1950 Italian A1 Grand Prix
The 1950 Italian A1 Grand Prix was the ninth and final round of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season. Joe Kelly took a surprising pole position for Ireland.
|9||1||Juan Manuel Fangio||1:58.677||+0.857|
|11||27||Toulo de Graffenried||1:58.723||+0.903|
|25||19||Dries van der Lof||1:59.770||+1.950|
|30||22||Luis Asteñgo Albizuri||2:01.220||+3.400|
|31||17||Jesus Nava Gonzales||2:01.623||+3.803|
Chico Landi immediately managed to swipe the lead from Joe Kelly at the start though like anyone else during the opening stint it would not be for long. The fast nature of the Monza circuit created some very close pack racing in which slip streaming the cars in front was the best way to overtake. 22 cars made up the leading group during the opening laps and aside from Landi, Maurice Trintignant, Porfirio Rubirosa, Louis Chiron and Peter Whitehead all enjoyed their moments in the lead. Their would be a significant amount of minor dramas during this opening stint though, the largest being a three car collision on lap two caused by Desmond Titterington braking too late into Curva Grande and sliding into Arcesio Paz and Eitel Cantoni. Soon after the new champions, Italy struck some mechanical woes when Ascari seemingly lost power on lap six crawling pack to the pits with a suspected engine trouble. He would make it back out but his car would be down on power for the rest of the race.
Lap 12 saw everyone in the lead pack but Toulo de Graffenried and Kelly make their first stops. Whitehead made it out first from an impressive Erik Lundgren who had spent the opening laps climbing through from a lowly 21st on the grid. Both were a few seconds ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio, Maurice Trintignant and Jack Tutton, the latter having made a brilliant pitstop after coming into the pits in 14th. Meanwhile further back their was some daft driving in the pit entrance when Prince Bira failed to spot Robert Nelleman slowing down for the pit speed limit and ran into the back of the Dane while also catching out Comish Hunter and Juan Jover who piled in behind. All involved would have to make lengthy repairs and drop off the pace or in Hunter's case retire from the race.
The pitstops had split the pack up alot. Whitehead and Lundgren had a five second lead from Fangio, Trintignant and Tutton who were a little ahead of Kelly, the Irishman coming out of the pits in sixth but doomed to slip back to the group behind without anyone to draft with. With the slightly larger group, Fangio, Trintignant and Tutton were able to run at a faster pace than Whitehead and Lundgren and were about to real in and join up when on lap eighteen some appalling luck struck. First Lundgren out-braked himself at Lesmo 1, sliding off the track and into the barriers, the Swede was unharmed but he would be devastated to retire from such a strong position which would have seen Sweden in a much more respectable place in the championship. Then mere moments later Whitehead would come to a stop at Parabolica with a piston failure, an event which perfectly summed up England's season. Plenty of potential but too much bad luck. To top it off, further back Hans Stuck would also drop out with a piston failure, Germany having also had a season of awful luck.
So Fangio, Trintignant and Tutton found themselves now battling for the lead and with no one else in a position to catch up to them. The next pitstops came around lap 24 in which Trintignant would suffer a slow pitstop which saw him loose a massive seven seconds to Fangio and Tutton and with no one to draft with he was doomed to drop back and eventually be reeled in by the group behind. This group was now six strong involving Landi, Kelly, Rubirosa, Chiron, Tony Gaze and Edgar Barth, the latter having climbed all the way from the back of the grid.
The win was now down to just Fangio and Tutton as the pair were now pulling away with the help of the lapped cars of Johnny Claes and Al Pease. Although Tutton managed to lead one lap, it was Fangio who was really in control of the battle and his eventually win never truly looked in doubt. Lap 27 saw a daft collision between Jack Niell and Asser Wallenius where both seemed to want the same bit of track coming into Curva Grande. Both ended up in the barriers and as the Finn was the driver further back, Wallenius was given the blame. A few laps later, the large battle for fourth would see some drama as Rubirosa aggressively forced Kelly into the outside wall at Variante della Roggia leaving the Irishman stuck on top of the barrier in a peculiar position. Rubirosa himself was spun around but he was able to continue.
Finally Trintignant was reeled in by Gaze, Chiron and Barth and on the penultimate lap Gaze and Chiron managed to get by. The Frenchman fought back though and by the finish was back up to fourth but off the podium as Gaze joined Fangio and Tutton in the celebrations. Chiron secured fifth from Barth while Landi had dropped off from the group in the closing stages to finish seventh ahead of Rubirosa. De Graffenried ended up ninth after a poor first stop while Eliska Junkova finished a quiet tenth. 11th went to a disappointed Parsons who was expecting more from his strong grid position. 12th and 13th went to the recovering Bira and Nelleman while Ernest Geering finally contributed his first points for South Africa in 14th. Finally Al Pease managed to win what became the battle for the final point between him and Claes.
|1||9||1||Juan Manuel Fangio||36||1:25:06.151||25|
|9||11||27||Toulo de Graffenried||36||+44.781||7|
|15||28||5||Al Pease||35||+1 lap||1|
|16||18||3||Johnny Claes||35||+1 lap|
|17||10||25||Juan Jover||35||+1 lap|
|18||7||16||Alberto Ascari||34||+2 laps|
|19||25||19||Dries van der Lof||34||+2 laps|
|Ret||1||15||Joe Kelly||31||Collision, Rubirosa|
|Ret||15||33||Jack Niell||27||Collision, Wallenius|
|Ret||26||12||Asser Wallenius||27||Collision, Niell|
|Ret||19||23||Comish Hunter||12||Collision, Bira, Jover|
|Ret||31||17||Jesus Nava Gonzales||5||Accident|
|Ret||30||22||Luis Asteñgo Albizuri||4||Accident|
|Ret||16||30||Eitel Cantoni||2|| Collision,
|Ret||20||6||Arcesio Paz||2|| Collision,
|Ret||17||21||Desmond Titterington||2|| Collision,
|21||Desmond Titterington||2||3 points||Causing an avoidable collision with cars 6 and 30.|
|28||B. Bira||12||2 points||Causing an avoidable collision with cars 8 and 23.|
|12||Asser Wallenius||27||3 points||Causing an avoidable collision with car 33.|
|9||Porfirio Rubirosa||31||3 points||Causing an avoidable collision with car 15.|