gino Bianco Italy Maserati 0 Engine 16
DNS 133 Germany Willi Krakau Germany AFM-BMW 0
DNS 131 Germany Ludwig Fischer Germany AFM-BMW 0
DNS 134 Germany Harry Merkel Germany BMW 0
DNS 111 United Kingdom Peter Collins United Kingdom HWM-Alta 0 Engine
Source:[1]

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

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