No such controversy surrounded de Graffenried. Emmanuel would drive carefully and consistently and would avoid trouble throughout the whole of his race. And though he would be lapped some four times by Fangio before the end, de Graffenried would still follow up his victory in the Formula Libre race at Rio with an 8th place result in the Argentine Grand Prix.
Considering he was piloting a Formula 2 car and the majority of the competition were all at the wheel of 2.5-liter Formula One cars, de Graffenried had a strong race. Once again, de Graffenried would prove his abilities as a racing driver. Unfortunately, not much would be seen of de Graffenried's skills after this race.
The racing wasn't done at the Autodromo Juan Oscar Galvez, for on the 31st of January the circuit hosted another Formula Libre race. The 10th Gran Premio Ciudad de Buenos Aires would boast of yet another Scuderia Ferrari and Maserati battle that would also include a number of older Formula One chassis from the late 1940s and 1950 and '51.
And while de Graffenried had been successful in the only other Formula Libre race he had entered, he would recognize his disadvantages and would decide not to take part in the race. Instead, he would pack everything up and head back across the Atlantic to Europe.
De Graffenried would not head back across the Atlantic to prepare for a long season of racing on the European mainland, although that would be what it seemed in mid-April. On the 19th of April, while Scuderia Ferrari and Equipe Gordini were battling it out on the streets of Pau, France, there were yet a number of other races going on, but all at the same place.
The Easter holiday would traditionally bring a big day of racing at the 2.39 mile Goodwood circuit located near Chichester in southern England. These races were very short events covering a large assortment of racing categories. Just one of the many races scheduled to take place was the 7th Lavant Cup race. Named for a nearby village, the Lavant Cup race was merely a 7 lap event. It was a great opportunity to get one's season going in Europe and build up some positive momentum. In the case of de Graffenried, the momentum had already been built up. However, he would not fulfill his entry for the race. No, de Graffenried would not even arrive for the race, nor any other that day.
De Graffenried wouldn't just step away from racing for a couple of weeks, or even a month. No, he would not be seen or heard of for more than a few months. He would not take part in any other championship or non-championship race until the end of October.
De Graffenried's season had started out as early as one could have by taking part in a race on the 3rd of January. However, it would be nearly year before he would take part in just his third race of the season and last for the year. Toward the end of October, de Graffenried would make one last appearance for 1954. He would pull out his A6SSG one last time and would head to Spain. It was decided he would enter the Spanish Grand Prix held in an area to the southwest of Barcelona. The race would take place on the 24th of October and would be a total of 80 laps for a total race distance of 313 miles.
By the time of the Spanish Grand Prix, Formula One, technically, had its first double World Champion. Alberto Ascari had won both of his world championships while competing under Formula 2 regulations. Fangio's 1954 formed bookends for the Formula 2 era with the Argentinean taking the World Championship in 1951 and again in 1954.
And though the World Championship question had been already solved, there would still be more than enough questions coming into the ninth, and final, round of the World Championship on the season. Finally, after a season of people waiting with great anticipation, Lancia would make its debut in the World Championship with Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi driving the new D50. The question was: Just how good was the car? The other question was simple: Could Juan Manuel Fangio win all but one of the rounds on the season?
The Pedralbes street circuit was the almost perfect host for one final battle on the season. The second largest city behind Madrid, Barcelona makes up Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean. Originally founded as a Roman city, Barcelona would continue to be a cultural capital throughout its history right up through the 20th century. One legend has the city originally being founded by Hercules some 400 years before Rome would even be built. Therefore, it would be fitting the city would come to host the summer Olympics late in the 20th century. It would be fitting then, also, that the city would come to host the best of single-seater grand prix racing at the conclusion of the Second World War.
Just to the west of the city's center, a 3.91 mile street circuit would be designed and it would feature wide streets that would make for a very high speed course, even despite being a street circuit. It would also make for a perfect setting for some tough competition. This would be one of the factors that would make the Pedralbes circuit a favorite with the drivers.
One portion of the question surrounding the new Lancia D50 would be answered during practice. Ascari would take the new car and would turn the fastest lap thereby earning the pole for the 80 lap race. Not surprisingly, Fangio would start the race from 2nd place, also on the front row. Hawthorn's 3rd place starting position in the Ferrari would be pleasant but not all that surprising. The biggest surprise on the front row of the grid would come from the 4th place starter. Harry Schell would surprise just about everyone and would grab the final spot on the front row.
Emmanuel de Graffenried would grab the pole, but for the wrong end. With Ascari turning laps around the two minute and eighteen mark with an average speed of over 100 mph, de Graffenried would need every little bit of horsepower he could get. Unfortunately, in a Formula 2 car, he just didn't have it. At the end of practice it was obvious. De Graffenried would be eleven seconds slower than Ascari and would start from the sixth, and final, row of the grid in the 21st position, dead-last.
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