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1922 French Grand Prix

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1922 French Grand Prix
Race details
Date 15 July 1922
Official name XVI Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France
Location Strasbourg, France
Course Public roads
Course length 13.38 km (8.31 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 802.88 km (498.89 mi)
Pole position
Driver Fiat
Grid positions set by ballot
Fastest lap
Driver Pietro Bordino Fiat
Time 5:43.0
First Fiat
Second Bugatti
  • Pierre Marco

The 1922 French Grand Prix (formally the XVI Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France) was a Grand Prix motor race held at Strasbourg on 15 July 1922. The race was run over 60 laps of the 13.38km circuit for a total distance of just over 800km and was won by Felice Nazzaro driving a Fiat. This race is notable as the first French Grand Prix to feature a massed start.[1]

The race was run to new Grand Prix regulations, requiring engines no larger than 2 litres, in cars with two seats weighing at least 650kg. In practice, the Fiats were dominant, with only the Bugatti drivers close in times (the Bugatti drivers had the advantage of the Bugatti factory being in nearby Molsheim, so had already learned the circuit). After the rolling start, Felice Nazzaro lead Friderich at the end of the first lap, with the other Fiat drivers down in the pack due to their lower starting positions. By lap 4, Bordino had taken the lead, and by lap 10 Biagio Nazzaro was up to third, so Fiat lead 1-2-3. The two lead Fiats would trade the lead several times due to pitstops, with Biagio Nazzaro holding third, the three Fiats continuing to increase their lead whilst many of their competitors retired, until after halfway, Biagio Nazzaro experienced difficulties, and made a slow pitstop, dropping him to fourth until Foresti, who had taken third, retired on lap 44. With nearly all other competitors retired (mostly with engine problems), and the race nearing its end, a Fiat 1-2-3 seemed inevitable, when tragedy struck: while at top speed, Biagio Nazzaro's Fiat lost a rear wheel, then hit a tree, turning the car over and killing him instantly. With just two laps to go, Bordino suffered a similar failure, thankfully at a much slower part of the track, his car stopping safely with a lost rear wheel. And so Felice Nazzaro was left to finish the race, winning by nearly an hour. It was later found that on all three Fiats the rear axle casings were faulty, with a large crack developing on Felice Nazzaro's.[1]


The race start and another shot from the start-finish area
Felice Nazzaro after the race
Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired
1 4 Felice Nazzaro Fiat 804 60 6h17m17.0
2 12 Pierre De Vizcaya Bugatti T30 60 7h15m09.8
3 22 Pierre Marco Bugatti T30 60 7h48m04.2
4 11 Pietro Bordino Fiat 804 58 Rear axle, crash
5 18 Jacques Mones-Maury Bugatti T30 57 + 3 laps
Ret 17 Biagio Nazzaro Fiat 804 51 Rear axle, fatal crash
Ret 14 Giulio Foresti Ballot 2LS 44 Engine
Ret 7 Jules Goux Ballot 2LS 31 Crash
Ret 8 Clive Gallop Aston Martin GP 30 Engine
Ret 21 Henry Segrave Sunbeam 29 Engine
Ret 15 Louis Zborowski Aston Martin GP 19 Engine
Ret 20 Giulio Masetti Ballot 2LS 15 Engine
Ret 5 Ernest Friderich Bugatti T30 14 Engine
Ret 13 Victor Hemery Rolland Pilain A22 12 Overheating
Ret 16 Kenelm Lee Guinness Sunbeam 5 Engine
Ret 9 Jean Chassagne Sunbeam 5 Engine
Ret 6 Albert Guyot Rolland Pilain A22 2 Engine
Ret 19 Louis Wagner Rolland Pilain A22 2 Engine


  1. ^ a b c Hodges, David (1967). The French Grand Prix. pp. 60–64.
  2. ^ Darren Galpin. "1922 Grands Prix, The GEL Motorsport Information Page". Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  3. ^ "1922 French Grand Prix". Motor Sport Magazine Database. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

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