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#1 Graham Clayton

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 06:31

Fellow NFEr's,
While glancing through David Hodges "A-Z of Formula Racing Cars", one of the colour pictures mentioned in the caption the wide variery of starting grid formations that were used during the 1965 F1 World Championship. The following variations were used during that year:

2-2-2: Monaco, Watkins Glen, Mexico City
4-3-4: Silverstone, Nurburgring

Could other NF members provide examples of other grid arrangements from other
courses? I also have a couple of questions:

a) when was 2-2 made mandatory in all F1 WC races
b) was there an even split between "staggered" and "even" grid rows?

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#2 Rob29

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 07:42

Snetterton used a 5-4-5 grid for its non-championship F1 race around 1960.

#3 ensign14

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 09:44

Monza was traditionally 3-2-3, but in 1958 when Vanwalls occupied slots 1-3 the grid was mysteriously changed to 4-3-4 so a red car could be up front. I think Monza experimented with a 2-2 in about 1961 when there were about 32 starters.

The first mass start I think was in the 1921 ACF Grand Prix, and was 2-2. Certainly around that era.

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 10:31

When Steve Hirst published his Grand Prix Chronology back in 1972, he included code letters for the most common grid patterns up to that point. There were 11 basic layouts, plus a few one-offs which didn't fit the patterns.

#5 josh.lintz

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 22:52

This is just a hazy memory, but from reading Grand Prix! years ago, the last of the non-2-2 F1 grids seems to be around 1973. I don't think they were "staggered" until a few years after that.

#6 D-Type

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 00:54

Originally posted by Graham Clayton
Could other NF members provide examples of other grid arrangements from other
courses?

A quick trawl through Lang generally showed a mix of 3-2-3 with some 4-3-4, presumably depending on the track width.

3-2-3 Monaco, Berne, Spa, Reims, Sebring, Zandvoort, Aintree, Porto, Morocco, Lisbon, Riverside
3-3-3 Indianapolis
4-3-4 Silverstone, Nurburgring, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Avus
and the first 2-2-2 was Watkins Glen

Originally posted by ensign14
Monza was traditionally 3-2-3, but in 1958 when Vanwalls occupied slots 1-3 the grid was mysteriously changed to 4-3-4 so a red car could be up front. I think Monza experimented with a 2-2 in about 1961 when there were about 32 starters.

I've always heard this when I looked through Lang I began to have doubts.

The Monza grid has varied over the years. It was 4-4-4 or 4-3-4 when using the road circuit and 3-3-3 or 3-2-3 when using the combined circuit. So it looks as if the the change from 3-3-3 in 1956 to 4-3-4 in 1957 was because of the change in circuit rather than to avoid an all green front row.

Originally posted by Vitesse2
When Steve Hirst published his Grand Prix Chronology back in 1972, he included code letters for the most common grid patterns up to that point. There were 11 basic layouts, plus a few one-offs which didn't fit the patterns.

How did he possibly come up with 11 layouts? I can only think of 7.
5-5-5, 5-4-5, 4-4-4, 4-3-4, 3-3-3, 3-2-3, 2-2-2
or do we include echelon (Le Mans style), singly (Mille Miglia style)

Originally posted by josh.lintz
This is just a hazy memory, but from reading Grand Prix! years ago, the last of the non-2-2 F1 grids seems to be around 1973. I don't think they were "staggered" until a few years after that.

When did the change from side by side pairs to the present staggered singles?

#7 Rob G

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 01:11

Originally posted by D-Type
When did the change from side by side pairs to the present staggered singles?

The Monaco GP used it starting in 1975, but the rest of F1 didn't adopt it until the start of the 1980 season.

#8 Rob G

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 01:17

Originally posted by josh.lintz
This is just a hazy memory, but from reading Grand Prix! years ago, the last of the non-2-2 F1 grids seems to be around 1973. I don't think they were "staggered" until a few years after that.

Thank you for mentioning Grand Prix!. His Volume 3 shows the grids of the first half of the 1979 season like this:

1-2
3-4
5-6

instead of this:

1-2-
-3-4
5-6-

Were the cars arranged in a zig-zag fashion throughout 1979, or were they all neat and tidy as shown in the first example?

#9 D-Type

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 08:48

I think we are talking about two different kinds of stagger.

First we have side by side not staggered
2-1
4-3
6-5

Then we have side by side staggered transversely
-2-1
4-3-
-6-5

Then we have staggered longitudinally (the present arrangement)
-1
2-
-3
4-
As the spacing from 1-2 is the same as 2-3, this is really line ahead, but staggered. People persist in talking about "first row, second row, etc" presumably for old times' sake.

I'm at work at present but will check my books for photos this evening

#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 12:39

Should have made clear some were just reversed ....
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#11 Ric Bol

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 19:28

I remember after the accident of Ronnie Peterson in 1978, FIA made same changes in the grid formation, which change was?

May be...

1-2-
-3-4

thru

1-2-
3-4-

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 21:44

Originally posted by ensign14
Monza was traditionally 3-2-3, but in 1958 when Vanwalls occupied slots 1-3 the grid was mysteriously changed to 4-3-4 so a red car could be up front. I think Monza experimented with a 2-2 in about 1961 when there were about 32 starters.


I think that was one of the post-von Trips things at Monza... the track in front of the pits was narrowed by putting down witches hats and there was a 2 - 2 - 2 grid. If I'm recalling correctly, DSJ made reference to it all and mentioned that the drivers were told, "If you hit a witches hat it is the same as you hit a brick wall and you are out of the race... Graham Hill should have picked one up after he won the event and worn it on his head..."

Warwick Farm was changed from 3 - 2 - 3 to 2- 2 - 2 for the International (Tasman) race of 1968, IIRC, while other races that day my memory is telling me used the old pattern. The pressure from the International drivers won out, though, and (again IIRC) from the next meeting 2 - 2 - 2 grids were there to stay.

Leyburn had a 5 - 5 - 5 grid.

#13 lofong

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 00:28

Originally posted by Graham Clayton
a) when was 2-2 made mandatory in all F1 WC races?

I believe the exact date was 6th August 1973, the day after the German GP. As I recall a meeting of key parties was held in the wake of Roger Williamson's Zandvoort accident to discuss the implementation of various safety changes. I believe this effort was co-ordinated and pushed forward by Louis Stanley.

The results included the elimination of future grids larger than 2 by 2 and also the immediate introduction of the pace car at the next event at Zeltweg. I believe, given the random grid formats then being utilised, that the first race actually impacted by this grid change was actually that year's Canadian GP, which was of course the first race impacted by the use of a safety car.

I believe it is correct that the GP grid formations remained unstandardised thru the end of the 1979 season, when today's staggered longitudinal columns became standard, although staggered rows of pairs predominated.

I agree that the present longitudinal staggering was first seen at Monaco in 1975, as a safety response to the accidents in the prior race in Spain, but I believe the following year they reverted once more back to staggered rows.

However in 1977, I believe Monaco provided the only example we ever saw in F-1 of staggering both the rows and columns on a 2x2 grid. Can anyone confirm this?

#14 D-Type

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 22:24

Reviving this old thread to say that I've just come across a photo of the start of the 1938 French GP with the cars in a 2-1-2 arrangement - a new one to me.

#15 Graham Clayton

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:57

The current FIA regulations state that the distance between each grid row is 16 metres, obviously due to the increased speed of the current cars.
I presume that the distances in the past would have been less, but were they worked out by the race organisers, as was the case with the layout of the grid? What range of distances have been used in the past?

#16 Allan Lupton

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:11

Reviving this old thread to say that I've just come across a photo of the start of the 1938 French GP with the cars in a 2-1-2 arrangement - a new one to me.

The photo (which I assume is the same one) in David Hodges' book of the French GP shows the width of the road at Rheims would not have been suitable for a 3/2/3 grid - and with only nine starters the 2/1/2 grid was only six rows.
By 1939 the permanent grandstand had been built and the roadway seems wider as the same book shows a 3/2/3/ grid.

#17 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:52

Snetterton often used 5-4 grids in the 50s and into the early 60s. Pics here from the March 1961 Lombank Trophy meeting. Do take a look at John Adams' other images from the website on the photos.
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#18 ChrisJson

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 13:19

How did he possibly come up with 11 layouts? I can only think of 7.
5-5-5, 5-4-5, 4-4-4, 4-3-4, 3-3-3, 3-2-3, 2-2-2
or do we include echelon (Le Mans style), singly (Mille Miglia style)



I would think he counted a right side pole and a left side pole
as different layouts.

Christer

#19 D-Type

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 14:06

I thought about that when it was discussed 8 years ago, but decided that would necessitate an even number, unless you included line ahead.

And throwing a 2-1-2 into the discussion confuses it even further.

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#20 ChrisJson

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 14:26

I thought about that when it was discussed 8 years ago, but decided that would necessitate an even number, unless you included line ahead.

And throwing a 2-1-2 into the discussion confuses it even further.



I think he only numbered the layouts that were actually used
during 1950-1970. My brother (conjohn to you) have the book
but we live in different cities so I can´t look at it now.

Christer

Edited by ChrisJson, 04 October 2012 - 14:28.


#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 14:51

I think he only numbered the layouts that were actually used during 1950-1970.

That's right - these were the grids actually used in F1 World Championship races between 1950 and 1971, and as Vitesse first pointed out in post 10, specified which side pole position was on. I'd scan the relevant page in the book, but the binding in my copy is falling apart and I don't want to subject it to any further stress, so here's a summary of his grid configurations:

2 – 2: six different versions, staggered two ways or in-line, pole on left or right.

3 – 2 – 3: two versions, pole on left or right

3 – 3 – 3; one version, in line, pole on right

4 – 3 – 4: two versions, pole on left or right

There are a few which didn't fit any of these patterns; they are detailed in the info for the relevant race.

Edited by Tim Murray, 04 October 2012 - 15:04.


#22 Roger Clark

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 15:52

The photo (which I assume is the same one) in David Hodges' book of the French GP shows the width of the road at Rheims would not have been suitable for a 3/2/3 grid - and with only nine starters the 2/1/2 grid was only six rows.
By 1939 the permanent grandstand had been built and the roadway seems wider as the same book shows a 3/2/3/ grid.

Didn't they use a 3-2-3 grid in 1937?

#23 mikeC

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 16:28

Posted Image


Wow! It was a definite bonus to get on the front row of that grid - the second row doesn't have a chance :lol:

#24 ChrisJson

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 21:56

That's right - these were the grids actually used in F1 World Championship races between 1950 and 1971



Thank you Tim!

It´s good to know at least a few of my grey cells still functions.

Christer

#25 Rob G

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:58

The current FIA regulations state that the distance between each grid row is 16 metres, obviously due to the increased speed of the current cars.
I presume that the distances in the past would have been less, but were they worked out by the race organisers, as was the case with the layout of the grid? What range of distances have been used in the past?

The distance was 12 meters apart on the first staggered grid at Monaco in 1976 and 14 meters apart at all races in 1980.

#26 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:53

Wow! It was a definite bonus to get on the front row of that grid - the second row doesn't have a chance :lol:

If you look closely in that Jaguar picture, the starter has dropped the flag, yet on row 2 a car has the driver's door open and the bonnet up! Happy days...Now it would be an aborted start, new warm-up lap, lose even more time before the 6.30pm noise curfew. This was the race when the Equipe Endeavour cars of Parkes & Sears were 1-2 on the grid, leading the race and both ran out of fuel on the last lap. According to Jack the mechanic had thought it was a 12 lapper, not 15 and Tommy Sopwith was not impressed! Salvo in the white car, Baillie and Surtees ( I think ) on the right, although it may be John hidden on row 2.


#27 Graham Clayton

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 02:42

An interesting photo taken from the back of the starting grid at the 1955 Belgian Grand Prix:

Posted Image

Source: http://fc07.devianta...ory-d5ksk1b.jpg

#28 Stephen W

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:41

Fellow NFEr's,
While glancing through David Hodges "A-Z of Formula Racing Cars", one of the colour pictures mentioned in the caption the wide variery of starting grid formations that were used during the 1965 F1 World Championship. The following variations were used during that year:

2-2-2: Monaco, Watkins Glen, Mexico City
4-3-4: Silverstone, Nurburgring

Could other NF members provide examples of other grid arrangements from other
courses?


All the rest (East London; Spa; Clermont-Ferrand; Zandvoort & Monza) were 3-2-3

BTW the 1951 Italian GP at Monza was 4-4-4 and in 11963 Monaco started the 2-2-2 system when the start was moved round the Gasworks Hairpin onto the current start area.

#29 Graham Clayton

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:55

Slightly off topic - but the 8th grid spot at Brands Hatch for the 1979 Daily Mail Race of Champions was left vacant to separate the 7 F1 cars that had entered from the 12 Aurora F1 series cars that were also taking part.