1950 Swiss Grand Prix

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1950 Swiss Grand Prix
Race 3 of 6 in the 1950 Formula One season
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Race details
Date 4 June 1950
Official name Großer Preis der Schweiz für Automobile
Location Bremgarten Circuit
Course Temporary street/road circuit
Course length 7.28 km (4.524 mi)
Distance 42 laps, 305.760 km (190.008 mi)
Pole position
Driver
  • Italy Luigi Fagioli
Alfa Romeo
Time 2:42.6
Fastest lap
Driver Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo
Time 2:42.8 on lap 26
Podium
First Alfa Romeo
Second
  • Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried
Maserati
Third
  • France Charles Pozzi
Talbot-Lago-Talbot
Lap leaders

The 1950 Swiss Grand Prix more commonly known as the Großer Preis der Schweiz für Automobile was a Formula One race that was held in Monaco on the 4 June 1950. It was the third round of the 1950 Formula One season with it being the tenth edition of the Swiss Grand Prix.

Background[edit | edit source]

Heading into the third round of the 1950 season, Giuseppe Farina led the overall championship by eleven points over second place drivers, Louis Rosier and fellow team-mate Luigi Fagioli. For Rosier, they were the only other driver in the field that had completed both races so far in the championship. This was the eleventh time that the Swiss Grand Prix was held with the first being in 1935.

Their was some slight changes in the field from the previous race that was held in Monaco two weeks previously. The first major one being that Louis Chiron had moved back to Maserati, replacing Joe Fry who had competed in the first two races of the season. Also being shafted was Raymond Sommer who competed in his own Talbot-Logo car after the initial request for the Ferrari car was refused by Sommer. Four new drivers competed in their first race of Formula One with Toni Branca, Felice Bonetto, Harry Schell and Charles Pozzi. For Pozzi, this was a surprised entrant to the race after initially wasn't on the entry list. Harry Schell also created history by being the first driver from North America to compete in a race weekend after not starting due to attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

Qualifying[edit | edit source]

The qualifying session for the Swiss Grand Prix was held on an overcast day. Much like before, the Alfa's dominated the session with Luigi Fagioli coming out on top, recording their first pole position in history. He was followed by fellow team-mates, Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio to round out the front row. The big surprise though was Charles Pozzi who in their own Talbot-Logo finished fourth on the grid, ahead of the Ferrari's and Maserati's. Alberto Ascari was lucky to finish seventh on the grid as they had fuel systems mid way through qualifying as they were forced out of due to issues with the gearbox.

The locals in qualifying also didn't have a good performance with Toulo de Graffenried having gearbox issues on his way to ninth on the grid while speed was a factor for Toni Branca, finishing only .2 seconds ahead of last place driver, Johnny Claes.

Qualifying classification[edit | edit source]

Pos Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 Italy Luigi Fagioli Alfa Romeo 2:42.6
2 Italy Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 2:42.8 +0.2
3 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 2:43.6 +1.0
4 France Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:44.6 +2.0
5 Italy Felice Bonetto Maserati 2:44.9 +2.3
6 Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 2:45.0 +2.4
7 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 2:45.3 +2.7
8 Monaco Louis Chiron Maserati 2:45.5 +2.9
9 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried Maserati 2:45.8 +3.2
10 France Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:46.1 +3.5
11 France Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:46.2 +3.6
12 France Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:46.4 +3.8
13 France Eugène Martin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:46.5 +3.9
14 Argentina José Froilán González Maserati 2:46.6 +4.0
15 Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 2:46.7 +4.1
16 United Kingdom Leslie Johnson ERA 2:46.8 +4.2
17 United States Harry Schell Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:46.9 +4.3
18 France Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:47.1 +4.5
19 Italy Franco Rol Maserati 2:47.4 +4.8
20 United Kingdom Peter Whitehead Ferrari 2:47.5 +4.9
21 Switzerland Tony Branca Maserati 2:48.2 +5.6
22 Belgium Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:48.4 +5.8

Race[edit | edit source]

The weather for the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix saw the teams race in another beautiful day. With the 22 drivers lining up for the race, the battle began and it wouldn't be long until some drama occurred with Luigi Fagioli falling ill, two hours before the race as he didn't start the race from pole. Once the race began, five retirements occurred in the opening lap alone. The major one being the four car crash over at Forsthaus between Philippe Étancelin, Luigi Villoresi, Eugene Martin and Prince Bira. For Bira, they would get their car going ahead while the other three had to retire. The other two retirements being José Froilán González and Yves Giraud-Cabantous who had car issues and had to retire from the race.

It wasn't just in the retirements of lap 1 that occurred, but on the track, more carnage occurred. Felice Bonetto and Albero Ascari both hitting each other. For Bonetto, he would have to pit for repairs while Ascari had to drive slower. While for Juan Manuel Fangio, troubles with the engine meant he to had to pit which would put way back in the field. Once the field went through, it was Farina, Ascari, de Graffenried, Pozzi and Chiron in the top five. On lap 2, Leslie Johnson had issues and had to retire from the race in their ERA car.

For the next few laps, the racing was quiet with local Branca passing Whitehead for 11th on the road as Raymond Sommer was blocked by Louis Chiron in the Maserati. Lap 7 saw Louis Rosier being blocked by Franco Rol as they tried to get pass. This battle would eventually see the two collide at Tenni, ending both of their races in the progress. Before those retirements, Bonetto and Peter Whitehead both had to retire with car issues on lap 10 and lap 12 respectively.

Fangio who had to pit early, started to make a charge up the leaderboard. After passing Johnny Claes on lap 10, they would pass Whitehead, Branca (who was being blocked by Harry Schell at the time) and then Schell to move them up to eighth place on track. It was during this time they also recorded the fastest lap of the race (a 2:42.8). Fangio would move into seventh when the engine of Ascari's died, ending the Ferrari chance at a podium. His run up the leaderboard would be slowed by going slightly off track at Jordenrampe on Lap 29.

The race though would turn into a endurance from lap 31 to lap 37 with six different drivers having the race end in car issues. After Raymond Sommer had steering issues on Lap 31, Chiron ran out of fuel while being close to the podium to the surprise packet Pozzi who was in third during the race. Then suspensions issues forced Fangio to retire from the race, continuing his bad run in the season with three retirements. After that, the final three retirements occurred with Branca, Bira and Claes all have engine issues as they retired on lap 35, 36 and 37 respectively. From there, it was smooth sailing with Farina taking home their third straight win in a row as they opened up a 17 point lead on Toulo de Graffenried who recorded his first podium in Formula One. Charles Pozzi was a surprised third, while Harry Schell became the first North American to score points as they finished fourth.

Race classification[edit | edit source]

Pos Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 Italy Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 42 2:03:33.9 2 8
2 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried Maserati 42 +1:01.0 9 6
3 France Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago-Talbot 42 +1:10.8 4 4
4 United States Harry Schell Talbot-Lago-Talbot 42 +2:03.7 17 3
Ret Belgium Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago-Talbot 36 Engine 22 2
Ret Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 35 Engine fire 15
Ret Switzerland Toni Branca Maserati 34 Engine 21
Ret Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 32 Suspension 3 1
Ret Monaco Louis Chiron Maserati 31 Out of fuel 8
Ret France Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago-Talbot 30 Steering 10
Ret Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 26 Engine 7
Ret Italy Franco Rol Maserati 13 Accident 19
Ret France Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago-Talbot 13 Accident 18
Ret United Kingdom Peter Whitehead Ferrari 11 Engine 20
Ret Italy Felice Bonetto Maserati 9 Steering 5
Ret United Kingdom Leslie Johnson ERA 1 Steering 16
Ret Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 0 Accident 6
Ret France Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 0 Accident 11
Ret France Eugène Martin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 0 Accident 13
Ret Argentina José Froilán González Maserati 0 Engine 14
Ret France Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago-Talbot 0 Tyres 12
DNS Italy Luigi Fagioli Alfa Romeo 0 Illness 1

Championship standings after the race[edit | edit source]

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Italy Giuseppe Farina 25
7 2 Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried 8
1 3 France Louis Rosier 6
1 4 Italy Luigi Fagioli 6
1 5 Thailand Prince Bira 4
  • Note: Only the top five positions are listed. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship.

References[edit | edit source]


Previous race:
1950 Monaco Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1950 season
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1950 Belgian Grand Prix
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1949 Swiss Grand Prix
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1951 Swiss Grand Prix