Talk:1906 French Grand Prix

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Featured article 1906 French Grand Prix is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 20, 2011.
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February 28, 2011 Peer review Reviewed
March 19, 2011 Featured article candidate Promoted
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Current status: Featured article

Page clean up[edit]

I did a little work in wikifying the page. I'm not the most knowledgeable of sorts with Formula 1 but it's a start. I also linked the page to a few other relevant pages so that it wasn't an orphaned. Agne27 03:09, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I've changed the claim that Hermann Braun raced under the name Alexander Burton - in Robert Dick's book "Mercedes and Auto Racing in the Belle Epoque" that covers this exact period he says that Burton was "an overweight Englishman living in Cannes" and a powerboat racer, until a better source comes along I think we need to stick with that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:09, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


Sorry my review was a little slow in coming. The article made for a fascinating read, some great research here and I think all the main bases are covered. I made a few text changes to the article itself rather than listing them here, if you feel they don't improve it feel free to revert. Some other comments after reading:

  • Perhaps may be worth mentioning the rules on changing drivers under Entries and Cars.
  • "A mechanical problem caused Gabriel to lose control of his car at Saint-Calais; he regained control in time to avoid a fatal accident but was forced to retire." - I know the cars were lethal, but who's to say a crash would definately have been a fatal accident? Would "serious collision" be more appropriate?
    • I changed it to "serious accident". I'm not sure what he would have collided with. Apterygial 00:24, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • "Lancia and Jenatzy took this opportunity to retire from the race and seek treatment for their swollen eyes and faces....As planned, 'Burton' took over Jenatzy's car, but Lancia was forced to resume—in his normal clothes—when the reserve driver who was due to drive his car could not be found." - I took retire to mean that they took no further part in the race, but it then says that both the cars of Jenatzy and Lancia continued the race the next day. Needs clarification.
  • "had retired on lap ten after a long series punctures." - Does this mean a series of punctures that caused long delays?
    • Typo. Should be "after a long series of punctures." Fixed. Apterygial 00:29, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • There's a lot of "— subpoint —" throughout the article, which breaks up the flow. If you rewrite to try and remove some of them, then I feel the article would be more readable.
    • Point taken. I did a fair bit of pruning and rewording to get this down. Apterygial 06:41, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

As ever, if you want clarifcation on any of the above, just ask. AlexJ (talk) 19:19, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for that. And good work with the track map; it works very well even in that small size. Apterygial 06:41, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Just a couple more things that came into mind when I read through the article again:
  • The article briefly mentions that the tar broke up during practice, but makes no other mention of these practice sessions. I appreciate perhaps the details haven't been recorded, but a quick mention of when they took place, if the roads were closed, timed/untimed etc. would be nice to know.
  • The only source which elaborates in any meaningful way on this point is Hodges, who says that "the unusually heavy traffic (practising racing cars and spectators) had broken up some of the corners". Beyond this, I can't source. My thinking is that the ACF set up the track, and only closed the roads on the morning of the race (Hodges says 5am). This probably meant that competitors (and probably some boy racers) ran the track pretty hard learning the circuit, and I doubt it would have been official, or even timed outside of the individual teams. Do you think there's enough here to elaborate in the article? Apterygial 14:03, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Not really, I think based on that you've covered everything that's known for definite and is notable in the article already. AlexJ (talk) 13:57, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
  • The article describes the starting system, and the numbering system but doesn't say how the numbers were assigned to the teams, or the letters assigned within the teams. Again, details might not exist but it would be nice to include if they did. AlexJ (talk) 12:19, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Looked through every source, and I've got nothing. Within the individual teams, it seems as though the team leaders were given 'A' (as you would expect) but why the individual teams were given each number, I'm not sure. My initial thought was that it might have had something to do with the 1905 Gordon Bennett, but then we would expect Brasier (who won with Léon Théry) to have '1'. Perhaps the ACF assigned it randomly (which would have explained why they let an Italian car get away so early), but again this is just conjecture. Could well be lost to history. Apterygial 14:03, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I figured that might well be the case, but thought it was worth asking anyway, if only to rule it out. AlexJ (talk) 13:57, 20 February 2011 (UTC) How's your French? I've had a look through some period newspapers, and came across the following in the June 26 1906 edition of La Presse:
Chaque maison ayant engagé en général trois véhicules, le premier de ces véhicules porte la lettre A, le second porte la lettre B, le troisième porte la lettre C. Un tirage au sort a eu lieu entre chaque maison, et suivant l'ordre des numéros sortis, les véhicules partiront dans l'ordre de ces numéros.
Now, my French is very rusty, but I think it's along the lines of Generally, each marque has entered three vehicles, the first marked with the letter A, the second marked with the letter B, the third marked with the letter C. A draw took place between the marques, to determine the order numbers, and the vehicles will start in the order of these numbers. I'd like to get that checked with someone who's a bit more familiar with the language, but that would appear to be a good enough source for both the letters being assigned by the teams and the numbers being randomly drawn. AlexJ (talk) 14:33, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
That's some fantastic research. While I concurred with your translation, I checked with the good people at the language reference desk, and confirmed it. I've now added it into the article. Apterygial 10:24, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Good to get confirmation from people more familiar with the language. The article should definitely satisfy 1b now at FAC! AlexJ (talk) 15:33, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Just noticed: the map has Connerré without the accent over the "e". Apterygial 09:13, 28 February 2011 (UTC)


The following articles were redlinked from this article, and their links were removed because a basic search determined that it was unlikely articles would be created for them:

In the event of any of these links becoming blue, they should be added back into the article. Apterygial 11:53, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Pau Grand Prix[edit]

The statement Although it was not the first motor race to be called a 'Grand Prix' (a smaller race, the Pau Grand Prix, had been held in 1901), the 1906 race .... is not correct, and needs to be either fixed or explained properly, especially if this article is under review. The Pau Grand Prix was first held in 1933. The footnotes explain that the 1901 'Pau Grand Prix' is a mistranslation by Anglophone sources that is in danger of becoming normalised through repetition (and Wiki). The footnotes refer to contemporaneous French magazine sources (La France Automobile) and French publications (L’Histoire de l’Automobile/Paris 1907), which differentiate between the event which was the Circuit du Sud-Ouest and the 'Big Prize' (the Grand Prix de Pau) which was awarded for the Heavy class. Those sources give zero credence to Pau actually being a Grand Prix. Thus 1906 Sarthe was the first motoring event to be called a grand prix. Chienlit (talk) 19:00, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps a compromise could be reached by saying Although it was not the first motor race to be called a 'Grand Prix' (a smaller race held in Pau in 1901 had awarded the "Grand Prix de Pau"), the 1906 race ... ? Apterygial 23:02, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Much better but surely the first bit is still wrong, it was the first race to be called a Grand Prix de.... Chienlit (talk) 23:38, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Although a smaller race held in Pau in 1901 had awarded the 'Grand Prix de Pau', the 1906 race outside Le Mans was the first genuinely international race to carry the label 'Grand Prix'. ? Apterygial 03:05, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg :) Chienlit (talk) 07:24, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Done. Apterygial 07:44, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Meaning of Prix[edit]

Google translate says Prix might be french for prize.--Rhbsihvi (talk) 07:34, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

It is; Grand Prix means Great (or Grand) Prize in English. However, the French is used universally in English. Apterygial talk 07:39, 20 May 2011 (UTC)