Grand Prix motor racing
Grand Prix motor racing, a form of motorsport competition, has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as early as 1894. It evolved from simple road races from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver. Innovation and the drive of competition soon saw speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, but because early races took place on open roads, accidents occurred resulting in deaths both of drivers and of spectators. Grand Prix motor racing evolved into formula racing, one can regard Formula One as its direct descendant; each event of the Formula One World Championships is still called a Grand Prix. Motor racing was started in France, as a direct result of the enthusiasm with which the French public embraced the motor car. Manufacturers were enthusiastic due to the possibility of using motor racing as a shop window for their cars; the first motoring contest took place on July 22, 1894 and was organised by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal. The Paris–Rouen rally was 126 km, from Porte Maillot in Paris, through the Bois de Boulogne, to Rouen.
Count Jules-Albert de Dion was first into Rouen after 6 hours 48 minutes at an average speed of 19 km/h. He finished 3 minutes 30 seconds ahead of Albert Lemaître, followed by Auguste Doriot, René Panhard, Émile Levassor; the official winners were Peugeot and Panhard as cars were judged on their speed and safety characteristics, De Dion's steam car needed a stoker which the judges deemed to be outside of their objectives. In 1900, James Gordon Bennett, Jr. the owner of the New York Herald and the International Herald Tribune, established the Gordon Bennett Cup. He hoped the creation of an international event would drive automobile manufacturers to improve their cars; each country was allowed to enter up to three cars, which had to be built in the country that they represented and entered by that country's automotive governing body. International racing colours were established in this event; the 1903 event occurred in the aftermath of the fatalities at the Paris-Madrid road race, so the race, at Athy in Ireland, though on public roads, was run over a closed circuit: the first closed-circuit motor race.
In the United States, William Kissam Vanderbilt II launched the Vanderbilt Cup at Long Island, New York in 1904. Some anglophone sources wrongly list a race called the Pau Grand Prix in 1901; this may stem from a mistranslation of the contemporary French sources such as the magazine La France Auto of March 1901. The name of the 1901 event was the Circuit du Sud-Ouest and it was run in three classes around the streets of Pau; the Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver was the name of the prizes awarded for the lesser classes. The Grand Prix de Pau was the name of the prize awarded for the'Heavy' class, thus Maurice Farman was awarded the'Grand Prix de Pau' for his overall victory in the Circuit du Sud-Ouest driving a Panhard 24 hp. In L'Histoire de l'Automobile/Paris 1907 Pierre Souvestre described the 1901 event as: "... dans le Circuit du Sud-Ouest, à l'occasion du meeting de Pau... " The only race at the time to carry the name Grand Prix was organised by the Automobile Club de France, of which the first took place in 1906.
The circuit used, based in Le Mans, was triangular in shape, each lap covering 105 kilometres. Six laps were to run each day, each lap took an hour using the primitive cars of the day; the driving force behind the decision to race on a circuit - as opposed to racing on ordinary roads from town to town - was the Paris to Madrid road race of 1903. During this race a number of people, both drivers and pedestrians - including Marcel Renault - were killed and the race was stopped by the French authorities at Bordeaux. Further road based events were banned. From the 32 entries representing 12 different automobile manufacturers, at the 1906 event, the Hungarian-born Ferenc Szisz won the 1,260 km race in a Renault; this race was regarded as the first Grande Épreuve, which meant "great trial" and the term was used from on to denote up to the eight most important events of the year. Races in this period were nationalistic affairs, with a few countries setting up races of their own, but no formal championship tying them together.
The rules varied from country to country and race to race, centered on maximum weights in an effort to limit power by limiting engine size indirectly. The cars all had mechanics on board as well as the driver, no one was allowed to work on the cars during the race except for these two. A key factor to Renault winning this first Grand Prix was held to be the detachable wheel rims, which allowed tire changes to occur without having to lever the tire and tube off and back on the rim. Given the state of the roads, such repairs were frequent. A further historic confusion arose in the early 1920s when the Automobile Club de France attempted to pull off a retrospective political trick by numbering and renaming the major races held in France before the 1906 French Grand Prix as being Grands Prix de l'Automobile Club de France, despite their running pre-dating the formation of the Club. Hence, the 1895 Paris–Bordeaux–Paris Trail was renamed I Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France.
Silver Arrows was the name given by the press to Germany's dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix motor racing cars between 1934 and 1939. The name was applied to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One and sports cars in 1954 and 1955, applied to the Mercedes GP/AMG Petronas F1 cars from 2010 to present. For decades until the introduction of sponsorship liveries, each country had its traditional colour in automobile racing. Italian race cars are still famous for their Rosso Corsa red, British ones are British racing green, French Bleu de France blue, etc. German cars like the Blitzen Benz were white, as were the three Mercedes that won the 1914 French Grand Prix 1-2-3. On the other hand, Mercedes won the Italian Targa Florio with cars painted red in 1922 and 1924, blending in with the local competitors; the big supercharged 200 hp Mercedes-Benz SSKL with which Rudolf Caracciola won the 1931 Mille Miglia was called the White Elephant. In 1958, Alfred Neubauer described the origin of the Silver Arrows as being accidental.
In 1934 the international governing body of motor sport prescribed a maximum weight limit of 750 kg for Grand Prix racing cars, excluding tyres and fuel. Neubauer said that when in spring 1934, the Mercedes-Benz team placed its new Mercedes-Benz W25 on the scrutineering scales prior to the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring, it recorded 751 kg. Racing manager Alfred Neubauer and his driver Manfred von Brauchitsch, who both published their memoirs, claimed that they had the idea of removing all the white lead-based paint from the bodywork; the story continues that the next day the shining silver aluminium beneath was exposed and scrutineering was passed. After the 350 hp car of Von Brauchitsch won the race, the nickname Silver Arrow was born, according to this version. There is however and doubt regarding this story, it did not appear until 1958, no reference to it has been found in contemporary sources. It has since been established that von Brauchitsch had raced a streamlined silver SSKL on the AVUS in 1932, called a Silver Arrow in live radio coverage.
In 1934, both Mercedes and Auto Union had entered the Avusrennen with silver cars. The next big event was the 1934 Eifelrennen, but as few cars complying to the new rules were ready, it was held for Formule Libre, so weight was still not a race-critical issue at that time. By the 1930s, modern stressed-skin aircraft fuselage construction was using polished and unpainted aluminium panels for streamlining and to save weight; the wealthy motor-racing fraternity would have been aware that in heraldry and silver are the same colour, or'tincture', described as'Argent'. Neubauer's 1958 autobiography has been shown to include several embellished stories and dubious claims, including a fabricated hoax surrounding the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix, where he falsely accused several drivers of "fixing" the race. By 1937, the supercharged engine of a Mercedes-Benz W125 attained an output of 646 hp, a figure not exceeded in Grand Prix Racing until the early 1980s, when turbo-charged engines were common in Formula One - although it was at least matched as early as the late 1940s by conventionally fuelled Grand Prix engines like the BRM V16, despite the rules restricting engines to half the cylinder capacity.
The Silver Arrows of Mercedes and Auto Union cars reached speeds of well over 300 kilometres per hour in 1937, well over 400 km/h during land speed record runs. The superiority of these vehicles in international motor racing established the term "Silver Arrow" as a legend, for example by winning the first race in which they were entered; the names Rudolf Caracciola, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hermann Lang, Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio, will always be associated with the eras of these racing cars. Mercedes-Benz recalled its great past in the 1970s with rallye cars, in the 1980s with the Sauber sportscars as well as the DTM touring cars, the multiple race winning Mercedes AMG F1 cars from 2010 onward. Now a traditional colour for road-cars in reference to the Silver Arrows, most German car companies have a shade of silver in their catalogues conforming to Silberpfeil-Grau, or Silver Arrow Grey; however and Mercedes-Benz are not the only German car companies who paint their cars in a silver colour.
Porsche has inherited the tradition of silver arrows. But the BMW company still paints its cars in the traditional white colour. At the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, a total of seven "Silver Arrows" were entered in the Le Mans Prototype class: three Mercedes-Benz CLR two British-built LM-GT1 Audi R8C two Joest Racing LMP Audi R8R that scored third and fourth. In 2010, with the formation of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Mercedes-Benz returned to Grand Prix racing as a constructor. Mercedes' cars have been nicknamed "Silver Arrows" by the team itself; the modern cars race with the majority of their bodies painted in a traditional silver shade, trimmed in Petronas green. In 2010, team principal Ross Brawn introduced the team's first car, the Mercedes MGP W01, as the new Silver Arrow, with Germans Nico Rosberg and 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher driving the car. In 2012, Rosberg drove the Mercedes F1 W03 to victory at the Chinese Grand Prix to claim Mercedes' first victory in Formula One since 1955.
Mercedes' 2014 Formula One car, the Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid began one of the more dominant periods by a constructor in the sport's history. The Silver Arrows won the first seven races of the 2014 season, only falling due to a KERS failure on both cars in the 2014 Cana
The Mercedes-Benz W125 was a Grand Prix racing car designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut to race during the 1937 Grand Prix season. The car was used by Rudolf Caracciola to win the 1937 European Championship and W125 drivers finished in the second and fourth positions in the championship; the supercharged engine, with 8 cylinders in line and 5,662.85 cc, attained an output of up to 595 horse power in race trim. The highest test bed power measured was 637 BHP at 5,800 rpm, it gave 245 BHP at a mere 2,000 rpm. In 1938, the engine capacity of supercharged Grand Prix cars was limited to 3000cc, the W125 was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz W154; the W125 was considered the most powerful race car for about 3 decades, until large capacity American-built V8 engines in CanAm sportcars reached similar power in the mid 1960s. In Grand Prix racing itself, the figure was not exceeded until the early 1980s, with the appearance of turbo-charged engines in Formula One; the W125 reached race speeds of well over 300 km/h in 1937 on the AVUS in Berlin, equipped with a streamlined body.
In land speed record runs, a Mercedes-Benz W125 Rekordwagen was clocked at 432.7 km/h over a mile and a kilometer. This car was fitted with a DAB V12 engine of 5,576.75 cc with a power of 726 BHP at 5,800 rpm. The weight of this engine caused the car to weigh over the 750 kg maximum limit, so it never appeared in Grand Prix.. Due to the uncompetitiveness of their W25 car, Mercedes pulled out of the 1936 Grand Prix Season midway through the year in order to concentrate on designing a car that would see them return to the top of the rankings. A new racing department was set up within Mercedes-Benz. Rudolf Uhlenhaut a production car engineer for the company, was selected to lead the design team in late 1936. Uhlenhaut had not designed a racing car, but had significant experience testing road cars on the Nürburgring race track, experience which allowed him to adapt his knowledge easily to race cars; when testing the old W25 car, Uhlenhaut remarked that the suspension was too stiff, preventing the wheels from following the road.
During the test session, a wheel came off the car, yet Uhlenhaut continued to drive the car as if nothing had happened. This stiffness caused the chassis to the rear axle to bend by up to 7 -- 10 cm under braking; the brief for the new car included a stiffer chassis and more travel on the suspension to avoid the problems experienced in the 1936 car. The W125 had a much stiffer tubular frame construction compared to the previous W25 model; this was achieved using oval tubes made of nickel-chrome molybdenum steel which flexed less than the frame used in the W25. The bodywork of the W125 was aluminium metal, which like its predecessor was left unpainted in its bare silver colour; this brought Mercedes' cars during this period the nickname of Silver Arrows, the racing colours of Germany being silver. With no regulations limiting engine size, other than the 750 kg total car weight limit, Mercedes designed a 5.6 litre engine configured with eight inline cylinders and double overhead camshaft for the W125.
Named the M125, the engine was fitted with a Roots type supercharger producing 632 lb⋅ft of torque at the start of the season. The engines built varied in power, attaining an output between 640 horse power at 5800 rpm. Fuel used was a custom mix of 40% methyl alcohol, 32% benzene, 24% ethyl alcohol and 4% gasoline light; the engine weighed 222 kg - 30% of the total weight of the car, was mounted in the front of the car. Like its W25 predecessor, the W125 used a 4-speed manual transmission; the gearbox design was changed to a constant mesh type, which provided better reliability compared to the sliding mesh transmission of the M25. In a constant mesh gearbox, the transmission gears are always in mesh and rotating, but the gears are not rigidly connected to the shafts on which they rotate. Instead, the gears can rotate or be locked to the shaft on which they are carried; the previous sliding mesh transmission required the gears to be spinning at the same speed when engaged. The W125 made its first competitive outing in May at the 1937 Tripoli Grand Prix with Mercedes-Benz entering four cars.
German Hermann Lang won his first Grand Prix motor race to give the W125 a victory on its début and provide Mercedes with their first victory over rivals Auto Union since May 1936. The next race was held at the AVUS motor-racing circuit in Germany, a 12-mile long circuit consisting of two long straights of 6 miles length joined at either end by a curve; as such, it was possible for a car to reach its top speed. Mercedes entered two W125 cars, a streamliner, modified from the original design to increase its top speed on the straights and a standard car driven by Richard Seaman in case of problems with the streamliner; the streamliner had a top speed 25 km/h faster than the regular car. On lap three of the race, the streamliner retired. Seaman's regular W125 finished in fifth position. At the Eifelrennen held at the Nürburgring circuit, Mercedes entered five W125's, including one driven by Christian Kautz fitted with the new suction carburettor supercharger system. Kautz finished in ninth, while teammates Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch finished in
Auto Union AG, was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony. It is the immediate predecessor of Audi; as well as acting as an umbrella firm for its four constituent brands, Auto Union is known for its racing team. The Silver Arrows of the two German teams dominated not only GP car racing from 1934 onwards but set records that would take decades to beat, such as the fastest speed attained on a public road. After being reduced to near ruin in the aftermath of World War II, Auto Union was re-founded in Ingolstadt, Bavaria in 1949 evolving into the modern day Audi company following its takeover by Volkswagen in 1964 and merger with NSU Motorenwerke in 1969; the current corporate entity which bears the Auto Union name – Auto Union GmbH – was founded in 1985 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG. The company's distinctive logo, of four interlocking rings to represent the original four members of the Auto Union, survives as the logo of Audi.
Auto Union was formed in Germany in 1932 merging: Zschopauer Motorenwerke J. S. Rasmussen founded by Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen in 1916, it branched out into motorcycles, front-drive two-stroke cars built at Audi works in Zwickau since 1931. Horch – founded 1904 by August Horch in Zwickau, it built cars starting from straight-twin engines to luxury models with V8- and V12 engines. Audi – because of disputes with the CFO, August Horch in 1909 left his namesake enterprise and founded Audi across town, building inline-four-, six- and eight-cylinder-engined cars. In 1928 Audi became a subsidiary of Zschopauer Motorenwerke. Wanderer – founded in 1911, with small four-cylinder cars and a more luxurious straight-6 built in Siegmar In August 1928, the owner of DKW, acquired a majority ownership of Audiwerke AG. In the same year, Rasmussen bought the remains of the US automobile manufacturer Rickenbacker, including the manufacturing equipment for eight- and six-cylinder engines; these engines were used in Audi Audi Imperator and Audi Dresden models.
At the same time, six-cylinder and four-cylinder models were manufactured. In 1930 the Saxony Regional Bank, which had financed Rasmussen's business expansion in the 1920s, installed Richard Bruhn on the board of Audiwerke AG, there followed a brutal pruning and rationalization of the various auto-businesses that Rasmussen had accumulated; the outcome was the founding in Summer 1932 of Auto Union AG with just four component businesses, being Zschopauer Motorenwerke with its brand DKW, Audi and the car producing piece of Wanderer, brought together under the umbrella of single shareholder company Auto Union. Although all four brands continued to sell cars under their own names and brands, the technological development became more centralized, with some Audi models employing engines by Horch or Wanderer. Auto Union chairman, Baron von Oertzen, wanted a showpiece project to announce the new brand. At the 1933 Berlin Motor Show, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced two new programs: The people's car: a project that became the KdF car A state-sponsored motor racing programme: to develop a "high speed German automotive industry," the foundation of which would be an annual sum of 500,000 Reichsmark At fellow director's Adolf Rosenberger insistence, von Oertzen met with Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who had done work for him before, developed his own P-Wagen project racing car based on the new 750 kg formula.
German racing driver Hans Stuck Sr. had met Hitler before he became Chancellor, not being able to gain a seat at Mercedes, accepted the invitation of Rosenberger to join him, von Oertzen, Porsche in approaching the Chancellor. In a meeting in the Reich Chancellory, Hitler agreed with Porsche that for the glory of Germany, it would be better for two companies to develop the project, resulting in Hitler agreeing to pay ₤40,000 for the country's best racing car of 1934, as well as an annual stipend of 250,000 RM each for Mercedes and Auto Union; this annoyed Mercedes, who had developed their Mercedes-Benz W25, gratified, its racing program having financial difficulties since 1931. It resulted in a heated exchange both on and off the racing track between the two companies until World War II. Having garnered state funds, Auto Union bought Porsches Hochleistungsfahrzeugbau GmbH and hence the P-Wagen Project for 75,000 RM, relocating the company to Auto Unions Horch plant at Zwickau; the Auto Union racing cars types A to D were built as Grand Prix racing cars from 1934 to 1939.
They resembled the earlier Benz Tropfenwagen built in part by Rumpler engineers, The only Grand Prix racers to wear Auto Union's four-ringed logo, they were dominant in 1936. From 1935 to 1937, Auto Union cars car won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck Sr. and Achille Varzi. Much has been written about the difficult handling characteristics of this car, but its tremendous power and acceleration were undeniable – a driver could induce wheelspin at over 100 mph; the cars used supercharged piston engines. Rosemeyer would drive one arou
Maserati is an Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer established on 1 December 1914, in Bologna. The Maserati tagline is "Luxury and style cast in exclusive cars", the brand's mission statement is to "Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, effortless, signature sounding power"; the company's headquarters are now in Modena, its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian-American car giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and FCA's Italian predecessor Fiat S.p. A. since 1993. Maserati was associated with Ferrari S.p. A., owned by FCA until being spun off in 2015, but more it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo and Abarth. In May 2014, due to ambitious plans and product launches, Maserati sold a record of over 3,000 cars in one month; this caused them to increase production of the Ghibli models. In addition to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, Maserati offers the Maserati GranTurismo, the GranTurismo Convertible, has confirmed that it will be offering the Maserati Levante, the first Maserati SUV, in 2016, the Maserati Alfieri, a new 2+2 in 2016.
Maserati is placing a production output cap at 75,000 vehicles globally. The Maserati brothers, Bindo, Carlo and Ernesto, were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8, 16 cylinders; the trident logo of the Maserati car company is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna's Piazza Maggiore. In 1920, one of the Maserati brothers, artist Mario, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich, it was considered appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigour. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940, relocated the company headquarters to their home town of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, an 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer to do so; the war intervened and Maserati abandoned car making to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 town car for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler; this failed, the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars. Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, a former Fiat engineer with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experience, oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years.
With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best chassis to succeed in car racing; these new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O. S. C. A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCS; the famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced for Maserati for a number of years in the 1950s, producing a number of stunning victories including winning the world championship in 1957 in the 250F. Other racing projects in the 1950s were the 200S, 300S, 350S, 450S, followed in 1961 by the famous Tipo 61. Maserati retired from factory racing participation because of the Guidizzolo tragedy during the 1957 Mille Miglia, though they continued to build cars for privateers. Maserati became more focused on building road-going grand tourers; the 1957 3500 GT marked a turning point in the marque's history, as its first ground-up grand tourer design and first series produced car.
Production jumped from a dozen to a few hundreds cars a year. Chief engineer Giulio Alfieri took charge of the project, turned the 3.5 L inline six from the 350S into a road-going engine. Launched with a Carrozzeria Touring 2+2 coupé aluminium body over superleggera structure, a steel-bodied short wheelbase Vignale 3500 GT Convertibile open top version followed in 1960; the 3500 GT's success, with over 2200 made, was critical to Maserati's survival in the years following withdrawal from racing. The 3500 GT provided the underpinnings for the small-volume V8-engined 5000 GT, another seminal car for Maserati. Born from the Shah of Persia's whim of owning a road car powered by the Maserati 450S racing engine, it became one of the fastest and most expensive cars of its days; the third to the thirty-fourth and last example produced were powered by Maserati's first purely road-going V8 engine design. In 1962, the 3500 GT evolved into the Sebring, bodied by Vignale and based on the Convertibile chassis.
Next came the two-seater Mistral coupé in 1963 and Spider in 1964, both six-cylinder powered and styled by Pietro Frua. In 1963, the company's first saloon arrived, the Quattroporte styled by Frua. If the 500
1948 Monaco Grand Prix
The 1948 Monaco Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race, held in Monte Carlo on 16 May 1948. The first event under a new formula, 1½ litres supercharged or 4½ litres aspirated, it featured a motley crowd of marques. Jean-Pierre Wimille's 1,430 cc Simca-Gordini took an early lead, but was overwhelmed by the Maserati 4CLs of Giuseppe Farina and Luigi Villoresi. Farina would take the win. Kettlewell, Mike. "Monaco: Road Racing on the Riviera", in Northey, editor. World of Automobiles, Volume 12, pp. 1381–4. London: Orbis, 1974