The 1950 Monaco Grand Prix was the second race of the inaugural Formula One World Championship in 1950. The 100-lap race took place on May 21 1950 and was won by Juan Manuel Fangio from lights to flag. Fangio also set the fastest lap, thus completing the second hat-trick in Formula One history, in the second race.


1950 saw a return to the calendar for the Monaco Grand Prix, the event had seen a year's absence from the grand prix calendar following the death of Prince Louis II in 1949. The last race in 1948 had been won by Giuseppe Farina, the Alfa Romeo driver having also just came off the backbone of his victory at Silverstone one week earlier. Monaco had one representive for its nation in the race, Louis Chiron, the Monagasque veteran would be participating for Maserati in the race. There was talk of Chiron taking a one-off drive at Alfa Romeo, the home favourite was a popular candidate and would be in prime position for the potential for a second home win, adding to his Monaco victory from way back in 1931. However Alfa Romeo opted to stick with its regular line-up of Farina, Fangio and Fagioli, although the team did name Chiron as reserve driver if something were to happen to their regular line-up.

The Monaco race would see the debut of manufacturers, Ferrari and Simca-Gordini in the world championship. Ferrari had snubbed the opening round of the championship at Silverstone, the team feeling the prize money provided was not worth competing over, Enzo Ferrari placing greater value of a minor Formula Two race at Mons over the World Championship debut event. Following the Alfa Romeo domination at Silverstone, the Ferrari drivers of Luigi Villoresi, Alberto Ascari and Raymond Sommer were believed to be the only true rivals to the Alfa's strength. Aside from the works Ferrari's, Peter Whitehead would enter his privately owned Ferrari 125 to enter for the event.

The other manufacturer to debut at Monaco was the Simca-Gordini outfit. The minor French manufacturer was expected to be a solid midfield team with Maurice Trintignant, André Simon and Robert Manzon racing at their helm. Simon, however would cancel his entry prior to the beginning of the event. After a disappointing run in Silverstone, the major French manufacturer had scaled back its works team to fielding only Yves-Giraud Cabantous, although Philippe Étancelin, Louis Rosier, Pierre Levegh, Charles Pozzi and Johnny Claes would continue to compete in the modern T26C's as privateer racers.

Louis Chiron and Franco Rol continued as the works Maserati drivers whilst privateer team, Scuderia Achille Varzi made their debut with Maserati machinery. The youthful Argentine, José Froilán González, had joined the team as successor to Juan Manuel Fangio's place in the team and alongside him was Alfredo Piàn. The Enrico Platé squad continued with Prince Bira and Baron de Graffenried as their drivers, whilst Clemente Biondetti was also racing a Maserati 4CLT, albeit the car had been modified by his team, Scuderia Milano.

Bob Gerard and Cuth Harrison would also participate as minor privateers, the duo competing in old A and B Type ERA machinery. Notably making his grand prix debut was American, Harry Schell. Schell would notably debut with a Cooper car designed for Formula Two and Formula Three racing, the small nimble Cooper was powered by a JAP motorcycle engine. It was also notably the first car in Formula One in which the engine manufacturer and chassis design had been built independently from one another.


Qualifying Report

In order to increase competition for the qualifying sessions, the event organisers decreed the first five grid positions would be allocated to the first five fastest cars in the first timed practice sessions. This decision had caught Ferrari unawares, the works team had not planned to arrive at the circuit until the Saturday qualifying sessions. This provided a huge advantage for Alfa Romeo with their main rivals unable to secure a position in the top five grid slots, Fangio ran excellently to take pole, his time being 2.6 seconds faster than teammate Farina's best time. Fagioli appeared to be struggling in his Alfa and could not better his two teammates. In fact, the old Italian veteran was pushed down to fifth, young gun, José Froilán González had managed to put his Maserati third on the grid in his first grand prix qualifying. Philippe Étancelin had also done well to put his private Talbot-Lago into fourth. Fagioli who was struggling bounced back on the second day of qualifying, his time being good enough for second on the grid, however his poor run on Friday had meant he would have to start from fifth.

When Ferrari arrived for the second timed session, their times meant they were running competitively, however neither Villoresi, Ascari or Sommer could beat the top three of Fangio, Farina and surprisingly González's Maserati. There absence from the first session meant Villoresi and Ascari would start from sixth and seventh whilst Sommer had been bumped down to ninth when local hero, Louis Chiron put in a strong time to put his car into eighth. Rounding out the top ten was Louis Rosier's Talbot-Lago.

Robert Manzon was the fastest Simca-Gordini in eleventh ahead of De Graffenried's Maserati and his teammate Maurice Trintignant. Cuth Harrison was fourteenth ahead of a disappointed Prince Bira in fifteenth. Bob Gerard in his old ERA A Type was sixteenth ahead of Franco Rol and Johnny Claes. Whilst González had impressed for Scuderia Achille Varzi, his teammate Alfredo Piàn had also been running well. In unofficial practice he had put in times fast enough for sixth on the grid, but at the end of the session he had spun his Maserati on oil and crashed against the guard rail. Piàn sustained leg injuries and subsequently could not participate in the race, the team's expectations being pinned solely on González.

Yves-Giraud Cabantous's Talbot-Lago had significant mechanical troubles which saw him participate in none of the practice sessions at the circuit, the problems were so bad he was forced to withdraw his entry to the event. The withdrawal of Cabantous meant Talbot-Lago had no works entry for the race, the manufacturer having to rely on its privateers to represent its presence in the race. Peter Whitehead also withdrew his private Ferrari when he suffered three engine failures in rapid succession during practice, the costs being too high to maintain an entry into the race. The entry's of Charles Pozzi and Clemente Biondetti were also removed when they failed to turn up to the event. Harry Schell in his little JAP engined Cooper had experienced multiple problems during practice, he had failed to set a lap time in either timed session, however he vowed to continue on in the race albeit starting from the back of the grid.

Qualifying Results

PosNo.DriverConstructorTimeGap%Avg Speed
134Juan Manuel FangioAlfa Romeo1:50.2100%103.884
232Nino FarinaAlfa Romeo1:52.8 +2.6102.4%101.489
32José Froilán GonzálezMaserati1:53.7 +3.5103.2%100.686
414Philippe ÉtançelinTalbot-Lago-Talbot1:54.1 +3.9103.5%100.333
536Luigi FagioliAlfa Romeo1:54.2 +4103.6%100.245
638Luigi VilloresiFerrari1:52.3 +2.1101.9%101.941
740Alberto AscariFerrari1:53.8 +3.6103.3%100.598
848Louis ChironMaserati1:56.3 +6.1105.5%98.435
942Raymond SommerFerrari1:56.6 +6.4105.8%98.182
1016Louis RosierTalbot-Lago-Talbot1:57.7 +7.5106.8%97.264
1110Robert ManzonSimca-Gordini2:04.0 +13.8112.5%92.323
1252Emmanuel de GraffenriedMaserati2:00.7 +10.5109.5%94.847
1312Maurice TrintignantSimca-Gordini2:19.4 +29.2126.5%82.123
1424Cuth HarrisonERA2:01.6 +11.4110.3%94.145
1550Prince BiraMaserati2:02.2 +12110.9%93.682
1626Bob GerardERA2:03.4 +13.2112%92.771
1744Franco RolMaserati2:04.5 +14.3113%91.952
186Johnny ClaesTalbot-Lago-Talbot2:12.0 +21.8119.8%86.727
198Harry SchellCooper-JAPNo Time
204Alfredo PiànMaseratiNo Time


Pos Pos Pos
Driver Driver Driver
______________ 1
______________ 2 Juan Manuel Fangio
3 Giuseppe Farina
José Froilán González
______________ 4
5 Philippe Étancelin
Luigi Fagioli
______________ 6
______________ 7 Luigi Villoresi
8 Alberto Ascari
Louis Chiron
______________ 9
10 Raymond Sommer
Louis Rosier
______________ 11
______________ 12 Robert Manzon
13 Emmanuel de Graffenried
Maurice Trintignant
______________ 14
15 Cuth Harrison
Prince Bira
______________ 16
______________ 17 Bob Gerard
18 Franco Rol
Johnny Claes
______________ 19
20 Harry Schell


1950 2 Farina Rosier Fangio

Carnage at Tabac

In the morning before the race it rained heavily but luckily before the race started the clouds went away, however they still left a very wet track. Peter Whitehead's private Ferrari failed to start the race due to engine issues that had troubled him all weekend. At the start Fangio got made the best start as Farina spun his wheels up.

1950 2 Ascari

Podium at Monaco for Ascari

As the cars made there way around the first lap, little did they know there had been a large wave at the harbour based circuit and had flooded some of the corners.

As the drivers entered Tabac, Nino Farina who was running second spun his Alfa on the wet track and was rammed by José Froilán González and in turn, he was rammed by Luigi Fagioli. This caused a multi-car pile up counting for Louis Rosier, Robert Manzon, Emmanuel de Graffenried, Maurice Trintignant, Cuth Harrison, Franco Rol and Harry Schell all retiring.

1950 2 Fangio

Fangio on his way to Monaco victory

Most got away unscathed but González had had oil spilt over him in the accident which badly burned him and would keep him out for the next couple of races. Also, Franco Rol suffered a broken wrist which would put him out of action for awhile. Only 9 cars survived the incident and Ferrari was the only team to not lose at least one car in the first lap incident. Villoresi and Ascari quickly overtook Philippe Étancelin for third and the two began a hard battle for second. Étançelin retired later with an oil leak, this paved the way for the third Ferrari of Sommer to take fourth place behind his two teammates but was under pressure from local driver and racing veteran Louis Chiron.

Luigi Villoresi who had stalled early in the race negotiating the mele at Tabac had a strong day fighting back to second but it came to a sad end when his axle broke. This left second place open to Ascari, and after a long hard battle Louis Chiron finally managed to get his Maserati past Raymond Sommer and took a podium finish in front of his home crowd. However, the race was dominated by Fangio, who saw absolutely no challenge from any of his rivals, and showed Ferrari had work to do if they were going to catch the Alfas.


Pos No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Avg Speed Grid Pts
1 34 Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 100 3:13:18.7 98.701 1 9
2 40 Alberto Ascari Ferrari 99 + 1 lap 97.251 7 6
3 48 Louis Chiron Maserati 98 + 2 laps 96.191 8 4
4 42 Raymond Sommer Ferrari 97 + 3 laps 95.451 9 3
5 50 Prince Bira Maserati 95 + 5 laps 93.363 15 2
6 26 Bob Gerard ERA 94 + 6 laps 92.317 16
7 6 Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago 94 + 6 laps 92.254 18
Ret 38 Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 63 Axle 6
Ret 14 Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago 38 Oil leak 4
Ret 2 José Froilán González Maserati 1 Accident 3
Ret 32 Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 0 Accident 2
Ret 36 Luigi Fagioli Alfa Romeo 0 Accident 5
Ret 16 Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago 0 Accident 10
Ret 10 Robert Manzon Simca-Gordini 0 Accident 11
Ret 52 Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 0 Accident 12
Ret 12 Maurice Trintignant Simca-Gordini 0 Accident 13
Ret 24 Cuth Harrison ERA 0 Accident 14
Ret 44 Franco Rol Maserati 0 Accident 17
Ret 8 Harry Schell Cooper-JAP 0 Collision 19
DNS 4 Alfredo Pián Maserati Accident
DNS 28 Peter Whitehead Ferrari Engine
DNP 18 Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago Not present
DNP 20 Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago Not present
DNP 22 Pierre Levegh Talbot-Lago Not Present
DNP 46 Clemente Biondetti Maserati Car unavailable

Fastest Laps

Pos No. Driver Constructor Lap Time Gap Avg Speed Race
1 34 Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo  ? 1:51.0 103.135 1
2 14 Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago  ? 1:57.9 6.9s 97.099 Ret
3 6 Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago  ? 2:00.2 9.2s 95.241 7

Lap Leaders


Stint Driver Laps Total Distance
1 Juan Manuel Fangio 1–100 100 318.000 km


Pos. Driver Laps Distance
1 Juan Manuel Fangio 100 318.000 km


Drivers Championship only

Pos Driver Pts
1 Giuseppe Farina 9
2 Juan Manuel Fangio 9
3 Luigi Fagioli 6
4 Alberto Ascari 6
5 Reg Parnell 4
6 Louis Chiron 4
7 Yves Giraud-Cabantous 3
8 Raymond Sommer 3
9 Louis Rosier 2
10 Prince Bira 2


  • First Formula One grand chelem.
  • Début for engine manufacturers Ferrari, Simca Gordini and JAP.
  • First Entry & Race - Alberto Ascari:
  • First Entry & Race - José Froilán González:
  • First Entry & Race - Robert Manzon:
  • First Entry & Race - Franco Rol:
  • First Entry & Race - Harry Schell:
  • First Entry & Race - Raymond Sommer:
  • First Entry & Race - Maurice Trintignant
  • First Entry & Race - Luigi Villoresi
  • First Entry & Race - Cooper:
  • First Entry & Race - Ferrari:
  • First Entry & Race - Simca-Gordini:
  • First Entry & Race - JAP:
  • First Entry - Clemente Biondetti:
  • First Entry - Pierre Levegh:
  • First Entry - Alfredo Piàn:
  • First Entry - Pierre Levegh:
  • First Entry - Peter Whitehead:
  • Final Entry & Race - Alfredo Pián:
  • Final Entry &Race -JAP:
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