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1954 Swiss Grand Prix

Grand Prix de Suisse

Sunday, August 22, 1954
Cool, damp and overcast at the start, drying
Fastest Lap:
Fangio, 2m39.7
1954 season:

Berne, August 22nd.

Cold and damp weather was the chief factor at the Swiss Grand Prix, held over 66 laps of the Bremgarten Circuit on the edge of Berne. As is becoming more and more evident as the new Formula 1 gathers strength, big Grand Prix events are fast becoming the preserve of the factory teams, which, of course, is normal. Of the 16 starters only two were non-factory, these being the Belgian Swaters with his Ferrari and Wharton in the Rubery Owen Maserati, now very much modified. Since Silverstone this last car has been fitted with Dunlop disc brakes and alloy wheels, similar to the Le Mans Jaguars, the oil tank has been removed from below the carburetters and placed on the left of the cockpit, the exhaust tail-pipes considerably shortened, and many other detail modifications made to the engine, while the bodywork has now turned olive green.

Of the factory teams Mercédès-Benz had three Nurburgring single-seaters driven by Fangio, Kling and Herrmann, ostensibly the same as at the previous race, though the rear suspension was strengthened at the point where Kling's broke up in the German G.P. Ferrari entered two 1954 cars, now with new front brakes that were larger and wider, but in practice Manzon had a bad crash in one of these, while having his first try-out in the factory team. Gonzalez practised in the other one, but Maglioli drove it, in the race. Hawthorn practised in a 1953/54 model fitted with a high tail fairing as on the 1954 cars, with a slightly larger fuel tank, and Trintignant had a normal 1953/54 car, both these last two cars having the new engines as at Nurburgring. With Manzon's car out, Gonzalez took the 1953/54 one with the headrest and another normal 1953/54 car was produced for Hawthorn. The full team of three Gordinis were running, Behra and Bucci on the five-speed models and the American driver Wacker being on the four-speed one. Mainstay of the Maserati team was naturally Moss, driving his own car, but having three others at his disposal should the need arise. Two of the other three cars were all fitted with the rear-mounted oil tank and handled by Mieres and Schell, the last named having his first drive with a de Dion car, this particular one being fitted with a right-hand accelerator pedal, similar to that of Moss, the idea being that the number one driver should have another car in reserve. Mantovani was on the fourth works entry.