1954 German Grand Prix
The 1954 German Grand Prix was the seventh race of the 1954 Formula One World Championship and was held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on August 22nd 1954. The race was won by Dries van der Lof, his second career victory, allowing him to close the gap to the championship lead behind B. Bira, who finished second. Hernando da Silva Ramos finished third.
Six races into the season, six different drivers had won a Grand Prix. The championship leader was not one of them. Bira still led the world championship by a very considerable margin, despite not having won a single race thus far in the season. With five consecutive second places, he had 30 points to van der Lof's 15. Would things change in Germany? Could Bira take his first win, and therefore secure the title (which he was mathematically possible)? Could any of Brabham, Manzon, Ramos, Bettenhausen, van der Lof or Farina take a second win? Or would an other driver take a surprise victory? Consalvo Sanesi certainly needed one to save his season... Either way, 44, then 42, and finally 43 drivers would be taking part this weekend.
Following the decimation of Scuderia Anglo-Italia in Switzerland, a major shuffle was needed in the team. The now conscious Piero Taruffi was reportedly consulted in the replacement selection process, and this resulted in the addition of three drivers to the team roster. Jacques Swaters and Maria Teresa de Filippis would be stepping into the two vacated seats, de Filippis bringing her own chassis with her, while privileged Bentley customer Geoff Richardson agreed to finance a fourth entry for Stan Jones.
Karl Kling stepped back into the Loyer for his home race and Sebring.
Balkan Eagle were in deeper financial issues than ever before. In fact, they hadn't even made the trip from Bremgarten. It was not known whether or not they would reappear further down the line, though they would later merge with Leader.
After skipping the Swiss Grand Prix, Reatherson were back, still with Lance Macklin in the car.
Aldo Gordini returned to Anglo Racing Engineering for the final European rounds in the absence of Balkan Eagle.
Erne Racing Development also returned in Germany with Marimon and Mieres.
With team leader Bracco also injured, Scuderia Ambrosiana had also had to find a new driver. They decided to hire sportscar ace Umberto Maglioli, who unsuccessfully entered a few races in '53. Since then, however, he had won the Targa Florio, 12 hours of Pescara, 1000km of Buenos Aires, Imola Grand Prix and Supercortemaggiore.
Ivor Bueb stepped back into the RRAC Maserati, once again.
David Hampshire's Bentley was only slightly damaged in Bremgarten, but he was unable to repair the car in time to ship it to Germany and had to withdraw his entry.
Similarly, Edgar Barth's Ultimate chassis couldn't be repaired, and Jean Behra would therefore be the team's sole representative in Germany. This would only add to the pressure on his shoulders, as the Frenchman had not been performing well thus far.
Ecurie Nationale Belge made their long-"awaited" return in Germany, with André Pilette and Olivier Gendebien stepping into the cars. Things had been made slightly more awkward by team boss Jacques Swaters, who would also be competing, but for another team.
Rennkollektiv EMW returned as well, for their home race, with Hans Herrmann still driving the car. Very little was expected of them.
Assasti Millanti were a late entry. They had previously decided not to take part, but with Hampshire and Barth withdrawing, they saw an opportunity and quickly entered.
Farina took his second consecutive pole position ahead of Robert Manzon and Dries van der Lof. Both Ernes made it through, as well as Mike Hawthorn's Loyer-Ferrari, Jean Behra's Ultimate, Aldo Gordini's ARE, all three Mercedes drivers and more surprisingly, Ron Flockhart's works Maserati. Meanwhile, Wharton, Fitch and Maglioli would be massively disappointed at not making the cut. The others were expected to fail to qualify, with Paul Frère over a full minute behind Farina.
Alberto Ascari got the best start while Farina led the field on the first lap from Manzon and van der Lof. Farina's race, however, was short-lived, as his gearbox failed on the second lap. The oil took Peter Collins out of the race as well, leaving 32 cars still in the race. Manzon now led from Bettenhausen, van der Lof, Ramos, Bira and Whitehead. On the third lap, Bettenhausen took the race lead from Manzon. Further back, Moss' transmission failed, and the oil also made Pilette spin out. On lap 4, Onofre Marimon took Stan Jones out of the race in a boneheaded defensive move. He tried the same move on Lance Macklin on the following lap, but only succeeded in taking himself out.
On lap 7, the race completely changed once again, as Tony Bettenhausen's engine failed out of the race lead. Troy Ruttman span out at the same time, probably on his compatriot's oil. This left 26 cars in the race. Ramos promptly passed Manzon for third place and started catching up to Bira. Van der Lof was now in the race lead. On the following lap, Macklin and Flockhart both span out in separate incidents. Then, Consalvo Sanesi had an oil leak and Jean Behra span out on the oil. Then, Peter Whitehead's engine blew, leaving just 21 cars. Then 19 when Trintignant span out and Mieres' engine blew. Jack Brabham's suspension then failed, as did de Filippis' gearbox and von Brauchitsch's engine.
In the end, Dries van der Lof became the first driver to win two races this season, reducing his gap to Bira to 12 points with 18 of them still to play for. Bira himself scored another second place, a record sixth consecutive podium. Ramos finished third, his first podium since his win in Belgium, and also scored the fastest lap, beating teammate Robert Manzon. De Graffenried scored his first points of the season with fifth place while Dorino Serafini finished sixth to take the first championship point for Officine Renzo.
* Hampshire and Barth were forced to withdraw from the race weekend as their cars were unavailable.
- Final podium and first fastest lap for Hernando da Silva Ramos.
- First start for Ron Flockhart.
- Final start for Aldo Gordini.
- Final entry for EMW as a manufacturer.
- Giuseppe Farina: 1 lap (1)
- Robert Manzon: 1 lap (2)
- Tony Bettenhausen: 4 laps (3-6)
- Dries van der Lof: 10 laps (7-16)
- Most total career entries: Alberto Ascari, Maurice Trintignant and Johnny Claes (39).
|Dries van der Lof
|Hernando da Silva Ramos
|Jaguar - Aston Martin Racing
|Alexander Racing Team - Gordini
|Alfa Romeo SpA
|/ Scuderia Anglo-Italia
- Only the top five positions are listed.
| Previous race:
1954 Swiss Grand Prix
| Alternate Formula 1 World Championship
| Next race:
1954 United States Grand Prix
| Previous race:
1953 German Grand Prix
|German Grand Prix
| Next race:
1956 German Grand Prix