The IV Grand Prix de Paris (English: IV Paris Grand Prix) was a minor non-championship Formula One race held on the 30 April 1950. The race was the fourth edition of the Paris Grand Prix and was held over 50 laps of the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry. It was won by Georges Grignard, by a margin of four laps over Louis Gérard, in a race rife with unreliability. Sixteen drivers entered the event, only eleven started and just three finished.
The previous two winners of the event, Henri Louveau and Yves Giraud-Cabantous, received entries to the race but failed to show up. The grid of eleven cars was decided by a random draw. Raymond Sommer took the lead at the beginning of the race, with Louis Rosier and Grignard in pursuit. However, both Sommer and Rosier retired, leaving Grignard to win by a clear margin over Gérard and Marc Versini, who competed in pre-war Delages.
The fourth Paris Grand Prix did not garner much attention from the international racing community but as it had done in the past, where it had managed to attract many of France's best racing drivers. The field was primarily made up of Talbot T26C cars. Raymond Sommer, considered to be France's top racing driver of the time, would be competing in a Talbot-Lago for the race. Among the other Talbot competitors were Louis Rosier, another up and coming French name, Pierre Levegh, Guy Mairesse, 1948 Paris GP winner Yves Giraud-Cabantous, 1949 Paris winner Philippe Étancelin, Jean Estager and Belgian Johnny Claes.
Despite the Paris Grand Prix being primarily a Francophone affair, there was a British entrant from John Heath's Formula Two team HWM. Racing for the team was team co-founder George Abecassis and the team's new signing, 21 year old Stirling Moss, the youngest driver on the grid.
Entry List Edit
The full entry list for the 1950 Paris Grand Prix is shown below:
Heading into practice, there was disappointment for the spectators as neither winner from the previous two years, Henri Louveau and Yves Giraud-Cabantous, arrived for the event. Also withdrawing from the event were Philippe Étancelin, Johnny Claes and Jean Estager.
After a brief practice session in which no times were recorded, the cars prepared for the race. The grid was determined by a random draw before the race began.
Qualifying Draw Result Edit
Following the withdrawal of five of the original competitors, the grid was reduced to a lone eleven competitors. The Talbot-Lago's were expected to take victory being the only modern Formula One car on the grid apart from one Maserati 4CL. The old pre-war Delage's and the Formula Two HWM's were expected to be fighting at the back.
The Ferrari works driver, Raymond Sommer, who was competing in a Talbot-Lago at Paris took the lead of the race in the early stages. Louis Rosier and Georges Grignard followed suit battling over second place. Auguste Veuillet became the first retirement on lap two when his old Delage suffered rear axle failure. The same lap saw Guy Mairesse retire his Talbot-Lago with a fuel leak.
George Abecassis then retired his HWM on the eleventh lap with engine failure. Sommer meanwhile was extending a strong lead over the rest of the field. The crowd were provided with entertainment with a battle over second place between Rosier and Grignard. The battle would be cut short, however when Rosier retired from the race on lap 21 with engine trouble.
Five laps later, the lone Maserati in the race of Jean Judet made his retirement due to a fuel leak; by now, the field had been reduced to just six participants. Sommer still held a convincing lead over Grignard and Pierre Levegh in second and third. On lap 28, Levegh pulled out with engine troubles. He was the only significant threat to the Talbot-Lago's of Sommer and Grignard leading the race. The remainder of the field were some way off the pace.
On lap 33, Stirling Moss pulled his HWM out of the race to retire. He had been battling with the Delage's of Louis Gérard and Marc Versini. The same lap, Sommer lost the opportunity to win his first Paris Grand Prix when his Talbot-Lago's engine blew.
For the remaining third of the race, only three cars remained competing and there were serious concerns that none of the cars would finish the race. However, Grignard, Gérard and Versini soldiered on to finish the event. Grignard had dominated in his Talbot-Lago, finishing four laps ahead of Gérard and five ahead of Versini. Gérard and Versini in their old outdated Delage's proved no match for newer Talbot-Lago models, however to the cars credit they were able to complete the event. The same could not be said about most of their rivals machinery.
|2||15||Louis Gerard||Delage||46||+ 4 Laps|
|3||12||Marc Versini||Delage||45||+ 5 Laps|
|Ret||11||Jean Judet||Maserati||26||Fuel tank|
|Ret||14||Auguste Veuillet||Delage||2||Rear axle|
|Ret||9||Guy Mairesse||Talbot-Lago-Talbot||2||Fuel tank|
|DNA||1||Henri Louveau||Maserati||Did not arrive|
|DNA||2||Yves Giraud-Cabantous||Talbot-Lago-Talbot||Did not arrive|
|DNA||3||Philippe Étancelin||Talbot-Lago-Talbot||Did not arrive|
|DNA||7||Johnny Claes||Talbot-Lago-Talbot||Did not arrive|
|DNA||10||Jean Estager||Talbot-Lago-Talbot||Did not arrive|
- First and only Formula 1 win for Georges Grignard
- Best ever finish (2nd), and only Podium in a Formula 1 race for Louis Gerard
- Best ever finish (3rd) in Formula 1 and final race for Marc Versini
- Final Formula 1 race for Auguste Veuillet
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