The Monza Grand Prix
Twenty-seven cars contested the Monza Grand Prix, the 189-kilometre 1,100 c.c. race. Wharton had his Cooper 1,000 but lost time investigating the straw bales, and Dattner (Simca) and Bertini (F.I.A.T.) both had engine trouble. Giodetti overturned, as Stuck (Cisitalia) had done in practice. Raymond Sommer and Felice Bonetto took the Oscas right out ahead, Sommer setting a new lap-record of nearly 153 k.p.h. Schell’s Cooper retired. The only opposition to the Oscas came from the Simca driven by A. Simon and the Stanguellini-F.I.A.T. of Simighosi and Delsino. Sommer increased his speed to 153.5 k.p.h. for the lap, which Simighesi equalled, then beat, with 153.9 k.p.h. The Oscas were unassailable, however, and Sommer deliberately let his teammate win.
1st: F. Bonetto (Osca) … 1 hr. 0 min. 15.8 sec
2nd: F. Sommer (Osca) … 1hr. 0 min. 15.9 sec
3rd: A. Simon (Simca) … 1 hr. 0 min. 42.9 sec
Farina and Fangio had a battle-royal in the Grand Prix proper with the World’s Championship at stake, for which title both drivers had equal points. Very exciting was the strong challenge by the new 4½ litre V12 unblown Ferrari handled by Ascari. In practice this car had lapped in 2 min. 1 sec., faster than Farina or Sanesi in Type 158 Alfa Romeos could manage. Farina’s Alfa Romeo was said to develop 370 b.h.p., against the 320 b.h.p. of the others.
Ascari, alas, had valve trouble and took over Serafini’s slower 4½-litre Ferrari. Fangio’s old bad luck returned, his Alfa Romeo dropping a valve, so he took over Taruffi’s car and blew that up as well. It will be interesting to see how the Argentinian does next year, if he has shaken of Alfa-Romeo discipline. He is said to be quite keen on the new 4½-litre Ferrari!
The race ran-on Farina now comfortably ahead in both it and the 1950 Championship. Sommer’s Talbot developed engine trouble, Claes’ Talbot lost its bearings, but Harrison’s vintage E.R.A. went on going along. Ascari proved the potentialities of the new Ferrari beyond all doubt, by bringing the less effective of the two in only 2 min. 19 sec. behind the winning Alfa Romeo in the 4½-litre’s very first race, and ahead of Fagioli’s older car. Bourne please copy.
1st: G. Farina (Alfa Romeo) … 2 hr. 51 min. 17 sec. (109.69 m.p.h.)
2nd: A. Ascari (Ferrari) … 2 hr. 53 min. 36 sec.
3rd: L. Fagioli (Alfa-Romeo) … 2 hr. 53 min. 53 sec.
4th: L. Rosier (Talbot) … 4 laps behind.
5th: P, Etancelin (Talbot) … 4 laps behind.
6th. de Graffenried (Maserati) … 8 laps behind.
7th. P. Whitehead (Ferrari) … 8 >laps behind.
Fastest Lap: Fangio (Alfa-Romeo) at 177.471 m.p.h.