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1950 Italian Grand Prix

The sixth and last round of the 1950 Formula 1 World Championship took place on September 3 in Italy at the famous Monza circuit. The length of the track was 6.3 km, while the drivers had to complete 80 laps.

Monza 1950.jpg

By the last stage, only three drivers still had a chance for the championship crown, while all of them were from the Alfa Romeo team. In the championship, Fangio was in the lead with 26 points, Fagioli had 24 and Farina - 22. Considering that the best results of only four races were counted, the alignment was as follows. To become a champion, it was enough for Fangio to finish in third place, which looked quite an easy task for him, and the only thing the Argentine could be afraid of was a technical malfunction. Farina's chances were considered much worse, since the Italian needed not only to win, but also to hope that Juan-Manuel could not get on the podium. As for the third contender, Fagioli, his chances were illusory at all, because he needed not only to win, which the Italian failed to achieve throughout the season, but also to hope for the retirements of both of his teammates. Realizing how high the stakes were, Alfa Romeo management put up two additional cars for this race, driven by Consalvo Sanesi and Piero Taruffi, who had to give up their seats to title contenders if necessary. At the same time, if Fangio and Farina got new Alfa Romeos 159, designed for the next season, then Fagioli, Sanesi and Taruffi were to be content with usual Alfa Romeo 158.

However, the outcome of the struggle of the "three Fa" could unexpectedly be influenced by Scuderia Ferrari, since it was in this very Grand Prix the Maranello team put up their long-awaited Ferraris 375 with atmospheric V12 engines.


The line-up of Scuderia drivers this time was changed, since Luigi Villoresi was injured in the non-championship Grand Prix of Nations and was replaced by newcomer Dorino Serafini, who became Alberto Ascari's new teammate. Besides the factory team, two more Ferraris were brought to the start by private drivers Peter Whitehead, who had earned podium in the previous round in France, and newcomer Clemente Biondetti, who drove a Ferrari 166T hybrid car with Jaguar engine. As for the third Italian team, Maserati, it was represented, as usual, by Louis Chiron and Franco Rol, as well as numerous cars of private teams of Enrico Plate, Scuderia Ambrosiano and Scuderia Milano.

Meanwhile the French Talbot team, which faced serious problems with overheating engines in the home Grand Prix, announced their retirement from Formula-1, leaving their drivers Raymond Sommer, Louis Rosier, Philippe Etancelin and Pierre Levegh to participate as private drivers. The last factory team to take part in the Italian Grand Prix was Equipe Gordini, which shone with 4th place in the previous round and this time was represented by two drivers, Robert Manzon and Maurice Trintignant. In total, this Grand Prix was the most representative, and as most as 27 drivers took part in the final round of the championship.


In qualifying, Alfa Romeos for the first time this season faced a worthy opponents in the face of the new Ferraris 375, which immediately proved to be very fast. Nevertheless, Fangio, albeit with great difficulty, still won his next pole-postion, ahead of Ascari by only 0.2 sec. Meanwhile Farina took 3rd place, in 1.6 sec. behind Fangio and ahead of Alfa Romeo test driver Sanesi. As for Fagioli, he was only the 5th, losing to Fangio for more than 5 seconds, and his chances for the title looked increasingly slim. The 6th and 7th results were shown by the remaining Alfa Romeo and Ferrari drivers Taruffi and Serafini, who were ahead of the fastest Talbot driver Raymond Sommer. The remaining places in the top ten took Rol on a factory Maserati and Manzon on a Simca-Gordini, with his teammate Trintignant being not so far, in 12th place.


Before the start of the race, Felice Bonetto has problems with his car, and the Italian is forced to withdraw from the competition.

Start. Alfa Romeos show a clear advantage in acceleration over Ferraris, and they easily get ahead! At the same time Farina, as in the previous Grand Prix, manages the best start, and the Italian takes the lead, followed by Fangio and Sanesi. However, Asсari is clearly not going to give in so easily, and even before the end of the first lap he passes two Alfa Romeos, taking 2nd place! Meanwhile Fagioli doesn't start very well, dropping to 6th. Unlike the Italian, Trintignant and Prince Bira win several positions, taking 9th and 10th,  while Mairesse fails the start, losing 10 positions. Besides, the engine on Pietsch' Maserati fails at the very start, forcing the German out of the race.

Position after the 1st lap: Farina, Ascari, Fangio, Sanesi, Taruffi, Fagioli, Serafini, Sommer, Trintignant, Bira.

Lap 2: Farina and Ascari begin to break away from Fangio, who, apparently, is quite satisfied with his third place. Meanwhile Prince Bira already pulls over to the side of the road with a broken engine, losing 10th place, whereas Whitehead passes three Talbot-Lagos on one lap, rising to 15th place.

Lap 3: Trintignant has engine problems, forcing him to stop in the pits for a long repair. Meanwhile Rol passes Manzon for 9th, wheres Whitehead overtakes another Talbot-Lago of Louveau, taking 13th. Besides, on the same lap Etancelin misses Levegh.

Lap 4: Rosier passes Louveau, taking 14th.

Lap 5: Serafini attacks Fagioli, pushing him to 7th place! Obviously, Luigi does not shine in this race, and it seems that he can already forget about the title! Meanwhile Chiron overtakes Graffenried, rising to 11th.

Lap 8: Manzon has transmission problems, and the Frenchman drops out of the race, giving 10th place to Chiron. Meanwhile behind Comotti passes Etancelin.

Lap 9: Fangio suddenly catches up and attacks Ascari, taking 2nd place! Meanwhile Whitehead drives into the pits, dropping to 16th.

Lap 10: Ascari does not give up, he counterattacks the Argentine and regains 2nd place!

Position after 10 laps: Farina, Ascari, Fangio, Sanesi, Taruffi, Serafini, Fagioli, Sommer, Rol, Chiron. In this scenario, Fangio looks like the most likely contender for the title.

Lap 12: Sanesi confidently held his debut race, but, unfortunately, he has to give in with a failed engine, giving 4th to Taruffi. Meanwhile behind Comotti pulls into the pits.

Lap 13: The oil pressure drops in Chiron's Maserati, and the Mongasque drops out of the race.

Lap 14: Ascari now attacks Farina and, passing him, takes the lead! It is the first time this season, that Ferrari is at the head of the race! Meanwhile Serafini is not doing so well, as he loses his place to Fagioli, who is 5th now. At the same lap, the engine on Trintignant's car fails completely, and the Frenchman leaves the race.

Lap 15: Louveau has problems with brakes, and he lets Etancelin through.

Lap 16: Farina is clearly determined to win today, and after a couple of laps of struggle he repasses Ascari and regains the lead! Meanwhile Etancelin overtakes Rosier for 10th, and Comotti leaves the race with a broken engine.

Lap 17: The brakes on Louveau's car fail completely, and the Frenchman has no choice but to retire.

Lap 18: The Jaguar engine on Biondetti's Ferrari fails, and the Italian also pulls over to the side of the road.

Position after 20 laps: Farina, Ascari, Fangio, Taruffi, Fagioli, Serafini, Sommer, Rol, Graffenried, Etancelin. The alignment in the championship still remains the same: Fangio - 1st, Farina - 2nd, Fagioli - 3rd.

Lap 22: Ascari drives into the pits with an overheated engine! Nevertheless, the Italian has the opportunity to take the car from his teammate Serafini, which he uses, returning to the track in 5th place. Meanwhile, Fangio also begins having problems with the gearbox, and the Argentine lets Taruffi through to 2nd place. At the same time, behind the Argentine is now Fagioli, who begins to close the gap!

Lap 23: Rol drives into the pits, dropping to 12th. Meanwhile Now Etancelin overtakes Graffenried for 7th, and Claes retires with a failed engine.

Lap 24: Fangio realizes that he cannot hold the 3rd place he needed, so the Argentine drives into the pits to take the car from Taruffi, who was in 2nd place! Meanwhile Graffenried counterattacks Etancelin and regains 6th place!

Lap 25: Taruffi drives into the pits and passes his car to Fangio. The Argentine gets back to the track still in 2nd place, and thus the Argentine still has the best chance to win the championship! Meanwhile Rosier passes Etancelin, rising to 7th.

Lap 26: While trying to overtake Graffenried, Rosier collides with the Swiss' car, and as a result, both drivers miss several rivals, but still manage to continue the race.

Lap 27: Ascari catches up with Fagioli and passes him, taking 3rd place! Meanwhile Whitehead loses two positions, missing Graffenried and Levegh.

Lap 28: Levegh has gearbox problems that take him out of the race after a couple of laps.

Lap 29: Rosier overtakes Whitehead, taking 8th.

Position after 30 laps: Farina, Fangio, Ascari, Fagioli, Sommer, Etancelin, Graffenried, Rosier, Whitehead, Rol. Fangio is still the main contender for the title.

Lap 34: Ascari drives into the pits for refueling and lets Fagioli through to 3rd place. Meanwhile Rol passes Whitehead, taking 9th.

Lap 35: The engine on Fangio's Alfa Romeo suddenly fails and the Argentine has no choice, but to retire, this time for good! It was clearly not his day, and now only the retirements of his rivals can secure him the title. Meanwhile, Fagioli is already in 2nd, and his chances of the championship crown are increased greatly! On the same lap, Rol passes Rosier, taking 7th.

Lap 37: Rol overtakes Graffenried and is already 6th!

Lap 40: The engine fails on Rol's Maserati, negating all the hopes of the Italian for a good result!

Position after 40 laps: Farina, Fagioli, Ascari, Sommer, Etancelin, Graffenried, Rosier, Whitehead, Harrison, Mairesse. Farina confidently leads and now it is the Italian that is the main contender for the championship title!

Lap 42: Rosier passes Graffenried for 6th!

Lap 43: Mairesse pulls into the pits to retire with a broken oil pipeline.

Lap 48: Sommer, who confidently spent the entire race and has already reached 4th place, is forced to give in with a broken gearbox!

Position after 50 laps: Farina, Fagioli, Ascari, Etancelin, Rosier, Graffenried, Whitehead, Harrison, Murray.

Lap 51: Fagioli drives into the pits for refueling and lets Ascari through to 2nd!

Lap 52: Harrison pulls into the pits with an overheated engine, retiring.

Lap 57: Murray has problems with shifting gears, and the British also is out of the race.

Lap 58: Rosier passes Etancelin, taking 4th place!

Last lap: Farina, after a flawless race, wins the Italian Grand Prix and thus becomes the first Formula-1 champion! Behind the Italian finishes Ascari, who, despite the fact that he had to change the car during the race, still achieves the great result, demonstrating the power of the new Ferrari! Meanwhile the third place earned Fagioli, who was not fast enough all weekend and, as a result, the Italian takes only 3rd place in the overall standings, conceding to both of his teammates. Unlike the Italian, Rosier was quite pleased with his 4th place, which lets the Frenchman to take the same place in the championship, behind the three Alfa Romeo drivers! The last two points for 5th place earns Etancelin, who also spent quite a decent race.

Farina wins the 1950 Italian Grand Prix

Interesting facts:

- Alberto Ascari's first leading in GP.

Driver standings

Alternative GP results

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