1952 F1 World Championship

Season Summary

The 1952 F1 season was distinctly different from the previous two seasons, with fewer official Formula 1 races and a twist to the regulations of those races.

The reduced official races resulted from the FIA’s decision to conduct all Grand Prix events pivotal to the World Championship of Drivers under Formula 2 regulations, as opposed to the traditional Formula 1 regulations. The iconic Indianapolis 500, a race that also contributed to the World Championship standings, maintained its consistency by following AAA regulations, as in the previous two seasons.

Season

The 3rd FIA World Championship of Drivers featured eight races from 18 May to 7 September, with Alberto Ascari, driving for Scuderia Ferrari, emerging as the Drivers’ Champion. The season also saw a significant safety milestone as racing helmets were made compulsory for all drivers. 1952 also witnessed many other Formula 2 races in addition to the official Formula 1 and World Championship Formula 2 races. However, these didn’t contribute any points to the championship standings.

Alfa Romeo, grappling with financial issues, stepped away from racing. At the same time, BRM had developed two V16-powered cars with plans to debut them in the season. However, they pulled these cars from the April race at Valentino Park in Turin. The team had ambitions of having Juan Manuel Fangio join Stirling Moss as a teammate, but this plan didn’t materialise. Consequently, Ferrari’s cars stood unrivalled. This situation prompted the FIA to shift their races to cater to Formula Two, featuring 2-litre naturally aspirated engines. While this change made for a varied grid, Ferrari claimed every victory.

Ascari dominated the six Grand Prix he participated in. He skipped the Swiss Grand Prix to make his mark at the Indianapolis 500 qualifiers, becoming the first European to do so during the World Championship period.

Maserati and Gordini posed minimal competition. Yet, Mike Hawthorn’s impressive performances in his Cooper led to his signing with Ferrari’s main team in 1953. The current World Champion of 1951, Fangio, was sidelined due to severe injuries from a crash at Monza early in the season. He didn’t compete in the championship but later drove with BRM in non-championship races.

1952 F1 Entries drivers and teams

TeamDriverRace entriesWinsPodiumsPolesFastesLaps
AFMHans Stuck2
Helmut Niedermayr1
Ludwig Fischer1
Willi Heeks1
Willi Krakau1
AltaGraham Whitehead1
Peter Whitehead3
AstonRobin Montgomerie-Charrington1
Aston MartinBill Aston3
BMWErnst Klodwig1
Harry Merkel1
Karl-Gunther Bechem1
Marcel Balsa1
Rudolf Krause1
BrommeSpider Webb1
Cisitalia D46Piero Dusio1
ConnaughtDennis Poore2
Eric Thompson1
Ken Downing2
Kenneth McAlpine2
CooperAlan Brown4
David Murray1
Eric Brandon4
Mike Hawthorn51
Reg Parnell1
DeidtTony Bettenhausen Sr.1
Enrico PlateAlberto Crespo1
Escuderia BandeirantesJan Flinterman2
FerrariAlberto Ascari76656
Andre Simon2
Charles de Tornaco3
Gianfranco Comotti1
Giuseppe Farina842
Louis Rosier4
Luigi Villoresi22
Maurice Trintignant6
Peter Hirt3
Piero Carini2
Piero Taruffi6131
Roy Salvadori1
Rudi Fischer52
Rudolf Schoeller1
FrazerKen Wharton4
Tony Crook1
GordiniBirabongse Bhanudej4
Jean Behra61
Johnny Claes5
Robert Manzon71
HWMDries van der Lof1
Duncan Hamilton2
George Abecassis1
Lance Macklin6
Paul Frere3
Peter Collins6
Roger Laurent2
Stirling Moss5
Tony Gaze4
Yves Giraud-Cabantous1
KurtisAndy Linden1
Art Cross1
Bill Vukovich11
Bob Scott1
Bob Sweikert1
Chet Miller1
Chuck Stevenson1
Cliff Griffith1
Duke Nalon1
Freddie Agabashian11
Gene Hartley1
George Connor1
Jack McGrath1
Jim Rathmann11
Jimmy Bryan1
Jimmy Reece1
Joe James1
Johnnie Parsons1
Johnny McDowell1
Rodger Ward1
Sam Hanks11
KuzmaTroy Ruttman111
LesovskyDuane Carter1
Henry Banks1
Manny Ayulo1
MaseratiEitel Cantoni3
Emmanuel de Graffenried4
Felice Bonetto2
Francisco Landi2
Franco Rol1
Gino Bianco4
Harry Schell4
Jose Froilan Gonzalez111
Philippe Etancelin1
OSCAElie Bayol1
Robert O’BrienRobert O’Brien1
ShermanGeorge Fonder1
SimcaMax de Terra1
StevensBill Schindler1
Bobby Ball1
TrevisEddie Johnson1
VeritasAdolf Brudes von Breslau1
Arthur Legat1
Fritz Riess1
Hans Klenk1
Josef Peters1
Paul Pietsch1
Theo Helfrich1
Toni Ulmen2
WatsonJim Rigsby1

1952 Formula 1 Race Calendar

DateGrand PrixLapsDistanceCountry
18 MayBremgarten627.28Switzerland
30 MayIndianapolis2004.01Indianapolis
22 JunSpa-Francorchamps368.77361111Belgium
06 JulRouen774.02597402France
19 JulSilverstone854.71047058Great Britain
03 AugNurburgring1822.81Germany
17 AugZandvoort904.193Netherlands
07 SepMonza806.3Italy

1952 Formula 1 Standings

Driver standings

In the scoring system of the 1952 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.

PosDriverNationalityCarPTS
1Alberto AscariITAFerrari36
2Giuseppe FarinaITAFerrari24
3Piero TaruffiITAFerrari22
4Rudi FischerSUIFerrari10
4Mike HawthornGBRCooper Bristol10
6Robert ManzonFRAGordini9
7Troy RuttmanUSAKuzma Offenhauser8
7Luigi VilloresiITAFerrari8
9Jose Froilan GonzalezARGMaserati6.5
10Jim RathmannUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser6
10Jean BehraFRAGordini6
12Sam HanksUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser4
13Ken WhartonGBR3
13Duane CarterUSALesovsky Offenhauser3
13Dennis PooreGBRConnaught Lea Francis3
16Alan BrownGBRCooper Bristol2
16Art CrossUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser2
16Paul FrereBELSimca-Gordini2
16Maurice TrintignantFRAGordini2
16Eric ThompsonGBRConnaught Lea Francis2
16Felice BonettoITAMaserati2
22Bill VukovichUSAKurtis Kraft Offenhauser1

1952 F1 World Championship updates