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1954 Italian Grand Prix

Gran Premio d'Italia

Sunday, September 5, 1954
Warm, dry and sunny
Fastest Lap:
Gonzalez, 2m00.8
1954 season:

From the Motor Sport Archive

Monza, September 5th.

As the World Championship series draws to a close at the end of the season, the Italian event is traditionally held at the Monza track, which while not being a pure road circuit calls for some pretty steady driving, but the main thing required is high speed and acceleration for the 6.3 kilometre lap. In consequence of this all the regular runners in the season's Grand Prix events tend to put in all they have for this end-of-season blind. It is at Monza, where the car as a whole is not strained so much as at Spa or Nurburgring, that the factory technicians pull out all the stops.

This year, although practice did not start officially until Friday, the previous two days saw some activity, for the track is always available for testing, and unofficial timing showed that lap times of 2 minutes were possible with the new Formula 1 cars of 2 1/2-litres capacity. Maserati had set the pace by letting Gonzalez do a lap in one of their cars and he recorded just under 2 minutes, while Ferraris turned up after that and it was reported that they too had been going round in 2 minutes. Then Mercédès-Benz hired the track and Fangio did some very definite "under 2-minute laps," and later it was officially announced that Ascari was going to drive a Ferrari in the race, and it was he who had been going round so fast. Gonzalez had only borrowed the Maserati for fun, but as Moss was driving a works entry he would obviously be lapping about the same as Gonzalez.