Alfa Romeo restricted its appearances to the most important races of 1948 although the “Alfettas” remained unstoppable when they did appear – winning the four events the team entered. Count Trossi won the Swiss Grand Prix with established team leader Jean-Pierre Wimille following in his wheel tracks. The Frenchman then won the French, Italian and Monza GPs to confirm his status as Formula 1’s leading talent. Alfa Romeo’s dominance was emphasised as they filled the top three positions at Reims and top four at Monza.
Maserati normally won when Alfa Romeo was away and Giuseppe Farina scored his maiden GP victory at Monaco with a 4CLT. The upgraded 4CLT/48 was introduced for the lesser San Remo GP in which Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi finished first and second. Those positions were reversed at the new Silverstone airfield circuit which hosted the British GP for the first time.
A new marque entered motor racing for the first time in 1948. Long-time Alfa Romeo entrant Enzo Ferrari hired Gioacchino Colombo who introduced its first true Formula 1 design – the supercharged V12-powered type 125 – at the Italian GP with Raymond Sommer finishing third. Already 37 years old, Juan Manuel Fangio made his GP debut in France although his Simca-Gordini retired.
The Swiss GP at Bremgarten was a sombre meeting for Achille Varzi was killed during practice and Christian Kautz lost his life early in the race.