1914 French Grand Prix

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1914 French Grand Prix
Race details
Date 4 July 1914
Official name Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France
Location Lyon, France
Course Public roads
Course length 37.629 km (23.380 mi)
Distance 20 laps, 752.58 km (467.600 mi)
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Max Sailer Mercedes GP
Time 20:06.0
First Mercedes GP
Second Mercedes GP
Third Mercedes GP

The 1914 French Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held at Lyon on 4 July 1914.

The Race

The restriction on Grand Prix cars for 1914 included an 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) maximum weight and a 4500cc maximum engine capacity.[1][2]

Christian Lautenschlager won at an average speed of 65.665 mph (105.677 km/h). The fastest lap was set by Max Sailer, at an average speed of 69.780 mph (112.325 km/h).[3]

The Grand Prix was a contest between the French Peugeots and the German Mercedes. This was the last Grand Prix before the First World War, and took place less than a week after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. An estimated crowd of over 300,000[4] watched thirty-seven cars start in pairs with a thirty-second gap between each pair. Sailer led by 18 seconds at the end of the first lap, and by lap five had built a lead of almost three minutes.[4] Sailer retired with a blown engine on lap six.[3] Georges Boillot took over the lead and retained it for the next twelve laps. At one point he led by over four minutes.

The Mercedes drivers each made one stop during the race for new Continental tyres,[2] regardless of the tyre wear. This contrasted with the poor wear[2] of the Dunlop tyres used by Peugeot[5] and Boillot's eight stops for tyres.[4] Boillot's many stops allowed Lautenschlager to pass Boillot on lap 18. By the end of that lap, Lautenschlager had opened up a lead of over 30 seconds. Boillot dropped out during the final lap.[3][4]

Ferenc Szisz, the winner of the first French Grand Prix in 1906, had to retire from the race through injury. On the 11th lap Szisz was forced to stop to change a wheel. During the wheel change, he was hit by another car and suffered a broken arm. His mechanic was also injured. This was the last Grand Prix before World War I started, and racing did not resume until 1919.[6]


Grid before the start
Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired
1 28 Germany Christian Lautenschlager Mercedes GP 20 7:08:18.4
2 40 France Louis Wagner Mercedes GP +1:35.8
3 39 Germany Otto Salzer Mercedes GP +4:57.4
4 19 France Jules Goux Peugeot EX5 +9:28.8
5 24 United Kingdom Dario Resta Sunbeam +19:59.0
6 17 France Dragutin Esser Nagant +32:09.8
7 32 France Victor Rigal Peugeot EX5 +36:09.8
8 35 Belgium Arthur Duray Delage S +43:13.6
9 6 France René Champoiseau Th. Schneider +58:33.2
10 2 Germany Carl Jörns Opel +1:08:51.2
11 27 Italy Antonio Fagnano Fiat +1:17:52.6
Ret 5 France Georges Boillot Peugeot EX5 19 Engine
Ret 11 Tournier Pic-Pic 18
Ret 22 Italy Jean Porporato Nazzaro 18 Engine
Ret 3 Leon Elskamp Nagant 18
Ret 23 France Albert Guyot Delage S 18 Engine
Ret 9 France Paul Bablot Delage S 16 Engine
Ret 16 Germany Emile Erndtmann Opel 12
Ret 30 Germany Franz Breckheimer Opel 12
Ret 10 France Jean Chassagne Sunbeam 12 Big end
Ret 1 Hungary Ferenc Szisz Alda 11 Driver injury
Ret 15 Italy Pietro Bordino Alda 10
Ret 13 Italy Alessandro Cagno Fiat 10 Valve
Ret 36 United Kingdom Kenelm Lee Guinness Sunbeam 9 Engine
Ret 25 Thomas Clarke Pic-Pic 8
Ret 33 Juvanon Th. Schneider 8 Engine
Ret 34 De Moraes ("Cenesio") Nazzaro 8 Engine
Ret 20 France Fernand Gabriel Th. Schneider 8 Engine
Ret 18 United States Ralph DePalma Vauxhall 7 Gearbox
Ret 29 France Maurice Tabuteau Alda 7 Crash
Ret 38 John Scales Fiat 7 Valve gear
Ret 14 Germany Max Sailer Mercedes GP 5 Engine
Ret 8 Italy Felice Nazzaro Nazzaro 3 Engine
Ret 41 Belgium Theodore Pilette Mercedes GP 3 Propellor shaft
Ret 31 United Kingdom W. Watson Vauxhall 2 Carburettor
Ret 26 Italy Bartolomeo "Meo" Costantini Aquila Italiana 1 Engine
Ret 4 John Hancock Vauxhall 1 Engine


  1. ^ Higham, Peter (1995). The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing. Guinness Publishing. pp. 194–196. ISBN 0-85112-642-1.
  2. ^ a b c Snellman, Leif. "8W, Remember it for the one who lost". Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  3. ^ a b c "1914 Grands Prix". Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d Doyle, Gary D. "France, 1914 and the Artist Historians" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  5. ^ David, Dennis. "Peugeot 1914 Grand Prix". Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  6. ^ Sury, Geza; Hans Etzrodt; Jimmy Piget. "8W, The first Grand Prix". Retrieved 2008-06-25.

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