Wednesday 16 March 2011

Grand Prix de France 1934

The French Grand Prix in Montlhéry, just south of Paris, signaled the return of Rudolf Caracciola with the Mercedes Team, having spent the last fourteen months recovering from a serious accident.

Auto Union was present, along with the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos and a couple of Maseratis. Tazio Nuvolari was invited to try the Bugatti Type 59 by Ettore Bugatti.

At race start, Louis Chiron driving for Scuderia Ferrari quickly took the lead from Caracciola, Luigi Fagioli (Mercedes) and Hans Stuck (Auto Union). Stuck than pushed hard past the Mercedes drivers to take the lead from Chiron.

Nuvolari experienced gearbox trouble in the Bugatti so he handed it off to Jean-Pierre Wimille. Fagioli was instructed to push harder to catch the lead cars.

The high pace of the race started taking it’s toll on the new German cars, and one by one they dropped out, Caracciola with fuel-feed problems, Fagioli with a broken brake-line, von Brauchitsch with supercharger woes, the persistent Stuck with engine problems, and Momberger with a steering break.

The other teams also dropped out, Bugatti with mostly engine and transmission issues, and Maserati with axle and engine breaks.

Trossi, Chiron and Varzi, race-ready for Scuderia Ferrari
Pen&ink, markers and pencil on white archival stock 12”x 9” (30.5cm x 22.9cm) © Paul Chenard 2010
Original sketch available, as is the limited edition.

This led to a clean sweep for the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos with Chiron first, Varzi second and the Trossi/Moll duo third.

The 80,000 spectators were thrilled with Chiron’s win over the Germans teams. This win hid the fact that all the German cars, though still being very new, fell out of the race for fairly minor reasons, and that with better preparation, they would have clearly matched the opposition.

1 comment: said...

Merci, Stephen, très apprécié!