Race: 1935 German GP

Nuvolari the master

Nuvolari was now the sole Alfa left and was going like the wind. On lap 10 he passed Caracciola to take the lead. The crowd was speechless.

For two laps he led, and then came the fateful refuelling stop, Caracciola, Rosemeyer and von Brauchitsch all stopping too. The Mercedes-Benz organisation was perfect, the fastest being von Brauchitsch in 47 seconds. What a contrast in the Ferrari pit! Nuvolari was more agitated than we have ever seen him, and confusion reigned supreme. He got away again after a stop of two minutes and 14 seconds, back in sixth place.

Von Brauchitsch was now leading, and the German crowd settled down to enjoy their triumph. But Nuvolari was up to second by lap 13, devouring Fagioli, Rosemeyer, Caracciola and Stuck as though they were a bunch of novices! This was almost superhuman driving.

Von Brauchitsch was fully alive to the danger. He too became inspired, as if sensing that this race would go down in history as a classic.

At the beginning of the last lap there was 35 seconds between them. So that was that. Not even Nuvolari could hope to wipe out that lead, and the crowd cleared their throats to give von Brauchitsch his ovation. They looked at the board which gave the leaders halfway round the circuit. What's that? Number 12 leading, impossible! There must be a mistake. But a red car swung into sight and Nuvolari crossed the finishing line.

There was a deathly silence, then the sportsmanship of the Germans triumphed over their astonishment Nuvolari, the master, was given a wonderful reception. At last von Brauchitsch came, crawling into the pits with a burst tyre, utterly crushed by his disappointment.
September 1935