1952 Opener: Swiss GP

“Looking Ahead” to the 1952 Season


So, I am going to go ahead and ruin the upcoming 1951 Formula 1 Champioship season.  Ferrari wins.  By that I mean, Ferrari, and only Ferrari, wins.  No other team wins a single race.  But, if you’ve been following my posts so far (doubtful unless you are my wife or brother), you will already know that Alfa Romeo dropped out of the championship.  The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile  (FIA) knew this basically ruined any hope of having a challenged season.  Under the standing rules, absent the Alfa Romeo crew, the entirety of the season, and with it, the future of Formula 1 came into question.  Seriously though, if a series started two years ago, and flopped this year, what chance would it have to endure for decades?  And so, scrambling to save Formula 1 as the championship for the pinnacle of racing, they lowered the bar.  Specifically, the FIA decided to switch Formula 1 to the Formula 2 regulations.

By invoking the Formula 2 regulations, the cars would be run as 2.0 liter non-supercharged engines.  There may have also been a 500cc option, but I have seen conflicting reports on that.  Also, I want to give direct credit to an author named Jeremy McMullen who hosts a series of articles on Formula 1.  His articles have been my choice-du-jour for what was going on in Formula 1 at the time.  So, I’ll leave the detail by detail of everything going on the time to the proper sources.  Anyway, I feel like the switch to Formula 2 makes this season a bit less interesting.  Nevertheless, I intend to cover it, race by race.

On an unrelated side note, have you noticed the absence of German drivers?  I didn’t.  Anyway, I saw an odd report that German teams and German drivers were banned from competing internationally.  Anyhow, in 1951, BMW was pretty successful with Hans Stuck Sr.–in the East German Championship!

The 1952 Swiss Grand Prix

So, here’s my quick rundown of the race.  Like I said, I’ve been on to the Jeremy McMullen articles lately as a great source for what is really going on.  Wikipedia is also frequently a source.  But, getting every detailed nailed is not what this project is about.  To me, I am hoping the project is more about tracking the general narrative of each season; conversely, compiling a corpus of details is not what I am intending to accomplish.  I guess that I have just needed to make that clear to give myself permission to synthesize a story rather than drone on about historical facts.

That being said, here’s the facts of the XII Groβer Preis der Schweiz:

  • 62 laps × 4.524 mi. = 280.462 mi. total
  • Total  Race Time: 3 hours; 1 minute; 46.1 seconds
  • Pole went to Nino Farina 2:47.5 (Scuderia Ferrari)
  • Podium:
    • Piero Taruffi (SF) *Only Career Championship Win
    • Rudi Fischer (SF) {+2.37.2}
    • Jean Behra (Gordini) {+1 lap}
  • Championship Rankings After One Race:
    • Piero Taruffi (SF) 9 pts.
    • R. Fischer (SF) 6 pts.
    • J. Behra (Gordini) 4 pts.

So, the author has rather unceremoniously listed the facts of the race.  “What now,” you might justifiably ask.  “Well, let me tell you,” I would respond in kind:

Alberto Ascari missed the race, he’s in America, qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.  Yeah, that’s right, finally a European driver is having a go at the Brickyard.  Villoresi is injured; he misses the Swiss GP.  Fangio, well, he was seriously injured and is out for the season.  Hans Stuck Sr. takes part in the Grand Prix, but retires on the fourth lap due to engine failure.  Farina led until his car broke down.  Taruffi took over and won.  The battle was for second place, but is beyond the instant discussion.

So, there you have it.  And please, if you’ve actually read this entire post…feel free to let me know what you thought.  At this stage of project: GP Evolved, I can use all the feedback I can get! Stay tuned, more to come, soon.


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