Hans Stuck

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Hans Stuck
FIA Super Licence Flag of Germany Germany
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1951 Formula One season - 1953 Formula One season
TeamsBRM, Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau, privateer Ferrari
Races5 (3 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions0
Career points0
Pole position0
Fastest lap0
First race1951 British Grand Prix
Last race1953 Italian Grand Prix
This article is about the father; for the son, see Hans-Joachim Stuck.

Hans Stuck (sometimes called Hans Stuck von Villiez) (December 27, 1900February 9, 1978) was a Germany Motor racing driver. Both his son Hans-Joachim Stuck (born 1951) and his grandson Johannes Stuck became race drivers.

Despite many successes in Grand Prix motor racing for Auto Union in the early 1930s, during the era of the famous "Silver Arrows", he is now mostly known for his domination of Hillclimbing, which earned him the nickname "Bergkönig" or "King of the Mountains".


Pre-WWII career

Stuck's experience with car racing started in 1922 with early morning runs bringing milk from his farm to Munich, shortly after his first marriage. This eventually led to his taking up hill-climbing; he won his first race, at Baden-Baden, in 1923. A few years later, after a year as a privateer for Austro-Daimler, he became a works driver for them in 1927, doing well in hill climbs, and making his first appearance in a circuit race (the German Grand Prix) that year as well. In 1931, Austro-Daimler left racing, and Stuck eventually wound up driving a Mercedes-Benz SSKL in Sports car racing, where he continued to excel.

Stuck at 1932 Avusrennen in Mercedes-Benz SSKL

In 1933, his acquaintance with Adolf Hitler (whom he had met by chance on a hunting trip in 1925) led to his involvement with Ferdinand Porsche and Auto Union in Hitler's plans for German auto racing. With his experience from racing up mountain passes in the Alps in the 1920s, he was virtually unbeatable when he got the new Auto Union, which was designed by Porsche. Its rear mounted engine provided superior traction compared to conventional front engine designs, so that its (eventually) 500+ Horse-power could be transformed into speed even on non-paved roads. In circuit racing, the new car was very hard to master, though, due to the Swing axle rear Suspension (vehicle) design initially adopted by Porsche (relatively advanced for its day, it is now utterly obsolete because of its many problems).

His career with Auto Union was quite successful. In 1934, he won the German, Swiss Grand Prix and Czechoslovakian Grand Prix races (as well as finishing second in the Italian Grand Prix and Eifel Grand Prix Grands Prix). There was no European Championship (auto racing) for the circuit races that year, or he would have won it. Wins in a number of hill-climb races brought him European Mountain Champion, the first of three he would eventually collect.

In 1935, he won the Italian Grand Prix (along with second at the German Grand Prix; he also won his usual collection of hill-climb wins, again taking the European Mountain Championship. 1936 was leaner; he placed second in the Tripoli Grand Prix and German Grands Prix, finishing second in the competition for the European Championship. After Stuck missed a number of hill-climbs because of injuries suffered in accidents, that year the European Mountain Championship fell to his famous team-mate, Bernd Rosemeyer. 1937 was equally lean, bringing only second places in the Rio de Janiero Grand Prix and Belgian Grand Prix Grands Prix.

1938 opened poorly; Stuck was either fired from, or quit, the Auto Union team (accounts from the two sides differ). After a series of injuries to other team drivers, as well as pressure from the German government (again, accounts differ as to what combination of factors was the cause), he was re-hired, and proved himself by winning a third European Mountain Championship, his last major pre-war success.

Post-WWII career

After the war, although Germans were banned from racing until 1950, Stuck obtained Austrian citizenship and immediately continued racing. A link with Alex von Falkenhausen led to Stuck driving for Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau in Formula Two racing, although with little success.

He drove a Porsche Spyder in 1953, also with no success. A liaison with BMW, starting in 1957, was more fruitful, although his first hill-climbs for them (in a BMW 507) were not. A switch to their tiny BMW 700 did the trick, and at age 60, he became German Hillclimb Champion for the last time. He decided to retire on a high note, and thereupon closed his professional driving career.

As an instructor on the Nürburgring, he taught his son Hans-Joachim Stuck the secrets of this challenging circuit.

Personal life

Stuck was born in Warsaw in 1900. Although his parents were of Swiss ancestry, they had moved to Germany by the time Stuck was born, and he grew up there.

He was called up for military service in World War I in 1917. In 1918, his older brother Walter was killed, along with Walter's commanding officer; as a result, Stuck met the commander's sister, Ellen Hahndorff, and they were married in 1922. After several years, Stuck's involvement in the fast life off the track as well as on caused them to split up and divorce.

In 1931, he met Paula von Reznicek, a famous tennis player; they were married in 1932. The fact that she had a Jewish grandfather caused Stuck some problems with the rise of the Nazism, but his personal relationship with Hitler saved him from serious trouble.

In 1939, he met Christa Thielmann, at that point engaged to Paula's youngest brother. Stuck and Paula divorced in 1948, and he married Christa that year. Their son, Hans-Joachim, was born in 1951.

Racing results

Complete World Championship Grand Prix results

(F1 driver results legend 2)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1951 Formula One season British Racing Motors British Racing Motors BRM P15 British Racing Motors V16 1951 Swiss Grand Prix
1951 Indianapolis 500
1951 Belgian Grand Prix
1951 French Grand Prix
1951 British Grand Prix
1951 German Grand Prix
1951 Italian Grand Prix
1951 Spanish Grand Prix
NC 0
1952 Formula One season Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau AFM 4 Küchen V8 1952 Swiss Grand Prix
1952 Indianapolis 500
1952 Belgian Grand Prix
1952 French Grand Prix
1952 British Grand Prix
1952 German Grand Prix
1952 Dutch Grand Prix
NC 0
Ecurie Espadon Ferrari Ferrari 212 Ferrari V12 1952 Italian Grand Prix
1953 Formula One season Hans Stuck Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau AFM 4 Bristol Cars Straight-6 1953 Argentine Grand Prix
1953 Indianapolis 500
1953 Dutch Grand Prix
1953 Belgian Grand Prix
1953 French Grand Prix
1953 British Grand Prix
1953 German Grand Prix
1953 Swiss Grand Prix
1953 Italian Grand Prix
NC 0

Complete European Championship results

(EC driver results legend) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Make 1 2 3 4 5 EDC Points
1935 Grand Prix season Auto Union Auto Union 1935 Belgian Grand Prix 1935 German Grand Prix
1935 Swiss Grand Prix
1935 Italian Grand Prix
1935 Spanish Grand Prix
3 21
1936 Grand Prix season Auto Union Auto Union 1936 Monaco Grand Prix
1936 German Grand Prix
1936 Swiss Grand Prix
1936 Italian Grand Prix
2 15
1937 Grand Prix season Auto Union Auto Union 1937 Belgian Grand Prix
1937 German Grand Prix
1937 Monaco Grand Prix
1937 Swiss Grand Prix
1937 Italian Grand Prix
5 20
1938 Grand Prix season Auto Union Auto Union 1938 French Grand Prix 1938 German Grand Prix
1938 Swiss Grand Prix
1938 Italian Grand Prix
5= 20
1939 Grand Prix season Auto Union Auto Union 1939 Belgian Grand Prix 1939 French Grand Prix
1939 German Grand Prix
1939 Swiss Grand Prix
9= 23

Further reading

  • Chris Nixon, Racing the Silver Arrows: Mercedes-Benz versus Auto Union 1934-1939 (Osprey, London, 1986) pp. 30-37, 164-168

External links


  • Hans Stuck and E. G. Burggaller (editors), Motoring Sport (G.T. Foulis, London, 1935) Although this is a collection of items by various writers, it does contain a number of items by Stuck
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