1959 German Grand Prix

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1959 German Grand Prix
Circuit AVUS.svg
Race details
Date 2 August 1959
Official name XXI Grosser Preis von Deutschland
Location AVUS
West Berlin, West Germany
Course Public road/Permanent racing facility
Course length 8.300 km (5.157 mi)
Distance 2x30 laps, 498.00 km (309.42 mi)
Weather Dry and dull.
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 2:05.9
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari
Time 2:04.5
First Ferrari
Second Ferrari
Third Ferrari

The 1959 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungs-Straße in West Berlin on 2 August 1959. It was race 6 of 9 in the 1959 World Championship of Drivers and race 5 of 8 in the 1959 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. It was the 21st German Grand Prix and was only the second time the race was not held at the Nürburgring. AVUS had previously held the original German Grand Prix in 1926. The race was held over two 30 lap heats of the eight kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 498 kilometres.

In a unique Formula One race format, first, second and third were all claimed by the same team, Scuderia Ferrari. British driver Tony Brooks was declared the winner ahead of American team mates Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. All three drove Ferrari Dino 246s.

Race report[edit]

The simplistic track consisted of a very fast straight down either side of a dual carriageway, punctuated at one end by a hairpin and at the other by a steep banking.

Also uniquely in Formula One World Championship history, the race was divided into two heats. In the first, Tony Brooks and Dan Gurney took the lead. Masten Gregory in the Cooper-Climax battled hard with them, passing first one Ferrari then the other as the lead changed hands until a big end bolt broke. It was a Ferrari 1-2-3 with Phil Hill taking the final podium place. In the second heat, once again the Ferraris had a duel at the front, this time with Bruce McLaren until he suffered transfer gear problems. On aggregate placings, it was an all-Ferrari podium in the order Brooks, Gurney, Hill. Maurice Trintignant was fourth from Jo Bonnier and Ian Burgess. This was the fastest Formula One race recorded at this time, with an average speed of 143.3 miles per hour. Hans Herrmann crashed his BRM P25 five laps into the second heat. In the approach to the southern turn he struck hay bales and rolled his car, but was thrown clear and sent sliding down the track. While the car was destroyed, Herrmann escaped unscathed.

Former Ferrari driver Frenchman Jean Behra was due to race his Behra-Porsche Special in the Grand Prix but Behra was killed the day before racing a Porsche RSK in the Formula 2 support race at the same venue.

The results show evidence of the inconsistency with which rules were applied in this era. According to Formula One rules of the day, those drivers who retired before the end of the Grand Prix should only be classified if they pushed the car over the line after the finish. This rule was not applied to Harry Schell, who retired some 11 laps before the end. However, the rule was applied in other races, such as the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix. The rules were later clarified in 1966.[1]

Brooks win allowed him to close to within four points of championship leader, Australian Cooper racer Jack Brabham.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 4 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari 60 2:09:31.6 1 91
2 6 United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 60 + 2.9 3 6
3 5 United States Phil Hill Ferrari 60 + 1:04.8 6 4
4 8 France Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax 59 + 1 Lap 12 3
5 9 Sweden Jo Bonnier BRM 58 + 2 Laps 7 2
6 18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess Cooper-Maserati 56 + 4 Laps 15  
7 10 United States Harry Schell BRM 49 + 11 Laps 8  
Ret 2 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 36 Transmission 9  
Ret 11 West Germany Hans Herrmann BRM 36 Accident 11  
Ret 3 United States Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax 23 Engine 5  
Ret 1 Australia Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 15 Transmission 4  
Ret 16 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 10 Gearbox 10  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 7 Differential 13  
Ret 17 United Kingdom Cliff Allison Ferrari 2 Clutch 14  
Ret 7 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Cooper-Climax 1 Transmission 2  
DNS 12 France Jean Behra Behra-Porsche-Porsche Fatal accident in support race
DNS 14 West Germany Wolfgang von Trips Porsche Withdrew
  • ^1 – Includes 1 point for fastest lap

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ Hayhoe, David & Holland, David (2006). Grand Prix Data Book (4th edition). Haynes, Sparkford, UK. ISBN 1-84425-223-X
  2. ^ "1959 German Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Germany 1959 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

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