Grand Prix season 1946

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In the first racing season after World War II , with the exception of the 500-mile race in Indianapolis , no Grandes Épreuves were held. In addition to the races listed here, a few smaller, national races were held.

The most successful driver of the season was Raymond Sommer on a Maserati 4CL , who won five times .

Season report

Although the International Grand Prix racing formula adopted for 1938 by the newly renamed International Automobile Federation FIA (formerly AIACR ) was nominally extended until the end of 1946, this had practically no effect on racing in Europe. As no Grandes Épreuves had been scheduled for this year , the race organizers were free to specify the technical and sporting provisions for their races themselves.

According to the available racing car stock - the German racing teams from Daimler-Benz and Auto Union with their thoroughbred Grand Prix racing cars were no longer allowed to compete - in addition to some ancient models, a combination of the previous ones, especially those in Italy and Great Britain, increasingly crystallized popular Voiturette category (race cars to 1.5 liters with compressor) and widespread in France racing sports cars with naturally aspirated engines to 4.5-liter displacement as the standard out of the FIA finally for 1947 official also on the new Grand Prix formula determined has been.

In contrast to the pre-war Grand Prix races, in 1946 the cars were mainly driven on closed public roads or in parks in or near the city center. The main reason for this was the persistent problem that, in times of persistent driving bans and general fuel shortages, it was hardly possible to transport large numbers of the public to the routes except on foot or by bike. Despite these adversities, the public's hunger for motorsport as a means of diversion and entertainment was generally great after the hard years of war.

After a first, practically purely French race had already been held last year in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris , the 1946 Grand Prix of Nice marked the actual start of international motor sport in the post-war era. Here, as in the subsequent races, were with Luigi Villoresi and Raymond Sommer initially set the tone for the pilots of the new Scuderia Milan . This team had acquired a whole series of Maserati 4CLs in order to make them available to wealthy drivers for a fee with the support of the main plant in Modena .

Jean-Pierre Wimille was also very successful in this phase , with an Alfa Romeo Tipo 308 from 1938 - practically the only "full-fledged" Grand Prix racing car far and wide - compared to the previously less powerful Voiturette racing car from Maserati Had an advantage and crossed the finish line as the winner in at least three races. These performances had then probably owe it Wimille that he soon afterwards even works team of Alfa Romeo was taken that six of her souped 1.5-liter Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 "Alfetta" had saved about the war and from mid-1946 active motorsport again. At the beginning of the race in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud, however, the racing team, which is used to success, suffered a serious defeat when both Wimille and long-time regular driver Giuseppe Farina had to give up the fight with a defective clutch prematurely, so that Raymond Sommer up again the Maserati came to success.

In order to avoid another such defeat, the team decided to always compete in sufficient strength with four cars each, but - not least because of the comparatively extremely high cost of operating such a top team - only to really important "big" racing events . At the so-called Nations Grand Prix of Geneva, Farina and Wimille, pre-war star Achille Varzi, who had recovered from his drug addiction, and the proven gentlemen's driver Carlo Felice Trossi sat at the wheel of their Alfettas . Farina and Trossi promptly achieved a double success here, which Varzi and Wimille achieved in the most important race of the season in Valentino Park in Turin  - the first race ever to be held according to the provisions of the new Grand Prix racing formula officially only valid from 1947 - could repeat again.

However, there was a great rivalry between the Alfa Romeo drivers, so that there were repeated serious conflicts within the team. In Turin, Wimille Varzi made it all too clear - and on top of that clearly recognizable for the audience - that he actually believed himself to be the faster driver, contrary to the team orders given in favor of his stable mate . In order to avoid major damage to the team, Alfa Romeo decided to forego the services of the French as a precaution during the race in the Simplonpark in Milan . There, however, it was Farina who, out of annoyance at the fact that Alfa Romeo race director Giovanbattista Guidotti had ordered him to reset his car behind Trossi and Varzi, unceremoniously parked his car during the race, which promptly resulted in his dismissal from the team.

At the race in Albi , France , despite his deteriorating physical condition, the great pre-war star Tazio Nuvolari was able to put himself on the list of winners in an international race for the last time in a Maserati 4CL.

The first Formula 1 race?

In some publications the Gran Premio del Valentino of 1946 in Turin is described as the first race “according to Formula 1 rules”. It is correct that the technical regulations specified by the organizer in the invitation to tender corresponded to those of the later International Grand Prix formula , which officially came into force in 1947. However, the term Formula 1 only came into use when it became necessary to differentiate between this racing formula, which continues to apply, and the new second international racing formula adopted for 1948  - accordingly later referred to as Formula 2 . If you focus purely on this terminology, the Grand Prix de Pau on March 29, 1948 should formally be considered the first “Formula 1 race”.

Racing calendar

Grandes Épreuves

date run route winner statistics
1 05/30 United StatesUnited States Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis United StatesUnited States George Robson ( Adams - Sparks ) statistics

More races

date run route winner statistics
04/22 FranceFrance Grand Prix de Nice Circuit de la Promenade des Anglais Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Luigi Villoresi ( Maserati ) statistics
05/12 FranceFrance Grand Prix de Marseille Borély Park FranceFrance Raymond Sommer ( Maserati ) statistics
19.05. FranceFrance Grand Prix du Forez St. Just-Andrezieux FranceFrance Raymond Sommer ( Maserati ) statistics
05/30 FranceFrance Coupe de Paris Bois de Boulogne FranceFrance Jean-Pierre Wimille ( Alfa Romeo ) statistics
09.06. FranceFrance Coupe René Le Bègue Saint-Cloud FranceFrance Raymond Sommer ( Maserati ) statistics
09.06. BelgiumBelgium Grand Prix des Frontières Circuit de Chimay United KingdomUnited Kingdom Leslie Brooke ( ERA ) statistics
15.06. United KingdomUnited Kingdom Gransden Lodge Gransden Lodge Airfield United KingdomUnited Kingdom George Abecassis ( Bugatti ) statistics
16.06. BelgiumBelgium Belgian Grand Prix Circuit de Bois de la Cambre FranceFrance Eugène Chaboud ( Delahaye ) statistics
30.06. FranceFrance Grand Prix du Roussillon Circuit des Platanes de Perpignan FranceFrance Jean-Pierre Wimille ( Alfa Romeo ) statistics
07.07. FranceFrance Grand Prix de Bourgogne Dijon FranceFrance Jean-Pierre Wimille ( Alfa Romeo ) statistics
14.07. FranceFrance Grand Prix d'Albi Circuit des Planques Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Tazio Nuvolari ( Maserati ) statistics
07/21 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Giuseppe Farina ( Alfa Romeo ) statistics
07/28 FranceFrance Grand Prix de Nantes Nantes FranceFrance "Raph" ( Maserati ) statistics
08/10 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Ulster Trophy Ballyclare ThailandThailand Prince Bira ( ERA ) statistics
08/25 FranceFrance Circuit des Trois Villes Lille FranceFrance Raymond Sommer / Henri Louveau ( Maserati )
01.09. Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Gran Premio del Valentino Parco del Valentino Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Achille Varzi ( Alfa Romeo ) statistics
29.09. Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Gran Premio di Milano Parco Sempione Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Carlo Felice Trossi ( Alfa Romeo ) statistics
06.10. FranceFrance Coupe du salon Bois de Boulogne FranceFrance Raymond Sommer ( Maserati ) statistics
06.10. Brazil 1889Brazil Circuit de Gávea Gávea Brazil 1889Brazil Chico Landi ( Alfa Romeo )
10/27 Spain 1945Spain Gran Premio de Penya Rhin Circuit de Pedralbes Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Giorgio Pelassa ( Maserati ) statistics
15.12. PortugalPortugal Circuito da Boavista Circuito da Boavista Brazil 1889Brazil Chico Landi ( Alfa Romeo )

Race results

Grand Prix de Nice

space driver team time
1 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Luigi Villoresi Maserati 2: 00.04.6 h
2 FranceFrance Raymond Summers Alfa Romeo + 1 lap
3 FranceFrance Eugène Chaboud Delahaye + 4 rounds

The Grand Prix de Nice was held on April 22, 1946 on the Circuit de la Promenade des Anglais along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice .

Coupe René Le Bègue

space driver team time
1 FranceFrance Raymond Summers Maserati 1: 20.37.7 h
2 MonacoMonaco Louis Chiron Talbot + 1 lap
3 FranceFrance Robert Mazaud Maserati + 1 lap

The Coupe René Le Bègue took place on June 8, 1946 in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud and was named in honor of the French driver René Le Bègue , who had recently died tragically.

It was won by Raymond Sommer , possibly the best driver of the year.

Grand Prix d'Albi

space driver team time
1 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Tazio Nuvolari Maserati 1: 55.45.6 h
2 FranceFrance Henri Louveau Maserati + 1 lap
3 FranceFrance "Raph" Maserati + 1 lap

At the Grand Prix d'Albi on the Circuit des Planques on July 14, 1946, Tazio Nuvolari won a Grand Prix for the last time.

Grand Prix des Nations

space driver team time
1 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 1: 15.49.4 h
2 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Carlo Felice Trossi Alfa Romeo + 1.11.5 min
3 FranceFrance Jean-Pierre Wimille Alfa Romeo + 1 lap

For the Grand Prix des Nations was Circuit des Nations in the center of Geneva in Switzerland chosen as the venue. Farina won his first Grand Prix after the war.

Gran Premio del Valentino

space driver team time
1 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Achille Varzi Alfa Romeo 2: 35.45.8 h
2 FranceFrance Jean-Pierre Wimille Alfa Romeo + 0.5 s
3 FranceFrance Raymond Summers Maserati + 2 rounds

In the Parco del Valentino in the middle of Turin , the pilots met again on September 1, 1946 for the Gran Premio del Valentino . This Grand Prix was the first to try to standardize the cars with new rules. The guidelines were formula A called. The term Formula 1 later developed from this .

Web links

Commons : Automobilsport 1946  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. In various publications, the races of St. Cloud, Lausanne and Turin for 1946 are named as Grandes Épreuves . The origin for this is apparently a formerly unfortunate formulation on , which has now been corrected.