The 1954 F1 Championship Season Conclusion in Barcelona

In my opinion, this season is the first in which Juan-Manuel Fangio’s skill has truly shown through.  He won six out of nine races over the course of the season.  The other night, I learned that Fangio ends up living a long life and even acts as a mentor to Ayrton Senna.  That will be remarkable to see evidence of his ambasadorship that far into the future.

 

This season has been about the dominance of Mercedes-Benz and the W196.  However, in the final race of the season, Lancia finally decided to show up.

 

The Lancia D50 Shows Remarkable Pace.

 

The Lancia D50 F1 employed a 90 degree V8.  It used the wider spread 90 degree to aid in chassis stiffening.  Although, I haven’t yet been able to determine how, specifically, this aided the design.  Regardless, one can see the hints of fully-stressed member design, employed in modern F1.  For those of you not familiar, the modern F1 car engine is in the back of the car.  In modern cars, in a sense, there is no traditional car frame.  Rather, the rear elements of a car are bolted to the engine and transmission, themselves.  Now, this is a gross oversimplification.  Furthermore, I am sure I have overlooked some details, but, if you do not mind, lets just overlook them.

 

Deutsch: Lancia D50A, Formel-1-Rennwagen von 1...

Deutsch: Lancia D50A, Formel-1-Rennwagen von 1954, Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

At first glance, the most notable feature of the 1954 Lancia D50 F1 are the outboard fuel tanks, extended off the body, between the front and real wheels on each side.  I do not know how this came to be, or even what the advantage to adding outboard weight like that would be; but, nevertheless it is uniquely Formula 1 in nature.  It’s these historical oddities that I hope to learn more about as project GP: Evolved crawls through the annals of F1 history.  As for more discussion of the Lancia D50, you’ll have to wait for the 1955 season.

 

The 1954 Spanish GP.

 

Check here for an excellent rundown of the race itself.

 

A Few Personal Thoughts on GP Evolved.

 

Posts have slowed.  I hope to correct that.  The posts have slowed due to a combination of factors, which are not pertinent to this discussion.  However, in the process of reviewing my progress so far, I have become acutely aware of the enormity of the task I have undertaken.  At times, it seems daunting to teach myself the entire history of Formula 1.  But, I enjoy it.  And so long as I enjoy it, I will continue to trudge forward.

 

An obvious question has come before me.  Why am I so fascinated by Grand Prix racing?

For the last few minutes I have stated at a blinking cursor next to the question mark above.  And, I am not sure that I have an answer to that question.  So, I will leave it at that for now and return to the question on a later post.