German GP 1959

German GP, 1959

The German Grand Prix had moved from the Nurburgring to the Automobil Verkehrs und Ubungs-Strasse (AVUS) facility in Berlin. This was little more than a piece of motorway with banked loops at either end but it had been in operation since the 1920s, although the partition of Berlin had meant that a new south loop had to be built and this was not banked.

Because of fears that there would be tire problems it was decided to run the race in two heats. Ferrari was back in action after missing the British GP but Jean Behra was gone and the team was running Tony Brooks, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney and Cliff Allison. Behra appeared in a Formula 2 Porsche. Cooper had its usual crew of Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren and Masten Gregory with private entries from Rob Walker for Maurice Trintignant and Stirling Moss. BRM ran Harry Schell, Jo Bonnier and local hero Hans Herrmann while Lotus fielded Graham Hill and Innes Ireland as usual.

Saturday was overshadowed by Behra's death in a supporting sportscar race, the little Frenchman spinning his Porsche RSK in damp conditions and being thrown from the car into a flag pole. He died instantly.

Formula 1 qualifying resulted in pole position for Brooks with Moss, Gurney and Brabham with Gurney alongside on the 4-3-4 grid. Behind them on row two were Gregory, Phil Hill and Bonnier . Brooks took the lead in the first heat while Moss was quickly out with transmission trouble. Gregory led briefly but then Brooks was ahead again but he had to battle with Gurney and Gregory, although the latter would retire with five laps to go with an engine failure, which promoted Hill to third and McLaren fourth.

The second heat featured a grid made up of the finishing positions of heat one and at the start McLaren took the lead but he was quickly overtaken by P Hill, Bonnier, Brooks and Gurney. Brooks quickly got to the front and Bonnier dropped back to give Ferrari a 1-2-3. Herrman suffered a brake failure on his BRM and went off at high speed in the South Turn. The car hit hay bales and was launched into a series of somersaults and Herrman was thrown out but escaped serious injury.

When the aggregate times were worked out it was a Ferrari 1-2-3 with Brooks ahead of Gurney and Hill.

Tony Brooks Ferrari D246 60 2h09m31.600s  
Dan Gurney Ferrari D246 60 2h09m33.500s  
Phil Hill Ferrari D246 60 2h10m36.400s  
Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax T51 59  12 
Jo Bonnier BRM P25 58  
18 Ian Burgess Cooper-Maserati T51 56  15 
7r 10 Harry Schell BRM P25 49 Clutch (pushed Over Line) 
Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax T51 37 Clutch 
11 Hans Herrmann BRM P25 35 Accident 11 
Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax T51 23 Engine 
Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax T51 15 Clutch 
16 Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 16 10 Oil Radiator 10 
15 Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 16 Gearbox 13 
17 Cliff Allison Ferrari D246 Clutch 14 
Stirling Moss Cooper-Climax T51 Gearbox 
ns 12 Jean Behra Behra Porsche-Porsche   Fatal Accident In Support Race 16 
ns 14 Wolfgang von Trips Porsche 718  Withdrew 17