From the Motor Sport Archive
As well as opening the European Formula racing calendar, the Syracuse Grand Prix was also the first European event to be run under the new Formula I of 2 1/2 litres unsupercharged, 750 c.c. supercharged. The Scuderia Ferrari were out in full force and on the first day of practice produced two new cars, of the multitube frame type tried out at Monza last year, and two of last year's well-tried cars, as well as a fifth car as a spare, all, of course, with 2 1/2-litre engines. The two new cars, to be driven by Farina and Gonzalez, had undergone detail modifications during the winter, the wheelbase being lengthened by 2 1/2 in., the left-hand pannier fuel tank being replaced by a tail tank, with the tail in the shape of a high head fairing behind the driver, while the left-hand-operated remote-control gear lever was re-positioned fairly high on the chassis side.
In other respects the cars were as seen at Monza last year, the bore size being increased and two double-choke Weber carburetters of 58-mm. bore being used. The two 1953 cars, as used at Rouen and in the Argentine, were to be driven by Hawthorn and Trintignant, the latter being given his first try-out as an official team member. Two private Ferraris were down to run, the yellow 1953 model of the Belgian Ecurie Francorchamps with Laurent as driver, this having been fitted with a new 2 1/2-litre engine, and the pale blue one of Rosier that Trintignant had in the Argentine recently, now to be driven by Manzon. In opposition to the Ferrari cars were two new Maseratis, with multi-tube frames, 6-cylinder engines, de Dion rear axles and beautifully smooth, sleek-looking bodies in direct contrast to the rather bulbous, but vicious-looking, new Ferraris. The Maserati team's main trouble was lack of drivers, as Fangio was still in the Argentine, having signed up with Mercédès-Benz, and Gonzalez was with Ferrari, leaving only Marimon from their last year's team. He was accompanied this time by a new Italian driver, Mantovani.