Alternate History

French Grand Prix (An Earlier World Cup of Football)

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The French Grand Prix was the first ever Grand Prix to be held in the world, when it started in 1906.


Starting Out

Grand Prix racing originated in France which was first run on the 26th June 1906 under the auspices of the Automobile Club de France in Sarthe, with a starting field of 32 automobiles. The Grand Prix name ("Great Prize") referred to the prize of 40,000 francs to the race winner. The earliest French Grand Prix was all on public roads near towns through out France as they were held at different towns through the early years such as Le Mans, Dieppe, Lyon, Strasbourg, and Tours.

France's first permanent circuit

In 1925, the first permanent autodrome in France was built, it was called Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, located near the French capital of Paris. The 7.7-mile (12.3 km) circuit included a 51-degree concrete banking, an asphalt road course and then-modern facilities, including pit garages. This was after Brooklands in England in 1907 and Monza was built after World War I in 1922. This was also part of the first ever World Manufacturers' Championship which became the first time that a grouped together to form a championship. The first race saw the death of Antonio Ascari, which was the father of Alberto Ascari who would later win the Formula One championship. Miramas was another one that was completed and held two events before being scraped for Le Mans. In 1928, William Grover-Williams would create a bit of history by being the first one outside of continental Europe to win the French Grand Prix and he would do again in 1929 before retiring two years later. Montlhéry would then hold the French Grand Prix for nine years until the second World War stopped all Motorsport in Europe. But before that happened, it was a domination of the Alfa Romeo and the Bugatti until the 1935 season where Manfred von Brauchitsch scored his first of only two wins in his career (the other being in France again). The final French Grand Prix was won by Hermann Paul Müller as the country suddenly went into war.

After the second World War, it was moved to the one time Parilly circuit where Louis Chiron would take out that race in the Talbot-Logo.


Year Driver Constructor Track
1906 Flag of Hungary (1867-1918) Ferenc Szisz Renault Le Mans
1907 Flag of Hungary (1867-1918) Ferenc Szisz Renault Dieppe
1908 Flag of the German Empire Christian Lautenschlager Mercedes
1912 Flag of France Georges Boillot Peugeot
1913 Flag of France Georges Boillot Peugeot Amiens
1914 Flag of France Louis Wagner Mercedes Lyon
1921 Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned Ralph DePalma Ballot Le Mans
1922 Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned Felice Nazzaro Fiat Strasbourg
1923 Flag of the United Kingdom Henry Segrave Sunbeam Tours
1924 Flag of France Albert Divo Delage Lyons
1925 Flag of France Albert Divo Delage Montlhéry
1926 Flag of France Jules Goux Bugatti Miramas
1927 Flag of France Robert Benoist Delage Montlhéry
1928 Flag of the United Kingdom William Grover-Williams Bugatti Miramas
1929 Flag of the United Kingdom William Grover-Williams Bugatti Le Mans
1930 Flag of France Philippe Étancelin Bugatti Pau
1931 Flag of Monaco Louis Chiron
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned Achille Varzi
Bugatti Montlhéry
1932 Flag of Germany Rudolf Caracciola Alfa Romeo
1933 Flag of France Philippe Étancelin Alfa Romeo
1934 Flag of Monaco Louis Chiron Alfa Romeo
1935 Flag of the German Empire Manfred von Brauchitsch Mercedes-Benz
1936 Flag of France Jean-Pierre Wimille
Flag of France Raymond Sommer
1937 Flag of Monaco Louis Chiron Talbot
1938 Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Manfred von Brauchitsch Mercedes-Benz
1939 Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Hermann Paul Müller Mercedes-Benz
1947 Flag of Monaco Louis Chiron Talbot Lyon-Parilly


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