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1950 Formula One season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1950 Formula One season
Drivers' Champion: Giuseppe Farina
Previous: 1949 Next: 1951
black and white photo of Nino Farina wearing an open faced helmet
Italian Giuseppe "Nino" Farina won the World Championship of Drivers, driving for the dominant Alfa Romeo team

The 1950 Formula One season was the fourth season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the inaugural FIA World Championship of Drivers[1] which commenced on 13 May and ended on 3 September, as well as a number of non-championship races. The championship consisted of six Grand Prix races, each held in Europe and open to Formula One cars, plus the Indianapolis 500, which was run to AAA National Championship regulations. Giuseppe Farina won the championship from Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli.[1]

Championship summary

a red vintage open wheel racing car in a museum
Alfa Romeo won six of the seven championship races with its 158

The inaugural World Championship of Drivers saw Alfa Romeo dominate with their supercharged 158, a well-developed pre-war design which debuted in 1938; this car won all six championship Grands Prix in 1950. All of the Formula One regulated races in the championship were run in Europe. The Indianapolis 500 (which, unlike all the other races, was staged on an oval) was run to American AAA regulations, not to FIA Formula One regulations and none of the regular drivers who competed in Europe competed in the 500, and vice versa. Alfa Romeo drivers consequently dominated the championship with Italian Giuseppe "Nino" Farina edging out Argentine teammate Juan Manuel Fangio by virtue of his fourth place in Belgium. Although the Indianapolis 500, which ran to different regulations, was included in the World Championship each year from 1950 to 1960, it attracted very little European participation and, conversely, very few American Indianapolis drivers entered any Grands Prix.

Championship points were awarded to the top five finishers in each race on an 8, 6, 4, 3, 2 basis. 1 point was awarded for the fastest lap of each race. Points for shared drives were divided equally between the drivers, regardless of how many laps each driver completed during the race. Only the best four results from the seven races could be retained by each driver for World Championship classification.

Race 1: Britain

The Alfa Romeo team dominated the British Grand Prix at the fast Silverstone circuit in England, locking out the four-car front row of the grid. With King George VI in attendance, Giuseppe Farina won the race from pole position, also setting the fastest lap. The podium was completed by his teammates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell, while the remaining Alfa driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, was forced to retire after experiencing problems with his engine. The final points scorers were the works Talbot-Lagos of Yves Giraud-Cabantous and Louis Rosier, both two laps behind the leaders.[2]

Race 2: Monaco

Scuderia Ferrari made their World Championship debut around the streets of Monaco. Their leading drivers, Luigi Villoresi and Alberto Ascari had to settle for the third row of the grid, however, while the Alfa Romeos of Fangio and Farina again started from the front row, alongside the privateer Maserati of José Froilán González. Polesitter Fangio took a comfortable victory, also setting the race's fastest lap, a whole lap ahead of Ascari, with the third-placed Louis Chiron a further lap back in the works Maserati. A first-lap accident, caused by the damp track, had eliminated nine of the nineteen starters—including Farina and Fagioli—while González, who had incurred damage in the pile-up, retired on the following lap. Villoresi, although delayed by the accident, had made his way through the field to second place, but was forced to retire with an axle problem. Fangio's win brought him level with Farina in the points standings.[3]

Race 3: Indianapolis 500

The Indianapolis 500, the third round of the inaugural World Championship of Drivers held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States was won by the Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser of Johnnie Parsons, ahead of the Deidt-Offenhausers of Bill Holland and Mauri Rose. The race was stopped after 138 of the scheduled 200 laps due to rain.[4]

Race 4: Switzerland

Alfa Romeo's dominance continued when the World Championship returned to Europe for the Swiss Grand Prix at the tree-lined Bremgarten circuit just outside Bern. Fangio, Farina and Fagioli locked out the front row of the grid for Alfa, while the Ferraris of Villoresi and Ascari started from the second row. Fangio was the initial leader, starting from pole position, but he was passed by Farina on lap seven. Ascari and Villoresi were both able to compete with the third Alfa of Fagioli in the early stages, although both had retired by the ten-lap mark. Farina took the win and the fastest lap, finishing just ahead of Fagioli, while Rosier, in third place as a result of Fangio's retirement, took Talbot-Lago's first podium. Farina's second win of the season put him six points clear of the consistent Fagioli, while Fangio was a further three points behind, having only scored points in one race (in Monaco, where he won).[5]

Race 5: Belgium

Alfa Romeo took their third front row lockout of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix at the very fast 8.7 mile (14.1 km) Spa-Francorchamps circuit, while the Ferrari of Villoresi shared the second row with the privateer Talbot-Lago of Raymond Sommer. The Alfas were once again untouchable at the start of the race, but when they stopped for fuel, Sommer emerged as an unlikely race leader. His lead, however, was short-lived and he was forced to retire when his engine blew up. Fangio ultimately took the victory, ahead of Fagioli, who again finished second. Rosier again made the podium in his Talbot-Lago. He had been able to pass the polesitter Farina when the Italian picked up transmission problems towards the end of the race. It was not all bad for Farina, however, as he picked up the point for fastest lap. Both Fagioli and Fangio closed the gap to Farina in the points standings—Fagioli was just four points adrift, while Fangio was a further point behind.[6]

Race 6: France

At Reims-Gueux, Alfa Romeo were largely unchallenged at the French Grand Prix at the very fast Reims-Gueux circuit, due to the withdrawal of the works Ferraris of Ascari and Villoresi. The Alfas produced yet another lockout of the front row of the grid, with Fangio taking pole for the third time in six races. The power of the Alfas suited this public road circuit- made up entirely of long straights, and Farina, starting from second, led for the first quarter of the race before fuel problems put him to the back of the field. He fought his way back to third before he was forced to retire (he was ultimately classified seventh). Fangio picked up the fastest lap on his way to his second consecutive victory. Fagioli finished second for the fourth time out of five starts, while Peter Whitehead, in a privateer Ferrari, took a maiden podium in his first start of the season. Fangio took the championship lead as a result of his victory. Fagioli remained in second, while Farina dropped to third, four points behind his Argentinian teammate.[7]

Race 7: Italy

The final championship round of the season was the Italian Grand Prix at the Monza Autodrome near Milan, and all three of the regular Alfa Romeo drivers were in contention for the title. If Fangio finished first or second, he would win the title, regardless of what his teammates achieved. If Farina failed to score at least five points, he would be unable to take the title. Fagioli's only chance of becoming World Champion was if he won the race and set the fastest lap; even then he would need Farina to finish no higher than third, and Fangio would have to score no points at all.

Fangio again took pole position, but Alfa Romeo could not make it a fifth front row lockout of the season, as Ascari qualified second for Ferrari. Farina started from third, while Consalvo Sanesi completed the front row in an additional Alfa Romeo. Fagioli could only manage fifth on the grid, alongside the fifth Alfa of Piero Taruffi, the second Ferrari of Dorino Serafini, and Sommer in a Talbot-Lago. Farina took the lead early on, with Ascari and Fangio not far behind. Ascari briefly held the lead, but was forced to retire when his engine overheated. Two laps later, problems with his gearbox meant that Fangio also retired. Taruffi's car, which was now running in second, was taken over by Fangio, although the Argentinian was forced to retire for the second time in the race, this time with engine problems. Ascari took over Serafini's car and ultimately finished second behind Farina, whose victory clinched the title by taking him three points clear of Fangio. Fagioli finished third in the race, and ended up in the same position in the Drivers' Championship standings.[8]

Championship review

In this first World Championship of Drivers, 14 teams (4 works and 10 independent) participated, along with a number of privately entered cars, in the six European Grands Prix. Only US teams, constructors and drivers participated in the Indianapolis 500. The chassis, engine and car numbers varied from race to race.

Grands Prix

Rnd Race Circuit Date Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Constructor Tyre Report
1 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Silverstone 13 May Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Alfa Romeo P Report
2 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix Monaco 21 May Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo P Report
3 United States Indianapolis 500A Indianapolis 30 May United States Walt Faulkner United States Johnnie Parsons United States Johnnie Parsons United States Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser F Report
4 Switzerland Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten 4 June Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Alfa Romeo P Report
5 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps 18 June Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Giuseppe Farina Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo P Report
6 France French Grand Prix Reims-Gueux 2 July Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo P Report
7 Italy Italian Grand Prix Monza 3 September Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Alfa Romeo P Report
^A The Indianapolis 500 was AAA-sanctioned and not run to Formula One regulations. It also counted towards the 1950 AAA Championship Car season.

Teams and drivers

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1950 FIA World Championship of Drivers.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Driver Rounds
Italy Alfa Romeo SpA Alfa Romeo 158
Alfa Romeo 158 1.5 L8 s P Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 1–2, 4–7
Italy Giuseppe Farina 1–2, 4–7
Italy Luigi Fagioli 1–2, 4–7
United Kingdom Reg Parnell 1
Italy Consalvo Sanesi 7
Italy Piero Taruffi 7
Italy Scuderia Ambrosiana Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati 4CLT 1.5 L4 s D United Kingdom David Murray 1, 7
United Kingdom David Hampshire 1, 6
United Kingdom Reg Parnell 6
United Kingdom T.A.S.O. Mathieson ERA E ERA 1.5 L6 s D United Kingdom Leslie Johnson 1
United Kingdom Peter Walker ERA E ERA 1.5 L6 s D United Kingdom Peter Walker 1
United Kingdom Tony Rolt 1
United Kingdom Joe Fry Maserati 4CL Maserati 4CL 1.5 L4 s D United Kingdom Joe Fry 1
United Kingdom Brian Shawe-Taylor 1
United Kingdom Cuth Harrison ERA B ERA 1.5 L6 s D United Kingdom Cuth Harrison 1–2, 7
United Kingdom Bob Gerard ERA B
ERA 1.5 L6 s D United Kingdom Bob Gerard 1–2
France Automobiles Talbot-Darracq Talbot-Lago T26C-DA
Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Yves Giraud-Cabantous 1, 4–6
France Louis Rosier 1, 4–6
France Philippe Étancelin 1, 5
France Eugène Martin 1, 4
France Raymond Sommer 6
Belgium Ecurie Belge Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D Belgium Johnny Claes 1–2, 4–7
Italy Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati 4CLT 1.5 L4 s P Monaco Louis Chiron 1–2, 4, 6–7
Italy Franco Rol 2, 6–7
Switzerland Enrico Platé Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati 4CLT 1.5 L4 s P Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried 1–2, 4, 7
Thailand Birabongse Bhanudej 1–2, 4, 7
Republic of Ireland Joe Kelly Alta GP Alta 1.5 L4 s D Republic of Ireland Joe Kelly 1
United Kingdom Geoffrey Crossley Alta GP Alta 1.5 L4 s D United Kingdom Geoffrey Crossley 1, 5
Argentina Scuderia Achille Varzi Maserati 4CLT/48
Maserati 4CLT 1.5 L4 s
Maserati 4CL 1.5 L4 s
P Argentina José Froilán González 2, 6
Argentina Alfredo Pián 2
Italy Nello Pagani 4
Switzerland Toni Branca 4
United States Horschell Racing Corporation Cooper-JAP T12 JAP 1.1 V2 D United States Harry Schell 2
France Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15 Simca-Gordini 15C 1.5 L4 s E France Robert Manzon 2, 6–7
France Maurice Trintignant 2, 7
France Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago T26C
Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Philippe Étancelin 2, 4, 6–7
France Eugène Chaboud 6
France Ecurie Rosier Talbot-Lago T26C
Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Louis Rosier 2, 7
France Henri Louveau 7
United Kingdom Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari 125 F1 1.5 V12 s D
United Kingdom Peter Whitehead 2, 6–7
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125
Ferrari 125 F1 1.5 V12 s
Ferrari 166 F2 2.0 V12
Ferrari 275 F1 3.3 V12
Ferrari 375 F1 4.5 V12
P Italy Luigi Villoresi 2, 4–5
Italy Alberto Ascari 2, 4–5, 7
France Raymond Sommer 2, 4
Italy Dorino Serafini 7
Italy Scuderia Milano Maserati-Speluzzi 4CLT/50 Speluzzi 1.5 L4[9] P Italy Felice Bonetto 4, 6
Italy Franco Comotti 7
Milano-Speluzzi[10] 1[10] Italy Felice Bonetto 7
United States Ecurie Bleue Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D United States Harry Schell 4
France Pierre Levegh Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Pierre Levegh 5–7
France Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Raymond Sommer 5, 7
France Ecurie Lutetia Talbot-Lago T26C-DA Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Eugène Chaboud[N 1] 5–6
Switzerland Antonio Branca Maserati 4CL Maserati 4CL 1.5 L4 s P Switzerland Toni Branca 5
France Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Charles Pozzi 6
France Louis Rosier 6
Italy Clemente Biondetti Ferrari-Jaguar 166S Jaguar XK 3.4 L6 P Italy Clemente Biondetti 7
West Germany Paul Pietsch Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati 4CLT 1.5 L4 s P West Germany Paul Pietsch 7
France Guy Mairesse Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 D France Guy Mairesse 7
  1. ^ Chaboud originally entered his own Talbot for the French Grand Prix but did not start the race, and instead co drove with Philippe Étancelin[11]

Results and standings

Points were awarded on an 8–6–4–3–2 basis to the first five finishers at each Grand Prix with an additional point awarded for setting the fastest lap. Only the best four results counted towards the championship. Numbers without parentheses are championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

Pos. Driver GBR
United Kingdom
United States
1 Italy Giuseppe Farina 1 Ret 1 4 7 1 30
2 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Ret 1 Ret 1 1 Ret / Ret 27
3 Italy Luigi Fagioli 2 Ret 2 2 2 (3) 24 (28)
4 France Louis Rosier 5 Ret 3 3 6† 4 13
5 Italy Alberto Ascari 2 Ret 5 DNS Ret / 2† 11
6 United States Johnnie Parsons 1 9
7 United States Bill Holland 2 6
8 Thailand Prince Bira Ret 5 4 Ret 5
9 United Kingdom Peter Whitehead DNS 3 7 4
= Monaco Louis Chiron Ret 3 9 Ret Ret 4
= United Kingdom Reg Parnell 3 Ret 4
= United States Mauri Rose 3 4
13 Italy Dorino Serafini 2† 3
= France Yves Giraud-Cabantous 4 Ret Ret 8 3
= France Raymond Sommer 4 Ret Ret Ret Ret 3
= France Robert Manzon Ret 4 Ret 3
= United States Cecil Green 4 3
= France Philippe Étancelin 8 Ret Ret Ret 5† 5 3
19 Italy Felice Bonetto 5 Ret DNS 2
20 France Eugène Chaboud Ret 5† 1
= United States Joie Chitwood 5† 1
= United States Tony Bettenhausen 5† 1
Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried Ret Ret 6 6 0
United Kingdom Bob Gerard 6 6 0
Italy Luigi Villoresi Ret Ret 6 DNS 0
United States Lee Wallard 6 0
France Charles Pozzi 6† 0
Belgium Johnny Claes 11 7 10 8 Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Cuth Harrison 7 Ret Ret 0
France Pierre Levegh 7 Ret Ret 0
United States Walt Faulkner 7 0
Italy Nello Pagani 7 0
United States Harry Schell Ret 8 0
United States George Connor 8 0
United Kingdom Geoffrey Crossley Ret 9 0
United Kingdom David Hampshire 9 Ret 0
United States Paul Russo 9 0
Switzerland Toni Branca 11 10 0
United States Pat Flaherty 10 0
United Kingdom Brian Shawe-Taylor 10† 0
United Kingdom Joe Fry 10† 0
United States Myron Fohr 11 0
United States Duane Carter 12 0
United States Mack Hellings 13 0
United States Jack McGrath 14 0
United States Troy Ruttman 15 0
United States Gene Hartley 16 0
United States Jimmy Davies 17 0
United States Johnny McDowell 18 0
United States Walt Brown 19 0
United States Spider Webb 20 0
United States Jerry Hoyt 21 0
United States Walt Ader 22 0
United States Jackie Holmes 23 0
United States Jim Rathmann 24 0
Republic of Ireland Joe Kelly NC 0
Italy Franco Rol Ret Ret Ret 0
France Eugène Martin Ret Ret 0
Argentina José Froilán González Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom David Murray Ret Ret 0
France Maurice Trintignant Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Leslie Johnson Ret 0
United Kingdom Peter Walker Ret† 0
United Kingdom Tony Rolt Ret† 0
United States Bill Schindler Ret 0
United States Jimmy Jackson Ret 0
United States Sam Hanks Ret 0
United States Dick Rathmann Ret 0
United States Duke Dinsmore Ret 0
United States Henry Banks Ret† 0
United States Fred Agabashian Ret† 0
United States Bayliss Levrett Ret† 0
United States Bill Cantrell Ret† 0
France Guy Mairesse Ret 0
West Germany Paul Pietsch Ret 0
Italy Clemente Biondetti Ret 0
France Henri Louveau Ret 0
Italy Franco Comotti Ret 0
Italy Consalvo Sanesi Ret 0
Italy Piero Taruffi Ret† 0
Argentina Alfredo Pián DNS 0
Pos. Driver GBR
United Kingdom
United States
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)
Did not enter (cell empty)
Text formatting Meaning
Bold Pole position
Italics Fastest lap
  • Italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded)
  • Bold indicates pole position
  • † Position shared between more drivers of the same car

Non-championship races

The following Formula One races, which did not count towards the World Championship of Drivers, were also held in 1950.

Race name Circuit Date Winning driver Constructor Report
France XI Pau Grand Prix Pau 10 April Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom II Richmond Trophy Goodwood 10 April United Kingdom Reg Parnell Italy Maserati Report
Italy V San Remo Grand Prix Ospedaletti 16 April Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo Report
France IV Grand Prix de Paris Montlhéry 30 April France Georges Grignard France Talbot-Lago Report
United Kingdom XII British Empire Trophy Douglas 15 June United Kingdom Bob Gerard United Kingdom ERA Report
Italy IV Gran Premio di Bari Lungomare 9 July Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Alfa Romeo Report
United Kingdom IV J.C.C. Jersey Road Race Saint Helier 13 July United Kingdom Peter Whitehead Italy Ferrari Report
France XII Circuit de l'Albigeois Albi 16 July France Louis Rosier France Talbot-Lago Report
Netherlands I Grote Prijs van Nederland Zandvoort 23 July France Louis Rosier France Talbot-Lago Report
Switzerland III Grand Prix des Nations Geneva 30 July Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo Report
United Kingdom I Nottingham Trophy Gamston 7 August United Kingdom David Hampshire Italy Maserati Report
United Kingdom IV Ulster Trophy Dundrod 12 August United Kingdom Peter Whitehead Italy Ferrari Report
Italy XIX Coppa Acerbo Pescara 15 August Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo Report
United Kingdom I Sheffield Telegraph Trophy Gamston 19 August United Kingdom Cuth Harrison United Kingdom ERA Report
United Kingdom II BRDC International Trophy Silverstone 26 August Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Alfa Romeo Report
United Kingdom III Goodwood Trophy Goodwood 30 September United Kingdom Reg Parnell United Kingdom BRM Report
Spain X Gran Premio de Penya Rhin Pedralbes 29 October Italy Alberto Ascari Italy Ferrari Report


  1. ^ a b World Championship of Drivers, 1974 FIA Yearbook, Grey section, pages 118 & 119
  2. ^ "British GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Monaco GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  4. ^ "United States GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Swiss GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Belgian GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  7. ^ "French GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Italian GP, 1950 Race Report". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Formula 1 1950". OldRacingCars. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Data Search Results". Archived from the original on 5 November 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Grand Prix de l'ACF (French Grand Prix) -Reims, 2 Jul 1950". OldRacingCars. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
This page was last edited on 4 July 2021, at 20:51
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