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1938 European Championship


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#51 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 16:49

Er, if all that was the case, why does Reuss record that the day before the 1939 Swiss GP the German press was specifically instructed not to indulge in any speculation about the European Championship? I've only found one German paper - Welt Blatt (Vienna) - which went against that. Even press coverage of Lang well after the event - in September and October - doesn't call him European Champion (but I've found the odd mention of it in 1940 and 1941 in Czech and Slovakian papers). Why did Lang call his 1943 autobiography Vom Rennmonteur zum Europameister? Caracciola's autobiography also dwells on his championships in some detail.

 

As for Caracciola having to think during the Swiss GP: he didn't. He had no chance of the title under the old system. His target in order to win the title under the maximum points system was simply to beat Lang - unless Müller won the race, which would have given the Auto Union driver the title under both systems. Once Müller completed 15 laps Lang couldn't win the title under the old system either. So one simple pre-arranged pit signal telling him that Müller had completed his 15th lap but was no danger otherwise and the gap to Lang would be all Rudi needed. Again, I'd point out that Lang wasn't particularly good on a wet track - he had been unable to pass Müller at Spa and had waved Caracciola and Seaman (both good drivers in the wet: Bremgarten 1938) through to chase him - so why didn't Caracciola start to press him until the last third of the race when the track was getting drier? But it could be that Lang actually went against team orders - photos of him after the race in Cimarosti's book suggest that he might just have had an almighty bollocking for not letting Caracciola past. He certainly doesn't look like a man who's just won a race!

 

Also, bear in mind regarding the 1939 German GP that at the time it wasn't considered as crucial a race as it looks in retrospect. The cancellation of the Italian GP had not yet been announced, so it was still apparently the third race of five. Only afterwards did it become the third of four. 

 

There is a contrary argument, of course. Which is that people forgot about the EC and it has come to be regarded as trivial or less important simply because they didn't understand it. Chula makes a similar point in his biography of Seaman - published in 1941. It would be another 11 years before a similar competition emerged. And as I pointed out above, in 1938 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.



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#52 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:29

To sort out the controversy of the 1938 point scores, it might be easier to understand if we look at one race at a time and sort out the problems at this one event until agreement is reached - if at all possible. Only thereafter discuss the following event.
Below are the tables of the four races. A.-R. = AUTOMOBIL-REVUE; Snellman = Golden Era. There was no points contradiction at the first race.

Please support your arguments with sources. Conjecture will be a dubious way to reach a valid conclusion.

1938 European Championship Point Scores

1938 French Grand Prix points
- Nixon --- Sheldon --- Snellman --- A.-R. ---- Vitesse2
.....-.................2..................2..............2................2..........Caracciola
.....-.................1..................1..............1................1..........Brauchitsch
.....-.................3..................3..............3................3..........Lang
.....8................8..................8..............8................8..........Seaman
.....8................8..................8..............8................8..........Stuck
.....8................8..................8..............8................8..........Nuvolari
.....-.................8..................8..............8................8..........Müller
.....-.................8..................8..............8................8..........Farina
.....-.................7..................7..............7................7..........Wimille
.....-.................7..................7..............7................7..........Kautz
.....-.................8..................8..............8................8..........Taruffi
.....-.................7..................7..............7................7..........Hasse

1938 German Grand Prix points
- Nixon ----- Sheldon --- Snellman -- A.-R. ---- Vitesse2
.....-..................2..................2..............5................5..........Caracciola........contradiction
.....-..................4..................5..............4................4..........Brauchitsch......contradiction
.....-..................4..................5..............5................5..........Lang..................contradiction
.....-..................1..................1..............1................1..........Seaman
.....-..................3..................3..............3................3..........Stuck
.....-..................7..................7..............7................7..........Nuvolari
.....-..................4..................4..............5................5..........Müller................contradiction
.....-..................7..................7..............7................7..........Farina
.....-..................8..................8..............8................8..........Wimille
.....-..................8..................8..............8................8..........Kautz
.....-..................7..................7..............7................7..........Taruffi
.....-..................4..................5..............5................5..........Hasse.................contradiction

1938 Swiss Grand Prix points
- Nixon ----- Sheldon --- Snellman -- A.-R. ---- Vitesse2
.....-..................1..................1..............1................1..........Caracciola
.....-..................3..................3..............3................3..........Brauchitsch
.....-..................4..................4..............7................7..........Lang........contradiction
.....-..................2..................2..............2................2..........Seaman
.....-..................4..................4..............4................4..........Stuck
.....-..................4..................4..............4................4..........Nuvolari
.....-..................5..................4..............4................4..........Müller......contradiction
.....-..................4..................4..............4................4..........Farina
.....-..................4..................4..............4................4..........Wimille
.....-..................5..................6..............6................6..........Kautz.......contradiction
.....-..................4..................4..............4................4..........Taruffi
.....-..................8..................8..............8................8..........Hasse

1938 Italian Grand Prix points
- Nixon ----- Sheldon --- Snellman - A.-R. ---- Vitesse2
.....-..................3..................3..............-................4..........Caracciola......contradiction
.....-..................6..................6..............-................7..........Brauchitsch....contradiction
.....-..................5..................5..............-................5..........Lang
.....-..................7..................7..............-................6..........Seaman...........contradiction
.....-..................5..................5..............-................5..........Stuck
.....-..................1..................1..............-................1..........Nuvolari
.....-..................8..................4..............-................4..........Müller..............contradiction
.....-..................2..................2..............-................2..........Farina
.....-..................6..................6..............-................6..........Wimille
.....-..................7..................7..............-................7..........Kautz
.....-..................7..................7..............-................7..........Taruffi
.....-..................8..................8..............-................8..........Hasse

 



#53 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:30

Hans, I would merely refer you to Automobil Revue 1938 issue 75, Sep 16, page 3. This gives the following points score for the EC:

 

Caracciola 12

von Brauchitsch 15

 

We know that AR consistently used an incorrect scoring table in both 1938 and 1939, scoring it 1-2-3-4 for first to fourth, 4 for 50% completion, 5 for 33.3% completion, 6 for 25% completion and 7 for other starters, while ignoring the 8 for non-starters rule. So their breakdown of scores after the Swiss GP must be treated with caution - although apart from omitting the non-starter points the only error they have actually made is on Hasse's score.

 

The key to all this is Caracciola's scores in Italy and Germany. We can ignore France and Switzerland, since there were no shared drives.

 

1 If Caracciola had not incurred some sort of penalty, then how do we explain the fact that his points score according to the points tables previously published in both AR and M&S increased from 8 to 12 when he finished third? It must be something connected to the shared drive.

 

2 If - as previously assumed - only the original driver receives the points for a shared drive, why is Caracciola's total after Switzerland 8? Based on simple finishing positions only, Caracciola's score should be FIVE - 2 in France, 2 in Germany and 1 in Switzerland. So where did the other three points come from? They must be connected to the shared drive in Germany - where both AR and M&S show him as scoring five points rather than two.

 

3 So, if there are penalty points allocated for shared drives, why were there different scores for Caracciola's shared drives to second place in Germany and Italy?

 

Those questions were the ones I asked myself. I went down several blind alleys before I found the answer, which is as displayed on the spreadsheet. It fits both the '4 points for Caracciola?' question and maintains 7 points for von Brauchitsch in Italy. It also solves the '5 points for Caracciola in Germany?' conundrum and maintains Lang's score there, also explaining the scores for Nuvolari and Müller (both of which, despite their shared drive, are the same as previously assumed).



#54 Leif Snellman

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 14:09

 

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 ...

 

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.

 

 

Can this be correct? So you mean a driver would get 4 points for driving >75% of the race if giving over the car to a reserve driver, but get 4+1=5 if giving the car to a  driver, who had started in the race (assuming the car  finish outside top three). Or am I misunderstanding your rules?  :drunk:

 

Also, is there any evidence that such rules have existed or are they just logical conclusions from the tables?


Edited by Leif Snellman, 08 February 2015 - 14:10.


#55 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 15:48

It seems to be an attempt to stop teams switching a driver who has retired or whose car is ailing to a car which is better placed in the second half of the race. The lower penalty points given to the original driver in the second half of the race appear to be a way of 'rewarding' him for the work he had done up to the point where he relinquishes the car. Whereas the driver who takes over that car cannot score less than seven - even if he wins!

 

A driver who takes a car over in the first half of the race will still have to do a lot of work to score five or six points just for finishing first or second: if he finishes third or lower, he will score the maximum seven points which he would have got anyway for just taking the start.

 

As an example, in a 100-lap race, let's imagine two drivers called Schmidt and Braun. Schmidt is the team captain and has a call on cadet driver Braun's car:

 

Scenario 1: Schmidt is leading after 20 laps when his engine blows up. He pulls into the pits and his team manager - let's call him Altbauer - signals Braun, who is running in seventh place, to come in and hand over his car to Schmidt. Braun complies and Schmidt roars back into the race in ninth. Because Braun hasn't really done very much and will take no further part, he is assigned three 'penalty points' for giving up his car before half-distance. Schmidt, meanwhile, is making his way up the field - but he is now 'handicapped' with four 'penalty points'. Since he took the original start it would be unfair if he scored more than seven so finishing third or lower makes no difference to his score. In the end, Schmidt finishes second - scoring two points for the position plus his four penalty points: still better than the seven he would have got for retiring at twenty laps or finishing third. But he's had to work bloody hard for them. Braun, as a compensation, also receives two points for the position, plus his three penalties.

 

Scenario 2: Schmidt is leading after 55 laps when his car fails. He pulls into the pits and his team manager - let's call him Altbauer again - signals Braun, who is running in fifth place, to come in and hand over his car to Schmidt. Braun complies and Schmidt roars back into the race in sixth. This time, because Braun has done much of the work, Braun only gets one 'penalty point'. But Schmidt is now carrying a six-point 'handicap': in effect, wherever he finishes, he is going to score seven points. Whereas if he'd retired at 55 laps he'd only have scored five. Braun, meanwhile, is quite interested in where Schmidt finishes, since the better Schmidt does, the lower Braun's score will be: if Schmidt finishes first, Braun will score two.

 

We can actually see both scenarios in Caracciola's shared drives in 1938. Although in a very different way, since MB used drivers who had already retired and - whether consciously or unconsciously - were using the rule in an attempt to improve or maintain Caracciola's score.

 

In Germany, Lang had handed over his car to Bäumer and was then substituted for Caracciola on lap 10. Caracciola thus gets the initial 3-point penalty and can go off with Baby to nurse his stomach ache. Lang, with the four-point 'handicap', gets the car up to second place, scoring two points for position and four penalties. Caracciola ends up with five - one less/better than if he'd simply retired.

 

In Italy, Caracciola didn't relinquish his car until after half-distance. If he'd retired at that point he would have scored five points. But by giving his car to the already-retired von Brauchitsch his score was essentially reset: now he only has one 'penalty point' and any further score is dependent on how well or badly Manfred does. As long as von Brauchitsch gets the car past 75%, Caracciola's score can't get any worse than five: if Manfred gets it into third (as actually happened), Caracciola scores four, von Brauchitsch seven. Second - Caracciola scores three, von Brauchitsch seven. If he wins - Caracciola scores two, von Brauchitsch seven.

 

So, were MB gaming the rule to favour Rudi? It certainly looks like it. But that wouldn't be either the first or last time the teams had out-thought the rule-makers, would it?  ;)

 

Yes - they are logical conclusions from the tables. But they resolve all three questions I asked myself regarding the anomalies in 1938 - not mention the fact that they also provide answers to several of the long-running discrepancies in the 1935 table.



#56 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 17:15

The clincher which confirms this, by the way, is Müller's score in Germany. If it was based purely on his car's finishing position, he would score four. However, both AR and M&S show him as scoring five. Shortly after half-way, he was called in to hand over his car to Nuvolari - who had long retired and would have scored seven points for so doing.

 

So, the scores are reset - Müller has the one penalty point and only has to sit back and see how high Il Mantovano Volante can fly. Burdened with the six penalty points Tazio can't improve on the score he already has - seven - but whatever basic score he gets for the finishing position (which can't be more than five, since we're already over half-way) will be added to Müller's single penalty point. Nuvolari finished fourth - Müller scored five. QED. :)

 

Of course, in this case, AU weren't gaming the rules. Just giving the crowd what they wanted to see. TAZIO! :clap:



#57 Leif Snellman

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 17:35

Yes Vitesse, I understand your examples. The points table would look like this:

 

Points first driver - second driver
Change before 50%  

1st........ 4 - 5
2nd........5 - 6
3rd........ 6 - 7
>75%.....7 - 7

 

 

Change after 50%

1st........ 2 - 7
2nd........3 - 7
3rd........ 4 - 7
>75%.....5 - 7
>50%.....6 - 7

 

What I wondered about was my example, where a driver according to you would get different points depending on who is replacing him!


Edited by Leif Snellman, 08 February 2015 - 17:36.


#58 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 18:47

Indeed, Leif. But whoever drew up the rule obviously hadn't envisaged the way it could be gamed. MB have used it to their - and Caracciola's - advantage. Twice - and in two subtly different ways. But not so that the driver who was taking over the car could profit - so that the one who was giving it up could!

 

The rule-makers thought about how they could stop healthy drivers in sick cars taking over healthy cars. They obviously didn't consider that the teams could use the same rule to replace sick drivers in healthy cars.  ;)

 

Since there were hardly any shared drives in either 1936 or 1937 - and only one attempted in 1939 - it seems obvious that the teams would only use them in exceptional circumstances. I think getting Rudi to a European Championship might well count as an exceptional circumstance, don't you?

 

It also probably explains why Langlois was so specific about his proposed rules for shared drives. His proposals would have closed this loophole. Do you remember his specific note regarding shared drives?

 

Note: this rule will prevent a team from favouring one of its drivers at the expense of another.

 



#59 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 09:57

We have sufficient proof that the AIACR point scoring system in place from 1935 to 1939 went from 1 to 8 and did not change for 1938 only.

Which source reported that the AIACR or CSI had changed this regulation? I have not seen any. The hypothesis to change the 8 point scoring system only for 1938 is a wrong way and will get us on the slippery slope, leading into a one way street.

The differences seen in the problem point scores is caused simply by mistakes or misunderstanding its application. We must be careful with too much conjecture. Nobody said this is an easy job.



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#60 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:12

Hans: the earliest evidence that I've seen of the scoring system is from M&S, April 19th 1935, which you posted in the 1935 thread. That makes no mention of how shared drives were to be treated. I know of no other source which does either. Yet on the 1935 championship page on Golden Era you have said this - and have used it to actually debunk the press reports of the time, particularly regarding Varzi's three shared drives:

 

Drivers scored only points with the car in which they had started. When drivers shared the same car, only the first driver scored points, the second driver received no points for his efforts. The first driver received the point score for both drivers' performance covered with the car.

Is this conjecture? 'Received knowledge'? Or do you have a printed source? It actually applies where a reserve driver who had not taken the original start takes over a car. But not if a driver who had taken the original start substitutes for another.

 

But if you believe that it is set in stone, please enlighten me on how Caracciola scored 5 points for second place in Germany and how he scored 4 points for third place in Italy. Because as I wrote above - those two shared drives are the key to the whole enigma.

 

If you look at my latest post in the 1935 thread you will see that I have used the knowledge I gained here to resolve several of the discrepancies and shown how the vast majority (but not all) of those can be shown to prove that the CSI's list was substantially correct.

 

I have no argument with the 1 to 8 scoring system as used by M&S. But some of the confusions have been introduced by Automobil Revue, who consistently used their own 1 to 7 system in 1938 and 1939. In 1937 they even constructed their own championship - as they would do again (with more justification) in 1946 - using yet another scoring system and a larger selection of races: the 1937 EC was for them merely a postscript and they gave it virtually no coverage at all.

 

I understand that you have a problem with the idea of penalty points. But it works. And it conforms to the rule that no driver who took the original start scores more than seven points. After all, sometimes what we know is so much smaller than what we don't know. :)



#61 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 06:39

It appears to me more difficult to find an acceptable solution than I thought it would be.  I am now running out of time with other projects waiting.