1950 French A1 Grand Prix
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.
|5||27||Toulo de Graffenried||4:05.112||+1.505|
|15||19||Dries van der Lof||4:07.764||+4.157|
|27||17||Luis Leal Solaraes||4:13.402||+9.795|
|30||22||Luis Asteñgo Albizuri||4:20.222||+16.615|
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.
|5||5||27||Toulo de Graffenried||24||+33.379||11|
|13||15||19||Dries van der Lof||24||+1:03.361||3|
|24||27||17||Luis Leal Solares||23||+1 lap|
|25||29||32||Ramón López||23||+1 lap|
|26||30||22||Luis Asteñgo Albizuri||22||+2 laps|
Fastest Lap Piero Taruffi 4:09.561 Lap 10
No penalties were given after this round.