Alfa Romeo in Formula One
Italian motor manufacturer Alfa Romeo has participated many times in Formula One. It participates as Alfa Romeo Racing while being operated by Sauber Motorsport AG; the brand has competed in motor racing as both a constructor and engine supplier sporadically between 1950 and 1987, as a commercial partner since 2015. The company's works drivers won the first two World Drivers' Championships in the pre-war Alfetta: Nino Farina in 1950. Following these successes Alfa Romeo withdrew from Formula One. During the 1960s, although the company had no official presence in the top tier of motorsport a number of Formula One teams used independently developed Alfa Romeo engines to power their cars. In the early 1970s, Alfa provided Formula One support for their works driver Andrea de Adamich, supplying adapted versions of their 3-litre V8 engine from the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 sports car to power Adamich's McLaren and March entries. None of these engine combinations scored championship points. In the mid-1970s, Alfa engineer Carlo Chiti designed a flat-12 engine to replace the T33 V8, which achieved some success in taking the 1975 World Sportscar Championship.
Bernie Ecclestone owner of the Brabham Formula One team, persuaded Alfa Romeo to supply this engine free for the 1976 Formula One season. Although the Brabham-Alfa Romeo's first season was modest, during the 1977 and 1978 World Championships their cars took 14 podium finishes, including two race victories for Niki Lauda; the company's sporting department, returned as the works team in 1979. This second period as a constructor was less successful than the first. Between the company's return and its withdrawal as a constructor at the end of 1985, Alfa works drivers did not win a race and the team never finished higher than sixth in the World Constructors' Championship; the team's engines were supplied to Osella from 1983 to 1987, but they scored only two World Championship points during this period. The Alfa Romeo logo returned to Formula One in 2015. In late 2017, Alfa Romeo announced that they were to become title sponsors for Sauber from 2018, had entered into a technical and commercial partnership with the team.
Alfa Romeo returned to the sport as their own team when Sauber was renamed at the beginning of 2019. Alfa Romeo had been a force in Grand Prix racing before World War II. Cars like the P2 and the P3 were winners on a regular basis until the German Mercedes and Auto Union cars came around in 1934. From 1934 to the start of World War II in 1939, Alfa won and their cars looked rather outdated and badly built compared to the high-tech Silver Arrows of Mercedes. Alfa was able to make the 158 for the 1938 season, although this car was not competitive against the Silver Arrows; when the new Formula One World Championship had come around, Alfa had dominated post-WWII racing from 1946 to 1949 – winning every Grand Prix they entered with the exception of 3. In 1950 Nino Farina won the inaugural World Championship of Drivers in a 158 with supercharger, in 1951 Juan Manuel Fangio won while driving an Alfetta 159; the Alfetta's engines were powerful for their capacity: in 1951 the 159 engine was producing around 420 bhp but this was at the price of a fuel consumption of 125 to 175 litres per 100 km.
In 1952, facing increased competition from their former employee, Ferrari. Alfa Romeo involvement in racing was made with a thin budget, using pre-war technology and material during the two seasons. For instance the team won two championships using only nine pre-war built engine blocks. During 1977, after some persuasion by Chiti, Alfa Romeo gave Autodelta permission to start developing a Formula One car on their behalf, thus named the Alfa Romeo 177, the car made its debut at the 1979 Belgian Grand Prix. The partnership with Brabham had finished before the end of the season, with Bernie Ecclestone's outfit returning to Ford/Cosworth DFV engines; this second Alfa works Formula One project was never successful during its existence from the middle of 1979 until the end of 1985. During this period Alfa Romeo achieved two pole positions, Bruno Giacomelli led much of the 1980 United States Grand Prix before retiring with electrical trouble, three 3rd places, two 2nd places and one fastest lap, they endured tragedy when their driver Patrick Depailler was killed testing for the 1980 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring.
In 1981 they continued to be dogged by poor reliability. After a restructuring of Autodelta, the team operations and design of the car were outsourced to Euroracing in 1982, with the works engines still being supplied by Autodelta; the team's best season was 1983 when the team switched to the turbocharged 890T V8 engine and achieved 6th place in the Constructors' Championship thanks to two second-place finishes for Andrea de Cesaris. While the turbocharged 890T proved competitive in 1983, more powerful and fuel efficient engines from BMW, Renault, TAG-Porsche and Honda, plus the FIA imposed 220-litre fuel limit with no re-fuelling allowed during pit stops during 1984, saw the decline of the Euroracing Alfa Romeo team as a
Alberto Ascari was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion. He was a multitalented racer. Ascari won consecutive world titles in 1953 for Scuderia Ferrari, he was the last Italian to date to win the title. This was sandwiched an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in 1952. Ascari won the Mille Miglia in 1954. Ascari was noted for the careful precision and finely-judged accuracy that made him one of the safest drivers in a most dangerous era. Ascari remains along with Michael Schumacher Ferrari's only back-to-back World Champions, he is Ferrari's sole Italian champion; when Alberto was a young child, his father, a famous racing driver, died in an accident at the 1925 French Grand Prix. Alberto once admitted that he warned his children not to become close to him because of the risk involved in his profession. So this proved when he was killed during a test session for Scuderia Ferrari at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Ascari took great pains to avoid tempting fate, his unexplained fatal accident – at the same age as his father's, on the same day of the month and in eerily similar circumstances – remains one of Formula One racing's great tragic coincidences.
Born in Milan, Ascari was the son of Antonio Ascari, a talented Grand Prix motor racing star in the 1920s, racing Alfa Romeos. Just a fortnight before Alberto's seventh birthday, Antonio was killed while leading the French Grand Prix in 1925 at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, but the younger Ascari had an interest in racing in spite of; such was his passion to become a racing driver like his father, twice he ran away from school. He raced motorcycles in his earlier years. At the age of just 19, Ascari was signed to ride for the Bianchi team, it was after he entered the prestigious Mille Miglia in an Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, supplied by his father's close friend, Enzo Ferrari, in 1940 that he started racing on four wheels regularly. He married a local girl the same year; when Italy entered World War II, the family garage, now run by Alberto, was conscripted to service and maintain vehicles of the Italian military. It was during this period, he established a lucrative transport business, supplying fuel to army depots in North Africa.
His partner in the enterprise was Luigi Villoresi. The pair did; as their business supported the Italian war effort, it made them exempt from being called up during the war. Following the end of World War II Alberto Ascari began racing in Grands Prix with Maserati 4CLT, his teammate was Villoresi, who would become a mentor and friend to Ascari. The pair were successful on the circuits in the North of Italy. Soon he was bestowed with the nickname Ciccio, meaning "Tubby". Formula One regulations were introduced by the FIA in 1946, with the aim of replacing the pre-war Grand Prix structure. During the next four transitional years, Ascari was at the top of his game, winning numerous events around Europe, he won his first Grand Prix, the Gran Premio di San Remo in 1948 and took second place in the RAC International Grand Prix the same year, at Silverstone. Ascari won another race with the team the following year, Gran Premio del General Juan Perón de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, his biggest success came.
The team boss, Enzo Ferrari, had been a great friend and teammate to Antonio Ascari, had taking a keen interest in Alberto's successes. That won three more races that year; the first Formula One World Championship season took place in 1950, the Ferrari team made its World Championship debut at Monte Carlo with Ascari and the famous French driver Raymond Sommer on the team. The team had a mixed year – their supercharged Tipo 125 was too slow to challenge the dominant Alfa Romeo team so instead Ferrari began working on an unblown 4.5l car. Much of the year was lost as the team's 2-litre Formula Two engine was progressively enlarged, though when the full 4.5l Tipo 375 arrived for the Gran Premio d'Italia Ascari gave Alfa Romeo their sternest challenge of the year before retiring. The new Ferrari won the non-championship Gran Premio do Penya Rhin. Throughout 1951, Ascari was a threat to the Alfa Romeo team though he was undone by unreliability. However, after winning at the Nürburgring and Monza he was only two points behind Fangio in the championship standings ahead of the climactic Gran Premio de España.
Ascari took pole position, but a disastrous tyre choice for the race saw the Ferraris unable to challenge, Ascari coming home 4th while Juan Manuel Fangio won the race and the title. For 1952 the World Championship season switched to using the 2-litre Formula Two regulations, with Ascari driving Ferrari's Tipo 500 car, he missed the first race of the championship season as he was qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, at the time a World Championship event. He was the only European driver to race at Indy in its 11 years on the World Championship schedule, but his race ended after 40 laps without having made much of an impression, as a result of a wheel collapse. Returning to Europe he won the remaining six rounds of the series to clinch the world title and recording the fastest lap in each race, he scored the maximum amount of points a driver could earn since only the best four of eight scores counted towards the World Championship. Fangio missed m
Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh, better known as Prince Bira of Siam or by his nom de course B. Bira, was a member of the Thai royal family, racing driver and pilot. Birabongse raced in Formula One and Grand Prix races for the Maserati and Connaught teams, he was the only Southeast Asian driver to compete in Formula One until Malaysia's Alex Yoong joined Minardi in 2001, as well as the only Thai driver to compete in Formula One until Alexander Albon made his debut in 2019. He competed in sailing events at four Summer Olympic Games, flew from London to Bangkok in his own twin-engine Miles Gemini aircraft in 1952. Prince Birabongse's parents were his second wife. Birabongse's paternal grandfather was King Mongkut, loosely portrayed in the Hollywood movies The King and I and Anna and the King, his mother died. Birabongse was sent to Europe in 1927 to complete his education in England at Eton College, where he joined one of his nephews, a grandchild of his father through his first marriage. While he was at Eton Bira's father died, leaving him an orphan.
He was placed under the care of his cousin, Prince Chula Chakrabongse, who became Prince Bira's legal guardian. On leaving Eton at age 18, in early 1933, Prince Bira moved in with Prince Chula in London, while he decided on his future. Prince Birabongse had been registered to attend Trinity College, but on leaving school had not yet passed the Cambridge University entrance examination. Prince Chula hired a tutor for Prince Bira, to better prepare him for the exam, but Prince Bira changed his mind and expressed a desire to learn sculpture rather than attend university. Prince Chula approached leading sculptor Charles Wheeler, Wheeler took Prince Bira on as a pupil within his studio. Although Prince Bira showed some talent as a sculptor, in Wheeler's opinion he needed to learn to draw, so in the autumn of 1934 Prince Bira enrolled at the Byam Shaw School of Art. Prince Birabongse did not attend the Byam Shaw School for long, but while there he became friendly with a fellow student, Ceril Heycock, he began courting her in earnest only a few weeks later.
However, both Prince Chula and her parents placed severe limitations on their relationship, it was not until 1938 that they were able to marry. Bira first raced with his cousin Prince Chula's team, White Mouse Racing, driving a Riley Imp at Brooklands in 1935. In this car Bira established the national motor racing colours of Siam: pale blue with yellow, he lived near Geneva, in the south of France. In 1935, Prince Chula gave him one of the new ERA voiturette racing cars—R2B, nicknamed Romulus. Bira finished second in his first race in Romulus, despite needing to stop for repairs; the remaining races of the season saw Bira placing among the more powerful Grand Prix vehicles, with another second place, fifth at the Donington Grand Prix. For 1936 the princes decided that the previous season's results merited a second ERA, they retained Romulus for international races. Chula purchased a Maserati 8CM to complete the White Mouse roster. Bira's expertise behind the wheel earned him the Coupe de Prince Rainier at Monte Carlo.
Bira won a further four races in the ERAs that season, took the Grand Prix Maserati to 5th at Donington and 3rd at Brooklands. This was the high point for the White Mouse team. Following Dick Seaman's move to Mercedes for 1937, the Thais purchased his Grand Prix Delage and all of its spare parts, along with a second Delage. Despite several upgrades, hiring experienced race engineer and future Jaguar team manager Lofty England, the cars underperformed, on many occasions Bira raced in the older and by now inferior ERAs. In addition, the money spent on the Delage upgrades had sapped the resources of the team and corners were being cut in the ERA's race preparations. In the year White Mouse did invest in a newer C-Type ERA, chassis R12C. R12C came to be known as Hanuman, Bira attached a large, silver badge depicting the Hindu deity after whom he had named the car. Following a major accident in 1939 Hanuman was rebuilt back to B-Type specifications, in light of this major overhaul Bira renamed the car Hanuman II.
While Bira maintained a respectable results tally in British events, the more costly international races were a disaster. After the war, Bira returned to racing with several teams. In 1951 he raced in an old 4CLT fitted with a newer V12 Osca engine. No results were obtained this year as a result of the poor performance of the car combined with a severe accident. By 1954, with some newer gear, a Maserati 250F, he won the Grand Prix des Frontières on the Chimay road circuit and finished fourth in the 1954 French Grand Prix with his own Maserati. In January 1955, he won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore. Bira competed in sailing events at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the Star, 1960 Rome Olympics in the Star, 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the Dragon and the 1972 Munich Olympics in the Tempest. In the 1960 Games he competed against another former Formula One driver, Roberto Mieres, who finished seventeenth, ahead of the prince at nineteenth. Prince Bira died at Barons Court tube station in London on 23 December 1985.
He collapsed and died having suffered a major heart attack, but as he carried no identification with him, his body could not be identified. A handwritten note was found in his pocket by the Metropolitan Police and was sent for analysis at the Universi
Doctor Emilio Giuseppe "Nino" Farina, was an Italian racing driver and was the first official Formula One World Champion, gaining the title in 1950. He was the Italian Champion in 1937, 1938 and 1939. Born in Turin, Farina was the son of Giovanni Carlo Farina who founded the Stabilimenti Farina coachbuilder, he began driving a two-cylinder Temperino, at the age of just nine. Farina became a Doctor of Political Science, he cut short a career as a cavalry officer with the Italian army to fulfil a different ambition: motor racing. While still at university Farina purchased his first car, a second-hand Alfa Romeo, ran it in the 1925 Aosta-Gran San Bernardo Hillclimb. While trying to beat his father, he crashed, breaking his shoulder and receiving facial cuts, establishing a trend that continued throughout his crash-prone career, his father finished fourth. During the 1933 and 1934 seasons Farina returned to the sport, racing Maseratis and Alfa Romeos for Gino Rovere and Scuderia Subalpina, began a friendship with Italian racing legend Tazio Nuvolari.
It was Nuvolari who to guided Farina's early career. In 1935, he raced for the factory Maserati team, showing enough promise to impress Enzo Ferrari, who recruited him to drive for Scuderia Ferrari, the team that ran the works-supported Alfa Romeos, it was in an Alfa Romeo 8C that he finished second in the Mille Miglia, after driving through the night without lights. He made mistakes aplenty, but kept coming back for more and became a Grand Prix winner, when he won the 1937 Grand Prix of Naples. Although he was noted for his driving style and intelligence, he had a petulant streak and disregard for his fellow competitors whilst on the race track, he was involved in two fatal accidents. The first was during the 1936 Grand Prix de Deauville, when he tried to pass Marcel Lehoux for second. Farina's Alfa Romeo 8C collided with Lehoux's ERA, causing the ERA to catch fire. Lehoux was thrown out, received a fractured skull and died in hospital, while Farina escaped with minor injuries. Two seasons during the 1938 Gran Premio di Tripoli, László Hartmann's Maserati 4CM cut a corner in front of Farina.
The cars overturned. Farina survived without major injuries. In 1938, the official Alfa Romeo team, Alfa Corse, returned to motor sport and Farina was a member. Driving the new Alfa Romeo 158 Voiturette in 1939, he won the Grand Prix d'Anvers, Coppa Ciano and the Prix de Berne, to become the Italian Champion for the third year in succession; the following year, he won the Tripoli Grand Prix and finished second in the Mille Miglia for the third time. After World War II, Farina returned to Alfa Corse to drive their 158, he won the 1946 Grand Prix des Nations. However, he left Alfa Corse after a disagreement over team leadership and sat out the whole of the 1947 season, he came back to the sport in 1948 with a entered Maserati and a works Ferrari. During this period, he got married to Elsa Giaretto. In her opinion motor sport was a silly and dangerous activity, she tried to persuade Farina to stop. Three days after their high society wedding, Farina flew to Argentina where he drove his Maserati 8CL to victory in the Gran Premio Internacional del General San Martín.
On his return to Europe, he won 1948 Monaco Grand Prix. Using Ferrari's first Grand Prix car, the Ferrari 125, he won the Circuito di Garda before giving the Temporada another visit; this resulted in victory in the Copa Acción San Lorenzo in February 1949. The rest of the year he raced Maseratis for Scuderia Milano and Scuderia Ambrosiana, at times in his own 4CLT/48, he won the Lausanne Grand Prix and was re-signed by Alfa Corse. In 1950, Farina returned to Alfa Romeo for the inaugural FIA World Championship of Drivers; the opening race of the season was held in front of 150,000 spectators. Farina won, from teammates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell, completing an Alfa Romeo 1-2-3. There was plenty of drama to be had during the season. At Monaco, just eight days a multiple pile-up on the first lap, at the Tabac Corner, saw Farina spin out of a race that Juan Manuel Fangio went on to win. In the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix, Farina beat his teammate Fagioli into second; the next race, at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, saw Fangio beat Fagioli, with Farina finishing in fourth with transmission problems.
At this stage, Farina still led the championship on points: Farina 22. When Fangio won the 1950 French Grand Prix, Farina finished outside of the points in seventh. By the season finale on 3 September, the 1950 Italian Grand Prix, Farina was trailing his teammate by two points. For Alfa, Monza was home territory and so they fielded an additional car for Piero Taruffi and Consalvo Sanesi, it was the Ferrari of Alberto Ascari who put pressure on the Alfas during the early stages of the race, lying in second, in the knowledge his car only needed one fuel stop to the Alfas' two, but his eventual lead was temporary as his car expired in a cloud of smoke. Soon after, Fangio's gearbox failed and Taruffi handed over his car, only for it to drop a valve and retire. Instead, first position and therefore the championship went to Farina, he continued with Alfa Romeo for the 1951 season, but had to give best to Fangio, who secured the title for the Milanese marque. As for Farina, he finished the season in fourth place, with his only world championship victory coming in the 1951 Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps.
Farina switched back to the Scuderia Ferrari for 1952, when Grand Prix racing switched to Formula 2 specification, but
Louis Rosier was a racing driver from France. He participated in 38 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 13 May 1950, he achieved 2 podiums, scored a total of 18 championship points. He won the Dutch Grand Prix twice in consecutive years between 1950 and 1951, the Circuit d'Albi, Grand-Prix de l'Albigeois and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his son Jean-Louis Rosier. Rosier owned the Renault dealership of Clermont-Ferrand. In 2016, in an academic paper that reported a mathematical modeling study that assessed the relative influence of driver and machine, Rosier was ranked the 19th best Formula One driver of all time. Rosier finished 4th at Silverstone in a Talbot, in October 1948; the event was the RAC International Grand Prix, the first grand prix to be held in England since 1927. He drove a 4.5-liter, unsupercharged Talbot-Lago to 3rd place at the 1949 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He was a lap behind the winner with a speed of 76.21 miles per hour. Rosier won an International Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in June 1949.
He piloted a Talbot in the 500-kilometre, 32-lap event, achieving a time of 3 hours, 15 minutes, 17 seconds. He assumed the lead after 23 laps. Rosier won the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans in a blue Talbot, he teamed up with his son Jean-Louis Rosier who only drove two laps during the race, which means Louis won the race by himself. He finished one lap ahead of Pierre Meyrat; the Rosiers covered 256 laps, 2,163 miles, in 23:54:2.2. Rosier captured the Grand Prix d'Albi in Albi, France in May 1953, he drove a Ferrari, covering the 18 laps of the finals, 160 kilometres, in 56:36:8. He averaged 160 kilometres per hour. Rosier placed second in a Ferrari at a Grand Prix in Aix-Les-Bains, in July 1953, his time was 2:24:48.1. In April 1956 Rosier finished 4th in a 201-mile race at Aintree. Stirling Moss drove a blue Maserati to victory in the 67-lap event for Formula One cars, with an average speed of 84.24 miles per hour. Rosier finished 5th at the 1956 German Grand Prix behind the wheel of a Maserati. Louis Rosier was the owner and manager of a racing team, the "Ecurie Rosier".
Set up to run Rosier's Talbot-Lago T26, evolved to an actual team running 250Fs and Ferrari 500s for Rosier and another driver. Throughout the 1950s, Écurie Rosier provided drives in Formula One for Henri Louveau, Georges Grignard, Louis Chiron, Maurice Trintignant, André Simon and Robert Manzon. Louis Rosier was one of the key sponsors of the Charade race track. After World War II, Jean Auchatraire and Louis Rosier promoted the idea of a race track around Clermont-Ferrand. A set of preliminary designs were drawn up for a circuit of a length between 4 and 6 km, meeting the latest safety regulations with large parking capacity at a location just outside the city limits on a hilly landscape; the Le Mans disaster on 11 June 1955 brought the project to a halt. All race events were postponed. No further events were allowed to take place on temporary urban tracks. Racing events were only to be allowed on dedicated race-tracks, providing that they met a new set of rules. In Clermont-Ferrand, as was the case for many other new race tracks, new safety devices were being imagined and discussed and assessed.
But the concept of a "mountain race track" moved forward. It would be the only one of its kind in France. Auchatraire and Raymond Roche worked together to get the project accepted by the political community before searching for funding, but Rosier was killed at Montlhéry on 26 October 1956 and would not witness his project come to fruition. The racetrack was opened on 27 July 1958, with the name of its famous founder "Circuit de Charade Louis Rosier". Soon after, several champions participated in racing events on the track, each of them, including Stirling Moss, making positive statements about the track and its surrounding. Rosier's Renault dealership in Clermont-Ferrand was one of the largest Renault dealerships in France. Rosier's dealership sold other industrial and farming equipment; the building housing this important business has been destroyed. In 1951, Louis Rosier designed a prototype based on the 4CV Renault. In 1953, using the concept of a barchetta that he raced at Le Mans, together with Italian coachbuilder Rocco Motto, designed a cabriolet, still using 4CV Renault sub assemblies.
This model was built in a quantity of about 200 units by Brissonneau. It was introduced at a car show in New York; some time he designed a roadster using Renault Frégate elements with an aluminum body developed by Rocco Motto, on a multi-tubular frame. The engine was revised, the body was lightened, the results was an interesting 950 kg for 80 hp. Louis Rosier sustained head injuries in a crash at the Montlhéry track, south of Paris, France, on 7 October 1956. Three weeks on 29 October 1956, Rosier succumbed to the injuries received in the crash. * Indicates shared drive with Charles Pozzi
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
1952 Indianapolis 500
The 36th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1952. The event was part of the 1952 AAA National Championship Trail and was race 2 of 8 in the 1952 World Championship of Drivers. Troy Ruttman won the race for car owner J. C. Agajanian. Ruttman, aged 22 years and 80 days, set the record for the youngest 500 winner in history, it was the last dirt track car to win at Indy. Ruttman's win saw him become the youngest winner of a World Drivers' Championship race, a record he would hold for 51 years until the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix when Spanish driver Fernando Alonso won at the age of 22 years and 26 days. Bill Vukovich led 150 laps, he nursed his car to a stop against the outside wall, preventing other cars from getting involved in the incident. In the third year that the 500 was included in the World Championship, Ferrari entered the race with Alberto Ascari; the effort gained considerable attention. It was the only World Championship race in 1952 that Ascari did not win.
Fifth place finisher Art Cross was voted the Rookie of the Year. Though at least one rookie starter was in the field every year dating back to 1911, this was the first time the now-popular award was designated. Time trials was scheduled for four days. Saturday May 17 – Pole Day time trials Sunday May 18 – Second day time trials Saturday May 24 – Third day time trials Sunday May 25 – Fourth day time trials Monday May 26 – Fifth day time trials Notes^1 – 1 point for fastest lead lap Pole position: Fred Agabashian – 4:20.85 Agabashian's Cummins Diesel Special was the first entry in the Indianapolis 500 to be powered by a turbocharged engine. Gear-driven centrifugal blowers known as "superchargers" had been used since the 1920s to increase the volumetric efficiency and power output of racing engines, but the Cummins Diesel was the first to make use of the "free" energy contained in the engine exhaust stream to drive a turbine wheel connected to a centrifugal blower. Fastest Lead Lap: Bill Vukovich – 1:06.60 As of 2015, Troy Ruttman remains the youngest driver to win the Indianapolis 500, at 22 years and 80 days.
Ruttman became the youngest driver to win a race counting for the Formula One championship. His record was broken by Fernando Alonso at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari marked the first instance of a driver competing for the World Drivers' Championship to race in the 500. Although he finished 31st at Indy, he went on to win all of the remaining races and the title. 1952 was the only occasion when the fastest and slowest qualifiers for the race started next to each other. The race was carried live on the radio on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. During the offseason, the Speedway management created the network to handle broadcasting duties in-house; the arrangement was under the flagship of 1070 WIBC-AM of Indianapolis, featured a crew that consisted of WIBC talent. WIBC landed exclusive rights of the broadcast in the Indianapolis market, which would draw the ire of the other major stations in the area. In years, the broadcast would be carried on all five stations inside the city.
Sid Collins served as booth announcer. Jim Shelton was among the turn reporters, reporting from turn 4. Gordon Graham reported from victory lane. Like previous years, the broadcast featured live coverage of the start, the finish, 15-minute live updates throughout the race. At least twenty stations around the county picked up the broadcast. World Drivers' Championship standingsNote: Only the top five positions are included. Only the best 4 results counted towards the Championship. Indianapolis 500 History: Race & All-Time Stats – Official Site Van Camp's Pork & Beans Presents: Great Moments From the Indy 500 – Fleetwood Sounds, 1975