👼 Set your curiosity free with rich, wide-ranging, hyper-connected information.

1952 Formula One season

Sports season

Top 3 1952 Formula One season related articles

1952 Formula One season
Drivers' Champion: Alberto Ascari
Previous: 1951 Next: 1953

The 1952 Formula One season was the sixth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. In comparison to previous seasons, the 1952 season consisted of a relatively small number of Formula One races, following the decision to run all the Grand Prix events counting towards the World Championship of Drivers to Formula Two regulations rather than Formula One. The Indianapolis 500, which also counted towards the World Championship, was still run to AAA regulations as in previous seasons.

The 3rd FIA World Championship of Drivers, which began on 18 May and ended on 7 September after eight races, was won by Alberto Ascari, driving for Scuderia Ferrari.

In addition to the Formula One races and the World Championship Formula Two races, numerous other Formula Two races, which did not count towards the Championship, were held during the year.

1952 Formula One season Intro articles: 4

World Championship season summary

Alfa Romeo, unable to fund a new car, withdrew from racing, while BRM had been preparing two V16-powered cars for the season but withdrew them before an April race at Valentino Park, Turin, whilst attempting to enlist Juan Manuel Fangio as teammate to Stirling Moss, leaving Ferrari as the only serious Formula One contender. This led World Championship organizers to run their races for Formula Two,[1] utilising 2-litre naturally aspirated engines, which meant larger fields and a greater variety of cars, even if the victories all went to Ferrari. Ascari won the six Grands Prix he entered, missing the Swiss race because he was at Indianapolis qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 – the first European to do so in the World Championship era. Maserati and Gordini offered little challenge, but Mike Hawthorn's drives in his Cooper would earn him a works Ferrari drive in 1953. Reigning champion Fangio, badly injured in an early season crash at Monza, took no part in the championship, but was to go on to drive for BRM.

Race 1: Switzerland

For the second successive season, the opening round of the Championship was the Swiss Grand Prix, held at the Bremgarten Circuit in Bern. Ferrari's lead driver Alberto Ascari was absent due to his participation in the Indianapolis 500 so it was left to his teammates Nino Farina and Piero Taruffi to secure the first two places on the grid. Farina led from the start until he retired with Magneto failure, leaving Taruffi to win his only championship Grand Prix and also to take the extra point for fastest lap. Farina took over the car of his other teammate, Andre Simon, and was battling debutant Jean Behra for second place before both hit mechanical trouble, Farina again unable to continue. It was therefore privateer Rudi Fischer who completed a Ferrari 1-2, with Jean Behra in third for Gordini. Ken Wharton finished fourth driving a Frazer-Nash, the manufacturer's only ever points finish.

Race 2: Indianapolis 500

As usual, the Indianapolis 500 had little bearing on the result of the Championship, although regular Ferrari driver Albero Ascari did compete, retiring after 40 laps. The race was dominated by Bill Vukovich, who led 150 laps before retiring. It was left to Troy Ruttman to win the race from Jim Rathmann and Sam Hanks.

Race 3: Belgium

Ascari returned to Ferrari for Round 3 of the Championship at Spa-Francorchamps, with Maserati still absent as they developed their A6GCM. The Ferrari cars dominated the whole weekend, with Ascari taking pole, the race win and fastest lap while leading every lap bar one. He was followed home by teammate Nino Farina and Robert Manzon finished in third for Gordini. Jean Behra again impressed as he led the opening lap before falling behind the Ferrari juggernaut and eventually retiring after a incident with the third Ferrari of Piero Taruffi.

Race 4: France

Scuderia Ferrari dominated once again at Reims, taking all three podium places. Ascari led all the way from pole position to assume the Championship lead and achieve his fourth career victory, drawing him level to his teammate Nino Farina who finished second. Piero Taruffi finished third after falling behind the Gordinis of Robert Manzon and Jean Behra at the start. It was Manzon who was the highest Non-Ferrari finisher ahead of his teammate Maurice Trintignant who was driving an older model.

Race 5: Britain

Although Ascari again dominated, it wasn't plain sailing for his teammates as Ferrari eventually dominated as they had done throughout the year. It was the Italian's third consecutive victory that further strengthened his eventually successful championship challenge as his main competitor, Nino Farina failed to score despite taking pole position. The third Ferrari of Piero Taruffi dropped down to ninth at the start but eventually recovered to take second place while a pitstop for new spark plugs meant Farina finished in sixth position. It was a triumphant day for British cars and drivers, with Mike Hawthorn taking his first podium driving a Cooper-Bristol, while British cars and drivers occupied the other points paying positions.

Race 6: Germany

The belated arrival of the Maserati factory team failed to stop the dominance of Ferrari, with Alberto Ascari clinching his first World Title and eclipsing the injured Juan Manuel Fangio's win record. It was his fourth consecutive victory of the season, again leading every race lap from pole position. He did briefly lose the race lead to Farina after pitting for oil, but this is not reflected in the lap charts as he caught and passed his teammate before they crossed the line at the end of the lap. Farina finished second and privateer Ferrari driver Rudi Fischer finished third ahead of the works car of Taruffi to ensure a Ferrari 1-2-3-4. Jean Behra scored the final points for Gordini just ahead of another Ferrari car, this time driven by Roger Laurent.

Race 7: Netherlands

Race 8: Italy

1952 Formula One season World Championship season summary articles: 11

World Championship season review

The 1952 World Championship of Drivers was contested over an eight race series.

Rnd Race Circuit Date Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Constructor Tyre Report
1 Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten 18 May Giuseppe Farina Piero Taruffi Piero Taruffi Ferrari P Report
2 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis 30 May Fred Agabashian Bill Vukovich Troy Ruttman Kuzma-Offenhauser F Report
3 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps 22 June Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Ferrari P Report
4 French Grand Prix Rouen-Les-Essarts 6 July Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Ferrari P Report
5 British Grand Prix Silverstone 19 July Giuseppe Farina Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Ferrari P Report
6 German Grand Prix Nürburgring 3 August Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Ferrari P Report
7 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort 17 August Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari Ferrari P Report
8 Italian Grand Prix Monza 7 September Alberto Ascari Alberto Ascari
José Froilán González
Alberto Ascari Ferrari P Report

All 1952 World Championship Grand Prix events were restricted to Formula Two cars and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, which also counted towards the 1952 AAA Championship, was contested by AAA National Championship cars. The Spanish Grand Prix was scheduled to be held on October 26 at the Pedralbes Circuit in Barcelona, but was cancelled.[2]

1952 Formula One season World Championship season review articles: 46

Teams and drivers

Italian Alberto Ascari won the 1952 World Championship of Drivers

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1952 FIA World Championship of Drivers. The list does not include those that contested only the Indianapolis 500 event.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
AFM AFM-Küchen AFM Küchen 2.0 V8 E Hans Stuck 1
Toni Ulmen Veritas Meteor Veritas 2.0 L6 D Toni Ulmen 1, 6
Equipe Gordini Gordini 16
Gordini 20 2.0 L6
Gordini 1500 1.5 L4
E Jean Behra 1, 3–4, 6–8
Robert Manzon 1, 3–8
Birabongse Bhanudej 1, 3–5
Johnny Claes 3
Maurice Trintignant 4–8
Ecurie Rosier Ferrari 500
Ferrari 500 2.0 L4
Ferrari 166 2.0 V12
Louis Rosier 1, 3–4, 8
Maurice Trintignant 1
HW Motors HWM-Alta 52
Alta F2 2.0 L4 D George Abecassis 1
Peter Collins 1, 3–6, 8
Lance Macklin 1, 3–5, 7–8
Stirling Moss 1
Paul Frère 3, 6
Roger Laurent 3
Yves Giraud-Cabantous 4
Duncan Hamilton 5, 7
Johnny Claes 6
Dries van der Lof 7
Scuderia Franera Frazer-Nash-Bristol FN48 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D Ken Wharton 1, 3, 7–8
Ecurie Richmond Cooper-Bristol T20 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D Eric Brandon 1, 3, 5, 8
Alan Brown 1, 3, 5, 8
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 500
Ferrari 500 2.0 L4
Ferrari 375 4.5 V12*


Giuseppe Farina 1, 3–8
Piero Taruffi 1, 3–6, 8
Andre Simon 1, 8
Alberto Ascari 2–8
Luigi Villoresi 7–8
Enrico Platé Maserati-Platé 4CLT/48 Platé 2.0 L4 P Toulo de Graffenried 1, 4–5, 8
Harry Schell 1, 4–5
Alberto Crespo 8
Ecurie Espadon Ferrari 500
Ferrari 500 2.0 L4
Ferrari 166 2.0 V12
P Rudi Fischer 1, 4–6, 8
Peter Hirt 1, 4–5
Rudolf Schoeller 6
Hans Stuck 8
Alfred Dattner Simca-Gordini 11 Gordini 1500 1.5 L4 E Max de Terra 1
Leslie D. Hawthorn Cooper-Bristol T20 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D Mike Hawthorn 3, 5, 7–8
English Racing Automobiles Ltd ERA-Bristol G Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D Stirling Moss 3, 5, 7
Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 2.0 L4 E Charles de Tornaco 3, 7–8
Roger Laurent 6
Arthur Legat Veritas Meteor Veritas 2.0 L6 E Arthur Legat 3
Robin Montgomerie-Charrington Aston-Butterworth NB42 Butterworth 2.0 F4 D Robin Montgomerie-Charrington 3
Tony Gaze HWM-Alta 52 Alta F2 2.0 L4 D Tony Gaze 3, 5–6, 8
Robert O' Brien Simca-Gordini 15 Gordini 1500 1.5 L4 E Robert O' Brien 3
Peter Whitehead Alta
Alta F2 2.0 L4
Ferrari 166 2.0 V12
D Peter Whitehead 4–5, 8
Graham Whitehead 5
Escuderia Bandeirantes Maserati A6GCM Maserati A6 2.0 L6 P Philippe Étancelin 4
Gino Bianco 5–8
Eitel Cantoni 5–6, 8
Chico Landi 7–8
Jan Flinterman 7
Ecurie Belge Simca-Gordini 15 Gordini 1500 1.5 L4 E Johnny Claes 4–5
Paul Frère 7
Scuderia Marzotto Ferrari 166/F2 Ferrari 166 2.0 V12 P Franco Comotti 4
Piero Carini 4, 6
Archie Bryde
AHM Bryde
Cooper-Bristol T20 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D Mike Hawthorn 4
Reg Parnell 5
W.S. Aston Aston-Butterworth NB41 Butterworth 2.0 F4 D Bill Aston 5–6, 8
Connaught Engineering Connaught-Lea Francis A Lea Francis 2.0 L4 D Kenneth McAlpine 5, 8
Ken Downing 5
Eric Thompson 5
Dennis Poore 5, 8
Stirling Moss 8
Ecurie Ecosse Cooper-Bristol T20 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D David Murray 5
G. Caprara Ferrari 500 Ferrari 500 2.0 L4 D Roy Salvadori 5
Tony Crook Frazer-Nash-BMW 421 BMW 328 2.0 L6 D Tony Crook 5
Marcel Balsa Balsa-BMW Spécial BMW 328 2.0 L6 E Marcel Balsa 6
Fritz Riess Veritas RS Veritas 2.0 L6 ? Fritz Riess 6
Theo Helfrich Veritas RS Veritas 2.0 L6 ? Theo Helfrich 6
Willi Heeks AFM-BMW 8 BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Willi Heeks 6
Helmut Niedermayr AFM-BMW 6 BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Helmut Niedermayr 6
Adolf Brudes Veritas RS Veritas 2.0 L6 ? Adolf Brudes 6
Motor Presse Verlag Veritas Meteor Veritas 2.0 L6 ? Paul Pietsch 6
Hans Klenk Veritas Meteor Veritas 2.0 L6 ? Hans Klenk 6
Josef Peters Veritas RS Veritas 2.0 L6 ? Josef Peters 6
Bernhard Nacke Nacke-BMW Eigenbau BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Günther Bechem 6
Ludwig Fischer AFM-BMW 8 BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Ludwig Fischer 6
Willi Krakau AFM-BMW 6 BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Willi Krakau 6
Krakau-BMW Eigenbau Harry Merkel 6
Ernst Klodwig Heck-BMW Eigenbau BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Ernst Klodwig 6
Rudolf Krause Reif-BMW Eigenbau BMW 328 2.0 L6 ? Rudolf Krause 6
Ken Downing Connaught-Lea Francis A Lea Francis 2.0 L4 D Ken Downing 7
Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati A6GCM Maserati A6 2.0 L6 P Felice Bonetto 6, 8
Franco Rol 8
José Froilán González 8
Élie Bayol OSCA 20 OSCA 2000 2.0 L6 P Élie Bayol 8
Piero Dusio Cisitalia-BPM D46 BPM 2.0 L4 P Piero Dusio 8
Vicomtesse de Walckiers Simca-Gordini 15 Gordini 1500 1.5 L4 E Johnny Claes 8

* Car entered only in the Indianapolis 500 race

1952 Formula One season Teams and drivers articles: 115

1952 Drivers' Championship – final standings

Alberto Ascari won the championship driving a Ferrari 500

Points were awarded to top five finishers in each race on an 8–6–4–3–2 basis. One point was awarded for fastest lap. Points for shared drives were divided equally between the drivers, regardless of who had driven more laps. Only the best four of eight scores counted towards the World Championship.

Pos. Driver SUI
1 Alberto Ascari Ret 1 1 1 1 (1) (1) 36 (53.5)
2 Giuseppe Farina Ret 2 2 6 2 2 (4) 24 (27)
3 Piero Taruffi 1 Ret 3 2 4 7 22
4 Rudi Fischer 2 11† 13 3 Ret 10
= Mike Hawthorn 4 Ret 3 4 NC 10
6 [3] Robert Manzon Ret 3 4 Ret Ret 5 14 9
7 Troy Ruttman 1 8
= Luigi Villoresi 3 3 8
9 José Froilán González 2 6.5
10 Jim Rathmann 2 6
= Jean Behra 3 Ret 7 5 Ret Ret 6
12 Sam Hanks 3 4
13 Ken Wharton 4 Ret Ret 9 3
= Dennis Poore 4 12 3
= Duane Carter 4 3
16 Alan Brown 5 6 22 15 2
= Maurice Trintignant DNS 5 Ret Ret 6 Ret 2
= Paul Frère 5 Ret Ret 2
= Felice Bonetto DSQ 5 2
= Art Cross 5 2
= Eric Thompson 5 2
22 Bill Vukovich 17 1
Roger Laurent 12 6 0
Toulo de Graffenried 6 Ret† 19 DNQ 0
Peter Collins Ret Ret 6 Ret DNS DNQ 0
André Simon Ret† 6 0
Jimmy Bryan 6 0
Peter Hirt 7 11† Ret 0
Charles de Tornaco 7 Ret DNQ 0
Duncan Hamilton Ret 7 0
Jimmy Reece 7 0
Reg Parnell 7 0
Fritz Riess 7 0
Lance Macklin Ret 11 9 15 8 DNQ 0
Eric Brandon 8 9 20 13 0
Chico Landi 9† 8 0
Johnny Claes 8 Ret 14 10 DNQ 0
Toni Ulmen Ret 8 0
George Connor 8 0
Philippe Étancelin 8 0
Roy Salvadori 8 0
Ken Downing 9 Ret 0
Cliff Griffith 9 0
Helmut Niedermayr 9 0
Jan Flinterman 9† 0
Birabongse Bhanudej Ret 10 Ret 11 0
Louis Rosier Ret Ret Ret 10 0
Peter Whitehead Ret 10 DNQ 0
Johnnie Parsons 10 0
Yves Giraud-Cabantous 10 0
Eitel Cantoni Ret Ret 11 0
Jack McGrath 11 0
Hans Klenk 11 0
Jim Rigsby 12 0
Franco Comotti 12 0
Graham Whitehead 12 0
Ernst Klodwig 12 0
Joe James 13 0
Bill Schindler 14 0
Robert O'Brien 14 0
Tony Gaze 15 Ret Ret DNQ 0
George Fonder 15 0
Kenneth McAlpine 16 Ret 0
Eddie Johnson 16 0
Harry Schell Ret Ret† 17 0
Gino Bianco 18 Ret Ret Ret 0
Chuck Stevenson 18 0
Henry Banks 19 0
Manny Ayulo 20 0
Johnny McDowell 21 0
Tony Crook 21 0
Dries van der Lof NC 0
Stirling Moss Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 0
Piero Carini Ret Ret 0
Bill Aston DNS Ret DNQ 0
Hans Stuck Ret DNQ 0
George Abecassis Ret 0
Max de Terra Ret 0
Spider Webb Ret 0
Rodger Ward Ret 0
Tony Bettenhausen Ret 0
Duke Nalon Ret 0
Fred Agabashian Ret 0
Bob Sweikert Ret 0
Gene Hartley Ret 0
Bob Scott Ret 0
Chet Miller Ret 0
Bobby Ball Ret 0
Andy Linden Ret 0
Robin Montgomerie-Charrington Ret 0
David Murray Ret 0
Willi Heeks Ret 0
Adolf Brudes Ret 0
Marcel Balsa Ret 0
Günther Bechem Ret 0
Rudolf Krause Ret 0
Rudolf Schoeller Ret 0
Paul Pietsch Ret 0
Theo Helfrich Ret 0
Josef Peters Ret 0
Franco Rol Ret 0
Élie Bayol Ret 0
Willi Krakau DNS 0
Ludwig Fischer DNS 0
Harry Merkel DNS 0
Alberto Crespo DNQ 0
Piero Dusio DNQ 0
Pos. Driver SUI
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)
Did not enter (cell empty)
Text formatting Meaning
Bold Pole position
Italics Fastest lap
  • Italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded – point shared equally between drivers sharing fastest lap)
  • Bold indicates pole position
  • † Position shared between more drivers of the same car
  • Only the best four results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

1952 Formula One season 1952 Drivers' Championship – final standings articles: 31

Non-championship races

Other Formula One/Formula Two races, which did not count towards the World Championship of Drivers, were also held in 1952.

Race name Circuit Date Formula Winning driver Constructor Report
XI Grande Prêmio Cidade do Rio de Janeiro Gávea 20 January Formula Libre [4] José Froilán González Ferrari Report
II Gran Premio di Siracusa Syracuse 16 March Formula Two [5] Alberto Ascari