1950 Monaco A1 Grand Prix

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The 1950 Monaco A1 Grand Prix was the third round of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season. It was held alongside the Formula One Grand Prix which meant that the race was held on the Saturday rather than the usual Sunday. Piero Taruffi took pole position for Italy.

Classification

Pre-Qualifying

Since the Monte Carlo circuit can only fit up to 26 cars in its paddock, a one hour pre-qualifying session was held for all teams that were currently outside the top 20 in points. Only the fastest six would be allowed through to the rest of the weekend.

Pos No. Driver Time Gap
1 2 Flag of Australia svg.png Tony Gaze 1:29.845 Leader
2 14 Flag of Germany svg.png Paul Pietsch 1:30.238 +0.393
3 29 Flag of the United States svg.png Johnnie Parsons 1:31.727 +1.882
4 31 Flag of the Soviet Union svg.png Mikhail Metelev 1:32.042 +2.197
5 9 Flag of the Dominican Republic svg.png Porfirio Rubirosa 1:32.490 +2.645
6 20 Flag of New Zealand svg.png Jack Tutton 1:32.735 +2.890
Failed to Qualify
7 23 Flag of Scotland svg.png Alex McGlashan 1:33.603 +3.758
8 6 Flag of Colombia svg.png Gabriel Herrera 1:34.600 +4.755
9 30 Flag of Uruguay svg.png Eitel Cantoni 1:35.515 +5.670
10 22 Flag of Peru.png Luis Asteñgo Albizuri 1:37.124 +7.279
11 17 Flag of Mexico svg.png Luis Leal Solares 1:37.520 +7.675
12 32 Flag of Venezuela svg.png Attilio Cagnasso 1:37.540 +7.695
13 5 Canadian Red.svg.png Al Pease 1:39.323 +9.478

Qualifying

Pos No. Driver Time Gap
1 16 Flag of Italy svg.png Piero Taruffi 1:28.995 Leader
2 18 Flag of Monaco svg.png Louis Chiron 1:29.311 +0.316
3 27 Flag of Switzerland svg.png Toulo de Graffenried 1:29.541 +0.546
4 1 Flag of Argentina svg.png José Froilán González 1:29.653 +0.658
5 11 Flag of England svg.png Peter Whitehead 1:29.899 +0.904
6 25 Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg.png Paco Godia 1:30.021 +1.026
7 9 Flag of the Dominican Republic svg.png Porfirio Rubirosa 1:30.257 +1.262
8 14 Flag of Germany svg.png Paul Pietsch 1:30.360 +1.365
9 29 Flag of the United States svg.png Johnnie Parsons 1:30.643 +1.648
10 15 Flag of Ireland svg.png Joe Kelly 1:30.671 +1.676
11 19 Flag of the Netherlands.svg.png Dries van der Lof 1:30.691 +1.696
12 3 Flag of Belgium svg.png Johnny Claes 1:30.887 +1.892
13 28 Flag of Thailand svg.png B. Bira 1:30.925 +1.930
14 8 Flag of Denmark svg.png Robert Nelleman 1:30.990 +1.995
15 13 Flag of France svg.png Robert Manzon 1:31.087 +2.092
16 24 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 svg.png Ernest Geering 1:31.831 +2.836
17 26 Flag of Sweden svg.png Erik Lundgren 1:31.860 +2.865
18 4 Flag of Brazil svg.png Chico Landi 1:32.257 +3.262
19 10 Flag of East Germany svg.png Willy Lehmann 1:32.596 +3.601
20 2 Flag of Australia svg.png Tony Gaze 1:32.778 +3.783
21 31 Flag of the Soviet Union svg.png Mikhail Metelev 1:32.879 +3.884
22 21 Flag of Northern Ireland svg.png Desmond Titterington 1:33.158 +4.163
23 7 Flag of the Czech Republic svg.png Eliška Junková 1:33.284 +4.289
24 20 Flag of New Zealand svg.png Jack Tutton 1:33.512 +4.517
25 33 Flag of Wales svg.png Charles Headland 1:33.826 +4.827
26 12 Flag of Finland svg.png Asser Wallenius 1:47.114 +18.119

Race

For the third race in succession, the pole sitter was immediately overtaken by the driver staring in second as Monaco's Louis Chiron enjoyed a better start than Italy's Piero Taruffi. However Chiron's joy was short lived as he only ended up crashing out at Mirabeau on the first lap, handing the lead back to Taruffi. This was only the start of the disaster that was this race as several collisions occurred during the opening few laps. France's Robert Manzon who had won the last race at Zanvoort would be taken out at the Nouville Chicane by Australia's Tony Gaze, while at the same time East Germany's Willy Lehmann would cause a multi car pile up at the same corner by running into the back of New Zealand's Jack Tutton which caused USSR's Mikhail Metelev, Finland's Asser Wallenius and Czechoslovakia's Eliška Junková to collide in avoidance. Luckily the only driver out on the spot then was Lehmann.

Argentina's Jose Luis Gonzalez managed to pass Taruffi for the lead on lap 4, the latter making a very early pitstop just a few laps later. Unfortunately Gonzalez was held up by an earlier delayed Northern Ireland's Desmond Titterington and lost the lead to Switzerland's Toulo de Graffenried at Anthony Noghes. His fate turned from bad to worse when trying to re pass de Graffenried on the next lap. He lost control through Beau Rivage and collided with a hay bail which speared him back onto the track into the path of Wallenius who had no where to go but to collect Gonzalez in a fairly sizeable head on collision. Both were out on the spot but lucky to get away with minor leg injuries.

This left de Graffenried leading from Spain's Paco Godia and England's Peter Whitehead. Meanwhile another huge shunt at Nouville chicane occurred on lap 12 when Junková lost control, spinning into and having a huge impact with the hay bails. Brasil's Chico Landi and Sweden's Erik Lundgren both collided behind while trying to avoid the stricken Czechoslovakian car. Landi and Lundgren escaped injury but Junková suffered a fractured leg and concussion. It was later reported that she would be out of action for at least two months.

Godia and Whitehead managed to close up to de Graffenried who had been held up by Metelev but disaster struck again on lap 15 at the Nouville when Godia clipped the back of the Swiss car while Whitehead spun around in avoidance. Godia's car suffered too much damage to continue while de Graffenried had to pit for repairs, handing the lead to Whitehead. Once all of the first pitstops had cycled through, Taruffi was leading the race again from de Graffenried and Whitehead. The race would now be between these three for most of the race until Whitehead took himself out at Portier on lap 43.

This left de Graffenried and Taruffi as the only drivers left in realistic contention. Taruffi had been the quicker driver but he had to make one more stop in the race than the Swiss driver, thus he found himself behind playing catch up in the final laps. Toulo de Graffenried managed to hold on by less than a second to win his and Switzerland's first A1 Grand Prix.

However due to the extremely high attrition rate, the organisers of A1 Grand Prix are strongly considering not returning to the Monte Carlo circuit again in future seasons in favour of looking for an alternative street circuit as a replacement, giving the reason that "the track is far too narrow for proper car racing which created too many collisions and not enough overtaking opportunities".

Race Classification

Pos Grid No. Driver Laps Behind Points
1 3 27 Flag of Switzerland svg.png Toulo de Graffenried 78 2:04:14.361 25
2 1 16 Flag of Italy svg.png Piero Taruffi 78 +0.725 20
3 11 19 Flag of the Netherlands.svg.png Dries van der Lof 77 +1 lap 16
4 14 8 Flag of Denmark svg.png Robert Nelleman 77 +1 lap 13
5 10 15 Flag of Ireland svg.png Joe Kelly 77 +1 lap 11
6 8 14 Flag of Germany svg.png Paul Pietsch 72 Engine 10
Ret 9 29 Flag of the United States svg.png Johnnie Parsons 59 Brakes
Ret 5 11 Flag of England svg.png Peter Whitehead 43 Accident
Ret 7 9 Flag of the Dominican Republic svg.png Porfirio Rubirosa 42 Accident
Ret 21 31 Flag of the Soviet Union svg.png Mikhail Metelev 40 Piston
Ret 24 20 Flag of New Zealand svg.png Jack Tutton 20 Accident Damage
Ret 13 28 Flag of Thailand svg.png B. Bira 19 Accident
Ret 6 25 Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg.png Paco Godia 15 Collision Whitehead, de Graffenried
Ret 17 26 Flag of Sweden svg.png Erik Lundgren 12 Collision Landi, Junková
Ret 18 4 Flag of Brazil svg.png Chico Landi 12 Collision Junková, Lundgren
Ret 22 21 Flag of Northern Ireland svg.png Desmond Titterington 12 Accident
Ret 23 7 Flag of the Czech Republic svg.png Eliška Junková 11 Collision Landi, Lundgren
Ret 25 33 Flag of Wales svg.png Charles Headland 10 Accident
Ret 4 1 Flag of Argentina svg.png José Froilán González 9 Collision Wallenius
Ret 12 3 Flag of Belgium svg.png Johnny Claes 9 Handling
Ret 26 12 Flag of Finland svg.png Asser Wallenius 8 Collision González
Ret 15 13 Flag of France svg.png Robert Manzon 2 Collision Gaze
Ret 20 2 Flag of Australia svg.png Tony Gaze 2 Collision Manzon
Ret 19 10 Flag of East Germany svg.png Willy Lehmann 2 Collision Junková, Wallenius,
Tutton, Metelev
Ret 16 24 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 svg.png Ernest Geering 1 Collision Bira
Ret 2 18 Flag of Monaco svg.png Louis Chiron 0 Accident

Fastest Lap Flag of Switzerland svg.png Toulo de Graffenried 1:30.389 Lap 23

Penalty Report

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.

No. Driver Lap Penalty Reason
24 Flag of South Africa 1928-1994 svg.png Ernest Geering 1 3 points Causing an avoidable collision with car 28.
2 Flag of Australia svg.png Tony Gaze 2 3 points Causing an avoidable collision with car 13.
10 Flag of East Germany svg.png Willy Lehmann 2 3 points Causing an avoidable collision with cars 7, 12, 20, 31
21 Flag of Northern Ireland svg.png Desmond Titterington 7 2 points Impeding a faster car.
31 Flag of the Soviet Union svg.png Mikhail Metelev 14 2 points Impeding a faster car.
25 Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg.png Paco Godia 15 3 points Causing an avoidable collision with cars 11 and 27.