The 1955 Argentine Grand Prix

 

Held on the 16 January 1955 over 96 laps of the Buenos Aires No.2 (2.431 mile) circuit.

 

Why have I chosen to write an article on a specific race in history?  Read on, and you’ll find out!

 

One thing to remember is that in those days the car was recorded as having finished in a particular place, and anyone who had driven that car during the race was credited with a shared result. So car numbers are far more relevant (particularly in this race) than they are today.

 

What actually happened depends quite a bit on which account you read.  It was a tad complicated so I’ve tried to piece together as accurate an account as I can.

 

It was the first round of the 1955 World Championship and there were 21 entrants.

 

Mercedes entered four W196s: 

Juan Manuel Fangio (car No. 2),

Karl Kling (car 4),

Stirling Moss (6), and

Hans Herrmann (8).

 

Ferrari entered three 625s:

Nino Farina (10),

José Froilan González (12), and

Maurice Trintignant (14).

 

Maserati entered seven 250Fs:

Jean Behra (Car No 16),

Roberto Mières (Car 18),

Sergio Mantovani (20),

Luigi Musso (22),

Carlos Menditéguy (24),

Clemar Bucci (26), and

Harry Schell (28).

 

Lancia entered three D50s:

Alberto Ascari (32),

Luigi Villoresi (34), and

Eugenio Castellotti (36).

 

Gordini entered three T16s:

Élie Bayol (38),

Pablo Birger (40), and

Jésus Iglesias (42).

 

There was one solitary private entrant,

Alberto Uria (30) in a Maserati A6GCM.

 

The grid was a 4-3-4-3 line up with Ferrari’s González in pole position.  The next three, Ascari, Fangio and Behra, were lined up beside him.  With only 0.7 second separating 5th from pole they were pretty closely matched. Indeed, Farina was on the second row with the same time as Behra. 

 

The full grid looked like this:

 

4 Jean Behra

Maserati No 16

1m 43.8

3 Juan Manuel Fangio

Mercedes No 2

1m 43.6

2 Alberto Ascari

Lancia No 32

1m 43.6

1 José Froilan González

Ferrari No 12

1m 43.1

 

7 Harry Schell

Maserati No 28

1m 44.3

6 Karl Kling

Mercedes No 4

1m 44.1

5 Nino Farina

Ferrari No 10

1m 43.8

 

11 Luigi Villoresi

Lancia No 34

1m 45.2

10 Hans Herrmann

Mercedes No 8

1m 44.8

9 Pablo Birger

Gordini

1m 44.8

8 Stirling Moss

Mercedes No 6

1m 44.4

 

14 Maurice Trintignant

Ferrari No 14

1m 45.8

13 Carlos Menditéguy

Maserati No 24

1m 45.4

12 Eugenio Castellotti

Lancia No 36

1m 45.3

 

18 Luigi Musso

Maserati No 22

1m 46.5

17 Jésus Iglesias

Gordini No 42

1m 46.4

16 Roberto Mières

Maserati No 18

1m 46.3

15 Élie Bayol

Gordini No 38

1m 46.1

 

21 Alberto Uria

Maserati No 30

1m 51.2

20 Clemar Bucci

Maserati No 26

1m 48.8

19 Sergio Mantovani

Maserati No 20

1m 47.6

 

 

 

Race day was extremely hot and it was this factor alone that was to make this one of the World Championship’s “busiest” races. 

 

(I have included a patented Bushy’s Coloured Graph of who did what, when, and it what car available which you can refer to at the bottom of this page.)

 

Lap 1 and Fangio went into the lead with Ascari and Moss (from the second row!) chasing him, with Gonzalez and Farina behind. Ascari got ahead of Fangio but then lost the lead to Gonzalez.

 

On lap 1 Behra (in car No 16) and Menditéguy (car 24) were involved in an accident and Menditéguy retired immediately.  Birger (40) also retired following an accident on the opening lap.

 

Lap 2 saw Behra (16) retire as a result of his earlier accident; Villoresi (34) drop out with a fuel leak; and Kling (4) have an accident.  On lap 7 Bayol (38) had a transmission failure.

 

But it wasn’t so much the action on the track that made this race worthy of individual attention.  It was in the pits that I’d like to concentrate!  The heat was beginning to take its toll on many of the drivers.

 

On lap 20 Castellotti (36) was bought in to hand over his car to Villoresi.  On lap 21 Ascari (32) had an accident, and the lap after that privateer Uria (30) stopped with no fuel.

 

Lap 29 Moss (6) had a fuel system failure, and Herrmann (8) came into the pits to hand over his car to Moss.

 

Around about the same time Mantovani (20) came in and Behra took over.

 

Lap 30 and Bucci (26) came in, and Menditéguy took over.

 

On lap 35 Villoresi (36) had an accident, but mechanical failures continued to proliferate, probably as a result of the intense heat. On lap 36 Trintignant (14) had an engine valve failure, and lap 38 Iglesias (42) had a transmission failure.

 

Meanwhile Behra (20) was in to hand the car back to Mantovani.

 

On lap 50 Schell (28) came in and Behra took over, and went on to finish in 6th place.  Farina (10) also came in on that lap and handed over to the Ferrari reserve driver Umberto Maglioli.

 

At some time around now, during all this confusion, Musso (22) and Mantovani (20) swapped cars!!   Menditéguy (26) also pitted around this time and handed over to Schell.

 

Maglioli (10) came back in and handed over to Trintignant, but before long he was back in to give the car back to Maglioli, who went on to finish in 3rd place!

 

Lap 54 and Musso (20) had an engine failure, while Schell (26) stopped with no fuel pressure.

 

10 laps later Moss (8) was in to hand over to Kling, who went on to finish in 4th place. 

 

On lap 70 Mantovani (22) came in to hand over to Schell, who went on to finish in 7th place.

 

During all this, Ferrari No.12 has been in 4 times - Gonzalez to hand over to Farina, who handed over to Trintignant, who handed it back to Gonzalez, who was catching Fangio when he had an accident.  He was able to rejoin but handed the car back to Farina, who went on to finish in 2nd place!!

 

Meanwhile, Mières and Fangio drove the whole race without changing cars (although at least Fangio did come in for a drink) and finished 5th and 1st respectively!!

 

As soon as I find an accurate lap chart I will fill in the gaps!!

 

The official result was:

 

Pos

Car No

Driver/s   

Car

Laps

Time / Retired

1

2

Juan Manuel Fangio

Mercedes W196

96

3:00’38.6

2

12

José Froilan González / Nino Farina / Maurice Trintignant

Ferrari 625

96

3:02’08.2

3

10

Nino Farina / Umberto Maglioli / Maurice Trintignant

Ferrari 625

94

 

4

8

Stirling Moss / Karl Kling / Hans Herrmann

Mercedes W196

94

 

5

18

Roberto Mieres

Maserati 250F

91

 

6

28

Harry Schell / Jean Behra

Maserati 250F

88

 

7

22

Luigi Musso / Sergio Mantovani / Harry Schell

Maserati 250F

83

 

Ret

26

Clemar Bucci / Harry Schell / Carlos Menditéguy

Maserati 250F

54

Fuel Pressure

Ret

20

Sergio Mantovani / Jean Behra / Luigi Musso

Maserati 250F

54

Engine

Ret

42

Jésus Iglesias

Gordini T16

38

Transmission

Ret

14

Maurice Trintignant

Ferrari 625

36

Engine

Ret

36

Eugenio Castellotti / Luigi Villoresi

Lancia D50

35

Accident

Ret

6

Stirling Moss

Mercedes W196

29

Fuel system

Ret

30

Alberto Uria

Maserati A6GCM.

22

 

Ret

32

Alberto Ascari

Lancia D50

21

Accident

Ret

38

Élie Bayol

Gordini T16

7

Transmission

Ret

16

Jean Behra

Maserati 250F

2

Accident

Ret

4

Karl Kling

Mercedes W196

2

Accident

Ret

34

Luigi Villoresi

Lancia D50

2

Fuel Leak

Ret

40

Pablo Birger

Gordini T16

1

Accident

Ret

24

Carlos Menditéguy

Maserati 250F

1

Accident

 

 

 

 

 FGP History 2 - 1955 Argentine GP - Annex 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car

Driver

Lap 1

2

7

20

21

22

29

30

35

36

38

50

?

?

54

64

70

?

83

88

91

94

96

2 - Mercedes

Fangio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st

4 - Mercedes

Kling

 

Ret - Acc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 - Mercedes

Moss

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ret - Fuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 - Mercedes

Herrmann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Moss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Kling--

 

 

 

 

 

4th

 

10 - Ferrari

Farina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Maglioli

To Trintignant

To Maglioli--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd

 

12 - Ferrari

Gonzalez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Farina

To Trintignant

 

 

 

To Gonzalez

To Farina--

 

 

 

2nd

14 - Ferrari

Trintignant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ret - Eng

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 - Maserati

Behra

 

Ret - Acc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 - Maserati

Mieres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5th

 

 

20 - Maserati

Mantovani

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Behra

 

 

 

To Mantovani

To Musso

 

 

Ret - Eng

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 - Maserati

Musso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Mantavani

 

 

 

 

To Schell--

 

7th

 

 

 

 

24 - Maserati

Menditeguy

Ret - Acc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 - Maserati

Bucci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Menditeguy

 

 

 

 

To Schell

 

Ret - Fuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 - Maserati

Schell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Behra--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6th

 

 

 

30 - Maserati

Uria

 

 

 

 

 

Ret - Fuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 - Lancia

Ascari

 

 

 

 

Ret - Acc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 - Lancia

Villoresi

 

Ret - Fuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36 - Lancia

Castellotti

 

 

 

To Villoresi

 

 

 

 

Ret - Acc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 - Gordini

Bayol

 

 

Ret - Tran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 - Gordini

Birger

Ret - Acc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42 - Gordini

Iglesias

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ret - Tran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acc = Acident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eng = Engine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tran = Transmission