|1952 Formula One season|
|Drivers' Champion: Alberto Ascari|
The 1952 Formula One season was the sixth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. In comparison to previous seasons, the 1952 season consisted of a relatively small number of Formula One races, following the decision to run all the Grand Prix events counting towards the World Championship of Drivers to Formula Two regulations rather than Formula One. The Indianapolis 500, which also counted towards the World Championship, was still run to AAA regulations as in previous seasons.
In addition to the Formula One races and the World Championship Formula Two races, numerous other Formula Two races, which did not count towards the championship, were held during the year.
World Championship season summary
Alfa Romeo, unable to fund a new car, withdrew from racing, while BRM had been preparing two V16-powered cars for the season but withdrew them before an April race at Valentino Park, Turin, whilst attempting to enlist Juan Manuel Fangio as teammate to Stirling Moss, leaving Ferrari as the only serious Formula One contender. This led World Championship organizers to run their races for Formula Two, utilising 2-litre naturally aspirated engines, which meant larger fields and a greater variety of cars, even if the victories all went to Ferrari. Ascari won the six Grands Prix he entered, missing the Swiss race because he was at Indianapolis qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 – the first European to do so in the World Championship era. Maserati and Gordini offered little challenge, but Mike Hawthorn's drives in his Cooper would earn him a works Ferrari drive in 1953. Reigning champion Fangio, badly injured in an early season crash at Monza, took no part in the championship, but was to go on to drive for BRM.
Race 1: Switzerland
For the second successive season, the opening round of the championship was the Swiss Grand Prix, held at the Bremgarten Circuit in Bern. Ferrari's lead driver Alberto Ascari was absent due to his participation in the Indianapolis 500 so it was left to his teammates Nino Farina and Piero Taruffi to secure the first two places on the grid. Farina led from the start until he retired with magneto failure, leaving Taruffi to win his only championship Grand Prix and also to take the extra point for fastest lap. Farina took over the car of his other teammate, Andre Simon, and was battling debutant Jean Behra for second place before both hit mechanical trouble, Farina again unable to continue. It was therefore privateer Rudi Fischer who completed a Ferrari 1-2, with Jean Behra in third for Gordini. Ken Wharton finished fourth driving a Frazer-Nash, the manufacturer's only ever points finish.
Race 2: Indianapolis 500
As usual, the Indianapolis 500 had little bearing on the result of the championship, although regular Ferrari driver Albero Ascari did compete, retiring after 40 laps. The race was dominated by Bill Vukovich, who led 150 laps before retiring. It was left to Troy Ruttman to win the race from Jim Rathmann and Sam Hanks.
Race 3: Belgium
Ascari returned to Ferrari for round 3 of the championship at Spa-Francorchamps, with Maserati still absent as they developed their A6GCM. The Ferrari cars dominated the whole weekend, with Ascari taking pole, the race win and fastest lap while leading every lap bar one. He was followed home by teammate Nino Farina and Robert Manzon finished in third for Gordini. Jean Behra again impressed as he led the opening lap before falling behind the Ferrari juggernaut and eventually retiring after a incident with the third Ferrari of Piero Taruffi.
Race 4: France
Scuderia Ferrari dominated once again at Rouen, taking all three podium places. Ascari led all the way from pole position to assume the championship lead and achieve his fourth career victory, drawing him level to his teammate Nino Farina who finished second. Piero Taruffi finished third after falling behind the Gordinis of Robert Manzon and Jean Behra at the start. It was Manzon who was the highest Non-Ferrari finisher ahead of his teammate Maurice Trintignant who was driving an older model.
Race 5: Britain
Although Ascari again dominated, it wasn't plain sailing for his teammates as Ferrari eventually dominated as they had done throughout the year. It was the Italian's third consecutive victory that further strengthened his eventually successful championship challenge as his main competitor, Nino Farina failed to score despite taking pole position. The third Ferrari of Piero Taruffi dropped down to ninth at the start but eventually recovered to take second place while a pitstop for new spark plugs meant Farina finished in sixth position. It was a triumphant day for British cars and drivers, with Mike Hawthorn taking his first podium driving a Cooper-Bristol, while British cars and drivers occupied the other points paying positions.
Race 6: Germany
The belated arrival of the Maserati factory team failed to stop the dominance of Ferrari, with Alberto Ascari clinching his first World Title and eclipsing the injured Juan Manuel Fangio's win record. It was his fourth consecutive victory of the season, again leading every race lap from pole position. He did briefly lose the race lead to Farina after pitting for oil, but this is not reflected in the lap charts as he caught and passed his teammate before they crossed the line at the end of the lap. Farina finished second and privateer Ferrari driver Rudi Fischer finished third ahead of the works car of Taruffi to ensure a Ferrari 1-2-3-4. Jean Behra scored the final points for Gordini just ahead of another Ferrari car, this time driven by Roger Laurent.
Race 7: Netherlands
Race 8: Italy
World Championship season review
The 1952 World Championship of Drivers was contested over an eight race series.
|Rnd||Race||Circuit||Date||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Constructor||Tyre||Report|
|1||Swiss Grand Prix||Bremgarten||18 May||Giuseppe Farina||Piero Taruffi||Piero Taruffi||Ferrari||P||Report|
|2||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis||30 May||Fred Agabashian||Bill Vukovich||Troy Ruttman||Kuzma-Offenhauser||Report|
|3||Belgian Grand Prix||Spa-Francorchamps||22 June||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Ferrari||P||Report|
|4||French Grand Prix||Rouen-Les-Essarts||6 July||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Ferrari||P||Report|
|5||British Grand Prix||Silverstone||19 July||Giuseppe Farina||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Ferrari||P||Report|
|6||German Grand Prix||Nürburgring||3 August||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Ferrari||P||Report|
|7||Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||17 August||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Alberto Ascari||Ferrari||P||Report|
|8||Italian Grand Prix||Monza||7 September||Alberto Ascari|| Alberto Ascari
José Froilán González
All 1952 World Championship Grand Prix events were restricted to Formula Two cars and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, which also counted towards the 1952 AAA Championship, was contested by AAA National Championship cars. The Spanish Grand Prix was scheduled to be held on 26 October at the Pedralbes Circuit in Barcelona, but was cancelled.
Teams and drivers
* Car entered only in the Indianapolis 500 race
World Championship of Drivers standings
Points were awarded to top five finishers in each race on an 8–6–4–3–2 basis. One point was awarded for fastest lap. Points for shared drives were divided equally between the drivers, regardless of who had driven more laps. Only the best four of eight scores counted towards the World Championship.
- Italics indicate fastest lap (one point awarded – point shared equally between drivers sharing fastest lap)
- Bold indicates pole position
- † Position shared between more drivers of the same car
- Only the best four results counted towards the championship. Numbers without parentheses are championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
Other Formula One/Formula Two races, which did not count towards the World Championship of Drivers, were also held in 1952.
East German Championship
|Race name||Circuit||Date||Winning driver||Constructor||Report|
|I||Rostock||20 April||Paul Greifzu||BMW-|
|I||Bernau||4 May||Rudolf Krause||BMW-|
|I||Dessau||11 May||Fritz Riess||Veritas-Meteor|
|III||Leipzig||2 June||Edgar Barth||IFA-|
|III||8 June||Edgar Barth||IFA-|
|I||Leipzig||17 August||Hans Stuck||AFM-BMW|
|V||Grenzlandring||31 August||Toni Ulmen||Veritas|
|IV||Sachsenring||7 September||Edgar Barth||EMW-BMW|
- Peter Higham, The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing, 1995, page 12
- "Grand Prix Cancelled". Autosport. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- 1952 World Championship of Drivers results in the FIA Yearbook of Automobile Sport 1974, pages 118-119 show Manzon placed 6th below Hawthorn and Fischer who are shown as equal 4th
- Races in South America 1945-today, www.igleize.fr Retrieved 13 December 2020
- The Races of 1952, Motor Sport, January 1953, page 9
- The Goodwood Easter Meeting, Motor Sport, May 1952, page 241
- The Goodwood Easter Meeting, Motor Sport, May 1952, page 232
- I Ibsley Formula 2 Race 1952 - Ibsley Grand Prix, www.the-fastlane.co.uk Retrieved 13 December 2020
- Grand Prix winners 1894-2019, http://www.forix.com Retrieved 13 December 2020
- F1 non-championship races 1945-1957, www.igleize.fr Retrieved 13 December 2020
- I West Essex CC Formula 2 Race 1952, www.the-fastlane.co.uk Retrieved 13 December 2020
- Equipe Gordini: Jeremy McMullen, Equipe Simca-Gordini - 1952 Formula One Season, www.conceptcarz.com Retrieved 13 December 2020
- Mattijs Diepraam, Horsepower on the Prairie, 28 August 2010, www.forix.com Retrieved 13 December 2020
- I Scottish National Trophy 1952, www.the-fastlane.co.uk Retrieved 13 December 2020
- Goodwood Finale, Motor Sport, November 1952, page 509
- I Joe Fry Memorial Trophy 1952, www.the-fastlane.co.uk Retrieved 13 December 2020
- Gerard's old E.R.A. wins an epic Charterhall International Trophy Race, beating B.R.M., Motor Sport, November 1952, page 501