A couple of the German drivers driving underpowered Formula 2 entries would fall out over the next couple of laps. But, it would still be Ascari soldiering on in the lead, but with Hawthorn quickly gaining ground. Farina, however, would remain content back in 4th place.
Ascari would continue to lap the circuit with lap times right around ten minutes and four seconds, but then, it would become clear he had some sort of problem. About the 6th lap of the race, Ascari's Ferrari would lose a front wheel while at speed. Amazingly, though it would slow him down, it would not prevent him from being able to crawl back to the pits to have the suspension looked over and the tire replaced. Still, this would be a costly affair, time wise, and Ascari would lose a number of positions in the process.
Upon learning of Ascari's issues, Farina, no doubt, had memories of the year before, and therefore, would set about taking hold of his opportunity for victory. It would not be an easy task, however. Hawthorn was now in the lead and Fangio would be between Farina and Hawthorn out on the circuit. But what would happen next would be nothing short of amazing.
Everyone aware that Ascari was stuck in the pits with some kind of problem, the pace would pick up almost immediately. Not only did the front-runners realize this was the opportunity they were looking for, but also, if Ascari did get back into the race, they knew all too well that he would be pushing like mad to get back what he lost.
The competition, at the front, would be tight. Fangio would not be all that far behind Hawthorn, and Farina would realize it was his chance as well. He would push and push and would soon find himself right behind Fangio coming by the pits. Heading into the Sudkehre, Farina would make his move and would take away the position from Fangio. Now, Hawthorn was only about a second or so ahead of Farina—his opportunity had come.
Farina would push even harder putting considerable pressure on the inexperienced Briton in the lead. It would work. Setting the fastest lap of the race at that time, Farina would take over the lead of the race from Hawthorn. But he knew he couldn't relax, not with Ascari back in the race.
Farina couldn't relax as Ascari would be on an absolute mission when he returned to the circuit. With each passing lap he would increase his pace and would regain lost positions. Within just a couple of laps he would recover from 9th to be running in the 5th position. It seemed at the pace he was running at the time he could not be stopped yet again.
Farina would still be holding onto the lead. Fangio would take over 2nd place about the same time that Farina would move past into the lead. Therefore, it was Ferrari-Maserati-Ferrari in the top three. But the fastest Ferrari of them all would be now in 4th place and would be going like a bat out of hell.
Climbing back up the order, Ascari would soon find his car smoking. This would certainly spell disaster if he kept trying to push the car. He needed a new car, and his mentor Luigi Villoresi would be the one to provide it. On the 10th lap of the race, Ascari would take over Villoresi's car. He would lose half a lap in the process but would have somewhat fresh legs underneath him. He would set out on one of the most impressive drives in the young history of the World Championship.
On the 12th lap of the race Ascari would pull out all the stops and would post an incredible lap time of 9:56.0. This was nearly four seconds faster than his own qualifying effort and was faster than the times set by the Formula One cars of a couple of years prior. Ascari was flying. The pressure was on.
By the 12th lap of the race some 15 cars would be out of the running. Of the German entries in the race, there would only be a couple still remaining, and they would be well down in the running order. But there were a number of other more well known names out of the race as well. Prince Bira, Jean Behra, Johnny Claes and Onofre Marimon would all be amongst those on the list having retired from the race. But in a show of experience and patience, Farina would be out front of the field showing absolutely no signs of any kind of problem. He was driving fast, but well within himself.
Ascari, on the other hand, was experiencing an out of body moment as he continued to post some incredible lap times. Still, such a pace would beg the question, 'Could the car handle it?' The answer would come with just 3 laps remaining. To the cheers of the crowd, Ascari would pull into the pits with an exhausted prancing horse. He had run the legs off the car and it had no more to give. There would be no surprise pulled on Farina this time.
Fangio would give chase but would be slowed by no fault of his own. A crack in one of his exhaust pipes was causing him to breathe in the toxic fumes and he was suffering as a result. Still, he would carry on the best he could in an attempt to come across the line ahead of Mike Hawthorn.
There would be no surprises this time, except for the fact that it was the elder-statesman of grand prix racing taking the victory. A little more than three hours and two minutes after the drop of the flag, the doctor would come cruising across the line to take the checkered flag and victory. It had been a tremendous performance. He had out-lasted everyone, even the circuit, and would come away with a well-earned victory. Farina had changed his approach, his mindset, and it would see him rise to the top once again.
The performance would be a dominant one. Fangio would hold on to finish the race in 2nd place coming across the line a minute and 4 seconds behind. Nearly 40 seconds later, Hawthorn would come through to finish in 3rd.
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