The second season of World Drivers Championship began on May 27, 1951 with the Swiss Grand Prix, which was carried out in an extensive semi-permanent circuit in Bremgarten of little more than seven kilometers. With last year's title under my arm, Nino Farina started as a favorite. Although the Italian knew very well that the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio, your partner in Alfa RomeoHe would also go out for a run to get even for his runner-up. So it was…
For this second tournament of the category that would later be known simply as F1, Alfa Romeo modified the Type 158 with suspension improvements to take better advantage of the more than 400 horses of the 8-cylinder engine with two compressors, quite a feat for a 17-year-old development ...
For the first commitment of '51 the Milanese squad enlisted four cars: for the champion Farina a Type 158/159 with two fuel tanks that allowed him to load 350 liters of fuel to avoid refueling, for Fangio and Consalvo Sanesi a normal one, that is to say with 410 CV and a tank with 250 liters; and to Emmanuel De Graffenried a variant with an engine 430 CV.
Fangio became the reference of the weekend with the pole position that he achieved in the rain with a time of 2m35s9 / 10, leading Farina by 1s9 / 10. As the rain continued at the start, the authorities allowed the riders to do a reconnaissance lap to get a better impression of the state of the track.
The fall of the Swiss flag marked the start of the competition, which had Fangio as the leader during the first 23 laps with a certain advantage over his teammate thanks to the fact that he was the pilot with the best visibility for not running behind the spray like the rest of the team. the competitors.
With 31 seconds ahead of Farina, the Balcarceño entered the pits to refuel. El Chueco did not take long to return to first place thanks to the good performance of his car and his talent, obviously. He overtook Farina on lap 29 and completed 44 laps of the course 55 seconds ahead of Piero Taruffi (Ferrari), who had started sixth. Farina had to settle for the third step of the podium.
Fangio's victory, his fourth in the category; was contrasted with the performance of his compatriot José Froilán González, who was 13th in the timed session and was left wanting to cross the finish line after abandoning in the XNUMXth round due to a mechanical failure in his Talbot Lakes.
Fangio confessed after his triumph that the night before the race he had not slept well. Before ending the day he went to tour the circuit with some friends in a private car and in the middle of the return ran over to a black cat, something that for many of his colleagues was a symbol of bad luck. Of course, after that success, he never created those superstitions again.
The second date of the contest, on Wednesday, May 30 with the Indianapolis 500, a competition that was finally played without the presence of the European teams since the presence of this test within the calendar was to maintain the status of the World Cup. We will have to wait until June 17 to find out if Fangio can defend the first place of the tournament and continue with his dream of achieving the crown.
GRAND PRIZE OF SWITZERLAND 1951
|pos.||pilot||auto||laps||time / diff||PTS|
|8||14||HWM HIGH||40||+2 laps.||0|
AVERAGE: 143,444 km / h. LAP RECORD: Fangio, in the 33th, in 2m51s1 / 10 at 153,174 km / h. CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Fangio, 9 points; 2) Taruffi, 6; 3) Farina, 4; 4) Sanesi, 3; 5) From Graffenried, 2.