1951 F1 World Championship

Season Summary

The 1951 F1 season was the second running of the FIA World Championship of Drivers, starting on 27 May and concluding on 28 October 1951.

This season, drivers and their teams ran eight races, compared to seven in the 1950 season, each contributing points to the Drivers’ Championship.


Beyond the championship races, the 1951 season was further enriched by an additional 14 races that welcomed Formula 1 spec cars. Although these races provided a platform for teams to test race strategies and their cars, they did not contribute to the championship standings. Significant in their own right, they were considered separate from the main championship to offer fans more action and Formula One drivers more opportunities to race throughout the season.

The 1951 Formula One season saw the rise of Ferrari and their advanced, naturally aspirated 4.5-litre cars, which emerged as formidable challengers to the dominant Alfa Romeos. The Alfa cars, while impressive, were beginning to reach their peak in their developmental curve, making it difficult to eke out further improvements.

Ferrari’s cars proved to be especially good at exploiting the main weakness of the Alfas—their fuel-guzzling engines. This advantage for Ferrari was showcased during the Silverstone race weekend, where the Alfa engines’ inefficiency was glaringly obvious. Even though Alfa Romeo clinched four victories, with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio ultimately securing the championship title, Ferrari’s three impressive race wins saw a shift in team dominance. Those victories were seen as the beginning of the end for the once-dominant Alfa cars.

The season also witnessed the unique appearance of BRM with their V16 engine at Silverstone, a machine that added variety to the grid. On the other end of the spectrum, the older Talbot cars, lacking in speed and modern features, were progressively outpaced and overshadowed by their competitors.

1951 F1 Entries drivers and teams

TeamDriverRace entriesWinsPodiumsPolesFastest Laps
Alfa RomeoConsalvo Sanesi4
Emmanuel de Graffenried5
Felice Bonetto41
Giuseppe Farina8142
Juan Manuel Fangio83555
Luigi Fagioli211
Paul Pietsch1
AltaJoe Kelly1
BRMKen Richardson1
Peter Walker1
BrommeRodger Ward1
DeidtDuane Carter1
Mack Hellings1
Mauri Rose1
Tony Bettenhausen Sr.1
ERABob Gerard1
Brian Shawe-Taylor1
FerrariAlberto Ascari7242
Francisco Landi1
Luigi Villoresi73
Peter Whitehead4
Piero Taruffi51
Rudi Fischer2
GordiniAldo Gordini1
Andre Simon4
Maurice Trintignant4
Robert Manzon4
HallBill Mackey1
HWMGeorge Abecassis1
Stirling Moss1
KurtisBill Schindler1
Carl Forberg1
Carl Scarborough1
Cecil Green1
Chet Miller1
Cliff Griffith1
Duke Nalon11
Freddie Agabashian1
Gene Force1
Jack McGrath11
Johnnie Parsons1
Lee Wallard1111
Manny Ayulo11
Mike Nazaruk11
Sam Hanks1
Troy Ruttman1
Walt Brown1
KuzmaWalt Faulkner1
LagoAndre Pilette1
Duncan Hamilton2
Eugene Chaboud1
George Grignard1
Guy Mairesse2
Henri Louveau1
Jacques Swaters2
Johnny Claes7
Jose Froilan Gonzalez6151
Louis Rosier7
Philippe Etancelin5
Pierre Levegh3
Yves Giraud-Cabantous6
LesovskyGeorge Connor1
MarcheseChuck Stevenson1
MaseratiAntonio Branca1
Birabongse Bhanudej1
David Murray2
Harry Schell2
John James1
Johnny McDowell1
Juan Jover1
Louis Chiron7
Philip Fotheringham-Parker1
MooreHenry Banks1
OSCAFranco Rol1
PawlJimmy Davies1
SchroederBobby Ball1
Duke Dinsmore1
Scuderia MilanoFrancisco Godia1
Onofre Marimon1
ShermanAndy Linden1
TrevisBill Vukovich1
VandervellReg Parnell3
VeritasPeter Hirt1
WatsonJoe James1

1951 Formula 1 Race Calendar

DateGrand PrixLapsLap DistanceCountry
27 MayBremgarten427.28Switzerland
30 MayIndianapolis2004.01Indianapolis
17 JunSpa-Francorchamps3614.08Belgium
01 JulRheims777.82France
14 JulSilverstone904.7Great Britain
29 JulNurburgring2022.77Germany
16 SepMonza806.276Italy
28 OctPedralbes706.308Spain

1951 Formula 1 Standings

In the scoring system of the 1951 Formula One season, drivers were allocated points based on their finishing positions in each Grand Prix. Specifically, the distribution was as follows:

  • The race winner received 8 points.
  • The second-place finisher was awarded 6 points.
  • Third place earned 4 points.
  • Fourth place got 3 points.
  • The driver finishing fifth was given 2 points.

Furthermore, an additional point was up for grabs for the driver who set the fastest lap during the Grand Prix.

However, there was a notable caveat in the championship calculations: only a driver’s best four race results contributed to their championship total. This meant that even if a driver competed in more races and amassed points, only the points from their top four performances would count towards their championship standing.

Driver standings

1Juan Manuel FangioARGAlfa Romeo31
2Alberto AscariITAFerrari25
3Jose Froilan GonzalezARGFerrari24
4Giuseppe FarinaITAAlfa Romeo19
5Luigi VilloresiITAFerrari15
6Piero TaruffiITAFerrari10
7Lee WallardUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser9
8Felice BonettoITAAlfa Romeo7
9Mike NazarukUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser6
10Reg ParnellGBRBRM5
11Luigi FagioliITAAlfa Romeo4
12Consalvo SanesiITAAlfa Romeo3
12Andy LindenUSASherman Offenhauser3
12Louis RosierFRA3
15Toulo de GraffenriedSUIAlfa Romeo2
15Manny AyuloUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser2
15Bobby BallUSASchroeder Offenhauser2
15Jack McGrathUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser2
15Yves Giraud CabantousFRATalbot-Lago2