It happened today – 18 May

It happened today - 18 May

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

On 18th May 1952, the third Formula 1 World Championship got underway in Switzerland, at the Bremgarten street circuit in Berne. The rules underwent a complete change this season as the Formula 2 rules were adopted in the hope of getting more cars on track, as an interim measure before a new format was drawn up for the 1954 season.

Ferrari thus found itself with the best car in the form of the little 500. Fastest in qualifying was Giuseppe Farina with a time of 2.47.5 to beat his team-mate Piero Taruffi by as much as 2.6. 4.6 down in third was Robert Manzon in a Gordini. Next were two more Ferraris, the third Scuderia car for France’s Andre Simon and the one privately entered by Ecurie Espadon, driven by local hero Rudi Fischer.

In  the race, Farina had the fastest reactions, immediately pulling away. However, on lap 16, his Ferrari broke down, but the Italian managed to continue, taking over Simon’s car. Meanwhile, Piero Taruffi had gone into the lead, ahead of the Ferrari privateer Fischer and France’s Jean Behra in the Gordini, closely tailed by Farina.

On lap 54, Farina had to retire his second car and so the last few laps were just a cruise for Taruffi, who won, lapping everyone except Fischer. Third was Behra.

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