1952 Swiss Grand Prix
- Sunday, May 18, 1952
- Grand Prix de Suisse
- F1 World Championship
With the change to Formula II the Swiss GP took on a new interest for the starting list contained a wider range of competitors than in the previous years. Ferrari was still dominant but Simca replaced Alfa-Romeo. while the rest of the opposition came from England in the form of four HWMs, two Cooper-Bristols and a lone Frazer-Nash. With Ascari in America for Indianapolis and Villoresi not fit enough to drive after his road accident, Farina was apparently going to have an easy time. Taruffi was his team mate and at the last moment the third four-cylinder Ferrari was given to the French driver Andre Simon. Privately-owned four-cylinder Ferraris were driven by Fischer and Rosier, and Peter Hirt drove the 12-cylinder Ecurie Espadon car. In opposition were Manzon and Behra with 2-litre Simcas, the latter having a brand new car only completed the Thursday before the race and which he drove from Paris to Berne in order to arrive in time to qualify. Abecassis, Collins and Macklin were entered us the HWM team and, as a fourth car was available, Stirling Moss took the wheel. Running in their first GP were the Ecurie Richmond Cooper-Bristols driven by Brown and Brandon, while Ken Wharton drove his new single-seater Frazer-Nash. The rest of the entry was made up by Plate with his two Maserati cars, Stuck (AFM), Ulmen (Veritas) and Bira with a 1.500-cc "works" Simca.
During practice it was obvious that the dropping of Formula I for the premier event at Berne was a mistake, for the 2-litre cars were not very much faster than the sports cars on such a rapid circuit, and past the pits they were tame in comparison with the more powerful cars in previous years. However, lack of Formula I support forced the change and the variety of entries made up for the slower speeds.
Farina appeared to have the race in his pocket from the start, with Taruffi backing him up, but duelling with the third "works" Ferrari was Jean Behra on the new Simca, driving a regular and faultless race. Moss started well but came in after only four laps to put the right plugs in and set off again to work his way up through the field. Abecassis led the English cars, holding fifth place until the 13th lap, when a rear stub-axle broke, causing the car to run up a bank and roll over back into the road, George eecaping uninjured. On the same lap, further round the course, Collins had the same trouble and gyrated to a stop, whereupon John Heath called in Moss and Macklin and they agreed to abandon the race.