• French Grand Prix 1950

French Grand Prix 1950

Martin Williamson

After a fortnight's rest the French Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the championship season, took place at Reims, the fifth time the race had been held at the venue.

Nineteen drivers were on the grid with the Alfa Romeo trio dominating yet again - Juan Manual Fangio taking pole in 2:30.6, 1.9 seconds ahead of Nino Farina and 4.1 seconds ahead of Luigi Fagioli. And Ferrari, who had been the only serious challenger all year, entered only one car, that of Peter Whitehead, opting to field their big guns in the accompanying Formula Two race. That virtually meant the only question was the order in which the Alfas would finish.

Farina took the lead for the first sixteen laps of the race, but fuel-feed problems saw him drop back through the field, and although he climbed back to third, in the end he limped home nine laps behind the winner.

That left Fangio and Fagioli to battle it out, and Fangio cruised home almost half-a-minute ahead with Whitehead in third, a distant three laps back.

The result put Fangio in the driving seat for the inaugural drivers' title going into the final grand prix two months later.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA

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Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA Martin Williamson, who grew up in the era of James Hunt, Niki Lauda and sideburns, became managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group in 2007 after spells with Sky Sports, Sportal and Cricinfo