V GRAND PRIX de MONACO
Circuit de Monaco - Monte Carlo (MC), April 23, 1933.
100 laps x 3.180 km (1.976 mi) = 318.0 km (197.6 mi)
Epic Nuvolari-Varzi duel ended when the Alfa's engine expired up in smoke.
by Hans Etzrodt
This event will be remembered as one of the tremendous battles between Varzi and Nuvolari, who put on a terrific show. The Bugatti
Type 51 in the hands of Varzi was very closely matched to the 2.6-liter Alfa Romeo Monza. During the 100-lap race the lead position changed
21 times. Nuvolari led for 56 laps, Varzi for 44 and predicting a winner was impossible still at lap 99. Both drivers over-revved their
engines on this last lap going up the hill to the Casino. The Bugatti lasted but the Alfa did not, ending the race-long, fierce battle
with the Alfa's engine expiring in a cloud of black smoke.
After loosing 43 seconds in a spin, Etancelin displayed an outstanding performance by making up that time within 20 laps, catching
up with leaders Varzi and Nuvolari, despite their murderous speed. Caracciola did not start due to a practice crash that was to put him
out of racing for one year. This event was the first in grand prix racing history where the starting positions were determined by
Just two weeks after the Mille Miglia, one of the 1933 season's more significant events took place in Monte Carlo. The circuit wound its
course right through town, which granted the Monaco Grand Prix one of the most interesting and picturesque settings of all races. The best
European drivers of high repute followed the invitation to compete in the event that had become so famous, so quickly. This year the outcome
of the race was uncertain because cars of very similar performance appeared to be distributed equally amongst the top drivers.
The regulations remained the same as last year. For the fifth time the race went over 100 laps of the 3.18 km long circuit. Start and
Finish were located as usual on the Boulevard Albert 1er, leading to a tight right turn past the church of Sainte Dévote up the steep
incline of the Avenue Monte Carlo turning left then right by the Casino. Then the course dropped downhill leading around two narrow turns
past the railroad station to the pier at sea level. From here the course curved for 800 meter along the Mediterranean through a short
tunnel, along the quay, then the left-right chicane, followed by the left hand Tabac Corner leading to the right turn Hairpin back onto
Boulevard Albert 1er. Behind this were the pits with the Start and Finish. With ten real corners per lap, it was a true test for brakes
and engines. Dangers lurked everywhere. Just feet from the circuit's curbs were house walls, concrete posts, tunnel walls, and the cliff
edge into the sea. All dangerous sections were protected with sand bags to avoid serious accidents.
This event was not only the most original of its kind but in the brief period of its five year existence it had taken a successful
development as no other sporting event on the continent. Therefore it did not surprise that the AIACR accepted the 1933 race for the
first time in the exclusive circle of the eight international Grands Prix comprising the Grands Prix of France, Germany, Belgium, Spain,
Italy, the Tourist Trophy and the Indianapolis 500-Mile race. These preferred international events, so called Grandes Épreuves, had the
exclusive right of the date chosen by the individual organizers and no other international racing was allowed on those dates.
The race was broadcast by French radio stations, reporting about the start and the first part of the race from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM and
from 4:45 PM till the end.
It was the first time in the 1933 season that all big names met, representing 19 drivers from five European countries. Alfa Romeo had quit
racing at the end of 1932, withdrawing their monoposto racing cars, which were not for sale. The Scuderia Ferrari entered the former Alfa
drivers Tazio Nuvolari, Mario-Umberto Borzacchini, Count Carlo Felice Trossi and Eugenio Siena in Alfa Romeo Monza models, of which the cars
of Nuvolari and Borzacchini had the Scuderia Ferrari enlarged 2.6-liter engines. This raised engine power from 165 to 180 hp, bringing the
top speed up to 225 km/h. The Bugatti factory team, managed by Meo Costantini, appeared with the proven Type 51, which came with a supercharged,
2.3-liter, 8-cylinder, 180 hp, twin-cam engine, enabling a top speed of 230 km/h for Achille Varzi, René Dreyfus and "Williams". Maserati
refrained from sending a works team and the three Maseratis for Luigi Fagioli, Raymond Sommer and Goffredo Zehender were independent entries.
During the winter months, Louis Chiron and Rudolf Caracciola had formed the Scuderia C.C. (Chiron-Caracciola) and were considered dangerous
contenders with their Alfa Romeo Monzas. Chiron's car was painted dark-blue with white horizontal stripes around the car and Caracciola's
was white with blue stripes. Earlier the year, they had signed contracts in Milan to purchase two 2.3-liter Monza racing cars and one
2.3-liter Monza sports car. To these three cars they added the two 2.3-liter Bugatti racing cars belonging to Chiron. They had planned
to start at all major circuit races and some international hill climbs, which meant that Caracciola would also be behind the wheel of a
Bugatti. It was planned to enter the Alfa Romeo sports car for both drivers at the 24-hour races of Le Mans and Spa. Daimler-Benz placed
at their disposal a large light-gray 2-ton truck as racing transporter and Mrs. Charly Caracciola functioned as team manager.
Bernard Rubin entered his 2.3-liter green Monza for his former Bentley Boys teammate Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin. Peter Hull described
in "Alfa Romeo, A History" how Birkin picked up the car at the Portello factory and drove it to Monaco. On the way he was involved in an
accident with a French Saloon. The mechanics repaired the front axle and steering in time for the race but had only six hours sleep in
three days. Two further Monzas were in the hands of French drivers "Phi-Phi" Etancelin and Jean-Pierre Wimille. The independent Bugatti
drivers comprised Earl Howe, Benoît Falchetto and Marcel Lehoux in Type 51s and Hungarian László Hartmann also with his Type 51, which he
had bought in 1932 from Hans Lewy, formerly owned by von Morgen. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE reported that the race organizers could not accept the
entry of top Swiss driver Hans Stuber because he had sent his entry application in too late, thereby failing to meet the final deadline.
had been set to take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM. Thereafter the streets were opened again
for city traffic. For the first time in grand prix racing history the starting grid positions were determined by the times obtained during
practice and not by ballot, when lots were drawn by the teams and then team managers assigned their best drivers to the front positions.
The new method instead assured that the fastest drivers would have the best starting positions. Race Organizer and famous French motoring
journalist Charles Faroux was aware that this arrangement had been used successfully for years at Indianapolis and suggested to the ACM its
application for this race.
During Thursday only 11 cars went out for practice, of which Chiron, Caracciola, Etancelin, Borzacchini and Varzi, achieved the best
starting positions. Chiron and Caracciola both set lap times of 2m03s while Etancelin's fastest was 2m04s. Nuvolari and Borzacchini
did their fastest lap in 2m05s while Varzi and Dreyfus had the same time of 2m06s. Wimille, Falchetto and "Williams" did not come below
the 2m10s barrier. Nuvolari collided with the wall at Tabac, near the stone steps by the tobacconist's shop. He was lucky to escape without
injury but bent the rear axle and body parts. Near the end of practice there occurred another, more serious accident. After Caracciola had
driven for 24 laps together with his new teammate Chiron either in front or behind, he went for one more lap trying to improve on the best
time of 2m03s, driven by Chiron. When the German arrived too fast at Tabac corner, one front brake locked, his Alfa Romeo slid sideways
towards the harbor stone parapet to his left. Caracciola stated that he steered against it, aiming for the steep stone wall and bannister
to his right, which the car crashed into at the height of the cockpit, breaking the right rear wheel and seriously damaging both the chassis
and body. Chiron had then arrived, stopped his Alfa behind the wreck and jumped out. People ran down the stone steps by the tobacconist's
shop. Caracciola climbed slowly out of the damaged car and as he stepped on the ground he collapsed but Chiron caught him. Only then did
the German realize that something had seriously gone wrong. Through the impact of the collision he had received a compound fracture of the
thigh and slight facial injuries. It required repeated operations to his hip, resulting in a long recuperation, leaving him with a permanent
limp and pain, also keeping him out of racing for over one year. People quickly brought a chair from the nearby tobacco shop, placed
Caracciola on top and carried him back to the shop from where the German was transported to hospital. This was a regrettable accident
because Caracciola had been one of the favorites for this race since he had finished a very close second to Nuvolari the year before.
During the one hour Friday morning practice, nobody equaled Chiron's fastest time from Thursday. Etancelin repeated a lap of 2m04s.
Nuvolari continued practice with Siena's car and was to drive it also during the race. Siena, as the fourth driver of the Scuderia,
later drove a spare car, sent from Italy. The best time for Nuvolari in Siena's car was 2m07s. The Ferrari mechanics must have then
swapped the 2.6-liter engine from Nuvolari's damaged mount with Siena's car, now driven by Nuvolari, but that was nowhere mentioned in any of the
sources used for this report. Zehender made the fastest Maserati time of 2m11s. Hartmann's best time in the Bugatti was 2m24s.
Scrutineering took place on Saturday morning before it began to rain. During Saturday's practice Varzi did a lap in 2m02s, which gained him pole position.
Nuvolari's best time at 2m04s, placed him in the second row.
day was sunny and warm with a blue sky. The 18 cars formed a grid in close rows of three.
When the starter lowered the flag, Varzi had the best start and went immediately into the lead, followed by Borzacchini, Lehoux and Nuvolari.
Chiron in the front row had a bad start and held up Etancelin behind him. Nuvolari, initially in fourth place, worked himself past the cars ahead
of him, was in second place after three laps and then went past Varzi. Soon this leading group had formed, consisting also of Borzacchini, Lehoux
and Etancelin who all opened a gap to the rest of the field. The order changed very little except for Varzi and Nuvolari who stayed very close in
an exciting battle that saw them trading first place.
Nuvolari completed the tenth lap as first at 90 km/h race average speed, followed by Varzi only one second behind. The next three drivers were close together,
of which Etancelin drove the fastest lap in 2m04s. Already the first car had dropped out with clutch problems, when Siena retired the Alfa, which
had been brought from Italy in a great hurry. The leading group caught up with Hartmann in last place, who was then lapped for the first time.
With Siena out the field was down to 17 cars in the following order after ten laps:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||21m12s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||21m17s|
|5.||Etancelin (Alfa Romeo)||21m21s|
|9.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||22m07s|
|10.||Birkin (Alfa Romeo)||22m09s|
|13.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||22m14s|
|14.||Earl Howe (Bugatti)||22m16s|
|15.||Wimille (Alfa Romeo)||22m24s|
|16.||Sommer (Maserati)||23m41s||1 lap behind|
|17.||Hartmann (Bugatti)||23m50s||1 lap behind|
On lap 20, Varzi was in the lead with 42m26s, closely followed by Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Lehoux and Etancelin. The gap from first to fifth
was only five seconds. Birkin had to stop several times at the pits to solve problems, which eventually forced him to retire. Likewise,
Sommer was eliminated with a broken connecting rod breaking the Maserati's crankcase. The speed of the race had gradually increased with
laps of 2m03s by Varzi, Nuvolari and Etancelin. After the retirement of Sommer and Birkin the field was down to 15cars after lap 20:
|2.||Nuvolari Alfa Romeo)||42m27s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||42m29s|
|5.||Etancelin (Alfa Romeo)||42m31s|
|8.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||43m47s|
|10.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||43m53s|
|12.||Earl Howe (Bugatti)||44m10s|
|14.||Wimille (Alfa Romeo)||44m20s|
|15.||Hartmann (Bugatti)||55m35s||6 laps behind|
Wimille stopped at the pits for over two minutes but could not correct his brake problems. Shortly after he joined the race, he disappeared as
the fourth retirement. Also Fagioli and Lehoux had to stop at the pits. Lehoux already had problems during practice with his water pump and had
to retire on lap 28 with a defective transmission but had actually completed only 25 laps at that time.
On lap 30, Varzi was again first, one second ahead of Nuvolari and the same gap to Etancelin in third place. Then followed Borzacchini and the
rest of the cars, which had already lost considerable time, Fagioli in the poor handling Maserati 2-seater, then Dreyfus, Chiron, Trossi, Zehender,
Howe, Williams and Falchetto. Chiron, who had to stop for 1 ˝ minutes at his pits to change tires, could not make up this time loss. He drove
very regularly but did not display a spirited drive. After Wimille and Lehoux retired the field was down to 13 cars after lap 30:
|2.||Nuvolari Alfa Romeo)||1h03m24s|
|3.||Etancelin (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m25s|
|4.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m30s|
|7.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h05m05s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h05m08s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Zehender (Maserati)||1h05m21s||1 lap behind|
|10.||Earl Howe (Bugatti)||1h05m53s||1 lap behind|
|11.||Williams (Bugatti)||1h06m04s||1 lap behind|
|12.||Falchetto (Bugatti)||1h06m05s||1 lap behind|
On lap 31 Varzi, Nuvolari and Etancelin drove the lap at 2m03s at an average speed of 93.075 km/h. On lap 33 Varzi drove a lap in 2m02s, a time
he drove again on lap 36 and 37 at an average speed of 93.836 km/h. On lap 36 Varzi and Nuvolari lapped Trossi's Alfa Romeo. On lap 40, Nuvolari
was leading for a change with a total time of 1h23m57s, only one second ahead of Varzi. Etancelin had lost third place when his Alfa spun through
the barricades into the sandbags at the Chicane after the Tunnel. He jumped from his car, freed the wheel, started his car with the hand crank and
joined the race in fourth place to the raging applause of the crowd. This incident had cost him 43 seconds and he chased with even greater gusto
after Borzacchini now in third place. The order of the field after 40 laps was as follows:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h23m57s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h24m21s|
|4.||Etancelin (Alfa Romeo)||1h24m42s|
|7.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h26m20s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h26m21s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Zehender (Maserati)||1h26m41s||1 lap behind|
|10.||Earl Howe (Bugatti)||1h27m39s||1 lap behind|
|11.||Falchetto (Bugatti)||1h27m45s||1 lap behind|
|12.||Williams (Bugatti)||1h28m12s||1 lap behind|
Nuvolari also left the course in his battle with Varzi, spun
on top of the sidewalk but caught his Alfa without damage and followed his tough adversary with increased verve. He was the first one to
lower the lap record to 2m02s but Varzi reacted promptly with two laps of the same time. Then Earl Howe retired his Bugatti on lap 49. "Williams"
had fallen to last place, while trying to fix his brake problem. By now six competitors had dropped out, so that before mid race, the field
was cut to two thirds of its initial size.
On lap 50, Varzi, with a total time of 1h44m48s, was still in the lead, Nuvolari had gradually been catching up Varzi again and followed him
shadow-like one second behind, then a 20-second gap to Borzacchini in third and Etancelin in fourth place, 30 seconds behind the leader.
Further back trailed Dreyfus, Fagioli, Trossi, Zehender, Falchetto, Chiron, Williams and Hartmann. With Earl Howe out of the race the field
was down to 12 cars after 50 laps:
|2.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h44m49s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h45m09s|
|4.||Etancelin (Alfa Romeo)||1h45m18s|
|6.||Fagioli (Maserati)||1h47m01s||1 lap behind|
|7.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h47m41s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Zehender (Maserati)||1h47m59s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Falchetto (Bugatti)||1h49m30s||2 laps behind|
|10.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h49m37s||2 laps behind|
|11.||Williams (Bugatti)||1h55m51s||5 laps behind|
|12.||Hartman (Bugatti)||2h07m00s||10 laps behind|
But then Etancelin started a new attack
by driving a lap of 2m01s and vigorously continued his pursuit of the two leading drivers. Lap after lap Etancelin drove very fast laps,
trailed by Borzacchini, who did not want to let the runaway pull away. His great dash brought the Frenchman again close to the leading duo.
On lap 60, Nuvolari was in the lead with a time of 2h05m39s, Varzi again one second behind and Etancelin a further second in third place.
In just ten laps the Frenchman had made up 28 seconds to the leader, despite the hellish speed by the top group. Not bad for a private
entrant! Etancelin's feat was looked at as the most outstanding performance of the day. Borzacchini for his part was able to keep up with
the increased speed and was only three seconds behind Nuvolari. Of course this chase had an effect on the whole leading group and
consequently Nuvolari as well as Varzi and Borzacchini equaled the record lap of Etancelin. They were all able to go faster as their fuel loads
were lighter. While the four lead drivers had assembled again in their earlier order, the rest of the field was falling further back.
Nuvolari's race average speed was 91.100 km/h after 60 laps:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m39|
|3.||Etancelin (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m41s|
|4.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m42s|
|6.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h08m56s||1 lap behind|
|7.||Zehender (Maserati)||2h09m53s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Fagioli (Maserati)||2h10m53s||2 laps behind|
|9.||Falchetto (Bugatti)||2h11m07s||2 laps behind|
|10.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h11m09s||2 laps behind|
|11.||Williams (Bugatti)||2h17m39s||5 laps behind|
|12.||Hartman (Bugatti)||2h30m09s||11 laps behind|
Fagioli, driving the 3-liter Maserati 2-seater, did not fulfill the high expectations, which had been hoped for and on a few occasions he drove his poor
handling car over the side-walk. Already near the back end of the field in eighth place, he had to stop at the pits with malfunctioning
sparkplugs. After resuming the race, he lasted only a few laps until he retired for good. Etancelin in the meantime had allowed himself a
brief breather but was still able to match the speed of the others. Then he started a renewed attack. Within another nine laps he made up a
few seconds and it seemed that he had reestablished his position in the group of the first three, when a ball bearing at the driveshaft put
him out of the race.
On lap 70, Nuvolari still kept the lead with 2h26.03s, one second ahead of Varzi. Borzacchini came next, followed after 90 seconds by Dreyfus
in fourth place. After Fagioli and Etancelin retired the field was down to 10 cars. Nuvolari's race average speed increased slightly to 91.448 km/h after 70 laps:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h26m03s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h26m16s|
|5.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h30m14s||2 laps behind|
|6.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h32m26s||3 laps behind|
|7.||Falchetto (Bugatti)||2h33m00s||3 laps behind|
|8.||Zehender (Maserati)||2h34m08s||3 laps behind|
|9.||Williams (Bugatti)||2h43m26s||8 laps behind|
Since lap 58, Nuvolari had maintained the lead but Varzi went past him on lap 78. On lap 80, Varzi was still in the lead with 2h46m47s, an average speed of 91.519 km/h.
Nuvolari followed one second behind with Borzacchini in third place. Varzi's race average speed increased slightly to 91.519 km/h after 80 laps:
|2.||Nuvolari( Alfa Romeo)||2h46m48s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h47m00s|
|5.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h52m01s||2 laps behind|
|6.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h53m08s||3 laps behind|
|7.||Falchetto (Bugatti)||2h54m45s||3 laps behind|
|8.||Zehender (Maserati)||2h57m48s||5 laps behind|
|10.||Hartman (Bugatti)||3h15m05s||13 laps behind|
Half the cars had been eliminated when Falchetto's Bugatti retired due to rear axle breakage on lap 85. On lap 90, Nuvolari was leading with 3h07m23s.
Although he was for the first time four seconds ahead of Varzi, the outcome of the race was by no means assured and a nerve-wracking suspense had
captivated the public. It was still impossible to say who would emerge as victor from this gigantic wrestling contest. After Falchetto's retirement
there were only nine cars left racing with Nuvolari leading after 90 laps:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||3h07m23s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||3h07m49s|
|4.||Dreyfus (Bugatti)||3h09m34s||1 lap behind|
|5.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h13m57s||3 laps behind|
|6.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||3h14m04s||3 laps behind|
On lap 98, Varzi drew past Nuvolari's Alfa to the thunderous applause of the excited crowd. But the Mantuan
re-passed his opponent as they raced up to the Casino. On lap 99 Varzi went even faster establishing a new record lap at 1m59s at 96.202 km/h average speed.
Then, on the last lap Varzi's blue car shot again into the lead and both cars entered
the casino curve at breakneck speed in alarmingly close proximity. The excitement of the crowd which was past all description, had reached
the boiling point with everybody standing on seats and benches, craning their necks. Who would appear first out of the tunnel?
A single scream: Varzi! His blue car shot from the darkness of the Tunnel but where was Nuvolari? As Varzi celebrated at the finish,
Nuvolari's red Alfa finally appeared out of the Tunnel, his engine had expired. What a show! The little man was standing on his seat,
the car, slowly rolling downhill towards the Chicane, while disastrous, black smoke was pouring from an engine oil fire under the hood
after a vital oil pipe had broken. When his stricken Alfa stopped, Nuvolari jumped out and while he pushed it all the way to the pits,
Borzacchini and Dreyfus thundered past him to gain second and third places respectively. Some spectators and one over-zealous mechanic
helped to push the car but since rules excluded outside help, Nuvolari was consequently disqualified. He might possibly have avoided
disqualification with a determined objection of this unauthorized help but he was perhaps too disappointed to really care.
|1.||10||Achille Varzi||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||100||3h27m49.4s|
|2.||26||Mario U. Borzacchini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||100||3h29m49.4s||+ 2m.00.0s|
|3.||8|| René Dreyfus||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||99||3h30m10.0s|
|4.||16||Louis Chiron||Scuderia C.C.||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||97|
|5.||32||Carlo Felice Trossi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||97|
|6.||38||Goffredo Zehender||R. Sommer||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||94|
|7.||12||"Williams"||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||90|
|8.||24||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||86|
|DNF||14||Benoît Falchetto||B. Falchetto||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||84||rear axle|
|DNF||18||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||69||driveshaft|
|DNF||34||Luigi Fagioli||L. Fagioli||Maserati||8C 3000||3.0||S-8||61||carburetor and magneto|
|DNF||6||Earl Howe ||Earl Howe||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||48||rear axle|
|DNF||22||Jean-Pierre Wimille||J.-P. Wimille||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||28||brakes|
|DNF||20||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||25||transmission|
|DNF||36||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||19||connecting rod|
|DNF||4||"Tim" Birkin||Bernard Rubin||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||17||differential|
|DNF||30||Eugenio Siena||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||7||clutch|
|DSQ||28||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||99||disqualified - outside help|
Fastest lap: Achille Varzi (Bugatti) on lap 99 in 1m59.0s = 96.2 km/h (59.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 91.8 km/h (57.0 mph)
Weather: sunny and warm.
The engine of Borzacchini's Alfa was near its end when he crossed the finish line rather slowly and therefore was unable to do a lap of honor.
Nuvolari's engine failure on lap 99 was generally attributed to a broken oil pipe, the oil then igniting on the hot exhaust pipes, causing the
engine fire. It was also reported that a broken part of the valve train let the oil escape from the engine, none of which in any way sounds
According to Anthony Pritchard in "Maserati: A History", Goffredo Zehender had to stop at the pits, his right foot badly blistered from the
engine heat. He joined the race again with more heavily soled shoes to finish sixth.
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE reported that Chiron had chosen smaller tires against the advice from Continental and therefore had to change tires during
the race, which cost him 1˝ minutes. Caracciola's trustworthy mechanic Bonini was in hospital with bad burns received in a factory accident.
This dilemma may also have contributed to Chiron's lack of performance or simply the fact that his friend and teammate had this very unfortunate
Caracciola followed the race from his hospital bed listening to the French radio commentary.
Nuvolari was absolutely furious when he reached the pits, totally exhausted. His mind already made up, he was going to split with the Scuderia
Ferrari, after driving for them at Tunis, Mille Miglia and Monaco. His own Alfa Romeo Monza was already on order to be delivered at
the end of the month. Enzo Ferrari explained to the press that this did not correspond with the facts since he had a legal binding contract
with Nuvolari till the end of 1933 and as such Nuvolari had to start in all races at which the Scuderia participated.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
A-Z Motorwelt, Brno
L'Éclaireur de Nice, Nice
MOTOR SPORT, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Special thanks to: