1950 Australian A1 Grand Prix
The 1950 Australian A1 Grand Prix was the eighth round of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season held at the Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst. Juan Manual Fangio took his second consecutive pole position.
|1||1||Juan Manuel Fangio||2:07.992||Leader|
|4||27||Toulo de Graffenried||2:08.665||+0.673|
|25||19||Dries van der Lof||2:10.472||+2.480|
|30||17||Jesus Nava Gonzales||2:14.306||+6.314|
The only change inside the top ten at the start were Brasil's Chico Landi loosing fifth to the Dominican Republic's Porfirio Rubirosa Belgium's Johnny Claes loosing seventh to Germany's Hans Stuck. Meanwhile behind at the first corner there would be a mini pileup in which Wales' Jack Niell would again be rear ended, this time by Uruguay's Eitel Cantoni while Dries van der Lof in the Netherlands car ran into Spain's Joaquin Palacio, the impact forcing Palacio into Comish Hunter, spinning the Scot around and clipping Canada's Al Pease. Luckily only Cantoni wouldn't continue any further while Niell managed not to pit for repairs for the rest of the race. On the other hand Mexico's Jesus Nava Gonzales wouldn't even get to start the race after an engine failure on the parade lap.
Lap two saw the Soviet driver, Mikhail Metelev whack the wall at the Cutting, his sudden drop in speed caught out South Africa's Arthur Mackenzie who clipped the back of the Soviet car which sent him into the turn five wall where he was collected by the New Zealand car of Jack Tutton. Tutton would retire as a result of the impact while Mackenzie would pit for repairs. Meanwhile, Australia's Tony Gaze had to make an unscheduled stop after he himself had hit the wall at Griffin's Mount while Thailand's Prince Bira would retire from a valve failure. The next lap saw Claes loose control through Skyline sending him into the wall where he was lightly collected by Sweden's Erik Lundgren and Monaco's Louis Chiron. All three managed to make it back to the pits for repairs but Claes would eventually drop out after a couple more laps.
After the opening five laps, things calmed down as Juan Manuel Fangio would lead the opening stint for Argentina ahead of France's Maurice Trintignant, Italy's Alberto Ascari and Switzerland's Toulo de Graffenried. Rubirosa was fifth followed closely by Landi and Stuck. Peter Whitehead, Robert Nelleman and Asser Wallenius made up the rest of the top ten for England, Denmark and Finland respectively. Unfortunately after an early pitstop, Venezuela's Ramon Lopez would come out a lap down between Fangio and Trintignant. The Frenchman found himself stuck behind Lopez for an entire lap, after which he found himself with a seven second deficit from Fangio. Lopez would begin to ruin the race for everyone as all of the leaders would struggle to find a way past and as a result the gaps between them all were up to multiple seconds while Landi would even loose out to Stuck.
But disaster would strike on lap 15 when Fangio would loose control through skyline and hitting the wall in an identical crash to Claes' earlier on. The Argentine was uninjured but out of the race and out of championship contention as long as Ascari finished on the podium. Trintignant would take over the lead only to make his first pitstop at the end of the lap. Ascari and de Graffenried would make theirs after lap 17 and the Italian managed to exit ahead of Trintignant. So the points positions after the first round of pitstops was Ascari, Trintignant, de Graffenried, Rubirosa, Landi, Stuck, Whitehead, Wallenius, Titterington, Chiron, Niell, Gaze, Mackenzie, Polacio and van der Lof. Nelleman had dropped out of the points having suffered a puncture just before the pitstops.
The rest of the race would be relatively tame though there was still a large amount of attrition due to mechanical failures as Lundgren, Whitehead, Parsons, Gaze and Junkova would all drop out before the closing stages. Though many had thought that this would be a standard two stop race, several drivers ended up having to make a third including Trintignant, de Graffenried and Rubirosa which left Stuck and Landi into podium positions while Rubirosa dropped down to ninth behind Chiron, Titterington and Niell. There would be one more drama however when Trintignant's engine overheated and exploded leaving the Frenchman out of the race and all but assuring Italy of the championship as long as Ascari managed to score points.
Thanks to his nearest rivals either retiring or having to make more stops, Alberto Ascari eventually took his and Italy's second victory by over a minute and securing Italy's position as the inaugural winners of A1 Grand Prix after extending their lead over Argentina to 35 points. Hans Stuck finished second to allowing Germany to rise to sixth in the championship while Chico Landi completed the podium in third, helping Brasil up to eighth in the standings. Toulo de Graffenried ended up a slightly disapointing fourth where a better strategy would have seen him finish second but either way Switzerland would have been knocked out of contention for the championship. On the other hand both Switzerland and Monaco have now moved ahead of France in the standings with Chiron recovering to fifth. Niell had an impressive showing from his lowly grid position to give Wales their best finish in sixth. Both he and Rubirosa benefited from Titterington's misfortune as the Ulsterman ran out of fuel on the final lap putting him back down to eighth. Nelleman recovered from his puncture to finish ninth while Mackenzie, Polacio and van der Lof also recoveries from their own collisions in the early stages. Wallenius was another of the drivers that had to make a last minute third stop which dropped him to 13th ahead of Al Pease, while Comish Hunter took the final point despite running the whole race with a damaged car. Lopez was the only other finisher.
|4||4||27||Toulo de Graffenried||48||+1:43.264||13|
|8||28||21||Desmond Titterington||47||Out of Fuel||8|
|9||15||8||Robert Nelleman||47||+1 lap||7|
|10||17||24||Arthur Mackenzie||47||+1 lap||6|
|11||21||25||Joaquin Palacio||47||+1 lap||5|
|12||25||19||Dries van der Lof||47||+1 lap||4|
|13||18||12||Asser Wallenius||47||+1 lap||3|
|14||26||5||Al Pease||47||+1 lap||2|
|15||19||23||Comish Hunter||46||+2 laps||1|
|16||31||32||Ramón López||45||+3 laps|
|Ret||1||1||Juan Manuel Fangio||14||Accident|
|Ret||7||3||Johnny Claes||4|| Collision Damage,
|Ret||16||20||Jack Tutton||2||Collision, Metelev, Mackenzie|
|Ret||27||30||Eitel Cantoni||0||Collision, Niell|
|DNS||30||17||Jesus Nava Gonzales||0||Engine|
Fastest Lap Maurice Trintignant 2:08.113, Lap 4.
Drivers receive points on their race licence if they are deemed by the stewards to be driving in an 'unsporting manner'. Points are usually given for causing avoidable collisions, pitlane infractions or impeding fastest cars while being lapped. If a driver collects 12 points throughout the season then they are given a three month ban from racing in the series. Points are reset to zero after each season. Fines can also be given.
|19||Dries van der Lof||1||2 points||Causing an avoidable collision with cars 5, 23 and 25.|
|30||Eitel Cantoni||1||2 points||Causing an avoidable collision with car 33.|
|32||Ramón López||10||2 points||Impeding a faster car.|