1954 Maserati Tipo 250F
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History of the car
The Maserati 250F was produced from 1954 through 1957 with a total of 26 examples being produced. The frame was a multi-tubular design with aluminum body panels. The rear suspension was a DeDion type axle while the front was independent with coil springs. Hydraulic drum brakes were fitted on all four corners. A four speed manual gearbox transferred power to the rear wheels. Excellent weight distribution was achieved by placing the majority of the weight ahead of the rear axle.
In the early 1950's, the Formula 2 regulations were similar but with much experimentation. For the 1954 season, the engine requirements stated that the engine was to be 2.5 liters in capacity and could not use forced induction, or 750 cc in size if supercharged. The use of forced induction often decreased the lifespan of the engine; thus, greatly increasing the cost of racing. In normal aspiration form, the 2-liter straight-six Maserati 250F produced between 220 to 270 horsepower and was capable of achieving 180 mph. By limiting the engine size and prohibiting forced induction, the top speed was more regulated and the sport was safer.
The 250F engine was similar in design to the A6SSG Formula Two engine. By using three twin-choke Weber carburetors with air-intake horns, more air was able to reach the engine, thus helping the engine breath and increasing performance.
A World Championship for drivers was introduced in 1950 that was decided upon the results of seven races that included the Belgium, French, Monaco, British, Swiss, and Italian Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. Alfa Romeo and Ferrari were the favorites for the 1950 season. Alfa Romeo had Juan-Manuel Fangio and two veteran drivers named Giuseppe Farina and Luigi Fagioli. The Ferrari cars suffered from reliability issues which left the three Alfa Romeo drivers jockeying for the crown. At Monza, Fangio's car suffered a seized gear and retired from the race. By the drop of the checkered flag, it was Farina who emerged as the first World Champion.
In 1954 Alfa Romeo retired from the sport which greatly increased Maserati's changes for a Championship season. During the inaugural run for the Maserati 250F, the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio emerged victorious. He repeated his performance at its second race. After the race, Fangio left to race for the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team, who had just finished assembling their new car. With the high performance Mercedes-Benz cars coupled with two of the greatest drivers of their time, Fangio and Moss, Mercedes-Benz was unstoppable during the 1954 and 1955 season. In 1956, Fangio began racing for Ferrari where he scored a third title in a row driving a Ferrari/Lancia D50. For 1957, Fangio returned to Maserati and once again raced in a 250F. With Fangio at the helm of the modified Maserati 250F, he scored another title after winning four convincing victories during the season.
The Maserati 250F continued the tradition and supremacy in Grand Prix Racing that began in 1926 for the Maserati brothers.