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The 1959 German Grand Prix was the sixth round of the 1959 Formula One Season, held on August 2nd. For political reasons, the race was run on the AVUS circuit, in southwestern Berlin. The mostly straight line track proved to be perfect for Ferrari, as their cars went 1-2-3, with Tony Brooks leading home Dan Gurney and Phil Hill.

Background Edit

1958 and 1959 were a time of heightening tensions between the NATO Pact and Warsaw Bloc countries, and nowhere was this felt more strongly than in West Berlin. A number of parties felt that a dose of western extravaganza, in the form of a Grand Prix, might be a propaganda coup. So the decision was made to run the 1959 German race at AVUS.

Since the late 1930s, all racing at AVUS had used the old 8.3km motorcycle circuit, and that was used again for the Grand Prix. (The claim that the circuit was shortened because of the border with Russian-occupied East Germany is just an urban legend. The actual border was a couple of miles beyond the old circuit, near Potsdam, and the old Sudkurve had been demolished in 1938 to construct an Autobahn interchange.) This event was chosen to show off the advantages to western society, to the point where East German spectators were encouraged to attend, and allowed to buy tickets using (otherwise worthless) East German marks.

For the first (and so far only) time, the race was held in two heats, over concerns regarding tire wear on the high-banked brick corner. Final standings were based on aggregate time and distance covered..

Changes in the entry:


Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1959 German Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Australia Jack Brabham United Kingdom Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren United Kingdom Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
3 United States Masten Gregory United Kingdom Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
4 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari D264 Ferrari 155 V6 2.4 D
5 United States Phil Hill Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari D264 Ferrari 155 V6 2.4 D
6 United States Dan Gurney Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari D264 Ferrari 155 V6 2.4 D
7 United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom RRC Walker Racing Team Cooper T51 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
8 France Maurice Trintignant United Kingdom RRC Walker Racing Team Cooper T51 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
9 Sweden Jo Bonnier United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM P25 L4 2.5 D
10 United States Harry Schell United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM P25 L4 2.5 D
11 Germany Hans Herrmann United Kingdom British Racing Partnership BRM P25 BRM P25 L4 2.5 D
12 France Jean Behra France Jean Behra Behra-Porsche RSK Porsche 547/6 F4 1.5 D
14 Germany Wolfgang von Trips Germany Dr Ing F. Porsche KG Porsche 718 RSK Porsche 547/6 F4 1.5 D
15 United Kingdom Innes Ireland United Kingdom Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
16 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Team Lotus Lotus 16 Climax FPF L4 2.5 D
17 United Kingdom Cliff Allison Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari D264 Ferrari 155 V6 2.4 D
18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess Italy Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper T51 Maserati 250S L4 2.5 D

Practice OverviewEdit

Three days of practice were permitted, as very few of the drivers had raced on the AVUS before. Thursday was primarily for familiarization and setting up the cars, so no serious times were set until Friday. The field received a wake-up call when on Friday morning, Cliff Allison turned a lap at 2:05.8, at the time the fastest lap ever set on the track. Unfortunately, Allison was a reserve, and the time was only useful for comparison.

ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1959 German Grand Prix is outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 17 United Kingdom Cliff Allison* Ferrari 2:05.8
2 4 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari 2:05.9 +0.1
3 7 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Cooper-Climax 2:06.8 +1.0
4 6 United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 2:07.2 +1.4
5 1 Australia Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 2:07.4 +1.6
6 3 United States Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax 2:07.5 +1.7
7 5 United States Phil Hill Ferrari 2:07.6 +1.8
8 9 Sweden Jo Bonnier BRM 2:10.3 +4.5
9 10 United States Harry Schell BRM 2:10.3 +4.5
10 2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 2:10.4 +4.6
11 16 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 2:10.8 +5.0
12 11 Germany Hans Herrmann BRM 2:11.4 +5.6
13 8 France Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax 2:12.7 +6.9
14 15 United Kingdom Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 2:14.6 +8.8
15 18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess* Cooper-Maserati 2:18.9 +13.1
WD 12 France Jean Behra** Behra-Porsche
WD 14 Germany Wolfgang von Trips** Porsche

* - Reserve entries
** - After Behra's fatal accident on Saturday, both Porsche entries were withdrawn, and no official times were released.

RaceEdit

Heat 1Edit

Because of the fatal accident of Jean Behra in the Saturday afternoon support race, the Porsche entries were withdrawn, allowing the reserve cars to run. But despite having the fastest time in practice, Allison was placed at the back of the grid, ahead of only the other 'reserve' driver, Burgess. This marks the only time in Formula One history that the fastest qualifier was unable to start on pole, simply because of the car's entry.

Before the race, a moment of silence was held for the popular Jean Behra, with the Ferrari contingent looking uncomfortable, as Behra had just been fired from the Scuderia a few days before. Then the drivers were in their cars, the flag was dropped, and the cars shot past the pits for the first time, with Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss battling for the early lead. Coming out of the Nordkurve for the first time, Brooks was pulling out a lead, and Moss had just been passed by Masten Gregory, followed by Jack Brabham, Jo Bonnier, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. Cliff Allison had already passed three cars from his spot at the back of the grid. Soon it was obvious that Moss was in trouble, and he coasted to a stop out on the circuit on lap 2. At the end of the lap, Allison coasted into the pits rather slowly, as his clutch had broken. The race was developing into several groups of cars slipstreaming each other, and on lap 3 Gregory took advantage and came out of the Nordkurve ahead of Brooks. Brabham, Gurney and Phil Hill were just behind the lead pair, and both Coopers were taking advantage of the Ferrari power, but on lap 5, Brooks retook the lead, and usually managed to keep it past start/finish. Bonnier was dropping back, and being caught by a dueling battle of Bruce McLaren, Harry Schell and Maurice Trintignant. Further back, Innes Ireland had retired on lap 8 and Graham Hill lost his gearbox on lap 11.

Just after half distance, Brabham fell out from the lead group, and literally ground to a halt with transmission trouble. This elevated McLaren to fourth, as he had managed to pull away from his group. The slipstreaming was as entertaining as ever, with Brooks taking advantage to shatter the lap record on lap 18, but on lap 24, a brilliant drive came to a sad end as Gregory pulled into the pits with a broken engine. Phil Hill had started to drop back, leaving Brooks and Gurney to battle for the lead, but Brooks always seemed to have a slight advantage. The flag dropped with Brooks 1.3 seconds ahead of Gurney, with Phil Hill about half a lap behind. McLaren was fourth, having been lapped just before the end, and the last great battle ended with Schell leading Trintignant and Bonnier over the line, the three covered by about three seconds. Hans Herrmann and Ian Burgess held on at the tail of the field.

Heat 1 GridEdit

Pos Pos Pos Pos
Driver Driver Driver Driver
______________
______________ 1
______________ 2 Tony Brooks
______________ 3 Stirling Moss
4 Dan Gurney
Jack Brabham
______________
______________ 5
______________ 6 Masten Gregory
7 Phil Hill
Jo Bonnier
______________
______________ 8
______________ 9 Harry Schell
______________ 10 Bruce McLaren
11 Graham Hill
Hans Herrmann
______________
______________ 12
______________ 13 Maurice Trintignant
14 Innes Ireland
Cliff Allison*
______________
______________ 15
______________ 16
______________ 17 Ian Burgess*
18



* - Reserve entries

Heat 1 ResultsEdit

The final results for the first heat of the 1959 German Grand Prix are shown below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid
1 4 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari 30 1:03:17.6 1
2 6 United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 30 +1.3 3
3 5 United States Phil Hill Ferrari 30 +1:04.5 6
4 2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 29 +1 Lap 9
5 10 United States Harry Schell BRM 29 +1 Lap 8
6 8 France Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax 29 +1 Lap 12
7 9 Sweden Jo Bonnier BRM 29 +1 Lap 7
8 11 Germany Hans Herrmann BRM 29 +1 Lap 11
9 18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess Cooper-Maserati 28 +2 Laps 9
Ret 3 United States Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax 23 Engine 5
Ret 1 Australia Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 15 Transmission 4
Ret 16 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 10 Gearbox 10
Ret 15 United Kingdom Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 7 Crownwheel/pinion 13
Ret 17 United Kingdom Cliff Allison Ferrari 2 Clutch 14
Ret 7 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Cooper-Climax 1 Transmission 2

Heat 2Edit

After a brief interval for tire changes and minor servicing, the cars were rolled back out. Only the nine cars that finished the first heat were allowed to start the second. They were lined up on the grid in finishing order of the first heat. At the start, McLaren shot into the lead, but when the cars came back to the Nordkurve, he had already fallen behind Hill, Bonnier, Brooks and Gurney, in that order. Brooks had the bit in his teeth, and he drafted past Bonnier going into the Sudkurve. A similar maneuver going into the Nordkurve got him past Hill, and with Bonnier easing off to preserve his tires, the Ferraris were 1-2-3, and orders went out to maintain the formation. The cars were starting to string out, when on lap 7, Herrmann lost his brakes going into the sudkurve. The car bounced over the hay bales, throwing Herrmann out and cartwheeling down the track, but Herrmann only suffered minor injuries. Later that lap, McLaren crept to a halt near the pits with transmission trouble. The Ferraris were running easily in formation, with Schell trying to keep from falling a lap down, but that ended when he lost his clutch on lap 20. After 30 laps the three Ferraris came over the line less than a second apart, but Gurney got second overall on the basis of a lower overall time than Hill. Trintignant mounted a late charge to pull within 20 seconds, and get fourth overall. Bonnier finished fifth, losing a lap in each heat, with Burgess four laps down in sixth. Harry Schell pushed his car over the line for seventh. As Brooks also recorded the fastest lap, he pulled to within four points of Brabham.

Heat 2 GridEdit

Pos Pos Pos Pos
Driver Driver Driver Driver
______________
______________ 1
______________ 2 Tony Brooks
______________ 3 Dan Gurney
4 Phil Hill
Bruce McLaren
______________
______________ 5
______________ 6 Harry Schell
7 Maurice Trintignant
Jo Bonnier
______________
______________ 8
______________ 9
______________ 10 Hans Herrmann
11 Ian Burgess
______________
______________ 12
______________ 13
14
______________
______________ 15
______________ 16
______________ 17
18



Heat 2 ResultsEdit

The final results for the second heat of the 1959 German Grand Prix are shown below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid
1 4 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari 30 1:06:14.0 1
2 5 United States Phil Hill Ferrari 30 +0.3 3
3 6 United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 30 +0.6 2
4 8 France Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax 30 +18.4 6
5 9 Sweden Jo Bonnier BRM 29 +1 Lap 7
6 18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess Cooper-Maserati 28 +2 Laps 9
7 10 United States Harry Schell BRM 20 +10 Laps 5
Ret 2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 6 Transmission 4
Ret 11 Germany Hans Herrmann BRM 6 Accident 8

Final ResultsEdit

The final combined results for the 1959 German Grand Prix are shown below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 4 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari 60 2:09:31.6 1 9
2 6 United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 60 +1.9 3 6
3 5 United States Phil Hill Ferrari 60 +1:04.8 6 4
4 8 France Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax 59 +1 Lap 12 3
5 9 Sweden Jo Bonnier BRM 58 +2 Laps 7 2
6 18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess Cooper-Maserati 56 +4 Laps 15
7 10 United States Harry Schell BRM 49 +11 Laps 8
Ret 2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 35 Transmission 9
Ret 11 Germany Hans Herrmann BRM 35 Accident 11
Ret 3 United States Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax 23 Engine 5
Ret 1 Australia Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 15 Transmission 4
Ret 16 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 10 Gearbox 10
Ret 15 United Kingdom Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 7 Crownwheel/pinion 13
Ret 17 United Kingdom Cliff Allison Ferrari 2 Clutch 14
Ret 7 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Cooper-Climax 1 Transmission 2

MilestonesEdit

  • Sixth and final victory for Tony Brooks
  • First podium for Dan Gurney

Standings after raceEdit

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Germany 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)
Nurburgring2002
Hockenheimring2002
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* Nürburgring and Hockenheim alternated between each other during these years.

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