THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX.
COMPARED to the old days when it was unquestionably the greatest race of the year, the French Grand Prix is nowadays a very faint shadow of its former self. The race this year is to be run at Pau, on the 21st September, and as in 1929, when it was won by Williams on a Bugatti, it will be on a fuel consumption basis. Last year there were only a dozen starters, of which 3 Bugattis and 2 Peugeots were factory entries, and the rest were cars driven by their amateur owners. In view of the poor support given to it in the past France is the only country which this year will attempt to run a Grand Prix under the International fuel consumption limitations. Many entries are not however expected, although Bugatti and Peugeot will probably again put in teams, and it seems just possible that Aries, Salmson, Cozette and Mathis might enter cars. Amateur entries are expected to be more numerous.
Next year the rules will doubtless prove more popular, as they will stipulate only that the engines shall be unsupercharged and under 5-litre capacity, and otherwise designers will be given a free hand. This will certainly not teach us very much about engines, but it does seem possible that we have lately been developing this unit too much in comparison with the rest of the chassis, and interesting ideas with regard to 4-wheel drive, independently sprung wheels, infinitely variable gears, sixwheel chassis, etc., may well be disclosed in the 1931 Grand Prix.