1954 British Grand Prix
The 1954 British Grand Prix was the fifth race of the 1954 Formula One World Championship and was held in Silverstone on July 18th 1954. Consalvo Sanesi scored pole position and fastest lap, but once again failed to win the British Grand Prix. Instead, Dries van der Lof won the race, scoring his maiden Formula One victory, ahead of teammate and championship leader B. Bira. Sanesi eventually finished third.
After four races, the 1952 world champion B. Bira led the championship with 18 points, not having yet won a race. No driver had yet won multiple races, with the wins going to Brabham, Manzon, Ramos and Bettenhausen. Consalvo Sanesi had not yet finished a race, in typical fashion for a Gordini driver. As usual, Silverstone had attracted a large amount of entries, 45 of them for 24 grid spots.
Redman Racing Team had decided to pull out of Formula One due to a lack of motivation, leaving Nello Pagani out of a drive.
Peter Whitehead's car had been repaired and Alfa Romeo were therefore back with three cars.
With Balkan Eagle getting deeper and deeper into their financial issues, they reverted to a single car for Fischer here. They were trying to survive on a race-by-race basis.
Loyer only entered a single car in Silverstone, for Karl Kling.
Lance Macklin's car had also been repaired and would be taking part in Silverstone.
With Aldo Gordini not entered for Balkan Eagle here, he temporarily drove for Anglo Racing Engineering in the car bearing his name.
BRUNEL returned to the paddock with a full Bentley package for British rally specialist Anne Hall, who hadn't done badly at the non-championship Pau Grand Prix.
Luigi Villoresi returned from his injury and replaced super-sub Tony Gaze, who had scored his first point in Zandvoort.
Erne Racing Development returned after skipping the Dutch round with the usual pairing of Mieres and Marimon.
The second Ambrosiana also returned after being repaired, with Bracco still driving.
Once again, RRAC rotated their line-up, with Bueb driving the Maserati.
Like Erne, Assasti Millanti returned after skipping the Dutch Grand Prix.
Ecurie Albertini had decided to skip ahead to Sebring, missing Silverstone, Bremgarten and the Nürburgring.
Warden also returned, but with two cars instead of one. Jack Fairman drove the Bentley-Jaguar while Wharton would drive a new Bentley package.
Officine Renzo brought the Ferrari to Silverstone as well, but with Marzotto taking Serafini's place.
Some definite surprises were recorded, with Villoresi and Macklin failing to make the cut. The Maseratis were nowhere, once again, while Hampshire, Marimon, Wharton and Fischer would all be delighted at making main qualifying, especially the Balkan Eagle driver, in such difficult times.
No surprises were there to be had, but certainly disappointment, especially de Filippis (who had finished fifth in Zandvoort). Ecclestone would finally start a race. He had already qualified in France but had then failed to take the start after a pre-race mechanical failure. Also, a brilliant performance from David Hampshire to take 13th place on the grid.
Van der Lof had a great start and took sixth place while Bettenhausen took the early lead from Sanesi and Bira. Whitehead and Brabham also had a good start, Whitehead second by lap 2. Sanesi started falling backwards. By lap 6, he was down in fifth place. Ramos and Collins were also losing ground, in ninth and tenth. Dries van der Lof continued his good start to the race by taking fifth from Sanesi on the very next lap. One more lap later, he passed Bira and Whitehead and took third position. On lap 11 though, Sanesi bounced back and climbed back up to third place, scoring the fastest lap of the race. Third place had turned into a hotly contested battle.
On lap 13, Bettenhausen lost the lead to teammate Trintignant, but took it back two laps later. Apart from a few minor battles though, the race settled down. Van der Lof took a steady third place. The race's first retirement came on lap 24, when Piero Taruffi, last after chronic gearbox issues, finally stopped at Chapel. On the next lap, van der Lof caught and passed teammate Trintignant for second place and started to close the gap to Bettenhausen. On lap 28, the drivers were reduced to 22 when Robert Manzon shoved Jack Brabham off the track for 12th position. The Australian was not too pleased about it, and neither was Troy Ruttman when he took himself out by using Harry Schell as a brake on the following lap. Two laps later, there were 20 cars remaining when Ramos suffered steering issues and retired out of 8th position.
On lap 36, after taking a hit from Ruttman, Schell was nerfed off by Giovanni Bracco, ending his race. Six laps later, it was Maurice Trintignant who was out of the race after tangling with Peter Collins. He was sent hard into the earth bank on the Hangar Straight and the car briefly caught air. Trintignant walked away unhurt. Whitehead span off on oil on lap 46, leaving 17 drivers in the race. On the next lap, it was 16 after Manfred von Brauchitsch's suspension failed, then 15 when Peter Collins had a spin out of fifth position.
On lap 48, van der Lof had caught Bettenhausen, and after a couple of laps of trying to pass, the American understood that it was of no use to him to hold the Dutchman up and let him through. Bettenhausen subsequently dropped to fourth place behind Bira and Sanesi, while David Hampshire took fifth from Farina, continuing his brilliant performance this weekend. Meanwhile, Robert Manzon threw his Gordini off the road, capping a terrible performance including more than a few touches with other drivers.
Hampshire couldn't last long ahead of Farina, and the Brit had to settle for sixth for the time being. At the back, Bernie Ecclestone's transmission failed, presumably having been malfunctioning throughout the race, as he was last by a pretty fair margin. 13 drivers were left. They were reduced to 12 on lap 70 when Toulo de Graffenried was nerfed off by Edgar Barth. The Swiss was not at all happy and waved angrily at the German for the rest of the race whenever he drove by. The final retirement was Alberto Ascari, whose gearbox exploded with three laps remaining.
Van der Lof came through and scored a commanding maiden victory, becoming the fifth different winner in five races! Bira extended his championship lead with a fourth consecutive second place. Sanesi and Bira finally finished a race, both of them in the points. David Hampshire, meanwhile, was absolutely thrilled with the final point for sixth position.
|2||12||Giuseppe Farina||Alfa Romeo||1:45.65||+ 0.53|
|3||68||David Hampshire||Bentley||1:49.15||+ 4.03|
|4||52||Harry Schell||Ferrari||1:49.34||+ 4.22|
|5||60||Onofre Marimón||Aston Martin-Jaguar||1:49.79||+ 4.67|
|6||88||Ken Wharton||Bentley||1:49.99||+ 4.87|
|7||4||Bernie Ecclestone||Mercedes||1:50.39||+ 5.27|
|8||20||Rudi Fischer||Alfa Romeo-Balkan Lion||1:51.00||+ 5.88|
|9||44||Aldo Gordini||Gordini||1:51.08||+ 5.96|
|10||18||Louis Chiron||Leader-O.S.C.A.||1:51.22||+ 6.10|
|11||50||Luigi Villoresi||Aston Martin-Jaguar||1:51.23||+ 6.11|
|12||34||Lance Macklin||Bentley-Jaguar||1:51.62||+ 6.50|
|13||82||Geoff Richardson||Bentley||1:51.71||+ 6.59|
|14||80||Jean Behra||Ultimate-O.S.C.A.||1:52.05||+ 6.93|
|15||22||Karl Kling||Loyer-Ferrari||1:52.18||+ 7.06|
|16||46||Anne Hall||Bentley||1:52.35||+ 7.23|
|17||76||John Fitch||Leader-Jaguar||1:52.87||+ 7.75|
|18||72||Paul Frère||Maserati||1:53.40||+ 8.28|
|19||74||Ron Flockhart||Maserati||1:54.50||+ 9.38|
|20||66||Ivor Bueb||Maserati||1:55.52||+ 10.40|
|21||84||Jack Fairman||Bentley-Jaguar||1:55.98||+ 10.86|
- First win and laps led for Dries van der Lof.
- First start for Bernie Ecclestone.
- Final entry for Rudi Fischer.
- First entry for Anne Hall and Jack Fairman.
- First point for Bentley.
- Tony Bettenhausen: 48 laps (1-12, 15-50)
- Maurice Trintignant: 2 laps (13-14)
- Dries van der Lof: 25 laps (51-75)
- Most total career starts: B. Bira (36).
- Most total career entries: Alberto Ascari, Maurice Trintignant and Johnny Claes (37).
|4||Dries van der Lof||11|
|5||Hernando da Silva Ramos||10|
|1||Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing||32|
|2||Alexander Racing Team - Gordini||27|
|4||/ Scuderia Anglo-Italia||9|
- Only the top five positions are listed.
| Previous race:
1954 Dutch Grand Prix
| Alternate Formula 1 World Championship
| Next race:|
1954 Swiss Grand Prix
| Previous race:
1953 British Grand Prix
|British Grand Prix|| Next race:|
1955 British Grand Prix