French GP 1954

French GP, 1954

The long-awaited Mercedes-Benz team arrived at the French GP with the new W196 cars for Juan-Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann. With Giuseppe Farina out of action after an accident Gianni Lancia agreed to release Alberto Ascari to drive for Maserati, ensuring that there was an Italian driver in the race. Ferrari fielded Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn with Maurice Trintigant.

In practice Fangio was fastest from Kling with Ascari on the front row alongside the silver cars. Gonzalez shared the second row with Maserati's Onofre Marimon while Prince Bira did well in his Maserati to record a faster time than Herrmann and Hawthorn.

Ascari's race was short as he retired with transmission failure during the first lap which left Fangio and Kling to run away with the race. There was a lively battle for third place with Hawthorn battling with Marimon before he had to retire. The Argentine also had to stop for a change of plugs and dropped to the tail of the field and so Prince Bira battled with Jean Behra's Gordini and Trintigant's Ferrari. Behra made a mistake and went off and Trintigant lost time trying to avoid his countryman and so Bira was able to escape but on the final lap he ran out of fuel and was overtaken by Robert Manzon in a Ferrari who had inherited fourth place when Trintignant went out with engine trouble.

18 Juan-Manuel Fangio Mercedes-Benz-Mercedes W196 STR. 61 2h42m47.900s  
20 Karl Kling Mercedes-Benz-Mercedes W196 STR. 61 2h42m48.000s  
34 Robert Manzon Ferrari 625 60  12 
46 Prince Bira Maserati 250F 60  
14 Luigi Villoresi Maserati 250F 58  14 
24 Jean Behra Gordini T16 56  17 
28 Paul Frere Gordini T16 50 Mechanical 19 
Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 625 36 Engine 
36 Louis Rosier Ferrari 500 27 Engine 13 
12 Onofre Marimon Maserati 250F 27 Gearbox 
16 Roberto Mieres Maserati A6GCM 24 Engine 11 
42 Ken Wharton Maserati 250F 19 Mechanical 16 
48 Harry Schell Maserati A6GCM 19 Fuel Pump 21 
22 Hans Herrmann Mercedes-Benz-Mercedes W196 STR. 16 Engine 
44 Roy Salvadori Maserati 250F 15 Mechanical 10 
Froilan Gonzalez Ferrari 553 13 Engine 
32 Lance Macklin HWM-Alta (53) 10 Engine 15 
30 Georges Berger Gordini T16 Engine 20 
Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 553 Engine 
26 Jacques Pollet Gordini T16 Engine 18 
10 Alberto Ascari Maserati 250F Engine 
ns 40 Sergio Mantovani Maserati 250F   22