1953 Italian Grand Prix
The 1953 Italian Grand Prix was the eighth race of the 1953 Formula One World Championship and was held in Monza on September 13th 1953. Consalvo Sanesi scored his fourth pole position and third race win of the year, ahead of double world champion Giuseppe Farina and Tony Bettenhausen, whose third place allowed him to retain the championship lead going into the final round in Sebring. Reg Parnell finished finished fifth, also staying in the title fight. Bettenhausen's podium sealed the title for Jaguar-Aston Martin Racing.
With two races remaining, the championship battle was close as ever. Tony Bettenhausen still led by a single point from Reg Parnell, with Sanesi, Bira and Whitehead all following six points behind the American. Behind them, Trintignant, Manzon, Ascari, Fangio, Gonzalez and van der Lof still had a mathematical shot at the title. 41 drivers had shown up at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, and with 28 spots on the starting grid, pre-qualifying would return, knocking out five drivers before Saturday qualifying.
Following Eric Brandon's engine failure in Switzerland, Mercedes withdrew from the remaining races, putting their chassis up for sale as they developped their 1954 car.
Anglo Racing Engineering were in deep financial trouble now, and they were taking a big gamble here by bringing in 29-year-old local sports car driver Luigi Musso, who had recently won the Giro dell'Umbria as well as his class in the Giro delle Calabria.
Balkan Eagle finally managed to repair their third chassis and they returned to a three-car formation with Gordini, Fischer and Maglioli.
The Ferrari America side of Group Ultimate finally made a return to the scene with the usual roster of de Graffenried, Ruttman and Schell.
ENB decided to send only the Maserati to the Italian Grand Prix in the car's final race with the team. The chassis would be up for sale after the race.
With both O.S.C.A.s rented for Sebring, the team fixed the second chassis and figured they might as well enter it at Monza for André Simon.
David Hampshire had also convinced Aston Martin to repair his chassis, and he made his way to Monza in order to salvage a potential good result.
As usual, Scuderia Ambrosiana fielded a third car for their home race, this time for two-time Mille Miglia winner Giannino Marzotto, who made his championship début.
Luigi Villoresi stepped back into the Asso di Fiori Aston-Jaguar for his and the team's home race. Dries van der Lof would be making the trip to Sebring instead.
Assasti Millanti skipped the Swiss Grand Prix to come straight to Monza with John Fitch. Making the grid this time would be much tougher, but it would be an achievable goal.
Warden finished their season in Switzerland and had returned to Birmingham.
Not one, but two Maseratis made it through! Maglioli and Frère impressed, as did Macklin. Marzotto barely made the cut while Aqua would end their existence without a start, semi-ironically at the same track where they almost made main qualifying the previous year.
No great surprise at the very front, although Bracco didn't quite punch as high as he usually did. Great performances were to be had by Taruffi, Barth, de Graffenried and Macklin but disappointment from Hampshire and Ruttman. Consalvo Sanesi scored his record fourth pole of the season.
Sanesi completely fluffed his start and was passed by Manzon, while Moss and Marzotto made the best starts. At the start of the second lap, Villoresi lost control of his Aston while fighting with Rubirosa, ending up reversing into the pitwall. Race over. At the very front, the racing was very close behind Manzon, with the top five continuously exchanging positions. By lap 3, Farina was into the lead, a familiar position for him. Moss and Bira soon joined the titanic scrap.
While the double world champion increased his lead, the five drivers behind were slipstreaming past each other constantly. The pack later broke up with Sanesi and Serafini catching up, followed by Parnell, Bettenhausen and Bira. Farina would lead until lap 16, when Sanesi inevitably took the lead, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. The large majority of retirements would occur in the following laps. First, Edgar Barth suffered from an oil leak out of 13th place. He was followed by teammate Troy Ruttman, whose gearbox broke on the following lap out of 22nd position. He was immediately followed by Stirling Moss' Alfa out of ninth place, now lacking a functioning transmission. Two laps later, Bracco retired from 12th with an oil leak similar to Barth's. A further two laps later, Trintignant span on Bracco's oil out of ninth place.
A few laps later, just when he had clawed his way back up into second place, Bira span on oil while lapping a group of backmarkers, ending his race on the spot. Farina and Serafini regularly switched spots, now for second place. On lap 36, Farina took second place once more. From then on, the race was pretty tame overtaking-wise. However, Tony Bettenhausen was beginning to gain more and more ground, needing more points to win the title. Marzotto's gearbox failed after a miserable race in last position.
Bettenhausen's charge would be the most entertaining even of the final laps. On lap 48, he passed his main rival Reg Parnell for fourth position. Six laps later, he was in third position, having passed Serafini. He was on Farina's tail for second place, but ultimately finished third, having been lapped by Sanesi, who won his third race of the season. Collins retired on the final lap with gearbox issues but was classified eighth.
- Alberto Ascari was forced to withdraw as his car was not available.
|2||26||Umberto Maglioli||Alfa Romeo-Maserati||2:04.16||+ 1.85|
|3||6||Lance Macklin||Bentley-Jaguar||2:04.40||+ 2.09|
|4||2||Johnny Claes||Leader-Mercedes||2:05.27||+ 2.96|
|5||40||André Pilette||Maserati||2:05.56||+ 3.25|
|6||32||Paul Frère||Maserati||2:05.72||+ 3.41|
|7||64||Giannino Marzotto||Ambrosiana-Alfa Romeo||1:49.45||+ 3.71|
|8||74||John Fitch||Leader-Jaguar||2:06.40||+ 4.09|
|9||4||Luigi Musso||Leader-Jaguar||2:07.62||+ 5.31|
|10||38||Duncan Hamilton||Maserati||2:08.25||+ 5.94|
|11||34||Chico Landi||Maserati||2:08.74||+ 6.43|
|12||8||Günther Bechem||Bentley-Aqua||2:09.94||+ 7.63|
|13||66||Lex Davison||EMW--Mercedes||2:10.88||+ 8.57|
- First entry and start for Giannino Marzotto.
- First entry for Luigi Musso.
- Final entry for Günther Bechem and Chico Landi.
- Final entry for the Aqua engine (under that name).
- Final entry for Scuderia Aqua.
- Most total career starts: Dorino Serafini, Juan Manuel Fangio and B. Bira (30)
- Most total career entries: Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio and Piero Taruffi (32)
|1||Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing||44|
|2||Alexander Racing Team-Gordini||35|
|4||Alfa Romeo SpA||24|
|5||Phoenix Racing Organisation||10|
- Only the top five positions are listed.
| Previous race:
1953 Swiss Grand Prix
| Alternate Formula 1 World Championship
| Next race:|
1953 United States Grand Prix
| Previous race:
1952 Italian Grand Prix
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1954 Italian Grand Prix