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1950 Belgian Grand Prix

The fourth round of the 1950 Formula 1 World Championship took place on June 18 in Belgium at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The length of the track was 14,12 km, while the drivers had to complete 35 laps.


After two victories in the first three rounds Nino Farina arrived to Belgium as the undisputed leader of the championship, hoping to take here another win.


His teammates in the Alfa Romeo team, as usual, were Juan-Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli, who in their turn intended to challenge the Italian. Meanwhile Scuderia Ferrari this time was represented by only two drivers, Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi, since Raymond Sommer decided to leave the Italian team, dissatisfied with the fact that in the last Grand Prix he had to perform on a deliberately weak car, returning at the wheel of his private Talbot-Lago. At the same time, Alberto Ascari got to his disposal a new experimental Ferrari 275 with an atmospheric V12 engine, with which the team hoped to throw a serious challenge to leadership of the Milan team.


The most representative this time was the French Talbot team with five drivers Louis Rosier, Philippe Etancelin, Yves Girau-Cabantous, Eugene Chaboud and Pierre Levegh, while Maserati team, as well as Enrico Plate and Scuderia Achille Varzi, decided to skip this Grand Prix. Besides factory teams, the Belgian stage was attended by only two private drivers Tony Branca and Geoffrey Crossley, performing on Maserati and Alta respectively, and thus only 14 drivers took part in the Grand Prix.


Qualifying in Belgium was another demonstration of Alfa Romeo's superiority with Farina and Fangio showing the same time, while Fagioli, as usual, was well behind his teammates, losing 4 sec. to them. Meanwhile Scuderia Ferrari, despite high hopes, still was unable to match the pace of Milan cars, with Villoresi losing 10 sec. to the two leaders and Ascari as much as 15 sec. at all on his new Ferrari. At the same time, the former teammate of Italians Sommer looked very decently and equaled Villoresi's time, becoming the fastest driver on Talbot-Lago, while the other drivers on French cars followed him, taking the remaining places in top ten.


Start. Fangio, as usual, makes a great start and takes the lead, while Farina confidently takes 2nd place ahead of two Ferraris, which managed to get ahead of Fagioli. Nonetheless, even before the end of the lap the Alfa Romeo driver wins back one position, overtaking Ascari. 

Position after the 1st lap: Fangio, Farina, Villoresi, Fagioli, Ascari, Sommer, Etancelin, Rosier, Levegh, Chaboud.

Lap 2: Fangio and Farina immediately set a rather high pace and begin to quickly break away from the rest of the field. Meanwhile Fagioli passes Villoresi's  second Ferrari as well, regaining 3rd place.

Lap 3: Ascari drives into the pits with a punctured wheel, dropping to 8th!


Meanwhile Giraud-Cabantous drops out of race due to the oil tube breaking.

Lap 7: After several laps of hard struggle Farina still manages to pass Fangio, and the Italian takes the lead! Meanwhile Levegh pulls into the pits to replace the spark plugs, letting Chaboud through.

Lap 8: Sommer overtakes his former teammate Villoresi, and now the Frenchman is 4th!

Position after 10 laps: Farina, Fangio, Fagioli, Sommer, Villoresi, Etancelin, Rosier, Ascari, Chaboud, Levegh.

Lap 11: At a third of the distance, Alfa Romeo is preparing to take their drivers for the first refueling. Fangio is the first to pull in, and the Argentine misses Fagioli and Sommer.

Lap 12: Farina also stops to refuel and drops to 3rd place behind Fagioli and Sommer. Meanwhile, Chaboud has engine problems, which push him to the last place.

Lap 13: Fagioli in his turn pulls into the pits, letting through Sommer, Farina and Fangio, and thus for the first time in the championship Alfa Romeo concedes the lead in the race to another driver! At the same time, Sommer has no need to refuel and thus Alfa Romeo drivers have to overtake him on the track to win!

Lap 16: The engine on Etancelin's Talbot begins to overheat, forcing the Frenchman to leave the race. Meanwhile Ascari also stops for refueling, without losing places.

Lap 17: Villoresi also refuels, letting Rosier and Ascari ahead.

Lap 18: Farina and Fangio still manage to catch up with Sommer, and after a short struggle, Alfa Romeo drivers take their usual places at the head of the field!


Lap 20: Farina and Fangio continue to fight, and this time the Argentine manages to get ahead!

Position after lap 20: Fangio, Farina, Sommer, Fagioli, Rosier, Ascari, Villoresi, Levegh, Claes, Crossley.

Lap 21: The engine on Sommer's car loses power, and Raymond has no choice but to drive into the pits and leave the race. Getting out of the car, the Frenchman does not hide his disappointment, because today he had every chance to get on the podium.

Laps 23-25: Alfa Romeo drivers make a second refueling without losing positions, and at the same time, Fangio manages to break away from Farina for a couple of seconds. Behind Chaboud pulls in to retire due to oil tube breaking.

Lap 32: Farina has problems with the transmission, which force him to slow down!


Lap 33: Farina drives into the pits, hoping to fix the problem, but the mechanics can't do anything and let him back on the track! Having lost time in the pits, the Italian lets Fagioli through, but still continue the race, hoping to make it to the finish line and score some points.

Last lap: Fangio, having got rid of his main rival, calmly finishes first and wins the second victory in the season! The second is Fagioli, who owes this result mainly to the problems with his rivals. Meanwhile Rosier on the last lap manages to pass the slowed down Farina and thus gets his second podium finish in a row! At the same time, Farina has to settle for three points for fourth place and one more for the fastest lap, which nonetheless allow him to maintain the lead in the championship. The disappointed Ascari in a new Ferrari becomes only fifth, losing a whole lap, and thus Scuderia Ferrari's dreams of competing with Alfa Romeo are melting like smoke. As for the winner, he said that despite this victory he still had little chance of winning the championship, but had not given up hope yet.


Interesting facts:

- Raymond Sommer's first leading in World Championship GP.

Driver standings

Alternative GP results

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