Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1950 GP at Silverstone, May 18, 1950 -- Photo of Louis Rosier Driving a Talbot

Louis Rosier (1905-1956).

Louis Rosier participated in 38 World Championship Grand Prix. He achieved 2 podiums, and scored a total of 18 championship points. He won the Durch Grand Prix in consecutive years between 1950 and 1951, the Circuit d'Albi, Grand-Prix de l'Albigeois and Lemans with his son.

L. Rosier of France in a Talbot, No. 15. The 1950 race was won by Farina.

Silverstone Curcuit, taken from a 1951 program in possession of the author

The Post-WWII years of Grand Prix Racing History are generally overlooked by historians and enthusiasts. They were the years before the Germans returned to the competition, and they were largely French and Italian in venue with a bit of British thrown in. In previous posts I have included a number of photos representing those years of GP racing, which were both exciting and dangerous.

The Silverstone track was far more difficult than it looked at this time. To begin with, it was so very wide compared to the ordinary roads which were used in racing on the continent, that sighting the line on the corners was by no means easy. One or two of the curves which were marked with pennants were extremely hard to pick up by a driver going over 100 m.p.h. The surface was good, however, with no more than normal bumpiness.
As the race progressed, rubber dust worn from the tire trades coated the corners thicker and thicker. Braking and acceleration scuffed the trad like a grindstone, and thus even the driest surface became slippery.

The most dangerous condition on the circuit occurred when a light rain started to fall half-way through the race, for then the thin film of water stayed on the top of the rubber dust and oil deposits. it could leave a surface as bad as ice. If the rain became harder the surface was washed clear, improve the traction and grip but making visibility far more difficult for the driver. When it did start to rain, drivers in the early 1950s used visors rather than goggles. a curved mica or plastic screen, it attached to the helmet.

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