Formula Vintage: machines champions of F1: Maserati 250F


With the end of the era F2 in the motorcycling World Championship, the Formula 1 came to be reflected in the regulation and, with it, more powerful engines and cars more bulky. Maserati had been present in all editions of the championship, but almost always with private computers and cars somewhat successful as the 4CLT and the A6GCM, which, however, served as the basis for the new 250F.

The Italian firm based in Bologna was founded by four brothers: Alfieri, Bindo, Ettore and Ernesto, who had been involved in racing since the 20’s. Like many other builders, the growing might of the German manufacturers prior to World War II forced them to redefine their objectives, while Maserati managed to find a good business in the Voiturettes (small cars light weight and low displacement). Despite this, the four siblings eventually had to sell the company to the entrepreneur Adolfo Orsi, being completely detached from the same in 1947. With the return of the ‘Formula 1’ to the regulations of the championship, the launch of Alfa Romeo and the late arrival of Mercedes and Lancia, Maserati took the opportunity to launch the 250F.

total Support to the private teams

Although the base was the A6GCM -that were used all the useful parts – the car was, in essence, new. Gioacchino Colombo was in charge of leading the project, with Valerio Colotti as responsible for the chassis and suspensions, giving the department of motor Taddeucci and Nicola. Nello Ugolini would be in charge of leading the team competition.

The intent of Maserati was to offer cars that are very competitive to private teams, who would be provided with the logistical support of the brand. The possibility of being able to have an engine competitive 2.5-litre attracted a large number of teams who opted for the 250F, although only Juan Manuel Fangio and Onofre Marimón able to compete with the new car in the first Grand Prix of the season: that of Argentina. The argentine champion had signed for Mercedes to lead the return of the German mark to the competition, but the revolutionary race car was not ready until the fourth Grand Prix of the season, held at Reims.

Engine of 220 horses and suspensions improved

the chassis of The 250F continued to the tubular structure with rails of 40 mm in which is anchored a six-cylinder engine in line and a capacity of 2.493 cubic centimeters, two camshafts and dual spark plug per cylinder. Three Weber carburetors double body installed on the right side of the engine fed to the propeller, which had a long and eye-catching exhaust pipe that went all over the left flank of the car.


The block six-cylinder in-line, optimized by Taddeucci and Nicola. Photo: Timitrius.

The lubrication is achieved by means of a carter dry, and the differential and gearbox formed a single block in a transverse position. The above-mentioned gearbox went right away to have four speeds to five, and it improved the carburetor, brakes, and other parts of the car.

The fuel tank-located in the rear part and with a capacity of 200 litres – was powered by a mixture of 50% ethanol, 35% petrol, 10% acetone, 4% benzoyl peroxide and 1% of castor oil that contributed to that the engine delivered 220 horsepower 7,400 revolutions per minute. The gasoline was 80 octane, but thanks to the mixture, the combustion is accelerated.

In regards to the suspensions, Colotti decided by an independent front and rear de Dion, but dramatically improving the distribution of weights and their lightness compared to the one used by Ferrari in the 500 the previous year.

Good start… until he got Mercedes

The first two races of the season were so great for the duo Maserati-Fangio, with two victories in the grands prix of Argentina and Belgium (ignoring the Indianapolis 500-Mile race, in which teams regular championship did not participate). The Ferrari, which were basically a 500 with the engine modified to comply with the regulations, they were no match for The Crooked.

But in Reims, the spectacular Mercedes came, saw and conquered without opposition, and with Fangio, immersed in his ranks next to the germans Karl Kling and Hans Herrman. Maserati decided to replace Fangio with the champion of the previous two years, Alberto Ascari, but the relationship did not work and ended up leaving the team after just two races.


Photo: Maserati

Fangio and Kling dominated in Reims, bending to all their competitors and leaving the first Maserati Prince Bira out of the podium. During the rest of the season, Maserati didn’t get the win and only scored two podiums at Silverstone and Pedralbes. In 1955, Mercedes continued to dominate with authority and leaving the crumbs to Ferrari and Maserati.

The renaissance

In 1956 Mercedes left Formula 1 and that enabled Maserati to regain prominence in the championship with their still-competitive 250F that, in addition, was piloted by the brilliant up-and-coming Stirling Moss, that would end up vying for the championship with Juan Manuel Fangio, which had landed at Ferrari.

That season, the 250F received upgrades in the gearbox, brake drums and aerodynamics, thanks to which the car took a nose more narrow, and modifications around the cockpit of the pilot. Also upgraded the chassis and is varied 5 degrees to the position of the engine to lower the center of gravity, although all this was only made available in the official drivers. In its last phase of development, came the disc brakes, but Moss could not beat Fangio, who took his fourth world title.

In 1957, the duel for the title would be repeated, but this time with both pilots defending the brand of the trident, so the four-time champion argentine had returned to his home to certify his fifth and final wound world of Formula 1. That year, Maserati got a total of four victories, five pole positions and ten podiums, in addition to the first two positions in the drivers championship. That was the farewell of the brand in Formula 1, while numerous private teams continued to use the 250F until 1960 when, in the Grand Prix of the united States, the long-lived single-seater Italian appeared for the last time in the category.


Specifications técnicas
Diseñador Gioachinno Colombo
Denomination Maserati 250F
Chasis Maserati
Potencia 220 to 7.400
Motor Maserati 2.493 cc in front position
Number of cylinders 6 in línea
Sobrealimentado No
Transmisión Maserati Manual 4/5 velocidades
Chasis Tubular
Peso 630 kg
Supplier carburante/lubricante
Frenos drum/disc
Distance between axes 2.280 cm
Tires Pirelli, Dunlop
Results deportivos 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960
Drivers (Official and private) Fangio, Marimón, Bira, Moss, Mantovani, Ascari, Villoresi, Wharton, Salvadori, Flockhart, Mieres, Schell, De Graffenried, Musso, Rosier, Godia, Bertocchi Behra, Schell, Rosier, Wharton, Bertocchi, Mieres, Mantovani, Musso, Menditeguy, Bucci, Macklin, Perdisa, Claes, Bira, Walker, Gould, Collins, Fitch, Moss, Piotti, Landi, Gerini, Gonzalez, Hawthorn Moss, Behra, Menditeguy, Piotti, Landi, Gerini, González, Hawthorn, Rosier, Gould, Perdisa, Chiron, Villoresi, Godia, Taruffi, Simon, Gould, Volonterio, Maglioli, Halford, Brabham, Schell, Salvadori, De Graffenried, Bonnier, Fangio, Moss, Behra, Menditeguy, Schell, Bonnnier, Piotti, Gregory, Simon, Gould, Scarlatti, Herrmann, Piotti, Bonnier, Gerini, Bueb, Halford, Godia, Volonterio, Fangio, Behra, Menditeguy, Schell, Godia, Gould, Gregory, Bonnier, Gonzalez, Mieres, Piotti, Campbell, De Filippis, Scarlatti, Gerini, Kavanagh, Taramazzo, Testut, Chiron, Bonnier, Scarlatti, Trintignant, Seidel, Shelby, Ruttman, P. Hill, Ruttman, Herrmann, Allison, Oliveira, Cabianca, Chimeri, Cade Gould, Drake
Presences in Large Premios 8 6 7 7 10 7 3
Victorias 2 0 2 4 0 0 0
Poles 1 0 1 5 1 0 0
Turns rápidas 4 1 3 3 1 0 0
Podios 5 3 11 10 0 0 0
Km. liderados 772 31 1.309 1.631 102
First win GP Argentina GP Monaco GP Argentina
Last win GP Belgium GP Italy GP Alemania
Títulos 1 1