1955 Formula One season

1955 Formula One season
Drivers' Champion: Juan Manuel Fangio
Previous: 1954 Next: 1956

The 1955 Formula One season was the ninth season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1955 World Championship of Drivers,[1] which commenced on 16 January 1955 and ended on September 11 after seven races. Juan Manuel Fangio won his second consecutive World Championship title in a season that was curtailed by tragedies.

Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes Benz W196, pictured at the Nurburgring in 1986. This was the car he used to win his 3rd Drivers' Championship

The season also included a number of non-championship Formula One races.

Season summaryEdit

Mercedes drivers again dominated the championship, with Fangio taking four races, and his new teammate Stirling Moss the British Grand Prix. Ferrari won at Monaco after all of the Mercedes cars broke down and Lancia driver Alberto Ascari crashed into the harbour. Although Ascari was apparently unscathed, the double World Champion crashed fatally at Monza while testing sportscars four days later.

The disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11 June which killed Pierre Levegh and over 80 spectators led to the cancellations of the French, German, Spanish and Swiss Grands Prix.[2] The French round, which was supposed to be held at Reims between the Dutch and British rounds, on 3 July, was first rescheduled to 25 September[3] and subsequently cancelled. Then the German event, scheduled for 31 July at the Nürburgring, the Swiss round at Bremgarten, planned to take place on 21 August, and the Spanish round, on 23 October at Pedralbes, followed suit.[4] Pedralbes and Bremgarten were then abandoned and never used again for racing; motor racing was banned altogether in Switzerland and no motor-race was held in Switzerland until the 2018 Zürich ePrix. These cancellations effectively handed the Drivers' title to Fangio after he finished 2nd to Moss at the British Grand Prix; although he wasn't actually crowned champion until well after the British Grand Prix, because the German, Swiss and Spanish rounds were cancelled after the British Grand Prix took place.

1955 would be the final season for Mercedes Benz as a constructor until the team's revival in 2010. It would also mark the final win for Mercedes until the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.

Aside from Ascari's death this year, Italian Mario Alborghetti died at the non-championship Pau Grand Prix in France driving a Maserati; and during the Indianapolis 500, two drivers were killed during the month-long event: Americans Manny Ayulo in practice and previous race winner Bill Vukovich during the race 2 weeks later.

Season reviewEdit

Rnd Race Circuit Date Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Constructor Tyre Report
1   Argentine Grand Prix Buenos Aires 16 January   José Froilán González   Juan Manuel Fangio   Juan Manuel Fangio   Mercedes C Report
2   Monaco Grand Prix Monaco 22 May   Juan Manuel Fangio   Juan Manuel Fangio   Maurice Trintignant   Ferrari E Report
3   Indianapolis 500A Indianapolis 30 May   Jerry Hoyt   Bill Vukovich   Bob Sweikert   Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser F Report
4   Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps 5 June   Eugenio Castellotti   Juan Manuel Fangio   Juan Manuel Fangio   Mercedes C Report
5   Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort 19 June   Juan Manuel Fangio   Roberto Mieres   Juan Manuel Fangio   Mercedes C Report
6   British Grand Prix Aintree 16 July   Stirling Moss   Stirling Moss   Stirling Moss   Mercedes C Report
7   Italian Grand Prix Monza 11 September   Juan Manuel Fangio   Stirling Moss   Juan Manuel Fangio   Mercedes C Report
^A The Indianapolis 500 was AAA-sanctioned and not run to Formula One regulations. It also counted towards the 1955 AAA Championship.

Teams and driversEdit

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1955 FIA World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
  Daimler Benz AG Mercedes W196 Mercedes M196 2.5 L8 C   Juan Manuel Fangio 1–2, 4–7
  Karl Kling 1, 4–7
  Stirling Moss 1–2, 4–7
  Hans Herrmann 1–2
  André Simon 2
  Piero Taruffi 6–7
  Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari
Lancia
625
555
D50
Ferrari 555 2.5 L4
Lancia DS50 2.5 V8
E   Giuseppe Farina 1–2, 4, 7
  Umberto Maglioli 1, 7
  José Froilán González 1
  Maurice Trintignant 1–2, 4–7
  Harry Schell 2, 4
  Piero Taruffi 2, 4
  Paul Frère 2, 4
  Mike Hawthorn 5–7
  Eugenio Castellotti 5–7
  Luigi Villoresi 7
  Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 P   Jean Behra 1–2, 4–7
  Roberto Mieres 1–2, 4–7
  Sergio Mantovani 1
  Luigi Musso 1–2, 4–7
  Carlos Menditeguy 1, 7
  Clemar Bucci 1
  Harry Schell 1
  Cesare Perdisa 2, 4
  André Simon 6
  Peter Collins 7
  Horace Gould 7
  Alberto Uria Maserati A6GCM Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 P   Alberto Uria 1
  Scuderia Lancia Lancia D50 Lancia DS50 2.5 V8 P   Alberto Ascari 1–2
  Luigi Villoresi 1–2
  Eugenio Castellotti 1–2, 4
  Louis Chiron 2
  Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 23 2.5 L6 E   Élie Bayol 1–2
  Pablo Birger 1
  Jesús Iglesias 1
  Robert Manzon 2, 5–6
  Jacques Pollet 2, 5, 7
  Hermano da Silva Ramos 5–7
  Mike Sparken 6
  Jean Lucas 7
  Ecurie Rosier Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 P   Louis Rosier 2, 4–5
  Vandervell Products Vanwall VW 55 Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 P   Mike Hawthorn 2, 4
  Ken Wharton 6–7
  Harry Schell 6–7
  Stirling Moss Ltd Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D   Lance Macklin 2, 6
  Johnny Claes 4
  Peter Walker 5
  John Fitch 7
  E.N. Whiteaway HWM-Alta 53 Alta GP 2.5 L4 D   Ted Whiteaway 2
  Equipe Nationale Belge Ferrari 625 Ferrari 625 2.5 L4 E   Johnny Claes 5
  Gould's Garage (Bristol) Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D   Horace Gould 5–6
  Connaught Engineering Connaught-Alta B Alta GP 2.5 L4 D   Kenneth McAlpine 6
  Jack Fairman 6
  R.R.C. Walker Racing Team Connaught-Alta B Alta GP 2.5 L4 D   Tony Rolt 6
  Peter Walker 6
  Leslie Marr Connaught-Alta B Alta GP 2.5 L4 D   Leslie Marr 6
  Cooper Car Company Cooper-Bristol T40 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 D   Jack Brabham 6
  Owen Racing Organisation Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D   Peter Collins 6
  Gilby Engineering Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 D   Roy Salvadori 6
  Scuderia Volpini Arzani-Volpini-Maserati F1 Maserati 4CLT 2.5 L4 P   Luigi Piotti 7

1955 Drivers' Championship – final standingsEdit

Championship points were awarded on an 8–6–4–3–2 basis for the first five places at each race. One point was awarded for fastest race lap at each race. Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

Pos. Driver ARG
 
MON
 
500
 
BEL
 
NED
 
GBR
 
ITA
 
Pts.
1   Juan Manuel Fangio 1 (Ret) 1 1 2 1 40 (41)
2   Stirling Moss 4† / Ret 9 2 2 1 Ret 23
3   Eugenio Castellotti Ret† 2 Ret 5 6† / Ret 3 12
4   Maurice Trintignant 2† / 3† / Ret 1 6 Ret Ret 8 11 ​13
5   Nino Farina 2† / 3† 4 3 DNS 10 ​13
6   Piero Taruffi 8† DNS 4 2 9
7   Bob Sweikert 1 8
8   Roberto Mieres 5 Ret 5† 4 Ret 7 7
9   Jean Behra 6† / Ret† / Ret 3† / Ret† 5† / Ret 6 Ret 4 6
10   Luigi Musso 7† / Ret† Ret 7 3 5 Ret 6
11   Karl Kling 4† / Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 5
12   Jimmy Davies 3 4
13   Tony Bettenhausen 2† 3
14   Paul Russo 2† 3
15   Paul Frère 8† 4 3
16   Johnny Thomson 4 3
17   José Froilán González 2 2
18   Cesare Perdisa 3† / Ret† 8 2
19   Luigi Villoresi Ret† / Ret 5 DNS 2
20   Carlos Menditeguy Ret† / Ret 5 2
21   Umberto Maglioli 3† 6 1 ​13
22   Hans Herrmann 4† DNQ 1
23   Walt Faulkner 5† 1
24   Bill Homeier 5† 1
25   Bill Vukovich Ret 1
  Mike Hawthorn Ret Ret 7 6† 10 0
  Harry Schell 6† / 7† / Ret† Ret DNS 9† / Ret Ret 0
  Louis Chiron 6 0
  Andy Linden 6 0
  Jacques Pollet 7 10 Ret 0
  Al Herman 7 0
  Mike Sparken 7 0
  Sergio Mantovani 7† / Ret† 0
  Hermano da Silva Ramos 8 Ret Ret 0
  Lance Macklin DNQ 8 0
  Pat O'Connor 8 0
  Louis Rosier Ret 9 9 0
  Ken Wharton 9† Ret 0
  Jimmy Daywalt 9 0
  John Fitch 9 0
  Pat Flaherty 10 0
  Duane Carter 11 0
  Johnny Claes DNS 11 0
  Chuck Weyant 12 0
  Eddie Johnson 13 0
  Jim Rathmann 14 0
  Robert Manzon Ret Ret Ret 0
  Horace Gould Ret Ret Ret 0
  Alberto Ascari Ret Ret 0
  Élie Bayol Ret Ret 0
  André Simon Ret Ret 0
  Peter Collins Ret Ret 0
  Peter Walker Ret Ret† 0
  Jesus Iglesias Ret 0
  Pablo Birger Ret 0
  Alberto Uria Ret 0
  Don Freeland Ret 0
  Cal Niday Ret 0
  Art Cross Ret 0
  Shorty Templeman Ret 0
  Sam Hanks Ret 0
  Keith Andrews Ret 0
  Johnnie Parsons Ret 0
  Eddie Russo Ret 0
  Ray Crawford Ret 0
  Jimmy Bryan Ret 0
  Jack McGrath Ret 0
  Al Keller Ret 0
  Johnny Boyd Ret 0
  Ed Elisian Ret 0
  Rodger Ward Ret 0
  Jerry Hoyt Ret 0
  Jimmy Reece Ret 0
  Fred Agabashian Ret 0
  Kenneth McAlpine Ret 0
  Jack Brabham Ret 0
  Roy Salvadori Ret 0
  Leslie Marr Ret 0
  Jean Lucas Ret 0
  Clemar Bucci Ret† 0
  Tony Rolt Ret† 0
  Ted Whiteaway DNQ 0
  Jack Fairman DNS 0
  Luigi Piotti DNS 0
Pos. Driver ARG
 
MON
 
500
 
BEL
 
NED
 
GBR
 
ITA
 
Pts.
Key
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
  • † = Car driven by more than one driver

Non-championship racesEdit

Other Formula One races also held in 1955, which did not count towards the World Championship.

Race name Circuit Date Winning driver Constructor Report
  VII Gran Premio del Valentino Valentino Park 27 March   Alberto Ascari   Lancia Report
  XVI Pau Grand Prix Pau 11 April   Jean Behra   Maserati Report
  III Glover Trophy Goodwood 11 April   Roy Salvadori   Maserati Report
  IV Grand Prix de Bordeaux Bordeaux 25 April   Jean Behra   Maserati Report
  VII BRDC International Trophy Silverstone 7 May   Peter Collins   Maserati Report
  VIII Gran Premio di Napoli Posillipo 8 May   Alberto Ascari   Lancia Report
  XVII Grand Prix d'Albi Albi 29 May   André Simon   Maserati Report
  III Curtis Trophy Snetterton 29 May   Roy Salvadori   Maserati Report
  III Cornwall MRC Formula 1 Race Davidstow 30 May   Leslie Marr   Connaught-Alta Report
  III London Trophy Crystal Palace 30 July   Mike Hawthorn   Maserati Report
  III Daily Record Trophy Charterhall 6 August   Bob Gerard   Maserati Report
  III RedeX Trophy Snetterton 13 August   Harry Schell   Vanwall Report
  II Daily Telegraph Trophy Aintree 3 September   Roy Salvadori   Maserati Report
  II International Gold Cup Oulton Park 24 September   Stirling Moss   Maserati Report
  I Avon Trophy Castle Combe 1 October   Harry Schell   Vanwall Report
  V Gran Premio di Siracusa Syracuse 23 October   Tony Brooks   Connaught-Alta Report

NotesEdit

  1. ^ 1974 FIA Yearbook, Grey Section, Previous FIA Championship winners, page 118
  2. ^ Lang, Mike (1981). Grand Prix! Vol 1. Haynes Publishing Group. p. 82. ISBN 0-85429-276-4.
  3. ^ "Matters of Moment | Motor Sport Magazine Archive". Motor Sport Magazine. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  4. ^ "The Autocar". The Autocar. 1955-04-22. Retrieved 2019-07-03.