1950 French A1 Grand Prix

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The 1950 French A1 Grand Prix was the fourth round of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix Season hosted at the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans. It ran as a support race to the 1950 Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday morning before the 24 Hours began. France's Maurice Trintignant took pole in his A1 Grand Prix debut.

Classification

Qualifying

Pos No. Driver Time Gap
1 13 Flag of France svg.png Maurice Trintignant 4:03.607 Leader
2 11 Flag of England svg.png Peter Whitehead 4:04.209 +0.602
3 29 Flag of the United States svg.png Harry Schell 4:04.621 +1.014
4 14 Flag of Germany svg.png Paul Pietsch 4:04.798 +1.191
5 27 Flag of Switzerland svg.png Toulo de Graffenried 4:05.112 +1.505
6 3 Flag of Belgium svg.png Johnny Claes 4:05.119 +1.512
7 16 Flag of Italy svg.png Piero Taruffi 4:05.314 +1.707
8 18 Flag of Monaco svg.png Louis Chiron 4:05.536 +1.929
9 1 Flag of Argentina svg.png Marcos Ciani 4:06.141 +2.534
10 4 Flag of Brazil svg.png Chico Landi 4:06.170 +2.563
11 25 Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg.png Paco Godia 4:06.287 +2.680
12 21 Flag of Northern Ireland svg.png Desmond Titterington 4:06.563 +2.956
13 7 Flag of the Czech Republic svg.png Zdeněk Pohl 4:07.029 +3.422
14 12 Flag of Finland svg.png Asser Wallenius 4:07.298 +3.691
15 19 Flag of the Netherlands.svg.png Dries van der Lof 4:07.764 +4.157
16 15 Flag of Ireland svg.png Joe Kelly 4:07.984 +4.277
17 31 Flag of the Soviet Union svg.png Mikhail Metelev 4:08.664 +5.057
18 5 Canadian Red.svg.png Al Pease 4:08.697 +5.090
19 10 Flag of East Germany svg.png Willy Lehmann 4:09.182 +5.575
20 33 Flag of Wales svg.png Jack Niell 4:09.209 +5.602
21 28 Flag of Thailand svg.png B. Bira 4:09.238 +5.631
22 26 Flag of Sweden svg.png Erik Lundgren 4:09.274 +5.667
23 23 Flag of Scotland svg.png Alex McGlashan 4:11.240 +7.633
24 8 Flag of Denmark svg.png Robert Nelleman 4:11.312 +7.705
25 20 Flag of New Zealand svg.png Jack Tutton 4:11.585 +7.978
26 30 Flag of Uruguay svg.png Eitel Cantoni 4:12.394 +8.787
27 17 Flag of Mexico svg.png Luis Leal Solaraes 4:13.402 +9.795
28 6 Flag of Colombia svg.png Arcesio Paz 4:14.206 +10.599
29 32 Flag of Venezuela svg.png Ramón López 4:14.351 +10.744
30 22 Flag of Peru.png Luis Asteñgo Albizuri 4:20.222 +16.615
31 2 Flag of Australia svg.png Tony Gaze 4:21.729 +18.122
32 9 Flag of the Dominican Republic svg.png Porfirio Rubirosa 4:27.790 +24.183
33 24 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 svg.png Arthur Mackenzie 4:39.650 +36.043

Race

Trintignant and Whitehead lead off the start.

For once the pole sitter didn't loose the lead at the start as France's Maurice Trintignant managed to hold off a challenge from England's Peter Whitehead at the Dunlop Chicane. Meanwhile Germany's Paul Pietsch had managed to get by the United States car of Harry Schell. Soon as many had predicted Schell's race pace wasn't as quick as his qualifying pace and he would spend the first stint leading a train of cars which went back as far as Desmond Titterington in 12th while the top three broke away.

Italy's Piero Taruffi managed to get by Schell for 4th on lap 5 but by this point the leaders were over 15 seconds up the road. As for the front runners, Trintignant spent the first stint with Whitehead always within a second of him while Pietsch was a little way back but still within sight.

The first round of pit stops took place on laps 7 and 8. Whitehead was the first of the leaders to pit while Trintignant and Pietsch stopped the lap after. The Englishman briefly managed to get the undercut on the French driver only for Trintignant to out drive him coming out of the Mulsanne corner. Further back Switzerland's Toulo de Graffenried managed to get by Schell during the pitstops for 5th.

The top five would remain the same for the rest of the race though Whitehead would remain within sight of Trintignant's mirrors the whole way. Meanwhile Schell dropped further down the order with Monaco's Louis Chiron getting past during the second and final round of stops then Brasil's Chico Landi passed him on the penultimate lap. Still it was easily the strongest performance for the United States so far.

This was the cleanest race held so far this season with only seven retirements, only two of which were due to an accident, thanks in no small part to the wide open nature of the Le Sarthe circuit compared with the narrower circuits at Zandvoort and Monaco. Jack Niell in his debut for Wales spun off through the Porsche Curves on lap 6, luckily missed by those behind. Colombia's Arcesio Paz binned his car into the tyres at Mulsanne on lap 9 just after his first pitstop. Cold tyres were believed to be the cause of the error.

Race Classification

Pos Grid No. Driver Laps Behind Points
1 1 13 Flag of France svg.png Maurice Trintignant 24 1:52:23.476 25
2 2 11 Flag of England svg.png Peter Whitehead 24 +6.335 20
3 4 14 Flag of Germany svg.png Paul Pietsch 24 +15.175 16
4 7 16 Flag of Italy svg.png Piero Taruffi 24 +21.472 13
5 5 27 Flag of Switzerland svg.png Toulo de Graffenried 24 +33.379 11
6 8 18 Flag of Monaco svg.png Louis Chiron 24 +39.461 10
7 10 4 Flag of Brazil svg.png Chico Landi 24 +42.701 9
8 3 29 Flag of the United States svg.png Harry Schell 24 +44.075 8
9 11 25 Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg.png Paco Godia 24 +44.859 7
10 9 1 Flag of Argentina svg.png Marcos Cioci 24 +45.645 6
11 16 15 Flag of Ireland svg.png Joe Kelly 24 +46.555 5
12 6 3 Flag of Belgium svg.png Johnny Claes 24 +58.803 4
13 15 19 Flag of the Netherlands.svg.png Dries van der Lof 24 +1:03.361 3
14 21 28 Flag of Thailand svg.png B. Bira 24 +1:06.556 2
15 31 2 Flag of Australia svg.png Tony Gaze 24 +1:23.459 1
16 14 12 Flag of Finland svg.png Asser Wallenius 24 +1:27.124
17 22 26 Flag of Sweden svg.png Erik Lundgren 24 +1:52.572
18 32 9 Flag of the Dominican Republic svg.png Porfirio Rubirosa 24 +2:04.563
19 25 20 Flag of New Zealand svg.png Jack Tutton 24 +2:19.519
20 33 24 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 svg.png Arthur Mackenzie 24 +2:20.578
21 23 23 Flag of Scotland svg.png Alex McGlashan 24 +2:51.403
22 18 5 Canadian Red.svg.png Al Pease 24 +3:06.456
23 26 30 Flag of Uruguay svg.png Eitel Cantoni 24 +3:38.514
24 27 17 Flag of Mexico svg.png Luis Leal Solares 23 +1 lap
25 29 32 Flag of Venezuela svg.png Ramón López 23 +1 lap
26 30 22 Flag of Peru.png Luis Asteñgo Albizuri 22 +2 laps
Ret 19 10 Flag of East Germany svg.png Willy Lehmann 19 Suspension
Ret 12 21 Flag of Northern Ireland svg.png Desmond Titterington 15 Engine
Ret 13 7 Flag of the Czech Republic svg.png Zdenek Pohl 12 Overheating
Ret 24 8 Flag of Denmark svg.png Robert Nelleman 10 Engine
Ret 28 6 Flag of Colombia svg.png Arcesio Paz 7 Accident
Ret 20 33 Flag of Wales svg.png Jack Niell 5 Accident
Ret 17 31 Flag of the Soviet Union svg.png Mikhail Metelev 0 Clutch

Fastest Lap Flag of Italy svg.png Piero Taruffi 4:09.561 Lap 10

Penalty Report

No penalties were given after this round.