Arguments about whether the race order of team drivers should be decided beforehand proves that history repeats itself! At Monaco in 1932 Caracciola was driving an Alfa Romeo, and after half-distance was five seconds behind Nuvolari in the works Alfa, who was waving to the pit that he might have to come in for fuel. Fagioli’s Maserati was 2m 18sec in arrears, in third, so there would have been time for a quick canful of fuel.
The Alfa team manger Giovannini had calculated that Nuvolari could still win as “Caracciola would wait if the refuel was necessary”. Rudi considered himself a team driver so he might have slowed down; but he was actually an independent, so he might not. In fact, Nuvolari did not stop, winning by 2.8 seconds, the fuel tank nearly dry. But had he refuelled and had Caracciola observed the rule of the day that “a team leader ahead by half-distance is not to be overtaken unless unable to stave off a rival” the crowd, as one historian has written, would have regarded this as an outrageous ‘fix’.
Those F1 drivers who regard a two-hour ‘rain GP’ as a long race might note that Nuvolari had been driving round the difficult road-circuit (no little button to help him change gear!) for more than 3½ hours.