1950 Monaco Grand Prix
The 1950 Monaco Grand Prix was the second race of the 1950 Alternate Formula One season, held on May 21st 1950. The race was won by Giuseppe Farina ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa Romeo 1-2. The Siamese prince B. Bira finished third.
32 drivers entered the race, twelve more than the 20 grid spots available. For the first time, drivers would have to fail to qualify. Also, some driver changes occurred, ensuring that the line-up would be different from the opening race at Silverstone.
The revolving-door third Talbot-Lago was driven by veteran Frenchman Philippe Etancelin, while a third Ferrari-Jaguar was wheeled out by Scuderia Maremmana to be driven by Roger Loyer. Alexander Racing Team and Aston Martin expanded as well, signing Robert Manzon and Raymond Sommer respectively. Ecurie Nationale Belge entered four cars for Legat, Yves Giraud-Cabantous, Eugène Chaboud and Eugène Martin.
Of the 29 drivers in Silverstone, only Pilette, Gerard, Walker and Nuvolari did not compete in Monaco, the latter two preferring to move straight on to Bremgarten.
Alfa Romeo came out on top in qualifying, with Juan Manuel Fangio scoring his maiden pole position ahead of Giuseppe Farina. While Italian manufacturers once again dominated, the others were gaining ground, with B. Bira qualifying eighth and Robert Manzon thirteenth. However, the biggest surprise came from French motorcycle champion Roger Loyer, who qualified in fifth position for Scuderia Maremmana. British GP winner Louis Chiron qualified seventh.
Behind all the manufacturer teams, very little grid spots were left available for the smaller teams, and the lucky driver who scraped onto the grid was Harry Schell, who only barely outpaced Philippe Etancelin. Etancelin himself was the only Motorsport Bleu to fail, along with Dennis Poore's private Alfa Romeo, all four ENB cars, both Phoenixes, both Aston Martins and, more surprisingly, Luigi Villoresi's factory Ferrari.
Juan Manuel Fangio led off the start, Luigi Fagioli jumping ahead of Serafini to fight with Farina for second position. Fagioli got past on lap 3, and immediately began catching up to Fangio. Fagioli took the lead on lap 6, only to relinquish it two laps later. At one point, Roger Loyer attempted to break away from the pack, but he quickly lost pace. B. Bira and Dorino Serafini then started to attck the leaders. Fagioli took the lead again on lap 11, and left it on lap 18, dropping down the order very quickly. By lap 23, Bira was finding more and more pace and took the lead. He left it on lap 25, only to take it again three laps later. On lap 30, Fagioli hit a kerb at Mirabeau, sending his car into a spin and into the wall. Fagioli had to retire on the spot with a broken right-rear suspension. Momentarily distracted by Fagioli's car, Bira braked earlier for the corner, and Fangio took the opportunity to take the lead again.
Fangio pulled out a small lead, but after setting some very quick lap times, Bira took the lead once more on lap 37. This time, he kept it for just one lap. His charge had also brought Toulo de Graffenried along for the ride and the Swiss took the advantage of a momentary lapse of concentration by the Siamese prince to take the lead. Bira then started to lose ground, leaving Fangio and de Graffenried to battle for the lead, Fangio passing de Graffenried on lap 43, but losing the lead again two laps later.
At this point, Giuseppe Farina, who had been running fourth for most of the race, launched his attack and joined the leading pack. On lap 48, Bira found more speed and burst into the lead, leaving de Graffenried in the dust. Two laps later, Farina passed Fangio for third position. Roger Loyer was also performing superbly in a distant fifth position. However, with Farina and Fangio catching up to the two leading drivers, disaster struck on lap 59. Loyer, still running in fifth, saw his wonderful performance go to waste, as his driveshaft failed at Tabac. He was able to make it to the pits where he retired, but Louis Rosier, who was running just behind, had no time to react properly. Attempting to avoid Loyer, he lost control of his Talbot-Lago, striking the outside wall backwards at high speed. With both wheels lost, his car bounced to the other side of the track, where it came to a stop. Thankfully, he stayed calm in the car and avoided serious injury.
At the front, everything stayed calm throughout the incident, Bira keeping his narrow lead over de Graffenried. After a long battle, Farina finally passed Fangio for third position on lap 65. Farina then passed de Graffenried for second position four laps later, Toulo slowing down, perhaps due to driver fatigue. Just two laps later, Farina completed his good run, passing Bira for the lead. On the next lap, de Graffenried found a bit more pace and overtook Bira to gain second place. On lap 75, de Graffenried took the lead again, but Farina passed him four laps later. Fangio also passed Farina and Bira to take second place for a short while. All four were very closely matched at this point, and it would be difficult to track down all the overtakes made.
On lap 80, the battle settled down, as de Graffenried started to slow down, leaving Farina first ahead of Bira with Fangio third. On the next lap, Farina made a mistake at Massenet, allowing Bira through into the lead with Fangio second. He quickly made up the lost time, passing Fangio for second on lap 87 and taking the lead away from Bira with 11 laps to go, after the prince made a mistake and also let Fangio through. On the next lap, Fangio took the lead from Farina, while Bira also passed Farina on the next lap, Bira taking the lead again with 7 laps to go. This didn't last long as he was demoted to second on the 94th lap of the race and to third two laps later. The race was decided on the second-to-last lap of the race, Farina overtaking Fangio at the Gazomètre hairpin to take the lead, a lead he would not let go in the final lap to take Alfa Romeo's first victory of the season.
B. Bira took a well-deserved third position, having done a splendid race, mixing it up with the big boys. Toulo de Graffenried finished a twice-lapped fourth position, two laps ahead of the battling Dorino Serafini, Maurice Trintignant and Mauri Rose. Trintignant ended the race on a high note, making up a few positions, but it just wasn't enough, while Rose was nowhere all race, lucking into seventh position. Peter Whitehead finished eighth after an average performance, six laps down. In 9th, Harry Schell had a very bad start to the race, spending most of it in last position, although he drove splendidly towards the end. On his way to eighth place, however, he lost control of the car at Portier, spinning the car and stalling the engine with just four laps to go.
Tony Bettenhausen had a horrible race, and finished tenth only due to the attrition. He had a wonderful start to the race, but he simply dropped off the face of the earth after the halfway point, finishing eight laps down. Felice Bonetto had an end to the race similar to the British Grand Prix, suffering mechanical problems towards the end. However, this time, he was nowhere near a good position. He started towards the back of the grid, and simply showed a lack of motivation, driving a simply mediocre race. An incident that went unnoticed was Louis Chiron's retirement. He lost control of the car at the chicane and simply went straight on into the straw bales, without injury and not much damage to the car. Unfortunately, he was unable to turn the car around and had to retire from the race. Reg Parnell suffered the same fate a few laps later, stalling the engine after hitting straw bales at Mirabeau.
- First victory for Giuseppe Farina.
- First pole position for Juan Manuel Fangio.
- First and only fastest lap for Louis Chiron.
- First podium for Giuseppe Farina, Juan Manuel Fangio and B. Bira.
- First points for Giuseppe Farina and B. Bira.
- First start for Robert Manzon.
- First entry for Robert Manzon, Philippe Etancelin, Eugène Chaboud, Yves Giraud-Cabantous, Eugène Martin and Raymond Sommer.
- First and only entry and start for Roger Loyer.
- Final entry for Dennis Poore and Johnnie Parsons.
- First victory for Alfa Romeo.
- First pole for Alfa Romeo.
- First and only fastest lap for Maserati.
- First podium for Talbot-Lago-Talbot.
- First entries for a Bugatti chassis (modified and rebadged Gordini).
- First and only fastest lap for Claes Racing Developments.
- First podium for Motorsport Bleu.
- Juan Manuel Fangio: 33 laps (1-5, 8-10, 18-22, 25-27, 30-36, 43-44, 90-92, 94-98)
- Luigi Fagioli: 9 laps (6-7, 11-17)
- B. Bira: 37 laps (23-24, 28-29, 37, 48-70, 81-88, 93)
- Toulo de Graffenried: 12 laps (38-42, 45-47, 75-78)
- Giuseppe Farina: 9 laps (71-74, 79-80, 89, 99-100)
- Youngest Grand Prix winner: Giuseppe Farina (43 years, 6 months and 21 days)
- Youngest podium scorer: B. Bira (35 years, 10 months and 6 days)
- Youngest points scorer: B. Bira (35 years, 10 months and 6 days)
- Oldest lap leader: Luigi Fagioli (51 years, 11 months and 12 days)
- Most career points: Louis Chiron (9)
- Most career points finishes: Louis Chiron, Dorino Serafini, Toulo de Graffenried (2)
- Most career laps led: B. Bira (37)
- Most career starts: 18 drivers (2)
- Most career entries: 25 drivers (2)
- Worst starting place for a race winner: Giuseppe Farina (2nd)
- Most podiums: Alfa Romeo (3)
- Most total points: Alfa Romeo (21)
- Most total entries: Ferrari (13)
- Longest running time (3:13:08.4)
- Shortest race distance (318.1 km)
- Slowest average speed (98.8 km/h)
- Closest finish (3.4 seconds)
- Most lead changes (22)
- Most entrants (32)
- Least classified finishers (11)
- Least finishers (9)
|3||Juan Manuel Fangio||7|
|4||Toulo de Graffenried||7|
- Only the top five positions are listed.
| Previous race:
1950 British Grand Prix
| Alternate Formula 1 World Championship
| Next race:|
1950 Indianapolis 500
| Previous race:
|Monaco Grand Prix|| Next race:|
1951 Monaco Grand Prix