The 1952 British GP Prompts a Shift in my Perspective

The 1952 British Grand Prix in Review


Diagram of the Silverstone Circuit following c...

Diagram of the Silverstone Circuit following changes made in early 1952. Used for Britsh Grands Prix from 1952 to 1973. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The British Grand Prix of 1952 took place at its most familiar location, Silverstone.  For those that do not know, Silverstone, is like this quintessential European circuit.  As far as I am concerned, there is nothing special about the track itself.  To qualify that statement: Silverstone was built on an abandoned airfield; it is flat; and has no outstanding features to the track itself.  But, that misses the point.  It is a combination of corners that require a masters touch.  Each corner does everything it can to reach down and heave cars off of it.  A straight seems to precede every corner, upping the ante for the driver entering it.

The teams had new digs this year; a new pit lane was built which shifted the start-finish line as well.  From flag to flag, it was a solely Ferrari affair, as it has been all season.  However, first, a note on the time keeping at this race: it would seem as though the timekeeper phoned-in his duties at this one.  I know this sounds crazy, but stick with me.  The official times are all rounded to the second.  It’s a bit shady.  For example, the qualifying results: (1) Farina (1:50:00); (2) Ascari (1:50:00); and (3) P. Taruffi (1:53.00).  It just seems utterly made up.  And, this is the first race I am ever aware of where official times were rounded to the whole second.  But, that is neither here nor there.

Anyway, At this point, Ascari, with 27 points, led Taruffi by eight points in the championship.  In third place, was Guiseppe “Nino” Farina was in third with 12 points.

A Shift in my Perspective

So far, I have been ‘covering’ these races (sometimes I forget these things happened sixty years ago), as a “oh, look, Ferrari wins, again” type of affair.  And, to that end, I have been giving short-shrift to the season.  It would be difficult to argue that Alfa Romeo’s departure did not leave the Formula 1 competition in disarray; it most certainly did.  However, I have been missing something of greater importance–the whole left by Alfa Romeo would be the stimulus needed to stir British racing green into action.  The sixties are reputed to be the era of British motor racing.  And, perhaps, I should already be taking a close look at what the small British outfits are bringing to the table–in 1951.  So, I hope to start sharing the knowledge as I learn about the roots of the next era.


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