Wednesday, 20 October 2010

1934 Italian Grand Prix

The Italian Grand Prix was held on September 9th at the Autodromo Di Monza. In the previous year’s Grand Prix, serious accidents had taken the lives of Giuseppe Campari and two other drivers. To lessen the speeds, it was decided that the track should be shortened from 10kms to 4.3kms, with many chicanes added in. With 500kms to cover for the Grand Prix, this made for a longer, more grueling race.

Mercedes had their W25, Bugatti their Type 59, Scuderia Ferrari the Alfa P3, while Maserati introduced the new model 6C-34, to be driven by Tazio Nuvolari. The balance of their team would drive the 8CMs.

Pen&ink, markers, and pencil on archival white stock 12”x 9” © Paul Chenard 2010
Original art & limited editions available.

At the start, Hans Stuck took an early lead for Auto Union but was soon overtaken by Mercedes driver Rudolf Caracciola. His teammate Manfred Georg Rudolf von Brauchitsch was not competing, having been injured in a crash at the previous Swiss Grand Prix. Battling amongst the leaders were Luigi Fagioli (Mercedes), Archille Varzi (Alfa Romeo), Nuvolari (Maserati) and Count Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo).

Unfortunately for Nuvolari, the Maserati mechanics forgot to top-up his car's brake fluid after weigh-in, so he slowly lost his brakes during the long race.

The 4.75 hour race, with it’s 1600 total corners, took a toll on the drivers and the cars. Fagioli, whose car broke down, later replaced Caracciola, who had to be lifted out of his car. Stuck had to be replaced by zu Leiningen, and Trossi by Comotti.

Varzi dropped out with mechanical woes, so the race finished with Caracciola/Figioli in first place, Stuck/zu Leiningen in second, with Trossi/Comotti in third. After 4th place Chiron (Alfa Romeo), Nuvolari finished a respectable 5th place, using his gears to brake for the last half of the race.


Art Tidesco said...

Excellent drawing Paul ! Those races back before WW2 must have been real tests of man and machine, what driver would ever willingly give up his seat if he did not have to ? said...

Thanks very much Art!
Caracciola was severely injured in the previous year's Monaco Grand Prix during practice, and was still in recovery for this race. The marathon drive was too much for him, and he was almost passed out in pain when he pulled into the pits. Fagioli's car had broken down, so he willingly took up the challenge.