1950 Monaco A1 Grand Prix
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.
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.
|Failed to Qualify|
|10||22||Luis Asteñgo Albizuri||1:37.124||+7.279|
|11||17||Luis Leal Solares||1:37.520||+7.675|
|3||27||Toulo de Graffenried||1:29.541||+0.546|
|4||1||José Froilán González||1:29.653||+0.658|
|11||19||Dries van der Lof||1:30.691||+1.696|
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".
|1||3||27||Toulo de Graffenried||78||2:04:14.361||25|
|3||11||19||Dries van der Lof||77||+1 lap||16|
|4||14||8||Robert Nelleman||77||+1 lap||13|
|5||10||15||Joe Kelly||77||+1 lap||11|
|Ret||24||20||Jack Tutton||20||Accident Damage|
|Ret||6||25||Paco Godia||15||Collision Whitehead, de Graffenried|
|Ret||17||26||Erik Lundgren||12||Collision Landi, Junková|
|Ret||18||4||Chico Landi||12||Collision Junková, Lundgren|
|Ret||23||7||Eliška Junková||11||Collision Landi, Lundgren|
|Ret||4||1||José Froilán González||9||Collision Wallenius|
|Ret||26||12||Asser Wallenius||8||Collision González|
|Ret||15||13||Robert Manzon||2||Collision Gaze|
|Ret||20||2||Tony Gaze||2||Collision Manzon|
|Ret||19||10||Willy Lehmann||2|| Collision Junková, Wallenius,
|Ret||16||24||Ernest Geering||1||Collision Bira|
Fastest Lap Toulo de Graffenried 1:30.389 Lap 23
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.