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1938 European Championship


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#1 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 11:47

In the past we have spent much time and many electrons on the intricacies of - particularly - the 1939 and 1935 European Championships.

 

1938 seemed pretty much done and dusted, with only the usual minor discrepancies about points for distance covered for the minor players. No dispute about Caracciola's title. MB drivers 1-2-3-4 in the order Caracciola, von Brauchitsch, Lang, Seaman.

 

However, the English press of the time throws up an interesting discrepancy.

 

When Dick Seaman's engagement was officially announced on September 20th (Dick put notices in The Times and Daily Telegraph) several national daily and local evening papers reported it and also included a statement to the effect that the CSI had declared him to be 'the second racing driver of Europe' behind Caracciola.

 

Realistically, there is only one way this could work, which is to completely ignore the somewhat farcical French Grand Prix: a 'best three of four' solution still leaves von Brauchitsch second on nine points and promotes Seaman to third on ten.

 

This is where it gets interesting - or confusing. The only published source I have from the right time is the Swiss Automobil Revue i/d September 16th, which - as part of a review of the Italian GP - says that Caracciola had won the title with von Brauchitsch second - but with no scores quoted.

 

However the CSI did not actually meet until September 23rd. I have several reports of that meeting, which was intended (as usual) to discuss next year's calendar but also covered possible alterations to the Formula. None of them mentions confirmation of the European Champion.

 

So - had the CSI already announced it? And if so, had they really ignored the French GP?

 

 



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:07

The plot thickens ... I have found versions of this text in four English and Scottish regional daily papers (and in the Irish Independent), all dated Friday September 16th 1938. This - from the Western Daily Press & Bristol Mirror - appears to be the most complete, since it is both datelined 'Paris, Thursday' and credited to the Press Association:

 

WDP%2019380916.jpg

 

On the same day, this slightly erroneous text appeared in the Luxemburger Wort. Although it claims (incorrectly) that Caracciola had won the French GP, it also seems to place Seaman second.

 

www.eluxemburgensia.lu%202014-7-20%2012%

 

So far, this is the only non-English language source I've found. I've checked all the obvious places like Gallica, ANNO, Biblioteca dello Sport, La Stampa, Freiburger Zeitung and various Swiss archives - plus quite a few less obvious ones too! Unfortunately, this was at the time the Sudeten crisis was unfolding: the big motor sporting news was the duel on the salt between Eyston and Cobb, plus Campbell at the Halwilsee, so one way or the other this announcement may have been squeezed out.



#3 uechtel

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:07

I can think of two possible explanations

 

1. An errouneus report of the news agency spread over British newspapers

2. Like 1935 the French GP was held as Grande Epreuve, but nevertheless not counting towards the championship. In this case the error would be made by other journalists cocnluding that any GE would automatically be a EC event.



#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:01

FWIW, in his Seaman biography Chris Nixon wrote:

... the four Grandes Epreuves had all been won by a different driver (French - von Brauchitsch; German - Seaman; Swiss - Caracciola and Italian - Nuvolari) but Caracciola had done better, just, in the other races to win the European Championship (for the third time) by just one point from von Brauchitsch. Seaman was third, a fine effort, considering he had not raced in the French GP.


He didn't specify his sources.

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:24

I can think of two possible explanations

 

1. An errouneus report of the news agency spread over British newspapers

 

 

Yes, I considered that. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the Press Association got it wrong: the phrasing of all the pieces in British papers is all - to a greater or lesser extent - verbatim as above. I've since found other instances of this claim too: it's sometimes mentioned in end-of-year reviews of motoring or sport.

 

However, how do we explain Luxemburger Wort apparently coming up with the same finishing order on the same day? They may have used PA as a source, but it seems unlikely. I've looked at other neutral - or at least less censored - sources too, but that's the only one I've found (so far).

 

As I mentioned, it was a big news week. I can think of several reasons why the French press wouldn't mention it, of course. The Italians too. In Germany it would presumably have to be filtered via the NSKK before publication: on ANNO there is virtually no mention of Cobb and Eyston, for example, although the French and Italian press were full of the story.



#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:41

FWIW, in his Seaman biography Chris Nixon wrote:

 

... the four Grandes Epreuves had all been won by a different driver (French - von Brauchitsch; German - Seaman; Swiss - Caracciola and Italian - Nuvolari) but Caracciola had done better, just, in the other races to win the European Championship (for the third time) by just one point from von Brauchitsch. Seaman was third, a fine effort, considering he had not raced in the French GP.

He didn't specify his sources.

He seldom did. :well:

 

I can't see any consistent way of calculating it to give Caracciola winning by one point. Least of all with Seaman third.

 

It only works if Caracciola retains all his scores and each of von Brauchitsch, Seaman and Lang drops his worst score. Then you get:

Caracciola 8

von Brauchitsch 9

Seaman 10

Lang 12

 

Applying the same calculation puts Nuvolari, Stuck and Müller on 12 points too.



#7 ReWind

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 20:03

Although this ain't the place for fluff, how about a slightly changed points scheme?

1 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 4 for any other participant, 5 for any non-participant.

This gives:

2 2 1 3 =   8 = 1st: Caracciola

5 1 2 4 = 12 = 2nd: Seaman

1 4 3 4 = 12 = 3rd: v. Brauchitsch

5 4 4 1 = 14 = 4th: Nuvolari

5 4 4 2 = 15 = 5th: Farina

3 4 4 4 = 15 = 6th: Lang

5 3 4 4 = 16 = 7th: Stuck

5 4 4 4 = 17 = 8th: Müller

 

Problem is Lang falls behind Nuvolari and ends 5th or 6th.



#8 Simon Davis

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 15:40

Perhaps the clue is in the mistake quoted in the Luxemburger Wort? If it was believed that Caracciola had won the French Grand Prix, then maybe the entire results list for that race was wrong? What if the Swiss Grand Prix results (the race that Caracciola did win) were duplicated in error? Seaman would lose a costly 8 points and gain 2 points instead.

 

As a point of interest an article in the Österreichische Touring Zeitung (date unknown but clearly pre-1938 season) listed the following races for the 1938 European Championship (four of which subsequently did not take place on the Grand Prix calendar):-

  • Tunis Grand Prix
  • Tripoli Grand Prix
  • Eifelrennen
  • French Grand Prix
  • German Grand Prix
  • Monaco Grand Prix
  • Swiss Grand Prix
  • Italian Grand Prix
  • Masaryk Grand Prix
  • Donington Grand Prix


#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 16:41

 

Perhaps the clue is in the mistake quoted in the Luxemburger Wort? If it was believed that Caracciola had won the French Grand Prix, then maybe the entire results list for that race was wrong? What if the Swiss Grand Prix results (the race that Caracciola did win) were duplicated in error? Seaman would lose a costly 8 points and gain 2 points instead.

Interesting thought, Simon. But the British sources do seem to originate from the CSI via PA.

 


As a point of interest an article in the Österreichische Touring Zeitung (date unknown but clearly pre-1938 season) listed the following races for the 1938 European Championship (four of which subsequently did not take place on the Grand Prix calendar):-

  • Tunis Grand Prix
  • Tripoli Grand Prix
  • Eifelrennen
  • French Grand Prix
  • German Grand Prix
  • Monaco Grand Prix
  • Swiss Grand Prix
  • Italian Grand Prix
  • Masaryk Grand Prix
  • Donington Grand Prix

 

I've seen that list in other German-language sources. Notably the Swiss Automobil Revue, which reported it as a bit of 'kite-flying' by good old Adolf Hühnlein who wanted to expand the championship.



#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 23:17

Just found another citation of this - in the Manchester Guardian's report of the RAC celebratory dinner on September 27th, when Lt-Col Sealy-Clark "remarked that Seaman has recently been voted Europe's No. 2 driver (Herr Caracciola ranks as No 1), 'but to us he is Englands No 1', he added."



#11 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 04:29

The only way how Seaman could have been placed second in the 1938 European Championship is by receiving a different point score at the last of the four races counting, which was the 60-lap Italian Grand Prix on September 11, where Seaman retired early.  But how early, that seems to be the question -before completing 3/4 race distance or after finishing that range- 7 points or 4 points?

 

If Seaman completed less than 16 laps before his retirement, he received 7 points (completed less than 3/4 distance). [sources = Nixon, Sheldon, Snellman]

If Seaman completed 16 laps or more, he received 4 points (completed 3/4 distance). [sources = Motor Sport, Prince Chula  p149]

The 3 points loss lowered Seaman's total point score to 15, which was equal to von Brauchitsch's score, so they both shared 2nd place.

 

Motor Sport reported that Seaman stopped on lap 16 but "was completing another lap slowly when he found that his machine was in flames.  He drove towards some offficials, who obviously wished he hadn't, for they did nothing, and after some palpitating minutes the fire went out of [?] its own accord."

AUTOMOBIL-REVUE reported that Seaman retired without mentioning the lap, before the text proceeded describing other action on lap 17.  Il Littoriale,  DDAC-Motorwelt, MOTOR und SPORT and AAZ(D) did not mention Seaman's time of retirement.

 

What were the comments found inside Autocar and MOTOR?  :smoking:


Edited by Hans Etzrodt, 01 February 2015 - 04:34.


#12 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:43

The Autocar (September 23rd) has only a brief report. It says that Seaman retired on the sixteenth lap.

The issue of September 30th contains a report of the RAC dinner. It doesn't report Sealy Clarke's remarks about the Championship but does say that von Brauchitsch, Lang, Uhlenhaut and Neubauer were all there.

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 12:31

I assumed Sheldon would have checked the British weeklies years ago. :)

 

Although the 7/6 point split would be at the end of lap 15, surely, Hans? If - as Motor Sport and Autocar suggest - he had started his sixteenth lap (even if he didn't complete it) then he was over quarter-distance. I've found one mention of him in the report in L'Intransigeant:

Brauchitsch et Taruffi abondonnent a leur{s] stand[s] de revitaillement, tandis que Seaman s'arrete a la suite d'accident mecanique sur le circuit.

 

Brauchitsch and Taruffi retire at their pits, while Seaman stops on the circuit due to a mechanical mishap.

 

(And, for any grammatical pedants, the report is written in the present tense! I added the bits in square brackets, since it was no doubt an error in transcription.)

 

No mention of fire, although it is recorded in La Stampa. Wiener Neueste Nachrichten and Freiburger Sportblatt also mention his retirement due to Motorschaden - but with no lap given, apart from the fact that it was before the twentieth.

 

Most German - and Swiss - sources that reported the race record that Caracciola was European Champion but give no further details in their Monday September 12th editions. We then have silence on the matter until the 16th when there is that flurry of reports in the British and Luxembourg daily press - I'm inclined to ignore Automobil Revue, since it probably went to press before whatever announcement was made by the CSI.

 

So, if we assume Seaman did complete one quarter of the full distance, that gives us a final table as follows:

 

Caracciola 8pts

von Brauchitsch 15pts

Lang 17pts

Seaman 17pts


Edited by Vitesse2, 01 February 2015 - 15:53.
Brain fade ...


#14 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 16:57

If Seaman had been given 4 points for finishing 3/4 distance at the Italian GP.

 

French GP --- German GP --- Swiss GP --- Italian GP --- TOTAL

.....8.....................1.......................2..................4..................15......Seaman

.....1.....................5.......................3..................6..................15......Brauchitsch



#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 17:10

Just out of interest I took a look at re-casting the table using Langlois' proposed maximum points system. Caracciola is still champion, with 26 points, but Seaman moves up to second with 17 points and von Brauchitsch is third with 16. Unfortunately, that falls at the final fence, due to Nuvolari's win in Italy, which means he out-scores Lang by 10 points to 7.

 

However, using the original 1950 World Championship scoring of 8-6-4-3-2 with a point for fastest lap (Seaman in Germany and Switzerland, Lang in France and Italy), we get this:

 

Caracciola 24

Seaman 17

von Brauchitsch 14

Lang 9

Nuvolari 8

Farina 8

Stuck 7

Carrière 3

Müller 3

Dreyfus 2

Ghersi 2

 



#16 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 20:32

:clap: :clap: :clap: Vitesse2 :clap: :clap: :clap: -  another feather on your hat for correcting the order in the 1938 European Championship and elevating your Landsmann to second place after Roger Clark's confirmation which he found in the Autocar.

 

That still needs sorting out the points scored by Caracciola (8 -12 or 13) and others like Nuvolari and Lang.  :cool:



#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 21:30

:clap: :clap: :clap: Vitesse2 :clap: :clap: :clap: -  another feather on your hat for correcting the order in the 1938 European Championship and elevating your Landsmann to second place after Roger Clark's confirmation which he found in the Autocar.

 

That still needs sorting out the points scored by Caracciola (8 -12 or 13) and others like Nuvolari and Lang.  :cool:

Hans, I would love to accept your congratulations, but I'm afraid you're wrong. Seaman only completed one quarter distance, not three quarters. So his points for the race only are only reduced by one - from 7 to 6 - on the minimum points system:

 

This is the corrected total, with von Brauchitsch still second, but with Seaman now joint third on 17 points with Lang. Given that his overall results were better than Lang's - a win and a second place as against no wins and one third place - it's easy to argue in favour of him being awarded third place in the championship, especially when you consider Langlois' proposals which were circulated the following July.

So, if we assume Seaman did complete one quarter of the full distance, that gives us a final table as follows:

 

Caracciola 8pts

von Brauchitsch 15pts

Lang 17pts

Seaman 17pts

However - and I've given this much thought today - I cannot come up with a valid reason to alter von Brauchitsch's score to equal Seaman's and Lang's. He had a win and a third place, so if they were equal on points - and using the same logic - Seaman would be placed ahead of him too. And thus giving the order Caracciola-Seaman-von Brauchitsch-Lang as quoted in the British and Luxembourg papers.

 

Well - I can suggest one, I suppose. But it's a guess, supported by no evidence. That would be that the race regulations did not allow drivers to take over another car after they had retired their own - meaning von Brauchitsch might have been disqualified, effectively becoming (like Trossi) a non-starter and scoring 8 points. This would take his total to 17, alongside Seaman and Lang. Furmanik had had no qualms about disqualifying von Brauchitsch for a push start in the Coppa Ciano, so they were at least being consistent in disqualifying Trossi for assistance outside the pits.



#18 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 01:02

After my blooper  :o , I can only confirm that AUTOMOBIL-REVUE in #75 p3 confirmed Caracciola with 12 points ahead of Brauchitsch with 15 points.

Motor und Sport in #40 p27 reports Caracciola victorious with 12 points, v. Brauchitsch 15, Nuvolari and Seaman each 18 points, Lang 19, Stuck 20, H.P. Mueller 21, Dreyfus 24 and Wimille 26. 

 

I have the complete text from those magazines in my MS Word files but my copy/paste function does not transfer my text to this page or forum. :confused:



#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 09:55

Well, that serves only to confuse! :lol: Although Simon's post above does provide (vaguely) possible clues. If we apply a minimum points system scored 1-2-3-4-5, based on the four established races plus the Tripoli GP, the Coppa Acerbo, the Coppa Ciano and the Donington GP:

 

Caracciola's total of 12 can be arrived at by including his results in theTripoli GP, Coppa Ciano and Coppa Acerbo.

 

Von Brauchitsch's 15 is more problematic - unless you ignore his disqualification in the Coppa Acerbo and award him first place. Plus three points for his shared drive in Italy.

 

As for the rest ... :confused: :confused: :confused: I can only assume it's yet another bit of Hühnlein invention. :well:

 

(Coincidentally, if you apply the maximum points system used the Deutsche Straßenmeisterschaft to the four established races, Caracciola's total is also 12 points!)



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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 10:40

Just found another inconsistency in the Italian GP. Motor Sport's report is - AFAIK - the only source of the 'handed the car back to Caracciola' story. However, Corrado Filippini's report in Il Littoriale makes no mention of this and he actually praises "il tenace Brauchitsch", who is mentioned as still being in the car on lap 55. Aldo Farinelli's report in La Stampa doesn't say Caracciola was back in the car either.

 

We know Caracciola was unwell later in the month - his poor health was given as the reason he didn't appear at Donington either at the end of September or at the re-arranged race in October - so perhaps Motor Sport was wrong? The report is unsigned, but if it was by 'Auslander' I've found him to be less than reliable in the past.



#21 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 17:56

Vitesse2 - your theory of second place for Dick Seaman at the 1938 European Championship sounds great.  We have seen that it is just someone's opinion which cannot be supported with facts.  So... you are beating a dead horse.



#22 ensign14

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 18:27

Does also say "declared", rather than getting it via points.  Perhaps some sort of special award?



#23 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 01:20

Nowhere, as yet, have I seen anywhere an accurate account of the 1938 European Championship.  It appears to me that this thread under the guidance of Vitesse2 with you lads has the great opportunity to straighten out the 1938 European Championship, I mean the individual scores.  Again we are being helped here with good information found in the Swiss AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, which also bailed us out during our discussions about the 1935 and 1939 European Championships.  The following is an excerpt from the September 6, 1938 A.-R. #72 p8, reporting about the 1938 European Championship regulations and standings in much detail, just days before the last race, the Italian Grand Prix.

 

Since my copy/past function does not work in this forum, I limit myself by posting only the point scores mentioned, so you folks just have to add the points from the last race to obtain the total score.  I also apologize since I don't know how to type "umlauts", so "ue" stands for the German "u" umlaut.

 

French GP --- German GP --- Swiss GP --- Total points

.......1.....................4......................3....................8.............Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)

.......2.....................5......................1....................8.............Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)

.......8.....................1......................2...................11............Seaman (Mercedes-Benz)

.......3.....................5......................7...................15............Lang (Mercedes-Benz)

.......8.....................3......................4...................15............Stuck (Auto Union)

.......8.....................4......................4...................16............Dreyfus (Delahaye)

.......8.....................5......................4...................17............Mueller (Auto Union)

.......8.....................7......................4...................19............Nuvolari (Auto Union)

.......8.....................7......................4...................19............Farina (Alfa Romeo)

.......8.....................7......................4...................19............Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)

.......7.....................8......................4...................19............Wimille  (Bugatti & Alfa Romeo)

.......7.....................5......................8...................20............Hasse (Auto Union)

.......7.....................8......................6...................21............Kautz (Auto Union)



#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 05:01

Hans, can you copy and paste this?

ä ë ï ö ü

Or do a search on your computer for the 'character map' and then put a shortcut on your screen for that.

Copy and paste works on this forum for me okay.

#25 Tim Murray

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 06:00

Hans, have you tried toggling the 'light switch' icon at the top left of the reply box? This turns the format from WYSIWYG to a much more basic format which is much easier to work with. Doing this is the only way I and many others here can insert text and photos into our posts. This problem arrived with the software 'upgrade' in August 2013, and it appears that there is no intention ever to resolve it. :well:

#26 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 07:49

Does also say "declared", rather than getting it via points.  Perhaps some sort of special award?

The French verb formation 'déclarer que' is more often used in the English sense of 'announces that ..', rather than 'declares that ..'



#27 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:16

Tim - many thanks for your advise. :D
As you can see the copy/paste method works for me now... €äëöüß


Edited by Hans Etzrodt, 03 February 2015 - 08:17.


#28 Tim Murray

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:31

Thanks Hans - I'm glad it solved your problem. :up:

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 14:42

Having now looked at the page Hans referenced, the first thing which strikes me is that the table is not presented in the way one would expect. I only have a low-res scan of the page, so posting it would be pointless. The way the magazine shows it is as follows:

 

French GP --- German GP --- Swiss GP --- Total points

.......1.....................4......................3....................8.............Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)

.......2.....................5......................1....................8.............Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)

.......3.....................5......................7...................15............Lang (Mercedes-Benz)

Es folgen mit nur 2 gefahren Rennen:

.......--....................1......................2..........Seaman (Mercedes-Benz)

.......--....................3......................4..........Stuck (Auto Union)

.......--....................4......................4..........Dreyfus (Delahaye)

.......--....................5......................4..........Mueller (Auto Union)

.......--....................7......................4..........Nuvolari (Auto Union)

.......--....................7......................4..........Farina (Alfa Romeo)

.......--....................7......................4..........Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)

.......7....................--......................4..........Wimille  (Bugatti & Alfa Romeo)

.......7....................--......................6..........Kautz (Auto Union)

.......7....................5......................--..........Hasse (Auto Union)

 

The implication from this must surely be that the '8 points for non-starters' rule had been scrapped, substituted by a rule that to be eligible for the title drivers had to start in every race? The AR text on the page makes no mention of the '8-point rule' and for those with long memories (or of an anorak disposition :blush: :lol: ) it will be recalled that the tables which they published before the 1939 Swiss GP also omitted drivers who hadn't completed all three races up to that point.

 

The points allocation is also different to the method described by Nixon:

 

1-2-3-4 for the first four finishers. (Nixon 1-2-3 only)

4 for completing 50% of race distance (Nixon 75%)

5 for completing 33% of race distance (Nixon 50%)

6 for completing 25% of race distance (Nixon 25%)

7 all other starters

 

Those point allocations were also used by AR in 1939.

 

A rule specifying that drivers had to take part in every event might also explain why AR mentioned only Caracciola and von Brauchitsch in their post-Italy review.

 

So, if the rules were different in 1937 and 1938, why would it have been changed? A theory: in 1937 Caracciola had won the title despite not racing in Belgium - might the Belgians and/or others have lobbied for a change? In both 1935 and 1936 the champions - Caracciola and Rosemeyer - had taken part in every race.



#30 uechtel

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 15:14

And what effect would it have if the rule was still like that in 1939?



#31 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 15:36

And what effect would it have if the rule was still like that in 1939?

:lol: None of any consequence on the leading players.

 

However, it is also worth noting that in September 1937 AR was querying whether there was actually a European Championship in force for that year (issue 75 p3 & 76 p3). They did eventually publish the leading positions after the AIACR congress in October - allocating 13 points to Caracciola, which tallies with an 8-point score from Belgium. Lang's quoted 19 also includes 8 for his non-start at Monaco.



#32 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 17:14

Okay, I think I see what's going on here. :) The discrepancies between the table which is on Golden Era and the AR one are connected to shared drives.

 

It appears there is a rule - designed to stop car swapping and thus preventing teams favouring a driver whose car has retired or is ailing - which states that a driver who takes over another car is automatically allocated an unalterable point score - presumably on the grounds that this is a fresh start. If this occurs after half-distance, he receives seven points. If it's before half-distance he receives five points. His original score is scrapped.

 

Meanwhile, the points for finishing position are allocated to the original driver, who also incurs a penalty - one point if he surrenders his car after half-distance or three points if he surrenders it before half-distance. 7+1=8. 5+3=8.  ;)

 

In Germany, Nuvolari brought Müller's car home in fourth place. The AR table records that Nuvolari scored 7 points, Müller 5 (4+1).

In Germany, Lang brought Caracciola's car home in second place. The AR table records that Lang scored 5 points, Caracciola 5 (2+3).

In Italy, von Brauchitsch brought Caracciola's car home in third place. The AR table records that von Brauchitsch scored 7 points, Caracciola 4 (3+1).

 

The only other shared drives were in Switzerland, where Bäumer took over Lang's car after ten laps and brought it home tenth. Lang was allocated 7 points, by AR, but I'm certain it should be 5. 'Bira' also drove Teagno's car there, finishing fourteenth, but the AR tables ignore drivers who only took part in one race.

.

Correction: the after half-distance score for the driver taking over is six. Before half-distance it's five. AR's figure for Nuvolari in Germany is therefore wrong.



#33 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 19:25

There's also one query within AR's data. No argument with the French GP, but they show 5 points for Hasse in Germany. Leif's result shows him as having completed 15 laps of 22, which is correct on Nixon's scoring - but not on their own, which should allocate him 4.

 

There's not enough evidence to work out which they used for the Swiss GP though. :well:



#34 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 19:38

The point scoring system for the European Championship went from 1 to 8 and was consistent from 1935 to 1939.
8 points were allocated to all drivers that did not start in one of the events counting towards the championship.

#35 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 20:18

Okay, assuming Motor und Sport's list is correct, then Automobil Revue's scoring system in the article is wrong. They have allocated 4 points to Wimille in Switzerland, but he must score six points in Italy, since he completed more than 25% but less than 33% (or 50%) of the distance. AR's post-Switzerland table shows him with 11 (effectively 19) points, but Motor und Sport has him on 26. Therefore his score in Switzerland must have been 5, not 4. He had completed more than 75% of that race, so the Nixon figures must be correct.

 

I think there's still a minor discrepancy on the Nuvolari/Müller scores, but it's dinner time ...



#36 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 23:10

After further work on this, it appears that there are minor errors in both the AR and M&S tables, affecting the scores for Lang, Nuvolari and Wimille. Plus the error on Seaman's score in Italy as noted above. This does affect the final order of the championship: Seaman is in third place, Lang fourth, Nuvolari fifth, Stuck sixth and Müller and Farina joint seventh. I've uploaded the whole thing as an Excel spreadsheet:

 

https://dl.dropboxus...480838/1938.xml

 

Or in Open Document format:

 

https://dl.dropboxus...480838/1938.ods

 

Feel free to query or criticise!



#37 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 09:08

cannot read either



#38 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 09:24

Right, bringing a fresh mind to it this morning, I think I've finally cracked it.

 

The car sharing works out like this: there are seven 'penalty' points for a driver change. If a driver hands over his car before half-distance, he is allocated three penalty points. After half-distance he is allocated one penalty point.

 

Both drivers receive the points for where the car finished, with some or all the balance of the seven penalty points being allocated to the relieving driver - up to a maximum of seven.

 

A driver who hands over his car to a reserve who did not take the original start receives the points he had earned up to the point where he relinquished the car. Whether the reserve driver receives any points is unclear: it seems likely they would score either 8 as a non-starter or (more probably) 7 as a starter. If so, then 'Bira' and Bäumer need to be added to the scorers in Switzerland.
 

I've updated the versions linked above, so if anyone downloaded them before about 09.20 GMT, they've changed! Here's a link to a version in the older Excel .xls format, which I hope will work for Hans:

 

https://dl.dropboxus...480838/1938.xls

 

If you can't read that one either, Hans, you will need to download and install Excel Viewer from Microsoft. :)



#39 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 11:24

Contrary to what AR said, going into the Italian GP, three drivers had a chance of the title - Caracciola, von Brauchitsch (both on 8 points) and Seaman (11 points). Lang can be discounted, since he already had 15 points, so even a win would mean he was out of the equation unless both Caracciola and von Brauchitsch non-started. Even then, he'd be relying on a tie-breaker.

Seaman needed to win - unless both his rivals retired very early. If they both went out before lap 15 he needed only to finish in the first three places. There was also the possibility of a tie with Caracciola if Seaman finished second behind anyone except von Brauchitsch and Rudi retired before lap 30.

The two Germans of course had the best chance. However, fortunes changed during the race. Seaman's early retirement gave him a total of seventeen points, more or less guaranteeing him third place in the championship.

When von Brauchitsch retired, that took his points total to fourteen and guaranteed him second place. Lang appears to have been told to speed up to try to catch and break Nuvolari, but blew up his own car instead.

Meanwhile, Caracciola is suffering with burnt feet. To guarantee staying ahead of von Brauchitsch in the championship he has to complete 30 laps, thus scoring five points. He duly does this and then pulls in to the pits - by which time the only other Mercedes still running is Lang's - shortly to retire.

But it's important to note that if Caracciola had handed his car over before half-distance the scenario would have changed. He would have received three penalty points and his fate would also have been at the mercy of whoever took over the car.

Especially if that driver is von Brauchitsch, since if the car finishes fourth or lower and/or has completed 45 laps, that absolutely guarantees that the two German drivers will finish tied on points. It's actually against von Brauchitsch's interests to finish better than fourth and once he completes 45 laps he can blow the thing up with no difference to that outcome. If he gets the car into the first three, he hands the title to Rudi. Seaman can no longer overhaul either of them - even if he substitutes for Caracciola. But if does that and he can't get the car into first or second position - von Brauchitsch is champion!

So, as soon as he entered the 31st lap, Caracciola was champion.

 

It would be fascinating to know whether von Brauchitsch volunteered or was ordered to take over Caracciola's car. His own chance of the title had now gone and by taking it over he would actually worsen his points score, since he would now score seven rather than six! Finishing first, second or third would not improve his points score - but it would improve Caracciola's! Which is why Caracciola's final score is twelve (3 for third place plus 1 penalty) rather than thirteen (5 for completing 50%).

 
 


Edited by Vitesse2, 05 February 2015 - 09:43.
Last two sentences modified to clarify why Caracciola's score changed.


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#40 uechtel

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 07:48

cannot read either

First I get an error message, but it asks me whether I trust the source and want to convert it into excel. When I click ok the result is fine.



#41 uechtel

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 08:02

A very interesting job of investigation and logic combination!

 

So, as soon as he entered the 31st lap, Caracciola was champion.

 

It would be fascinating to know whether von Brauchitsch volunteered or was ordered to take over Caracciola's car. His own chance of the title had now gone and by taking it over he would actually worsen his points score, since he would now score seven rather than six! Finishing first or second would not improve his points score - but it would improve Caracciola's!
 

The question is whether the protagonists themselves were aware of all the mathematical "options" of this situation. I doubt this to a certain degree. They may have made some "basic" calculations, like which result will bring the title to which driver (when there are no changes), but I don´t think they ever got to deep into sophisticated mathematics, in particular as the title was sure for a German Mercedes driver anyway (they may have not even been aware of Seamans theroetical chances). After all their job was driving races. The championship title may have had some importance, nevertheless the main goal was to achieve the best possible result for the team. I understand as long as there was a car running in "competitive" position it would always be handed over to the driver with the best chances for a win.



#42 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:32

I'm pretty sure Neubauer would have known exactly what was going on! And very possibly Caracciola too - perhaps via pit signals. Compare the 1939 Swiss GP, where Rudi chased down Lang for no apparent reason apart from pipping him to the title on the proposed maximum score system and was pushing him very hard at the end - and where we have Lang's self-contradictory statements in his autobiography and to Nixon as to whether he was signalled to slow down. Not to mention Caracciola's casual dismissal of the race in just two lines in his autobiography: maybe fifteen years on he still held a grudge?

 

In 1939 MB only attempted one driver swap - Lang for Brendel in Germany. That was in the first quarter of the race, so under the minimum points system Lang already had seven points if he simply retired. But if he got Brendel's car into first or second place he could improve that to five or six. Any other outcome - third place, any finish or a second retirement - the same seven points. So, nothing to lose and perhaps a little to gain. Under the then-proposed maximum points system which MB preferred he would score 75% of the points for his finishing position - rather than just one for starting and retiring - and would thus gain if he finished in any of the first five places: 7½ for first, 4½ for second, 3¾ for third, 3 for fourth or 1½ for fifth. Of course, thanks to Brendel buggering everything up and parking his car in a ditch, the swap didn't happen.



#43 uechtel

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 16:15

But if Neubauer did favour Caracciola, as you say in your first sentence, then why should they have given Lang the occasion to improve his score by allowing him to take over Brendel´s car? Isn´t that a contradiction?

 

And couldn´t we explain Caracciola chasing Lang also simply by the main reason, that he as nominal No. 1 driver simply wanted to get the victory in the race? There were other examples of team orders in previous years where no championship title was at stake.



#44 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 17:09

But if Neubauer did favour Caracciola, as you say in your first sentence, then why should they have given Lang the occasion to improve his score by allowing him to take over Brendel´s car? Isn´t that a contradiction?

I think you're introducing a complication where none exists. :) In Italy in 1938 Lang was still running, but had no chance of the title. It was all about Caracciola and von Brauchitsch. It's beyond doubt that Neubauer and Caracciola were very good friends. I'm not so sure about Don Alfredo's feelings for Manfred.

 

In Germany in 1939 Lang had scorched away into the lead, only to pit at the end of lap 2 with what he reckoned was an engine that was about to fail. The other three Mercedes were still running, but it's unlikely Neubauer could have acted quickly enough to stop either Caracciola or von Brauchitsch. And I can just imagine their reactions if they'd been told to hand their car over to a man they both regarded as a jumped-up mechanic! (Not to mention Caracciola's paranoia about Lang.) Brendel was a mere junior driver. Additionally MB had been expecting to run six cars - the loss of Seaman and one chassis in Belgium cut that to five and it appears that Hartmann was considered too inexperienced, so he had been demoted to reserve and his entry withdrawn. But after two laps, who knew what was going to happen? Lang was a multiple GP winner - Brendel was not. If I'd been Neubauer, I'd have done exactly the same thing - if only because Hühnlein would have demanded it.

And couldn´t we explain Caracciola chasing Lang also simply by the main reason, that he as nominal No. 1 driver simply wanted to get the victory in the race? There were other examples of team orders in previous years where no championship title was at stake.

Yes, of course we could. I don't necessarily give any credence to Lang's Swiss GP pit signalling story - without film or photographic evidence I don't think we can go one way or the other on it - but when Mercedes were sitting 1-2-3 in the race it seems very odd that Caracciola would suddenly pick up the pace and start lapping two or three seconds a lap faster, forcing Lang to up his game too and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap. Especially since he was der Regenmeister: the track was drying in the last third of the race so it would have made more sense for him to try to overhaul Lang (not great in the rain) in the earlier part of the race. Winning the race would have also won Caracciola the championship under Langlois' proposed rules - but he only reacted once it became clear that Müller was unbeatable under the minimum point rules.



#45 Michael Ferner

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 20:13

Modern thinking applied to the past. I'm sure that, back in the days, the boys just raced, and at the end of the year someone was proclaimed champion, and there would be some nodding and/or shaking of heads. Life goes on.

#46 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 20:38

Modern thinking applied to the past. I'm sure that, back in the days, the boys just raced, and at the end of the year someone was proclaimed champion, and there would be some nodding and/or shaking of heads. Life goes on.

Well, yes, Michael. But isn't that what historical research is all about? We know what happened - what we want to know is how and why. I might be over-embellishing or over-thinking it - but then again I might not. :)

 

And it seems obvious that the chaps in Stuttgart cared:

 

A92F28.jpg



#47 Michael Ferner

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 21:32

I just don't think anybody did any calculating of championship points in those days. Certainly not during the races!

#48 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 07:18

Modern thinking applied to the past. I'm sure that, back in the days, the boys just raced, and at the end of the year someone was proclaimed champion, and there would be some nodding and/or shaking of heads. Life goes on.

I think we know that this was true of the World Championship in the 50s and much of the 60s. It would be very interesting if it were different in the 30s.

#49 uechtel

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 13:11

I think you're introducing a complication where none exists. :) In Italy in 1938 Lang was still running, but had no chance of the title. It was all about Caracciola and von Brauchitsch. It's beyond doubt that Neubauer and Caracciola were very good friends. I'm not so sure about Don Alfredo's feelings for Manfred.

 

 

I always refer to the 1939 occasion, as you have introduced that as example. If you say Neubauer was aware (and also acting according to) the championship calculations in 1938 he certainly would have done that as well in 1939. You said Caracciola chased Lang for no apparent reason and I say, that one of the most obvious reasons could have been he simply wanted to win the race. IF Neubauer had wanted to influence with team orders in favour of Caracciola the most simple thing would have been not to allow Lang to take over Brendel´s car. Hope I could explain the chain of thinking better now.

 

In Germany in 1939 Lang had scorched away into the lead, only to pit at the end of lap 2 with what he reckoned was an engine that was about to fail. The other three Mercedes were still running, but it's unlikely Neubauer could have acted quickly enough to stop either Caracciola or von Brauchitsch. And I can just imagine their reactions if they'd been told to hand their car over to a man they both regarded as a jumped-up mechanic! (Not to mention Caracciola's paranoia about Lang.) Brendel was a mere junior driver. Additionally MB had been expecting to run six cars - the loss of Seaman and one chassis in Belgium cut that to five and it appears that Hartmann was considered too inexperienced, so he had been demoted to reserve and his entry withdrawn. But after two laps, who knew what was going to happen? Lang was a multiple GP winner - Brendel was not. If I'd been Neubauer, I'd have done exactly the same thing - if only because Hühnlein would have demanded it.

 

 

Sorry, here you are missing my point. I agree with you completely, forcing Caracciola or Brauchitsch to hand over to Lang would have caused riots, and would not have made sense if Neubauer had favoured Caracciola anyway. No, but rather than to allow Caracciola to speed up in the Swiss GP if he (Neubauer) really favoured Lang he simply could have forbidden Brendel to hand over the car to Lang, so he (Lang) would not have had a chance to improve his score.

 

Yes, of course we could. I don't necessarily give any credence to Lang's Swiss GP pit signalling story - without film or photographic evidence I don't think we can go one way or the other on it - but when Mercedes were sitting 1-2-3 in the race it seems very odd that Caracciola would suddenly pick up the pace and start lapping two or three seconds a lap faster, forcing Lang to up his game too and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap. Especially since he was der Regenmeister: the track was drying in the last third of the race so it would have made more sense for him to try to overhaul Lang (not great in the rain) in the earlier part of the race. Winning the race would have also won Caracciola the championship under Langlois' proposed rules - but he only reacted once it became clear that Müller was unbeatable under the minimum point rules.

 

Ok, that is a point, but still a lot of speculation and it´s still really hard for me to imagine they did such complex thinking under racing circumstances.



#50 uechtel

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 13:18

I think we know that this was true of the World Championship in the 50s and much of the 60s. It would be very interesting if it were different in the 30s.

Yes, but even in the fifties it seems that most people did not get too deep into the calculation details, otherwise the legend could not have occured, that Collins handed over his car to Fangio to prevent that Moss could become champion in 1956.

 

I think over the years the championship title gained more and more importance, in particular to the drivers, so that at one point they started to race for "results" rather than for simply winning a race. I don´t have that impression for racing in the thirties. There were other factors, that seem to have been more important, even for team orders, like the driver of which nationality is allowed to win in which country. Also there were internal rivalries like Lang agains Caracciola and von Brauchitsch, all this seems to have been more important than the championship title.