1954 Dutch Grand Prix
The 1954 Dutch Grand Prix was the fourth race of the 1954 Formula One World Championship and was held at Zandvoort on June 27th 1954. Tony Bettenhausen took his second and final race victory as well as his first pole position. His JAMR teammate B. Bira finished second for the third time in 1954, taking the championship lead as a result. Peter Collins finished third, scoring his first career podium finish.
Once again, the championship battle was very close three races in. Surprisingly, young Australian Jack Brabham led the championship on 13 points, just one ahead of 1952 champion B. Bira and three ahead of complete rookie Hernando da Silva Ramos. With no driver clearly ahead, the race at Zandvoort could see one of them break away. 40 drivers had made their way to the seaside resort town, ten fewer than had appeared at Spa.
Scuderia Anglo-Italia sent their three drivers to Zandvoort, with Taruffi in a Bentley-O.S.C.A., González in an O.S.C.A.-Bentley and von Brauchitsch in a full O.S.C.A. package.
Following Peter Whitehead's accident in Belgium, the car was unable to be repaired in time for the Dutch Grand Prix, reducing the Alfa works team to two cars for Farina and Moss.
With Balkan Eagle falling deeper and deeper into financial issues, only Fischer and Gordini moved on to Zandvoort after Fischer totalled his car at Spa, leaving Stan Jones on the sidelines.
The line-up at Ferrari had changed substantially following the events at Spa. Reg Parnell had broken his arm and would be replaced by Harry Schell, while Serafini's accident prompted Enzo to make a deal with Renzo to swap Serafini with former Scuderia driver Toulo de Graffenried on top of providing temporary maintenance to Renzo's Ferrari. The line-up would remain the same until Parnell's return after Germany.
Erne Racing Development, despite decent promise earlier in the season, would stick to their schedule and skip the Dutch Grand Prix.
Following Bracco's heavy accident at Spa, Scuderia Ambrosiana couldn't repair the car and were only able to send one of them to the Netherlands. With Rubirosa scoring his first points, he was sent in place of Bracco.
Once again, RRAC continued to switch their drivers, with Duncan Hamilton driving the Bentley-Mercedes this time around.
Amidst financial difficulties, Ecurie Nationale Belge were increasingly restricting their appearances, and they would only return in Germany.
F.H. Warden skipped this race and went straight to Silverstone, as did Assasti Millanti.
Following the deal with Ferrari, Officine Renzo would be running a single car for Dorino Serafini.
Toulo de Graffenried and Troy Ruttman topped the standings, without much surprise, as did Harry Schell and Tony Gaze. Ecclestone and Richardson also made the cut, more impressive performances, with de Filippis and Pagani capping off the drivers who prequalified. Wacker, Chiron and Behra failed to prequalify, among others, but with the very competent field, prequalifying would always be a tall ask.
Defending champion Tony Bettenhausen came through to take what was, surprisingly, his maiden pole position in a JAMR 1-2. Consalvo Sanesi would start third for the second consecutive time. As expected, JAMR and Gordini dominated, with all eight of their cars in the top eleven. All three Anglo-Italia cars made the cut, although Gonzalez and Taruffi only barely did so. Both Balkan Eagles barely failed to qualify, as did the sole remaining Loyer, the sole remaining Maserati, two of the Mercedes, David Hampshire and Geoff Richardson.
Tony Bettenhausen and Peter Collins got the best starts, while Robert Manzon's clutch failed on the grid. Bettenhausen led the first lap from Collins, Sanesi, Bira and Farina. The places behind Bettenhausen were regularly swapped between Bira, Collins and Sanesi, but by lap 4, Sanesi was leading the pack and harrassing Tony Bettenhausen. Edgar Barth's engine then failed on lap 4 out of 11th position. By that point, Sanesi and Farina were perssuring Bettenhausen into making a mistake. While the American kept his cool at the front, O.S.C.A.'s day went from bad to worse when von Brauchitsch's engine let go on lap 7 out of 14th position. It took until lap nine for Bettenhausen to crack, and Farina took the lead when the American ran wide at Tarzan. On the next lap, Sanesi tried the same move, but braked far too late, clipped the back of Bettenhausen's car and span into the sand, ending up beached. Tony lost no time, but Sanesi was out.
Bettenhausen, with no immediate thread behind him, could now start to catch Farina. On lap 15, he outbraked Farina into Tunnel Oost and took the lead again, but on lap 17, Farina took the lead once more. On lap 18, Maurice Trintignant's engine expired, leaving 19 cars in the race, and they were down to 18 on the very next lap when Peter Collins tapped teammate Ramos out of the race. This left the Brit as the sole remaining Gordini driver in the race. At this point, nothing much was happening at the front. José Froilan Gonzalez was having a brilliant day, recuperating from his difficult qualifying session to be up to ninth position on lap 22. Jack Brabham's gearbox then failed out of fourth position, leaving three of the top four in the championship out of the race. The other one was Bira, who was third at that point. Just in front of him, Bettenhausen finally got in a position to make a move on Farina, and he took the lead on lap 24. A bit further behind, Gonzalez attempted to pass van der Lof for sixth position, but the Dutchman blocked too agressively and was sent into the retaining wall. Race over.
On lap 29, Giuseppe Farina once again took the lead of the race after two laps of trying to pass Bettenhausen. On the following lap, Stirling Moss retired from an oil leak out of fifth position. And on the very next lap, it was Alberto Ascari's suspension that gave up out of 14th position. Two laps later, Troy Ruttman crashed out while trying to pass Johnny Claes for seventh place. Yes. There's a Mercedes in seventh position. Rubirosa then made his way up to third position, but on lap 38, Bira attempted to pass him at Tarzan. Rubirosa closed the door, but Bira was already alongside, and they touched wheels. Bira continued undamaged, but Rubirosa span off into the sand and retired. This left Farina in the lead from Bettenhausen, Bira, Gonzalez, Collins and Claes. Harry Schell retired on lap 43 when his engine let go, leaving just eleven drivers. They were reduced to ten on lap 45, when race leader Giuseppe Farina suffered from a gearbox failure. They were all fairly far apart, so much less would happen from then on. On lap 49, Collins passed Gonzalez for third position. Two laps later, he took second from Bira.
Despite this pace, he could never worry Bettenhausen, and on lap 63, Bira retook second position. But four laps later, Collins was back ahead! On the same lap, Maria Teresa de Filippis passed Johnny Claes for the points paying sixth position. Bira repassed Collins on lap 69, but the main talking point was the developing fight for the final point between de Filippis, Claes, de Graffenried and Serafini. Serafini was immediately knocked out when Claes chopped across him, taking him out. In fact, the battle was over as soon as it started, as the accident allowed de Filippis to pull away, and actually catch up to Gaze, while Claes and de Graffenried quabbled over seventh place. In fact, de Filippis took fifth position on lap 74! Towards the end, Gonzalez almost passed Collins, and de Graffenried almost did the same to Gaze, but none of them managed to complete the pass.
Therefore, defending champion Tony Bettenhausen took his first victory of the season and the second of his career. 1952 champion Bira finished second in a JAMR 1-2 and therefore took the championship lead. Peter Collins finished third, scoring his maiden podium. The rest of the finishers came from far back on the grid. Gonzalez salvaged a brilliant fourth, Maria Teresa de Filippis became the first female drive to score points with fifth position and Tony Gaze scored his first point as well, with sixth place. De Graffenried, Claes and Taruffi were the final finishers.
* Peter Whitehead, Lance Macklin and Giovanni Bracco were forced to withdraw as their cars were unavailable.
|Toulo de Graffenried
|Maria Teresa de Filippis
- First pole position and final race victory for Tony Bettenhausen.
- First podium for Peter Collins.
- First points for Tony Gaze and Maria Teresa de Filippis, first for a female driver.
- Final appearance for Nello Pagani.
- First pole position for Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing.
- First points for Maria Teresa de Filippis.
- Final entry for Redman Racing Team.
- Most career fastest laps: Giuseppe Farina (8)
- Most total career starts: Dorino Serafini and B. Bira (35).
- Most total career entries: Alberto Ascari, Dorino Serafini, Maurice Trintignant and Johnny Claes (36).
|Hernando da Silva Ramos
|Alexander Racing Team - Gordini
|Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing
|/ Scuderia Anglo-Italia
- Only the top five positions are listed.
| Previous race:
1954 Belgian Grand Prix
| Alternate Formula 1 World Championship
| Next race:
1954 British Grand Prix
| Previous race:
1953 Dutch Grand Prix
|Dutch Grand Prix
| Next race:
1957 Dutch Grand Prix