1949 British Grand Prix

The 1949 British Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race which was held at Silverstone on 14 May 1949. The race was won by Emmanuel de Graffenried driving a Maserati 4CLT.[2][3]

1949 British Grand Prix
Race details
Date 14 May 1949 (1949-05-14)
Official name RAC British Grand Prix
Location Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone, England
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.828 km (3.000 mi)
Distance 100 laps, 482.8 km (300.0 mi)
Attendance 120,000[1]
Pole position
Driver Maserati
Time 2:09.8
Fastest lap
Driver Thailand B. Bira Maserati
Time 2:10.4
Podium
First Maserati
Second ERA
Third Talbot-Lago-Talbot

BackgroundEdit

 
The layout used from 1950-51 was the same as in 1949 except for bypassing the Club chicane

The 1949 Grand Prix was held just seven months after the 1948 event on a substantially modified layout. For 1949 the layout used perimeter roads only, no longer running down the runways. The layout was much the same as that used until 1973 with the exception of a tight chicane at what became Club corner in order to ensure cars were tested at both high and low speeds.[4]

Also new for 1949 was the RAC being granted Grande Epreuve status for their race, officially adopting the title of British Grand Prix.[4]

EntriesEdit

Although a large entry was attracted, in spite of the increased importance placed on the event the entry did not include any true factory entries.[4]

No Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine
1   B. Bira Private Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati L4s
2   Emmanuel de Graffenried Private Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati L4s
3   Tony Rolt Private Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo B Alfa Romeo L8
4   Raymond Mays
  Ken Richardson
T. Vandervell Thinwall Special Ferrari Thinwall Special Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12s
5   Bob Ansell Private Maserati Maserati 4CM Maserati L4s
6   Geoff Ansell
  Brian Shawe-Taylor
Private ERA ERA B ERA L6s
7   Bob Gerard Bob Gerard Racing ERA ERA B ERA L6s
8   David Hampshire
  Billy Cotton
Private ERA ERA B ERA L6s
9   David Murray Private Maserati Maserati 4CL Maserati L4s
10   Reg Parnell Scuderia Ambrosiana Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati L4s
11   Fred Ashmore Scuderia Ambrosiana Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati L4s
12   Luigi Villoresi Scuderia Ambrosiana Maserati Maserati 4CLT/48 Maserati L4s
15   Louis Chiron SFACS Ecurie France Talbot-Lago Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot L6
16   Louis Rosier Private Talbot-Lago Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot L6
17   Yves Giraud-Cabantous Private Talbot-Lago Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot L6
18   George Abecassis Private Alta Alta GP Alta L4s
19   Johnny Claes Ecurie Belge Talbot-Lago Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot L6
20   George Nixon Private ERA ERA A ERA L6s
21   Peter Whitehead
  Dudley Folland
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12s
22   Duncan Hamilton
  Philip Fotheringham-Parker
Private Maserati Maserati 6CM Maserati L6s
23   Cuth Harrison ? ERA ? ?
24   Philippe Étancelin Private Talbot-Lago Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot L6
25   Roy Salvadori Private Maserati Maserati 4CL Maserati L4s
26   Anthony Baring Private Maserati Maserati 4CM Maserati L4
27   John Bolster P.H. Bell ERA ERA B ERA L6s
28   Peter Walker P.N. Whitehead ERA ERA B ERA L6s

Practice and qualifyingEdit

Practice began on the Thursday before the race, although not all competitors arrived, some having travelled from the 1949 Roussillon Grand Prix in Perignan. Peter Walker set the fastest time on Thursday in 2 minutes 13.2. Luigi Villoresi was still tired, having arrived directly from Perignon, but was able to set second fastest time in 2 minutes 14.4, followed by Tony Rolt (2 minutes 15.8) and Cuth Harrison (2 minutes 16.4).[4]

Times improved the following day as more of the international drivers had arrived. Villoresi would improve on his Thursday time to be fastest of all in 2 minutes 9.8, followed by Bira, who had also arrived from Perignan, in 2 minutes 10.2. The next fastest times set on Friday were by Emmanuel de Graffenried (2 minutes 13.6) and Bob Gerard (2 minutes 14.4).[4]

The starting grid was arranged in rows of five, then four, then five, and so on.

ClassificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 12   Luigi Villoresi Maserati 2:09.8
2 1   B. Bira Maserati 2:10.2 + 0.4
3 28   Peter Walker ERA 2:13.2 + 3.4
4 2   Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 2:13.6 + 3.8
5 7   Bob Gerard ERA 2:14.4 + 4.6
6 10   Reg Parnell Maserati 2:14.8 + 5.0
7 3   Tony Rolt Alfa Romeo 2:15.8 + 6.0
8 24   Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:15.8 + 6.0
9 23   Cuth Harrison ERA 2:16.4 + 6.6
10 8   David Hampshire ERA 2:17.2 + 7.4
11 17   Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:17.4 + 7.6
12 18   George Abecassis Alta 2:17.6 + 7.8
13 6   Geoff Ansell ERA 2:18.0 + 8.2
14 21   Peter Whitehead Ferrari 2:18.4 + 8.6
15 15   Louis Chiron Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:19.2 + 9.4
16 27   John Bolster ERA 2:20.0 + 10.2
17 11   Fred Ashmore Maserati 2:20.8 + 11.0
18 19   Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:22.2 + 12.4
19 4   Raymond Mays Thinwall Special Ferrari 2:24.6 + 14.8
20 16   Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago-Talbot 2:25.2 + 15.4
21 26   Anthony Baring Maserati 2:27.0 + 17.2
22 22   Duncan Hamilton Maserati 2:29.0 + 19.2
23 25   Roy Salvadori Maserati 2:29.2 + 19.4
24 20   George Nixon ERA 2:29.8 + 20.0
25 9   David Murray Maserati 2:30.4 + 20.6

RaceEdit

Bira made the best start in his Maserati, leading Villoresi's similar car by a clear two lengths at the first corner, followed closely by two more Maseratis, driven by de Graffenried, and by Reg Parnell taking advantage of starting directly behind the fastest drivers. Fifth was the ERA of Gerard. Villoresi overtook Bira for the lead on the third lap, as the pair pulled away from the rest of the field.[4]

On lap 24, Bira regained the lead, and Villoresi began slowing, stopping for fuel at the end of lap 27 and dropping to fourth place behind Parnell moving into second place just slightly ahead of de Graffenried. Behind Villoresi was the Alta of George Abecassis in fifth and another Maserati, that of Fred Ashmore, in sixth. After thirty laps Bira had lapped every car outside of the top four. Not long after this Abecassis lost most of his exhaust pipe but continued on unfazed, while at the same time Villoresi stopped again, this time retiring with a loss of oil pressure.[4]

Bira began suffering from brake fade, allowing Parnell to slowly close the gap but after 40 laps they were still around 40 seconds apart, with de Graffenried now around 20 seconds behind Parnell, followed now by Gerard and the Talbot-Lago of Philippe Étancelin. On his 48th lap Bira was unable to slow for the Club chicane, colliding with the straw bales and a barrel, damaging his suspension too much to continue, giving the lead to Parnell. At the halfway point (50 laps), Parnell lead de Graffenried by 23.6 seconds, followed by Gerard in third from Billy Cotton (who had taken over David Hampshire's ERA), and the Talbot-Lagos of Louis Rosier and Étancelin.[4]

Parnell did not lead for long, however, as his axle oil plug popped out, losing him the lead. He would stop three more times over the next few laps and eventually retired after 69 laps due to a broken rear axle. So then after 60 laps the order was de Graffenried over three minutes ahead of Gerard, the soon to retire Parnell, Cotton, the two Talbot-Lagos, Ashmore and the Alta of Abecassis back up to seventh after losing a significant amount of time with carburettor trouble. Soon after Rosier took his Talbot-Lago into fourth place ahead of Cotton.[4]

For the final 30 laps Gerard began to catch de Graffenried but was still some way back. His progress was helped by de Graffenried making a second stop for fuel on lap 85, but only managed to come within a minute of leading. So then de Graffenried won the race in a time of nearly four hours, 65 seconds ahead of Gerard who was himself a lap clear of third placed Rosier, the only driver to complete the race without stopping for fuel.[4]

ClassificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid
1 2   Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 100 3:52:50.2 4
2 7   Bob Gerard ERA 100 + 1:05.2 5
3 16   Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago-Talbot 99 + 1 Lap 20
4 8   David Hampshire
  Billy Cotton
ERA 99 + 1 Lap 10
5 24   Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 97 + 3 Laps 8
6 11   Fred Ashmore Maserati 97 + 3 Laps 11
7 18   George Abecassis Alta 96 + 4 Laps 12
8 21   Peter Whitehead
  Dudley Folland
Ferrari 95 + 5 Laps 14
9 6   Geoff Ansell
  Brian Shawe-Taylor
ERA 94 + 6 Laps 13
10 19   Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago-Talbot 92 + 8 Laps 18
11 22   Philip Fotheringham-Parker
  Duncan Hamilton
Maserati 92 + 8 Laps 22
Ret 4   Raymond Mays
  Ken Richardson
Thinwall Special Ferrari 82 Accident 19
Ret 10   Reg Parnell Maserati 69 Transmission 6
Ret 25   Roy Salvadori Maserati 65 Valve 23
Ret 9   David Murray Maserati 64 Engine 25
Ret 27   John Bolster ERA 53 Accident 16
Ret 28   Peter Walker ERA 50 Brakes 3
Ret 1   B. Bira Maserati 47 Collision 2
Ret 15   Louis Chiron Talbot-Lago-Talbot 41 Engine 15
Ret 17   Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago-Talbot 39 Oil leak 11
Ret 26   Anthony Baring Maserati 39 Water leak 21
Ret 12   Luigi Villoresi Maserati 36 Engine 1
Ret 23   Cuth Harrison ERA 25 Engine 9
Ret 20   George Nixon ERA 16 Supercharger 24
Ret 3   Tony Rolt Alfa Romeo 15 Rear axle 7
DNS 5   Bob Ansell Maserati Engine

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "British Grand Prix". Belfast Telegraph. 14 May 1949. Retrieved 9 July 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. ^ "II British Grand Prix • STATS F1".
  3. ^ "1949 British Grand Prix".
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nye, Doug (1977). The British Grand Prix. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. pp. 35–38. ISBN 0713432837.


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