The 1953 German Grand Prix was a Formula Two race held on 2 August 1953 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It was race 7 of 9 in the 1953 World Championship of Drivers, which was run to Formula Two rules in 1952 and 1953, rather than the Formula One regulations normally used.
The 1953 season had so far been another dominant display from Alberto Ascari. However he proved to be not quite as infailable as he had done the previous year having failed to take victory at the French Grand Prix. The Maserati cars had also seen a significant improvement in their performance to which at times, Juan Manuel Fangio and José Froilán González both appeared to be able to challenge the dominant Ferrari's.
If Ascari was to take victory at the Nürburgring, he would become the first driver to become both a double world champion and to have taken a world championship in two successive years. Nonetheless his title ambitions were not secure, the points system would allow for any driver to still have a chance of the title if they were able to win the remaining three races.
However for González, his championship ambitions would come to an end. The Maserati driver had been injured in a Lancia at the Portuguese Grand Prix sportscar race to which he would be unable to participate in the German Grand Prix. This had meant the Maserati squad had been reduced to the three cars of Fangio, Marimón and Bonetto to challenge the four Ferraris of Ascari, Hawthorn, Farina and Villoresi.
In the support act for Maserati was Emmanuel de Graffenried, whom had notably won the non-championship Eifelrennen race at the Nurgring in May, whilst the Ferrari privateers included Louis Rosier and the Ecurie Francorchamps outfit whom fielded Jacques Swaters and the local hero, Kurt Adolff.
The Gordini cars fielded their trio of Maurice Trintignant, Jean Behra and Harry Schell, the team still competing their six cylinder engined cars even though they had planned to enter a V8 car back at Silverstone. Connaught likewise had their three works cars for Kenneth McAlpine, Prince Bira and Roy Salvadori with the private entry for Johnny Claes.
Stirling Moss was back in the Cooper, after being most displeased in not being able to enter his home Grand Prix in Britain after the Cooper mechanics were unable to repair his car in time for the race. Whilst Moss was in the ever updated Cooper-Alta car, his teammates, Alan Brown, Rodney Nuckey and local driver, Helmut Glöckler were all in the Bristol engined cars.
HWM was somewhat controversially denied entry into the German Grand Prix even though both Peter Collins and Paul Frère had performed well in the Eifelrennen race to finish second and third to De Graffenried's Maserati.
Like in the previous year, there would be a number of the local German manufacturers and drivers' entering into the race. However the recent political divide of the country into the Western and Eastern zones of the country would see German manufacturers from each half of the country be placed into competition against one another in the world championship.
Among the West Germans there was an AFM car to which had been entered a Bristol engine for Hans Stuck. Meanwhile Günther Bechem and Theo Fitzau would compete in the BMW modification of the AFM. Most popular among the German entrants was the Veritas Meteor which was entered by Hans Hermann, Theo Helfrich, Wolfgang Seidel, Oswald Karch, Willi Heeks, Erwin Bauer and Ernst Loof.
Among the East German cars, there was the EMW driven by Edgar Barth which was largely a manufacturing copy of BMW whilst Ernst Klodwig would be driving the rear-engined Heck whilst Rudolf Krause was in the Greifzu. Both these manufacturers used a BMW engine in their cars.
Germany's most successful manufacturer, Template:Mercedes-Benz was also in attendance albeit not to race. The German automobile giant typically attended the races at the Nürburgring, maintaining a watchful eye on their motoring competition. However in 1953, the Mercedes technicians had increased interest with the Grand Prix given that they had scheduled to make their competitive return to Grand Prix with the reinstatement of Formula One rules for 1954.
The full entry list for the 1953 German Grand Prix is outlined below:
The Thursday practice session was afflicted by heavy rain which discouraged most drivers' from making an entrance onto the circuit. Most of the drivers thought better than to risk the treacherous conditions, however it was described that one Maserati made it out onto the track as well as the Cooper's of Alan Brown and Rodney Nuckey daring to face the conditions. However there was little other activity, Mike Hawthorn however did use the session to test his two seater Ferrari sportscar rather than his GP machinery.
Friday was likewise a wet session, however dry periods throughout the day saw the first serious running among the cars and drivers. However it was not until the Saturday session to which the track was properly dry and the drivers began setting their fastest laps.
However for Helmut Glöckler, his weekend would end on the Saturday. His Cooper suffered a severe engine failure to which the team would be unable to repair to which similarly to Moss in Britain would be forced to sit out his home race after a Cooper mechanical failure.
The Saturday timesheets would be a somewhat typical proceeding with Ascari dominating the timesheets, his best lap time would be 3.9 seconds faster than his nearest rival, Fangio in the Maserati. Farina's Ferrari was only 0.4 seconds slower than Fangio, however Hawthorn whom completed the front row was a full 13.2 seconds behind Ascari's pole time.
Trintignant had put in an excellent performance to put his Gordini ahead of the Ferrari's and Maserati's of Villoresi, Bonetto and Marimón. His Gordini teammates, Behra and Schell rounded out the top ten of the grid. The last cars to lap the circuit in less than eleven minutes were Moss's Cooper, Salvadori's Connaught and Hermann's Veritas.
Fangio for the second race in succession made the fastest start, storming into the lead ahead of Ascari and Hawthorn. However his Maserati did not have the pace to maintain the lead, after half a lap, Ascari had reclaimed the lead. The Ferrari driver quickly asserted his dominance, by the end of the first lap he was already ten seconds ahead of Fangio's Maserati.
Hawthorn remained tight on Fangio's tail whilst Farina, somewhat distanced from the top three still held a sizeable lead over the rest of the field to whom Villoresi, Bonetto, De Graffenried, Schell, Behra and Hermann followed in tandum. The opening laps saw a number of retirements to which included the German cars of Loof, Stuck and Bauer whilst Trintignant and Salvadori's failed to capitalise on their strong qualifying performances and were forced into the pits to retire.
Hawthorn, on the second had like Ascari dispensed with Fangio before the middle of the lap, however Ascari was storming away from the entire field at a rate of 10 seconds a lap to which he was setting the stage for yet another of his unbeatable performances.
Behind him, Hawthorn had been unable to shake off Fangio to whom the duo were once again recounting their exciting duel at Reims. By lap five, Ascari had pulled out a lead of 37 seconds ahead of Hawthorn and Fangio, with Farina a further 16 seconds behind the duelling pair.
The race seemed to be in Ascari's hands, however at Tiergarten, a wheel hub worked loose to which the front right wheel suddenly disconnected and flew off the car. Ascari was then forced to maneuver his crippled Ferrari back to the pits on three wheels.
When he had finally made it back to the pits, Hawthorn, Fangio and Farina had all moved past him. When he made his pit-stop there was chaos among the Ferrari mechanics whom had to borrow a wheel hub from Enrico Platé to get him back out onto the circuit.
Ascari rejoined the circuit in ninth position, however he would be quickly promoted by further troubles ahea of him. Schell had been putting in a strong race, having overtaken De Graffenried's Maserati only to suffer an engine failure shortly thereafter. Behra, his Gordini teammate would not last much longer either, retiring a lap after Schell.
Aided by the Gordini retirements as well as a punctured tyre for Marimón, Ascari began to make rapid pace up the field. He quickly dispensed with De Graffenried and Bonetto to move back into fifth position. However although he was back in the points, he had a huge deficit to the leading cars.
Villoresi remained distanced in fourth position, however Farina whom was 16 seconds behind Hawthorn and Fangio's lead inexplicably found his pace when Ascari was forced to pit. Farina was described as being "almost inspired by Ascari's misfortune." In a single lap, Farina had made a ten second gain on the leading duo to which by the end of the eighth lap, Farina had overtaken both Fangio and Hawthorn to take the lead of the race.
Hawthorn thereafter appeared to tire, dropping back and allowing Fangio into second place to which the Maserati would soon extend his lead over Hawthorn by 30 seconds. However Farina at the front of the field appeared untouchable and on the tenth lap he had equalled Ascari's earlier fastest lap.
Ascari whom was too far behind the top four to make an impression on the race win had a change of tactic. On the tenth lap he pulled into the pits to which on the following lap, he signalled Villoresi whom was ahead of him on the track to take over his car.
A disgruntled Villoresi put in a fierce blip of the throttle as he pulled into the pits, however he nonetheless complied with his team leaders instructions. Ascari thereafter rejoined the race in Villoresi's car whilst Villoresi was forced to take over Ascari's old car which had by now fallen down to thirteenth place.
Ascari setting off in fourth position in Villoresi's car then began to put in some frantic laps to catch the leaders. On three successive laps between laps 12 and 14, Ascari set a new fastest lap of the race. By lap 14, Farina held a 48 second lead over Fangio whom in turn had a 42 second lead over Hawthorn.
However as Ascari began to close in on the rear of Hawthorn, his engine began to emit a serious amount of blue smoke. The strain of the fastest laps had taken a toll on the engine, his car began to significantly slow to which he fell behind Bonetto before pulling into the pits to retire.
A heavy shodded Ascari muttered "enough" as he exited the car and trudged back to his hotel alone. He had broken the Formula Two record for the track on a number of occasions and despite largely dominating the event, he would leave Germany without success.
Elsewhere Marimón who had been struggling as the slowest of the Maserati cars pulled out of the race with suspension trouble and Brown whom had been leading the rest of the pack was also out of the race. The Connaught's had began to fall by the wayside, Bira had retired whilst McAlpine had to pit with a damaged rear axle. Nonetheless, McAlpine, determined to finish the race, returned to the track albeit with severe handling problems for the remaining four laps.
Moss had been running the fastest of the British runners, however he was handicapped by a fuel stop in the race which dropped him down the field. He returned to the track to which he steadily climbed back up the field as well as being aided by the steady stream of retirements from the cars in front of him.
In the final laps, Moss overtook Swaters to take sixth position. It had been a severe race of attrition, however where Ascari failed, Farina took up the reigns to take a commanding victory. Fangio finished nearly a minute adrift, albeit he had lost both his tailpipes in the closing laps. Hawthorn was a long way adrift whilst Bonetto was the final car to remain on the lead lap. De Graffenried took the final points position to which he finished the race with nearly no brakes on his car.
|2||5||Juan Manuel Fangio||Maserati||18||+ 1:04.0||2||6|
|3||3||Mike Hawthorn||Ferrari||18||+ 1:43.6||4||4|
|4||7||Felice Bonetto||Maserati||18||+ 8:48.6||7||3|
|5||17||Toulo de Graffenried||Maserati||17||+ 1 Lap||11||2|
|6||19||Stirling Moss||Cooper-Alta||17||+ 1 Lap||12|
|7||18||Jacques Swaters||Ferrari||17||+ 1 Lap||19|
|8||1|| Alberto Ascari|
|Ferrari||17||+ 1 Lap||1|
|9||31||Hans Herrmann||Veritas||17||+ 1 Lap||14|
|10||20||Louis Rosier||Ferrari||17||+ 1 Lap||22|
|11||40||Rodney Nuckey||Cooper-Bristol||16||+ 2 Laps||20|
|12||24||Theo Helfrich||Veritas||16||+ 2 Laps||28|
|13||16||Kenneth McAlpine||Connaught-Lea Francis||16||+ 2 Laps||16|
|14||36||Rudolf Krause||Greifzu-BMW||16||+ 2 Laps||26|
|15||37||Ernst Klodwig||Heck-BMW||15||+ 3 Laps||32|
|16||22||Wolfgang Seidel||Veritas||14||+ 4 Laps||29|
|Ret||4|| Luigi Villoresi|
|Ret||12||Johnny Claes||Connaught-Lea Francis||12||Engine||25|
|Ret||14||Prince Bira||Connaught-Lea Francis||6||Suspension||15|
|Ret||15||Roy Salvadori||Connaught-Lea Francis||1||Engine||13|
|Ret||30||Ernst Loof||Veritas||0||Fuel Pump||31|
- Fifth and final win for Giuseppe Farina.
Standings after raceEdit
- ↑ "1953 German Grand Prix". formula1.com. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1953/races/123/germany/race-result.html. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
|V T E||German Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Nürburgring (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960–1969, 1970–1976, 1985, 2007–2013*), AVUS (1959), Hockenheimring (1970, 1977–1984, 1986–2006, 2007–2014*, 2016, 2018)|
|Races||1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 •|
|* Nürburgring and Hockenheimring alternated between each other during these years.|
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