French GP 1953

French GP, 1953

The rivalry between Ferrari and Maserati in the summer of 1953 culminated in a splendid battle at the French Grand Prix at Reims with the race only being settled in the final slipstreaming dash to the finishing line after 300 miles of racing. Rising star Mike Hawthorn beat Juan-Manuel Fangio by a second with Froilan Gonzalez, Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina all within a few seconds of one another. The rest of the field comprising Gordinis, HWMs and a few privateers were not in contention.

Practice has resulted in Ascari taking pole position for Ferrari with Felice Bonetto's Maserati and Villoresi's Ferrari alongside. On the second row were the Maseratis and Fangio and Gonzalez, while Farina, Hawthorn and Onofre Marimon completed the top eight. The only other drivers close to them were Baron Emanuel de Graffenried in his private Maserati and Louis Rosier in his private Ferrari.

Gonzalez started with a light fuel load and so took the lead in the early laps, while Bonetto lost touch with the leaders when he spun. The other cars were switching places all the time. Gonzalez pitted but was unable to get out ahead of the battle and so joined in, although Marimon dropped out soon afterwards with a radiator problem which had to be repaired.

The battle for victory continued right to the flag, which ended the most exciting race in World Championship history up to that point.

16 Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 500 60 2h44m18.600s  
18 Juan-Manuel Fangio Maserati A6GCM 60 2h44m19.600s  
20 Froilan Gonzalez Maserati A6GCM 60 2h44m20.000s  
10 Alberto Ascari Ferrari 500 60 2h44m23.200s  
14 Giuseppe Farina Ferrari 500 60 2h45m26.200s  
12 Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 500 60 2h45m34.500s  
46 Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati A6GCM 58  
44 Louis Rosier Ferrari 500 56  10 
22 Onofre Marimon Maserati A6GCM 55  
10 Jean Behra Gordini T16 55  22 
11 38 Bob Gerard Cooper-Bristol T23 55  12 
12 48 Johnny Claes Connaught-Lea Francis A 53  21 
13 28 Peter Collins HWM-Alta (53) 52  17 
14 30 Yves Giraud-Cabantous HWM-Alta (53) 50  18 
15 32 Louis Chiron OSCA 20 43  25 
24 Felice Bonetto Maserati A6GCM 42 Engine 
36 Stirling Moss Cooper-Alta SPL. 38 Clutch 13 
42 Prince Bira Connaught-Lea Francis A 29 Differential 11 
34 Elie Bayol OSCA 20 18 Engine 15 
40 Ken Wharton Cooper-Bristol T23 17 Bearings 14 
Maurice Trintignant Gordini T16 14 Transmission 23 
26 Lance Macklin HWM-Alta (53) Clutch 16 
Roberto Mieres Gordini T16 Mechanical 24 
Harry Schell Gordini T16 Engine 20 
50 Roy Salvadori Connaught-Lea Francis A Ignition 19