1 9 1 4



Lautenschlager (Mercedes)
28 Christian Lautenschlager
Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
Mercedes 18/100
Wagner (Mercedes)
40 Louis Wagner
Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
Mercedes 18/100
Salzer (Mercedes)
39 Otto Salzer
Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
Mercedes 18/100


GRAND PRIX DE L'AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE FRANCE

Lyon (F), 4 July 1914 (Saturday).
20 laps x 37.631 km (23.385 mi) = 752.620 km (467.678 mi)

No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Francois SziszFernand CharronAlda4.5S-4
2Carl JörnsAdam OpelOpel4.5S-4
3Leon ElskampNagant Frères Nagant4.5S-4
4John HancockVauxhall Motors Co.Vauxhall4.5S-4
5Georges BoillotAutomobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeotEX 54.5S-4
6René Champoiseau Automobiles Th. SchneiderTh Schneider4.5S-4
7Scacci & CiaCaesarDNA - did not appear
8Felice NazzaroFab Automobili NazzaroNazzaro4.5S-4
9Paul BablotAutomobiles DelageDelageS4.5S-4
10Jean ChassagneSunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd.Sunbeam4.5S-4
11Paul TournierPiccard-Pictet et CiePic-Pic4.5S-4
12Beria d'ArgentinaFabbrica d'Automobili AquilaAquila Italiana4.5S-6DNS - did not start
13Alessandro CagnoFabbrica Italiana Automobli TorinoFiat14B4.5S-4
14Max SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4
15PietroFernand CharronAlda4.5S-4
16Emile ErndtmannAdam OpelOpel4.5S-4
17Willy EsserNagant FrèresNagant4.5S-4
18Ralph DePalmaVauxhall Motors Co.Vauxhall4.5S-4
19Jules GouxAutomobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeotEX 54.5S-4
20Fernand GabrielAutomobiles Th. SchneiderTh. Schneider4.5S-4
21Scacchi & CiaCaesarDNA - did not appear
22Jean PorporatoFab Automobili NazzaroNazzaro4.5S-4
23Albert GuyotAutomobiles DelageDelageS4.5S-4
24Dario RestaSunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd.Sunbeam4.5S-4
25Thomas ClarkePiccard-Pictet et CiePic-Pic4.5S-4
26Meo CostantiniFabbrica d'Automobili AquilaAquila Italiana4.5S-6
27Antonio FagnanoFabbrica Italiana Automobli TorinoFiat14B4.5S-4
28Christian LautenschlagerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4
29Maurice TabuteauFernand CharronAlda4.5S-4
30Franz BreckheimerAdam OpelOpel4.5S-4
31William WatsonVauxhall Motors Co.Vauxhall4.5S-4
32Victor RigalAutomobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeotEX 54.5S-4
33Henri JuvanonAutomobiles Th. SchneiderTh Schneider4.5S-4
34Ostengo De MoraesFab Automobili NazzaroNazzaro4.5S-4
35Arthur DurayAutomobiles DelageDelageS4.5S-4
36Kenelm Lee GuinnessSunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd.Sunbeam4.5S-4
37Giovanni MarsagliaFabbrica d'Automobili AquilaAquila Italiana4.5S-6DNS - did not start
38Jack ScalesFabbrica Italiana Automobli TorinoFiat14B4.5S-4
39Otto SalzerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4
40Louis WagnerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4
41Theodore PiletteDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4


Lautenschlager, Wagner and Salzer achieved Mercedes three-way victory

by Hans Etzrodt
Various entertaining accounts have been written about the 1914 Grand Prix, allegedly the "Greatest Grand Prix" of them all. They have accredited Mercedes with a German master plan of applied racing strategy, which won them the race, and is just a fabricated story made up by journalists after the race. This report instead explains the race simply by providing correct facts and figures.
      The French automobile champion Georges Boillot had won the 1912 and 1913 Grand Prix with Peugeot and started for the 1914 Grand Prix as undisputable favorite. Jules Goux and Victor Rigal, his teammates, provided Peugeot support. Other French entries included 3 Delage, 3 Alda and 3 Th Schneider. The British opposition arrived with 3 Sunbeam and 3 Vauxhall. The Italians turned up with 3 Fiat, 3 Nazzaro, and 3 Aquila Italiana, the Belgian came with 2 Nagant, the Swiss with 2 Pic-Pic, while Germany appeared with 3 Opel and 5 Mercedes, the largest number allowed.
      Utmost intent and determination to win the 1914 Grand Prix enabled Mercedes to carry out painstaking pre-race work and arrived for this race with well-prepared cars. They used Continental tires, which had been pre-tested to change just once during the race. Mercedes was the only team to enter five cars, driven by Sailer, Salzer, Wagner, Pilette and Lautenschlager, who was not the fastest driver, but steady in his speed and had developed a fine feel for the mechanical limits of his car. He did not make the mistake to get lured into a dangerous chase with any of his opponents. Only in the last five of 20 laps did the German increase his pace after pit signage to hunt down the Peugeot of the French champion. Boillot in his last race demonstrated his tremendous skills to keep his ailing car on the road, probably in his best race ever. Lautenschlager was victorious while Boillot's Peugeot broke down, Wagner and Salzer made the Mercedes triple victory possible.
The political situation 1914 in Europe was one of uneasiness. Over many years Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy had formed an alliance which was opposed by the long-standing Entente of France, Britain, and Russia. On June 28, 1914, days before the Grand Prix, a young Bosnian extremist from a Serbian terrorist faction killed the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, Serbia. On 28. July the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph declared war on Serbia which was aligned with the Russian Czar Saint Nicholas II. On 1. August the German Kaiser Wilhelm II was at war with France.

Following the 1913 Grand Prix, after lengthy deliberations, the Sporting Commission of the ACF decided to use the Lyon Circuit, published by L'Auto on 2. September 1913. When L'Auto printed the circuit plan for the first time on 2. October 1913, various cars from Peugeot, Alda, Fiat, Nazzaro and others were seen practicing to learn the circuit. L'Auto published the Regulations on 5. November, for the Grand Prix to be held on Saturday, 4. July 1914, stating that only manufacturers could enter with an entrance fee of 3,000 Francs per car until 31. March 1914, thereafter a double payment was required. The ACF established the 1914 formula of 4.5-liter maximum engine displacement and a maximum weight limited at 1,100 kg or 2,425 lb which resulted in the smallest grand prix cars ever. The 1,100 kg, represented the empty car with two seats but without water, gasoline, oil, tools, and spare parts. The color of the cars was also specified: Germany - White, Belgium - Yellow, Spain - Yellow and Red, USA - White and Blue, France - Blue, Great Britain and Ireland - Green, Italy - Red, Switzerland - Red and White.
Circuit:
The circuit, about 20 km south from Lyon, was hilly and tortuous, roughly triangular, 37.631 km long and had to be covered 20 times in clockwise direction, giving a total distance of 752.620 km. The route started at the huge 4000-seat grandstand and pits with a succession of short straights with easy curves. It then bypassed the small town of Givors where it ran under the railway bridge and snaked along the river Gier with lots of twists and turns. The circuit turned back through the hairpin of Virage de la Madeleine leading into a long climb. From here followed a downhill straight of about 12 km to the S-bend, called Le Piège de la Mort (death trap), a feared left bend, leading to the hairpin at les Sept Chemin and back to the grandstand. Georges Boillot considered it the best circuit he had ever seen, for the driver as well as for the spectator. The grandstand had the opportunity of judging how spectacularly located was the start and finish point. The car came in sight about five km from the stands and was seen coming down the winding hill along the S-bend, rounding the Sept Chemins hairpin turn and along the straightaway in front of the stands. The course work was completed at the end of June after the roads had been re-laid with granite to prevent break up from the use of steel studded tires. The two hairpins had been concreted and to keep the dust down, the third had been laid with smooth granite blocks. 80 tons of calcium chloride had been scattered on the roads. As a result, the road surface probably was the finest over which racing cars ever have worn down tires. As a protection for drivers, sand and cinders were banked around the outside of every turn to a height of one meter.
Entries:
Entries were received from 14 manufacturers for 41 cars at the start. None of the earlier Grands Prix had come across such an international character as seen this time. At the close of entries there were 12 French cars facing 29 foreign entries. To picture the circumstances at that time, one had to visualize the 1914 situation. Until now the Grand Prix had been held only five times. The victors had been Szisz in 1906, Nazzaro in 1907, Lautenschlager in 1908 and the double victor Boillot in 1912 and 1913. Now these four great champions Szisz, Nazzaro, Lautenschlager and Boillot were meeting at the sixth Grand Prix. This was like a wrestling match of the Giants. Additionally, there were also Wagner, a Vanderbilt victor, famous Ralph DePalma representing America and Jules Goux the 1913 Indianapolis winner. The Grand Prix was an all-star spectacle and there were very few drivers who had not made names for themselves.
      Without going into many details, all cars had 4.5-L engines with four cylinders except Aquila Italiana had six. All cars were fitted with overhead camshafts except the sleeve-valve Pic-Pics. All cars that finished the Grand Prix were fitted with Rudge-Whitworth detachable wire wheels. One great advantage was four-wheel braking which was used by Peugeot, Delage, Fiat and Piccard-Pictet, which supposedly saved each of them one minute in lap time.
      The entries were listed in order of race numbers, which had been decided by ballot, with #1 for the French Alda team who entered Szisz, Tabuteau, and Pietro, a newcomer, using Pirelli tires. The German Opel team started with #2 for Jörns, with teammates Erndtmann and Breckheimer, the cars were fitted with Continental tires. The Belgian Nagant team entered #3 Elskamp and Esser, the cars were furnished with Dunlop tires. The British Vauxhall team used #4 Hancock, Ralph DePalma, and Watson; the cars were using Dunlops. The French Peugeot team started with #5 Boillot, Goux and Rigal, the cars were using Dunlops. The French Th. Schneider team had #6 Champoiseau, Gabriel and Juvanon, the cars used Dunlop tires. The two Italian Caesar cars had #7 and #21 but were withdrawn beforehand. The Italian Nazzaro team entered #8 Felice Nazzaro, Porporato and Cenisio, the latter was changed later to Ostengo De Moraes, the cars were equipped with Pirelli tires. The French Delage team entered #9 Bablot, Guyot and Duray, their cars were fitted with Pirellis. The British Sunbeam team started with #10 Chassagne and the two Guinness brothers, one of which was later replaced by Dario Resta, all three cars used Dunlops. The Swiss Piccard-Pictet team had single-sleeve motors, entered #11 Clarke and Tournier, the cars were fitted with Continental tires. The Italian Aquila-Italiana team had #12 Beria d'Argentina who was replaced by Marquis de Moraes, Giovanni Marsaglia, and Meo Costantini, using Pirellis. The Italian Fiat team started with #13 Cagno, Fagnano and Scales, the cars were fitted with Pirellis. The German Mercedes team had the lowest number, therefore mentioned last with #14 for Sailer, the cars were fitted with Continentals. On 22. December 1923 Mercedes had entered five cars, the maximum allowed. Besides Lautenschlager there was again Otto Salzer, then the experienced Parisian Louis Wagner, who had replaced the driver Nagel, 31-year-old Max Sailer, a research engineer at DMG and the Belgian Mercedes importer Théodore Pilette. The engines represented the latest in DMG aero engine technology and bore very close resemblance to the engine of which hundreds had recently been supplied to the German air force. The team was very well prepared for this race also due to their extensive pre-practice. The 110 hp Peugeots were faster around the corners because of their four-wheel brakes.
Pre-practice:
A Mercedes engineer conducted the first course survey in January 1914 when he also calculated gear ratios for their race cars, which effected the early design of the cars that had been based on the 1913 model. As of 20. March 1914, and over Easter, the Mercedes team was practicing for two weeks on the Lyons circuit, methodically preparing for the Grand Prix. Engineer Max Sailer, head of the driving department, managed this task with taking care of the cars. As only two race cars of early design had been completed, seven Knight-chassis with 16/45-hp-Knight-engines, fitted with just two seats were driven in the morning from 6 to 11 and in the afternoon from 2 to 7 on weekdays and holidays at rain and sunshine, carefully slowing down as they passed through the towns, prudently studying the bends and surveying the circuit down to the smallest detail. The drivers had been able to learn the road, accumulating about 45,000 km in testing. Besides the established race drivers Salzer and Lautenschlager there was the newcomer, Engineer Sailer, who also drove cars which was bemocked by Lautenschlager. They left on 3. April before the roads were prohibited for racing cars in early April and after they had chosen its headquarters for the 1914 Grand Prix d'ACF in Lyon, at the Lafayette garage, 85, rue Pierre-Corneille, and, on the circuit, at the Hotel de Provence, in Givors. Based on these tests various aspects of the early design grand prix cars were changed, including shortening the wheelbase and minor suspension alterations to improve the handling. The thoroughness of the preparation and the reliability of the cars were to give Mercedes their success in the race.
Practice:
Race management allowed practice on only four days, Monday 22. June, Wednesday 24. June, Thursday 25. June and Saturday 27. June and only at predawn from 3:30 to 5:00 in the morning. This had its cause in the problem of securing the long circuit and led to many complaints from the teams. Since every driver was allowed only two times for practice, they had only four hours entirely. The reason for the meagre practice time was due to the many repairs still to be done to the circuit. Wednesday and Saturday were reserved for German and British cars. Salzer and Lautenschlager were with the Mercedes on the track and the Opel drivers Jörns and Fritz Opel. Pilette practiced with a Mercedes touring car. Salzer completed one lap in 21 minutes. Lautenschlager drove three laps in 1h07m53s at an average speed of 100 km/h. The quickest cars during official practice came from Delage, Sunbeam, Mercedes, and Peugeot. Vauxhall was ill prepared, their cars arrived only on the day of scrutineering, so Vauxhall, Nazzaro and others were not able to practice and started in the race without ever having their cars on the circuit.
      In the trials the three Delage had shown themselves faster than the Peugeots and quite the equal of the Mercedes. They had been prepared with minute care. Before the race all three of the Delage had faced trouble with back-firing into the carburetors, and thinking to prevent this defect, which was supposed to arise from a slightly imperfect seating of the positively operated valves, which were operated by cams, rather than the closing being made by a spring, a new adjustment was done a few hours before the start. This proved a costly error, for promptly the speed of the motor dropped and the engine power was cut down notably.
Scrutineering:
Scrutineering and weighing took place on Friday the 3. July between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. using the scale platform on the market place of the small village of Brignais, about two km from the hairpin of les 7 Chemins. The scrutineering of all 39 cars was completed including the control of cylinder measurements. The controls included the inspection of the unscathed lead seals of the motor, which had been measured earlier. Gendarmes and soldiers with fixed bayonet blocked the area to keep order from the curious crowd. The Fiat engines were marginally oversize but were allowed to start only under the condition, if they would be successful the cars would be disqualified. The Alda cars were weighed with gasoline in the tanks. The three Opel looked small, like voiturettes and were followed by the two Nagant. A sensation were the Peugeots, shown here publicly for the first time. The two Piccard-Pictet were too heavy when they came to the scale but later after draining their tanks, they passed. The Mercedes of Lautenschlager and Salzer caused eager interest. Vauxhall had missed their appointed morning time but were weighed just late after 4 p.m. Near the end of the weighing a strong streaming rain started, lasting the whole night. The Nazzaro cars were delayed with seized pistons, involving the dismantling of all motors, though they eventually passed only after darkness had fallen. Thus, all 39 cars were said to be below the 1100 kg limit, as listed below. However, the indicated weights did not show the exact minimum weights, as many cars carried fuel, oil, and water since they were driven away from the scale.


CarDriverWeight
Alda ISziz1010 kg
Alda IIPietro1050 kg
Alda IIITabuteau1075 kg
Opel IJörns935 kg
Opel IIErndtmann930 kg
Opel IIIBreckheimer950 kg
Nagant IElskamp1055 kg
Nagant IIEsser1055 kg
Peugeot IBoillot1060 kg
Peugeot IIGoux1065 kg
Peugeot IIIRigal1050 kg
Th. Schneider IChanpaiseau1085 kg
Th. Schneider IIGabriel1080 kg
Th. Schneider IIIJunavon1070 kg
Sunbeam IChassagne1095 kg
Sunbeam IIResta1085 kg
Sunbeam IIIL. Guinness1070 kg
Delage IBablot1098 kg
Delage IIGuyot1100 kg
Delage IIIDuray1080 kg
Mercedes ISailer1090 kg
Mercedes IILautenschlager1080 kg
Mercedes IIISalzer1085 kg
Mercedes IVWagner1080 kg
Mercedes VPilette1090 kg
Fiat ICagno1025 kg
Fiat IIFagnano1020 kg
Fiat IIIScales1030 kg
Piccard-Pictet ITournier1095 kg
Piccard-Pictet IIClarke1090 kg
Aquila Italiana IMarsaglia1095 kg
Aquila Italiana IIBeria d'Argentina1095 kg
Aquila Italiana IIICostantini1100 kg
Vauxhall IHancock1070 kg
Vauxhall IIDePalma1060 kg
Vauxhall IIIWatson1060 kg
Nazzaro INazzaro1095 kg
Nazzaro IIPorporato1097 kg
Nazzaro IIIDe Moraes1085 kg
 
Race:
After it had rained the night before, Saturday morning of the race presented a blue sky with the air not too hot. Georges Boillot, the world's best driver, was the favorite, not only because he had the swiftest car but he had also won the Grand Prix the previous two years and had raced at Indianapolis in May. Georges Boillot, the little proud Frenchman racing for France, was the idol of the crowd. The hills, mountain slopes, trees, houses, and all along the course were crowded black with people, the spectators were estimated at around 300,000. On the morning of 4 July at seven o'clock, the world's best 37 drivers faced the starter, comprising 13 factory teams from six nations, France, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The Mercedes drivers were dressed in white sweaters and white dust caps. Few drivers wore gloves and the great champion Boillot refused to even wear something on his head. He drove the Grand Prix bareheaded.
      Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (Wien) in No. 28, p34 > In the last hour some start numbers were still exchanged: so Jörns-Opel (former No. 30) drove as No. 2; Elskamp-Nagant (former No. 17) as No. 3; Sailer-Mercedes (former No. 39) as No. 14; Esser-Nagant (former No. 3) as No. 17; Resta-Sunbeam (former No. 36) as No. 24; Breckheimer-Opel (former No. 2) as No. 30; Guinness-Sunbeam (former No. 24) now No. 36; Salzer-Mercedes (former No. 40) now No. 38; Wagner-Mercedes (former No. 14) now No. 40.
      The starting order had been decided by ballot. Four cars of the original entries did not make the start, #7 Caesar, #21 Caesar, and Aquila Italiana. #37 and #12. At 7:45 a.m. the engines were started filling the air with a dull howl. The 37 drivers started together in pairs at half-minute intervals. Such an exciting start had never been seen before at a Grand Prix. The first pair of Szisz in his blue Alda and Jörns in his white Opel was dispatched by dropping of a flag at eight o'clock, followed in 30-second intervals by the 35 other cars.

The start began at 8:00 in the morning and the last driver was Pilette who left at 8:10.
8:00m00s1SziszAlda I
2JörnsOpel I
8:00m30s 3ElskampNagant I
4HancockVauxhall I
8:01m00s 5BoillotPeugeot I
6ChampoiseauSchneider I
8:01m30s 7XCaesar IDNA - did not appear
8NazzaroNazzaro I
8:02m00s9BablotDelage I
10ChassagneSunbeam I
8:02m30s11TournierPiccard-Pictet I
12d'ArgentinaAquila Italiana IDNS - did not start
8:03m00s13CagnoFiat I
14SailerMercedes I
8:03m30s15PietroAlda II
16ErndtmannOpel II
8:04m00s17EsserNagant II
18DePalmaVauxhall II
8:04m30s19GouxPeugeot II
20GabrielSchneider II
8:05m00s21XCaesar IIDNA - did not appear
22PorporatoNazzaro II
8:05m30s23GuyotDelage II
24RestaSunbeam II
8:06m00s25ClarkePiccard-Pictet II
26CostantiniAquila Italiana II
8:06m30s27FagnanoFiat II
28LautenschlagerMercedes II
8:07m00s29TabuteauAlda III
30BreckheimerOpel III
8:07m30s31WatsonVauxhall III
32RigalPeugeot III
8:08m00s33JuvanonSchneider III
34De MoraesNazzaro III
8:08m30s35DurayDelage III
36GuinnessSunbeam III
8:09m00s37MarsagliaAquila Italiana IIIDNS - did not start
38ScalesFiat III
8:09m30s39SalzerMercedes III
40WagnerMercedes IV
8:10m00s41PiletteMercedes V
Lap 1 - ten minutes after the last start, all the binoculars were pointed from the grandstand at the first visible bend of the Esses. "It's Boillot!" were shouts from the crowd, while the blue car plunged into the descent. Behind him came Szisz, then Sailer, Champoiseau, Jörns, Bablot, Chassagne and Cagno. The passages followed one another, while the times were displayed, a little slow perhaps: it was Sailer who made the best time. The unknown Max Sailer, a cocky DMG engineer who was new in grand prix racing, went flat out, had passed no fewer than 12 of his rivals and was leading at the end of the 1st lap to the disbelief of everyone. Champoiseau had smashed his Schneider against a balustrade at Rive-de-Gier but immediately carried on. Amongst the leading ten cars were 3 Mercedes, 3 Peugeot, 2 Sunbeam, 1 Delage and 1 Fiat with another 27 cars running behind. Since they were so far back, they were irrelevant at this time. David Hodges in The French Grand Prix, p48 > Salzer (#39 Mercedes) made a false start, so both he and Wagner (#40 Mercedes) were stopped by a marshal and Pilette (#41 Mercedes) passed them. As a result, Wagner's 1st lap was down to 23m33s but Salzer 1st lap time of 26m55s was caused as his plugs had oiled up. DePalma (#18 Vauxhall) with a lap in 26m29s finished in 29th position, while his teammate Hancock (#4 Vauxhall) was still out on the circuit due to an unfortunate incident just before the S-turn, when the engine caught fire, he suffered a broken piston. His time of 2h25m29s explained that he finished the lap only when the leaders were on their 6th lap. Watson (#31 Vauxhall) was even further behind with a time of 2h46m29s, but he was again timed on the second lap. After 37.631 km, Sailer led at 106.586 km/h average speed with the leaders in the following order after the first lap:
1.14Sailer (Mercedes)21m11s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)21m29s
3.35Duray (Delage)21m30s
4.24Resta (Sunbeam)21m52s
5.19Goux (Peugeot)22m10s
6.41Pilette (Mercedes)22m18s
7.32Rigal (Peugeot)22m22s
8.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)22m31s
9.36Guinness (Sunbeam)22m34s
10.27Fagnano (Fiat)22m51s

Lap 2 - Boillot completed the 2nd lap, but Sailer passed only two minutes after him on the road, followed by Szisz, at the same distance, then Bablot after 30 seconds. Goux was a few seconds behind, then Chassagne, Cagno and Resta. Unfortunately, the display board was slow and it was quite difficult to know the positions. Sailer's Mercedes was still in the lead, by time, and the first five places remained the same. Lautenschlager's restrained pace of 21m32s for the lap advanced his Mercedes from 8th to 6th position, after passing Rigal and Pilette. When Guyot's Delage moved on to 10th place, Fagnano's Fiat dropped behind him. Jörns, stopped at the pits as a stone had broken his radiator cap, which was leaking. Clarke stopped his Pic-Pic for five minutes at the pits to work on the carburetor. Tabuteau stopped the Alda at the pits. Szisz also had to stop for several minutes to repair the carburetor. Nazzaro, Porporato and De Moraes were delayed by several incidents. Watson (#31 Vauxhall) was timed in 3h30m12s after the 2nd lap which showed that he was still somewhere stationary on the circuit, evidently with a carburetor problem, but in fact he completed his second lap much later when the leaders were on the 9th lap. The Autocar p75 > about Vauxhall, all their Zenith carburetors had, unfortunately, been "improved" by some unauthorized person the evening before, with the result that the acceleration had been harmed and a deal of missing punch introduced. When Costantini (#26 Aquila Italiana) abandoned on the 2nd lap, having broken the fuel tank, the field was down to 36 cars. After 75.262 km Sailer led at 107.431 km/h average speed with the following order after the 2nd lap:
1.14Sailer (Mercedes)42m02s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)42m48s
3.35Duray (Delage)42m54s
4.24Resta (Sunbeam)43m09s
5.19Goux (Peugeot)44m00s
6.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)44m03s
7.41Pilette (Mercedes 44m06s
8.32Rigal (Peugeot) 44m48s
9.36Guinness (Sunbeam)44m58s
10.23Guyot (Delage)45m09s

Lap 3 - Boillot appeared in front, but the gap on the road to Sailer had decreased to only 43 seconds between them in front of the stands. In addition, Duray was still very threatening, as well as Resta. Sailer still held the lead, now 77 seconds ahead of Boillot while the first four positions stayed the same. Lautenschlager climbed from 6th to 5th place, while Goux was now sixth. Guinness moved one place up to 8th position and Rigal's Peugeot dropped further behind to ninth place. The field was still 36 cars strong. After 112.893 km Sailer led at 108.377 km/h average speed with the order after the 3rd lap:
1.14Sailer (Mercedes)1h02m30s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)1h03m47s
3.35Duray (Delage)1h04m10s
4.24Resta (Sunbeam)1h04m24s
5.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)1h04m54s
6.19Goux (Peugeot)1h05m19s
7.41Pilette (Mercedes 1h05m29s
8.36Guinness (Sunbeam)1h06m44s
9.32Rigal (Peugeot) 1h07m20s
10.23Guyot (Delage)1h07m24s

Lap 4 - Boillot appeared again, but this time Sailer was only 200 meters away in the descent. Boillot stopped for twenty seconds at his pits and Sailer passed the Peugeot in front of the grandstand, leading now also on the road. Furiously, Boillot left, giving the impression that the pursuit was going to be hot. Sailer drove the fastest lap in 20m06s at 115.372 km/h average speed. Duray was still in third position, with Resta now just five seconds behind. The first six places remained the same as before. Pilette parked his #41 Mercedes after three laps, the result of damage before the race, which could not be repaired in time. The day before, Pilette had accidentally abused the transmission with his engine running at high rpm and the clutch pressed down, he selected a gear when his foot slipped off the clutch pedal. If his retreat was not the gearbox it could have been also a claimed prop-shaft failure. With Pilette gone, Guiness advanced to 7th, Wagner to 8th, Fagnano to 9th, and Scales climbed to 10th place. Szisz stopped for a long time changing a leaking radiator. Clarke stopped his Pic-Pic again at the pits. On lap four, Jörns, stopped the Opel for a long time to replace his leaking radiator. Nazzaro, Porporato and De Moraes had several incidents which delayed them. Nazzaro (#8 Nazzaro) retired with engine trouble after 31m07s completing three laps while Pilette (#41 Mercedes) also retired, the field was down to 34 cars. After 150.524 km Sailer led at 109.339 km/h average speed with the following order after the 4th lap:
1.14Sailer (Mercedes)1h22m36s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)1h24m36s
3.35Duray (Delage)1h25m23s
4.24Resta (Sunbeam)1h25m28s
5.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)1h26m01s
6.19Goux (Peugeot)1h26m45s
7.36Guinness (Sunbeam)1h28m22s
8.40Wagner (Mercedes)1h29m07s
9.27Fagnano (Fiat)1h29m22s
10.38Scales (Fiat)1h29m30s

Lap 5 - At the end of the lap over two minutes behind Sailer appeared Boillot who must have pushed very hard. He stopped again to change two non-slip tires and replace them with two smooth ones. The hunt began again and Boillot could come up with a surprise. Duray also stopped to put on smooth tires and remained third, but he was now only six seconds ahead of Lautenschlager who had climbed from 5th to 4th place, moving ahead of Resta. The order for the remaining top ten drivers did not change. On the 5th lap Ralph de Palma stopped at the pits, when he was already two laps behind, and spent nearly 15 minutes to improve his car. The Autocar p75 > DePalma had a problem with oil flooding the top of the Vauxhall engine, almost soaking the plugs. This meant a stop for oil and time wasted to clean plugs. De Palma and his mechanic worked at it nobly, but their efforts were of small avail as gearbox trouble would eventually put them out of the race. After the first quarter of the race, 188.150 km, Sailer led at 109.321 km/h average speed with the following order of 34-car field after the 5th lap:
1.14Sailer (Mercedes)1h43m16s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)1h46m00s
3.35Duray (Delage)1h46m51s
4.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)1h46m57s
5.24Resta (Sunbeam)1h46m58s
6.19Goux (Peugeot)1h48m10s
7.36Guinness (Sunbeam)1h49m46s
8.40Wagner (Mercedes)1h50m24s
9.27Fagnano (Fiat)1h50m55s
10.38Scales (Fiat)1h51m15s
11.39Salzer (Mercedes)1h51m53s
12.23Guyot (Delage)1h52m09s
13.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)1h52m45s
14.32Rigal (Peugeot)1h53m07s
15.9Bablot (Delage)1h55m11s
16.17Esser (Nagant)1h56m28s
17.6Champoiseau (Schneider)1h59m06s
18.20Gabriel (Schneider)2h01m52s
19.30Breckheimer (Opel)2h01m52s
20.11Tournier (Pic-Pic)2h06m55s1 lap behind
21.3Elskamp (Nagant)2h08m15s---"---
22.13Cagno (Fiat)2h09m19s---"---
23.22Porporato (Nazzaro)2h09m45s---"---
24.33Juvanon (Schneider)2h11m04s---"---
25.15Pietro (Alda)2h12m07s---"---
26.29Tabuteau (Alda)2h13m23s---"---
27.16Erndtmann (Opel)2h14m03s---"---
28.2Jörns (Opel)2h17m34s---"---
29.34De Moraes (Nazzaro)2h24m37s---"---
30.4Hancock (Vauxhall)2h25m29sno longer listed
31.1Szisz (Alda)2h29m56s2 laps behind
32.31Watson (Vauxhall)3h30m12sno longer listed
33.18DePalma (Vauxhall)2h33m16s2 laps behind
34.25Clarke (Pic-Pic)2h49m00s---"---

Lap 6 - While the grandstand crowd was waiting for Sailer, it was Boillot who emerged first while Sailer did not emerge. It was learned by telephone that the German was stranded between Givors and Rive-de-Gier. A variety of reasons were given: Sailer overturned his Mercedes on the la Madeleine hairpin curve; Sailer broke down with a defective oil-feed pipe; with a broken fuel-supply pipe; with a broken con-rod bolt; with a broken connecting rod, with a broken crankshaft. Thus, contradicting information.

After having led for nearly two hours, Sailer's engine came to a stop on lap six most likely with broken connecting rods. His fast pace on the downhill 12-km-straight from Rive-de-Gier to Sept Chemins had caused his demise, not because of a grand German strategy but plainly due to inexperience of the driver's part. Sailer later said he had not received any signal from the pits to slow him down. At the same time, he had no idea how he was positioned in comparison with any of the other drivers and therefore he drove as well as he could. Drivers were still very much on their own in 1914. The Mercedes, for example, had a set of numbered metal tabs under the cowl so that the mechanic could flip them down to keep track of the laps completed. There was no race strategy, no arrangements, and no order for any of the drivers to chase. Sailer later said, "Race strategy? Awfully stupid gossip!" Alfred Vischer, since 1904 design engineer at DMG, was the project leader in 1913 and 1914, supervising pits and drivers, his instruction was not to drive like crazy at the beginning but to stay in front and give the engines time to warm up. Drivers were also told to change the Continental-tires after ten laps, the first half of the race, even if the tires still looked good. It was noticed that particularly the Mercedes were trailing a blue cloud of smoke behind their cars, later near the end of the race much more so. The riding mechanics were providing additional lubrication with help of an oil pump in their foot room to various places of the car and especially critical parts of the engine.

Boillot's Peugeot took the lead to the enjoyment of the French crowd. Lautenschlager had maintained his rather steady lap times between 20m51s and 21m32, averaging just a few seconds over 21 minutes and advanced to second place, now 30 seconds behind Boillot, while Duray and Goux were 3rd and 4th. Guinness advanced to fifth, Wagner sixth, Fagnano seventh and Salzer who had lost so much time on his first lap, rose to eighth place. Resta's Sunbeam dropped from 5th to 9th as he stopped for five minutes at the pits, plagued by failing plugs and tire changes. Scales dropped from 10th to 18th position when his Fiat spent about 20 minutes at the pits with an engine problem. With Sailer's Mercedes out of the race and the #4 Vauxhall of Hancock disappearing on the 6th lap, the field was down to 32 cars. After 225.786 km Boillot led now at much lower average speed of 106.182 km/h with the following order after the 6th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)2h07m35s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)2h08m05s
3.35Duray (Delage)2h09m32s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)2h09m44s
5.36Guinness (Sunbeam)2h11m07s
6.40Wagner (Mercedes)2h11m40s
7.27Fagnano (Fiat)2h12m23s
8.39Salzer (Mercedes)2h12m39s
9.24Resta (Sunbeam)2h13m32s
10.23Guyot (Delage)2h14m37s

The cars driving at Full Speed on the Straight, was observed by The Autocar p83 > For some distance along the straight one could stand at the side of the road and see the cars flash over the top of the distant switchback. They spun themselves larger and larger as they approached at a terrific speed with a swelling droning roar from the exhaust. Some swayed up and down on their springs, some swayed from side to side, and some were rocksteady. They flashed past with a sudden rush and a blast of air in one's face, and a drone of the exhaust changed to five or six terrific barks in one's ear, fading away to a crackling noise which died away again to a drone as the distance increased.
      As to holding the road and top speed on this straight, the Mercedes were obviously best and fastest, although there was little to choose between them and Boillot. The Sunbeams also showed up very well here. There was considerable difference in the appearance of the Mercedes and the Peugeot at full speed. The Peugeot passes at tremendous speed as a bullet might, the exhaust emitting a fairly high screaming note. The Mercedes pass even faster, but they sit low on the road, and one does not realize how incredibly fast they are going until they are very close, because of their steadiness. The hum of the exhaust of these cars is a considerably lower note than the Peugeot, and the engines do not seem to turn so fast, although the gear ratios of both are said to be the same. The Fiats travelled at a very good speed here also, but they did not appear to be so steady on the road. The Nagants were not so fast as the others nor did they hold the road so well. Piccard-Pictets were fairly speedy and held the road fairly well, as also did the Nazzaros. On one occasion the No. 6 Schneider skidded badly across the road when travelling at full speed. Quite a lot of passing took place towards the end of the straight, and I saw Lautenschlager's Mercedes, Boillot on the Peugeot, and one of the Sunbeams (whose number I could not see) each pass other cars when travelling at full speed. Boillot had to pass two cars, one after the other, and, although these were travelling at tremendous speed, he went by them like a flash.

Lap 7 - On lap seven Boillot stopped to change a smooth tire and then covered his lap with a standing start in 20m20s. At the pace at which he was leading, it was certain that the tires would last. His stop earned him a huge ovation from all the stands. Lautenschlager maintained his steady pace as second, now just over one minute behind. Goux displaced Duray for third position, at the same time Wagner and Salzer gained places in the ranking due to their faster pace, while Guinness became sixth and Fagnano eighth, followed by the two Sunbeams of Resta and Chassagne. Pilette who had retired earlier, now was seen walking back to the stands. So, after 263.417 km Boillot led at 106.850 km/h average speed with the 32-car field in the following order after the 7th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)2h27m55s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)2h28m58s
3.19Goux (Peugeot)2h30m47s
4.35Duray (Delage)2h31m08s
5.40Wagner (Mercedes)2h33m01s
6.36Guinness (Sunbeam)2h33m37s
7.39Salzer (Mercedes)2h33m39s
8.27Fagnano (Fiat)2h34m03s
9.24Resta (Sunbeam)2h34m17s
10.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)2h36m41s

Lap 8 - Boillot stopped again for tires but remained first almost one minute ahead of Lautenschlager who remained a threatening second with Goux maintaining third place. Duray's Delage and Wagner's Mercedes followed next. There were no changes amongst these leading five cars. It was expected that the race would be decided between these five drivers. The others were considered minor players who would take what the kings left over. Guinness (#36 Sunbeam) dropped from 6th to 14th place spending 14 minutes in the pits with engine trouble. Resta's Sunbeam climbed from 9th to 6th place ahead of Salzer and Fagnano with Chassagne now ninth and Guyot tenth. The Schneiders and Aldas stopped at the pits. The Vauxhalls entirely disappeared when DePalma abandoned his #18 car after struggling for seven laps at frustratingly slow speed with a damaged gearbox. DePalma was three laps behind the leader and really vanished on the 10th lap. Tabuteau overturned the #29 Alda on the 8th lap near Givors without serious damage to himself or his mechanic and retreated with a broken spring. As his Alda was one lap behind, Tabuteau truly withdrew on lap nine. Scales (#38 Fiat) retired when the camshaft drive broke after completing seven laps but as he was one lap behind, he disappeared on the 9th lap. The field was still 32 cars strong because DePalma, Tabuteau and Scales had all been lapped and would disappear at later laps. After 301.048 km Boillot led at 106.775 km/h average speed with the following order after the 8th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)2h49m10s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)2h50m02s
3.19Goux (Peugeot)2h51m46s
4.35Duray (Delage)2h52m52s
5.40Wagner (Mercedes)2h54m14s
6.24Resta (Sunbeam)2h54m58s
7.39Salzer (Mercedes)2h55m24s
8.27Fagnano (Fiat)2h55m50s
9.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)2h58m30s
10.23Guyot (Delage)3h00m16s

Lap 9 - There were no position changes amid the leading ten cars. Boillot was clearly faster than everyone else, although he stopped again on the 9th lap, changed the right rear to an anti-slip, took a drink and immediately thereafter he was gone. Lautenschlager followed 74 seconds behind. Goux held third place after two minutes, followed by Duray's Delage and Wagner's Mercedes. Without doubt, this duel of the two nations was one of the most thrilling events the gigantic crowd witnessed. Gabriel (#20 Schneider) broke a con rod on lap nine. De Moraes (#34 Nazzaro) completed seven laps, but as he was two laps behind, so he really vanished on the 9th lap. Juvanon (#33 Schneider) completed eight laps, but he was three laps back, so he really disappeared on the 11th lap, and Clarke (#25 Pic-Pic) completed eight laps and was four laps behind, so he departed on the 13th lap. De Moraes, Juvanon, and Clarke all suffered mechanical troubles. On the 9th lap retired De Moraes (#34 Nazzaro), Watson (#31 Vauxhall), Scales (#38 Fiat), Tabuteau (#29 Alda), including Gabriel (#20 Schneider), with the field down from 32 to 27 cars. After 338.679 km Boillot led at 107.205 km/h average speed with the following order after 9 laps:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)3h09m33s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)3h10m57s
3.19Goux (Peugeot)3h12m51s
4.35Duray (Delage)3h14m35s
5.40Wagner (Mercedes)3h15m23s
6.24Resta (Sunbeam)3h15m36s
7.39Salzer (Mercedes)3h16m10s
8.27Fagnano (Fiat)3h18m51s
9.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)3h20m02s
10.23Guyot (Delage)3h23m22s

Lap 10 - Boillot was first, 69 seconds ahead of Lautenschlager, who was never letting up for a moment. The battle was obviously between Peugeot and Mercedes, France, and Germany. Undeniably, this duel of the two brands was one of the most gripping battles the crowd witnessed. Boillot was evidently faster than everyone else, but he stopped at almost every lap. Goux was third and Wagner fourth after Duray (#35 Delage) had fallen back from 4th to 11th place, having lost 12 minutes with a tire defect, including time in the pits for fuel, tires. Around the feared Piège de la Mort Guyot, Boillot, Champoiseau and Essner were the fastest but most drivers rounded the sharp left turn with great respect. Ralph DePalma abandoned his #18 Vauxhall at the end of 10 laps, when 3 laps behind the leader, so he had completed really seven laps at frustratingly slow speed in his troublesome Vauxhall while his two teammates had retired earlier. According to W.F. Bradley in Motor Age > DePalma pushed his car off to the side of the road after passing the pits. De Moraes (#34 Nazzaro) completed eight laps, but as he was two laps behind, he really vanished on the 10th lap. Guinness (#36 Sunbeam) withdrew after the 9th lap with a broken piston head. As he was two laps behind, he really disappeared on the 11th lap. With the retirement of DePalma, the field was down from 27 to 26 cars. With the race half over, after 376.310 km Boillot led at 106.973 km/h average speed with the 26-car field in the following order after the 10th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)3h31m04s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)3h32m13s
3.19Goux (Peugeot)3h35m42s
4.40Wagner (Mercedes)3h36m33s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)3h37m37s
6.24Resta (Sunbeam)3h39m19s
7.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)3h42m00s
8.27Fagnano (Fiat)3h42m27s
9.18DePalma (Vauxhall)3h44m03sno longer listed
10.23Guyot (Delage)3h47m18s
11.17Esser (Nagant)3h47m30s
12.35Duray (Delage)3h48m04s
13.32Rigal (Peugeot)3h48m40s
14.9Bablot (Delage)3h52m46s
15.30Breckheimer (Opel)3h55m06s1 lap behind
16.36Guinness (Sunbeam)4h00m00sno longer listed
17.33Juvanon (Schneider)4h00m20sno longer listed
18.6Champoiseau (Schneider)4h03m43s---"---
1913Cagno (Fiat)4h06m29s---"---
20.11Tournier (Pic-Pic)4h09m01s---"---
21.2Jörns (Opel)4h23m44s2 laps behind
22,16Erndtmann (Opel)4h30m02s---"---
23.1Szisz (Alda)4h30m51s---"---
2422Porporato (Nazzaro)4h36m36s3 laps behind
25.15Pietro (Alda) 4h41m04s---"---
26.3Elskamp (Nagant)4h53m07s ---"---

Lap 11 - Boillot was first, over four minutes ahead of Lautenschlager who stopped to change tires. He lost a few seconds, as he did not find his pit right away, surprisingly passed it, so he had to reverse quite a bit. While the mechanic changed the four tires, Lautenschlager refilled fuel, oil, and water, also took time to swallow a few glasses of water mixed with champaign. At this stage, he only had his handbrake left. After 3m30s he was finished. Wagner stopped next although he only topped up the reservoirs. Salzer took more time for an orderly pit stop. T.A.S.O. Mathieson in The French Grand Prix, 1906-1914 > the Mercedes team were controlled by signs from their pit, while the Peugeot drivers were shown their positions and times by means of a large blackboard. Cagno (#13 Fiat) was put out of the race after lap 10 when arriving at the pits he collided with another stationary contender which caused his breakdown, perhaps not a very difficult repair, but sufficient, in the special state of mind in which the distressed driver found himself. As Cagno was one lap behind he vanished on lap 12. Guinness (#36 Sunbeam) retired after the 9th lap when two laps behind, so he really disappeared on the 11th lap. Juvanon (#33 Schneider) had completed eight laps, but as he was three laps behind, he vanished on the 11th lap. The field was down from 26 to 24 cars. So, after 413.931 km Boillot led at 106.342 km/h average speed with the following order after the 11th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)3h53m22s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)3h57m40s
3.19Goux (Peugeot)3h57m41s
4.40Wagner (Mercedes)3h58m55s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)4h02m39s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)4h04m20s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)4h06m37s
8.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)4h08m07s
9.17Esser (Nagant)4h11m54s
10.32Rigal (Peugeot)4h12m00s

Lap 12 - Boillot was first with a slow lap of 23m16s caused by another stop at the pits. The general interest however centered on the first two cars, which were always two to three minutes apart. Nearly everybody who was still in the race stopped to change tires and refuel. Boillot was now over two minutes ahead of Germany's Lautenschlager with Wagner's Mercedes in third place after he moved ahead of Goux's Peugeot. The Frenchman was now fourth more than two minutes ahead of Salzer's Mercedes in 5th place. Italy with Fagnano's Fiat was 6th, followed by Britain with two Sunbeam and a Delage, also the Belgian Nagant. This was truly a battle that could not have been more international. Tournier (#11 Pic-Pic) seized its differential brake at the pits, started to catch fire as he stopped but the flames were snuffed out quickly cooled down with water and oil. On his 12th lap, Szisz (#1 Alda), had to change a rear tire by the roadside. Breckheimer (#30 Opel) arrived at full speed, invisible through the dust cloud and accidentally struck the unfortunate Szisz who was laboring with his back turned against the oncoming car. His shoulder was dislocated and he was generally severely bruised. Szisz (#1 Alda) completed 11 laps but was 5 laps behind the leader when his lightly injured mechanic alone drove the car to the pits on the 17th lap. Cagno (#13 Fiat) completed 10 laps, but was one lap behind and vanished on lap 12. The field was down from 24 to 23 cars. After 451.572 km Boillot led at 105.500 km/h average speed with the following order after 12 laps:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)4h16m49s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)4h18m58s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)4h19m51s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)4h21m19s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)4h23m57s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)4h26m30s
7.10Chassagne (Sunbeam)4h30m06s
8.24Resta (Sunbeam)4h31m33s
9.17Esser (Nagant)4h34m08s
10.23Guyot (Delage)4h34m12s

Lap 13 - After a fast lap in 20m55s, Boillot was almost three minutes ahead of Lautenschlager who was chasing after the leader with his regular pace lap in 21m32s. Wagner was third 16 seconds behind, Goux fourth, two minutes back. It was obvious that amongst those four the eventual victor was placed, though the race of these four brought every lap a new surprise. Unquestionably, this duel of the two countries France and Germany was one of the most gripping battles to have witnessed. The order of the first six remained the same. Resta (#24 Sunbeam), Esser (#17 Nagant), and the two Delages of Guyot and Duray, all advanced amongst the first ten finishers. Chassagne (#10 Sunbeam) in 7th place disappeared with a broken connecting rod after the 12th lap. Clarke (#25 Pic-Pic) completed eight laps, but as he was four laps behind, he departed on the 13th lap. Pietro (#15 Alda) completed seven laps and was three laps behind, so he was gone on the 13th lap. Breckheimer (#30 Opel) completed 12 laps, was one lap behind, so he really vanished on the 13th lap. After Chassagne, Clarke, Pietro and Breckheimer disappeared, the field was down from 23 to 19 cars. After 489.203 km Boillot led at 105.684 km/h average speed with the following order after the 13th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)4h37m44s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)4h40m30s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)4h40m46s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)4h42m38s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)4h45m05s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)4h50m37s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)4h53m34s
8.17Esser (Nagant)4h56m38s
9.23Guyot (Delage)4h56m49s
10.35Duray (Delage)4h56m49s

Lap 14 - Boillot was first ahead of Wagner (#40 Mercedes) who had pushed for two laps with times below 21 minutes, helping him to pass Lautenschlager who was continuing his steady pace. Thus, for the last three laps there were the two Mercedes amongst the first three. L'Auto p3 > Evidently, it was between them alone that the last part would be played. Victory did not seem to have escaped one of them. It was a matter of luck today, a question of tires, quite simply. If Boillot would exhaust his supply by bad luck, everything will be fine, but if bad luck continued, it was necessary to fear everything for the French champion. The Peugeot team defended itself, at the end of the 14th lap in the descent of the Esses, 50 meters ahead of Goux was Lautenschlager ensuing in a gigantic struggle between Goux and Lautenschlager, a dive at a crazy pace. Goux could brake later, and in the Death Turn he was neck and neck with the German, but was afraid to take the risk and had to slow down. Then followed the long straight with a renewed attack by Goux who passed Lautenschlager right in the hairpin bend leading to the grandstand. So, after 526.834 km Boillot led at 105.566 km/h average speed with the 19-car field in the following order after 14th laps:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)4h59m26s
2.40Wagner (Mercedes)5h01m48s
3.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)5h02m05s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)5h04m29s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)5h06m17s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)5h13m09s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)5h15m48s
8.23Guyot (Delage)5h20m17s
9.17Esser (Nagant)5h20m48s
10.32Rigal (Peugeot)5h22m38s

Lap 15 - Boillot was leading by about 2½ minutes, although his average speed was beginning to drop. In 2nd place was Lautenschlager, while Wagner stopped at the pits where he and his mechanic changed the four wheels in 59 seconds. Wagner lost the time, he had taken from Lautenschlager, who was now one minute ahead in second place. Goux followed one minute behind in fourth place. The battle of these four was the only part which the public was interested in. The Autocar on p73 > The struggle here became more and more exciting, though it still seemed that Boillot would succeed in stalling off all challenges for first place made by his relentless pursuers. Erndtmann (#16 Opel) completed 12 laps but was two laps behind, so he retired on the 15th lap. After 564.765 km, ¾ of the race, with the field down from 19 to 18 cars, Boillot led at 105.418 km/h average speed with the following order after the 15th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)5h21m16s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)5h23m44s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)5h24m40s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)5h25m41s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)5h27m21s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)5h35m39s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)5h37m40s
8.23Guyot (Delage)5h44m52s1 lap behind
9.17Esser (Nagant)5h45m19s---"---
10.35Duray (Delage)5h45m26s---"---
11.32Rigal (Peugeot)5h46m06s---"---
12.9Bablot (Delage)5h54m12s---"---
13.1Szisz (Alda)6h02m17sno longer listed
14.6Champoiseau (Schneider)6h09m47s2 laps behind
15.2Jörns (Opel)6h22m19s---"---
16.11Tournier (Pic-Pic)6h46m57s3 laps behind
173Elskamp (Nagant)7h05m03s4 laps behind
18.22Porporato (Nazzaro)7h05m05s---"---

Lap 16 - Lautenschlager began his attack on the 16th lap with a time in 21m16s, reducing the gap to Boillot from 2m28s to 2m05s. Boillot stopped to replace one rear tire. The threaded cover of the tire was completely used up. As a precaution he changed both rear tires which took just one minute before he left. Only four more laps had to be driven. The race was not yet won but France had good hope. T.A.S.O. Mathieson in The French Grand Prix, 1906-1914 > the scoreboard was not well handled, frequently being a long way behind the actual situation in the race, while little or no information was given except for the first five cars while the performance and fate of other runners being virtually ignored. Moreover, no details were available regarding cars that had been withdrawn. After 602.096 km Boillot led at 105.348 km/h average speed with the following order after the 16th lap:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)5h42m55s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)5h45m00s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)5h45m53s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)5h46m43s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)5h48m32s
6.24Resta (Sunbeam)5h59m08s
7.27Fagnano (Fiat)6h00m03s
8.35Duray (Delage)6h06m23s
9.17Esser (Nagant)6h08m38s
10.32Rigal (Peugeot)6h09m43s

Lap 17 - Lautenschlager continued his attack with a faster time of 20m53s while Boillot happened to make a slow lap in 22m44s. The difference of almost 2 minutes propelled the Mercedes to only 14 seconds behind the champion of France. The Peugeot pits signaled an emergency call to their drivers to drive harder, but it was without effect. Goux could no longer be threatening. It soon became evident that a victory for France hung on a thin thread as both Lautenschlager and Wagner were now close behind Boillot. An unbelievable excitement and silence had overcome the spectators, realizing that the race was now shifting to the final climax with only three laps left. The Autocar p73 > excitement raged high as to what would be the position on their next appearance, as both men were evidently doing all they knew. Szisz (#1 Alda) on his 12th lap was five laps behind when he had to change a rear tire by the roadside and was accidently hit. His mechanic Mont Jean alone drove the car to the pits and rolled in on the 17th lap. After 16 laps Bablot (#9 Delage) retired with engine trouble, the field was down from 18 to 16 cars. After 639.727 km Boillot led at 105.117 km/h average speed, which unnoticed had slowed down since lap 14, with the latest order after 17 laps:
1.5Boillot (Peugeot)6h05m39s
2.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)6h05m53s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)6h07m08s
4.19Goux (Peugeot)6h09m40s
5.39Salzer (Mercedes)6h09m46s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)6h22m09s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)6h23m15s
8.35Duray (Delage)6h29m14s
9.17Esser (Nagant)6h31m32s
10.32Rigal (Peugeot)6h33m28s

Lap 18 - - Lautenschlager pushed even harder with his fastest time in 20m33s. He was now first, 33 seconds ahead of Boillot who could only pull off a lap in 21m20s. However, there was so little between them that the race could go either way. Again, the emergency signal was given from the Peugeot pits to Boillot, but he was unable to respond. Then down from the hill through the curves, clearly visible from the grandstands, the two white cars chased like a tornado after Boillot. The spectators raved and raged as Boillot passed the grandstand. He was giving it all. T.A.S.O. Mathieson in The French Grand Prix, 1906-1914 > the crowds were dumfounded many hoping and believing that their champion would regain the lead, others however, more knowledgeable realized that only a miracle could now give France victory. After a lengthy stop on lap 18, the second Peugeot of Goux had plunged to fifth place behind the three German cars, then began to overheat. Guyot (#23 Delage) completed 18 laps but as he was two laps behind, he ended his race amongst the finishers just two minutes after Goux crossed the finish line. Porporato (#22 Nazzaro) completed 18 laps but was two laps behind and was still running when the race was called off and 11 other cars qualified as finishers, each completing 20 laps. So, after 677.358 km Lautenschlager led at 105.170 km/h average speed with the field of 16 cars remained until the end, the following order after the 18th lap:
1.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)6h26m26s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)6h26m59s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)6h28m06s
4.39Salzer (Mercedes)6h31m03s
5.19Goux (Peugeot)6h33m39s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)6h44m24s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)6h45m55s
8.35Duray (Delage)6h50m38s
9.17Esser (Nagant)6h54m17s
10.32Rigal (Peugeot)6h57m08s

Lap 19 - Lautenschlager made another fast lap in 20m58s while Boillot managed only 21m32s, struggling in his Peugeot with failing brakes and an uncertain steering. The German chased 67 seconds ahead of the French champion while Wagner remained threatening only a few seconds behind Boillot. A feeling of disappointment seemed to have overwhelmed the grandstand crowd. The Grand Prix could not escape Mercedes. Tournier (#11 Pic-Pic), Elskamp (#3 Nagant), and Guyot (#23 Delage) all three of them completed only 18 laps but as they were several laps behind, they retired on the 20th lap amongst the finishers. The field of 16 cars remained until the final lap, when the four trailers were flagged off. After 714.989 km Lautenschlager led at 105.300 km/h average speed with the following times after the 19th lap:
1.28Lautenschlager (Mercedes)6h47m24s
2.5Boillot (Peugeot)6h48m31s
3.40Wagner (Mercedes)6h48m47s
4.39Salzer (Mercedes)6h52m25s
5.19Goux (Peugeot)6h55m47s
6.27Fagnano (Fiat)7h06m43s
7.24Resta (Sunbeam)7h07m40s
8.17Esser (Nagant)7h17m32s
9.32Rigal (Peugeot)7h20m05s
10.35Duray (Delage)7h29m39s

Lap 20 - After 7h08m18s, Lautenschlager's white Mercedes was first to cross the finish line. Boillot on his last lap retired with a broken motor. There was scattered applause only from the Germans but the crowd remained silent in shock and dismay. Wagner finished second 1m36s behind and Salzer arrived almost five minutes later in third place. The German anthem in honor of the victors was not played. Despite their disappointment, the spectators, thrilled by the great race they had just witnessed, when Goux arrived, it seemed that a feeling of general unease was felt in the stands, the first Frenchman was fourth. The first Englishman, Resta, came fifth. The group was international, but Mercedes really carved out its share.
      Lautenschlager was introduced to the president of the ACF, Baron de Zuylen, who congratulated him, reminding him that in 1908 he had already had the opportunity to do so in identical circumstances. Later, after having been officially congratulated on the Tribune d'Honneur, Lautenschlager and his mechanic Hans Rieger received vigorous applause.
      During the seven-hour race, Boillot and Lautenschlager had never been in sight of each other until the German went past the stranded French ace, crying in despair along the roadside. He probably had caused his own demise and accidentally over-revved his engine. Several statements to the effect that Boillot went out with a broken back axle could not be proven correct. But the Peugeot was in a poor state and when examined later it was found that the steering column had broken away from its mounting and the front brakes were not working. With his car falling to pieces at the end, Boillot had however demonstrated in his last race tremendous skills to keep the ailing car on the road. At the very end there were still 16 cars in the field, 11 of them were able to be classified with 20 laps each, then Boillot down with just 19 laps to his credit and four stragglers, each only having completed 18 laps, all of them are shown in the list of results.


W.F. Bradley wrote in Motor Age > Although defeated, Boillot still is hailed as the pride of France as a road race driver, and the duel he fought with the Mercedes will live as a classic in road racing memories. From the sixth lap until his elimination in the twentieth, Boillot, a man of magnificent physique, struggled every second against the Mercedes combination. The three Germans drove a hounding race and by sheer might wore down Boillot, who was pushed as he was never pushed before in a road race.


Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.28Christian LautenschlagerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4207h08m18.4s
2.40Louis WagnerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4207h09m54.2s+     1m35.8s
3.39Otto SalzerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-4207h13m15.8s+     4m57.4s
4.19Jules GouxAutomobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeotEX 54.5S-4207h17m47.0s+     9m28.6s
5.24Dario RestaSunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd.Sunbeam4.5S-4207h29m17.4s+   20m59.0s
6.17Willy EsserNagant FrèresNagant4.5S-4207h40m28.2s+   32m09.8s
7.32Victor RigalAutomobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeotEX 54.5S-4207h44m28.0s+   36m09.6s
8.35Arthur DurayAutomobiles DelageDelageS4.5S-4207h51m32.0s+   43m13.6s
9.6René Champoiseau Automobiles Th. SchneiderTh. Schneider4.5S-4208h06m51.6s+   58m33.2s
10.2Carl JörnsAdam OpelOpel4.5S-4208h17m09.6s+ 1h08m51.2s
11.27Antonio FagnanoFabbrica Italiana Automobli TorinoFiat14B4.5S-4208h26m11.2s+ 1h17m52.8s
DNF5Georges BoillotAutomobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeotEX 54.5S-419engine
DNC23Albert GuyotAutomobiles DelageDelageS4.5S-4187h19m57s
DNC11Paul TournierPiccard-Pictet et CiePic-Pic4.5S-4188h12m02s
DNC3Leon ElskampNagant Frères Nagant4.5S-4188h22m53s
DNC22Jean PorporatoFabbrica Automobili NazzaroNazzaro4.5S-4188h28m39s
DNF9Paul BablotAutomobiles DelageDelageS4.5S-416engine
DNF10Jean ChassagneSunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd.Sunbeam4.5S-412connecting rod
DNF1Francois SziszFernand CharronAlda 4.5S-411driver injured
DNF30Franz BreckheimerAdam OpelOpel4.5S-411withdrawn
DNF16Emile ErndtmannAdam OpelOpel4.5S-410withdrawn
DNF13Alessandro CagnoFabbrica Italiana Automobli TorinoFiat14B4.5S-49accident damage
DNF36Kenelm Lee GuinnessSunbeam Motor Car Co. Ltd.Sunbeam4.5S-49piston head
DNF20Fernand GabrielAutomobiles Th. SchneiderTh. Schneider4.5S-48connecting rod
DNF34Ostengo De MoraesFabbrica Automobili NazzaroNazzaro4.5S-48mechanical
DNF33Henri JuvanonAutomobiles Th. SchneiderTh. Schneider4.5S-48mechanical
DNF25Thomas ClarkePiccard-Pictet et CiePic-Pic4.5S-48chassis
DNF15PietroFernand CharronAlda4.5S-47mechanical
DNF38Jack ScalesFabbrica Italiana Automobli TorinoFiat14B4.5S-47camshaft drive
DNF29Maurice TabuteauFernand CharronAlda4.5S-47spring
DNF18Ralph DePalmaVauxhall Motors Ltd.Vauxhall4.5S-47gearbox
DNF14Max SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-45connecting rod
DNF41Theodore PiletteDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes18/1004.5S-43gearbox or prop shaft
DNF8Felice NazzaroFabbrica Automobili NazzaroNazzaro4.5S-43engine
DNF31William WatsonVauxhall Motors Ltd.Vauxhall4.5S-42carburetor
DNF4John HancockVauxhall Motors Ltd.Vauxhall4.5S-41piston
DNF26Meo CostantiniFabbrica d'Automobili AquilaAquila Italiana4.5S-61fuel tank
Fastest lap: Max Sailer (Mercedes) on lap 4 in 20m06s = 115.372 km/h (71.692 mph).
Winner's average speed: 105.495 km/h (65.554 mph).
Weather: warm, sunny.
In retrospect:
Intermediate times differed now and then between the sources. The selected times are believed to be correct. The reason given for the 25 retirements is not always reliable as seen with Sailer's #14 Mercedes: Sailer overturned his Mercedes on the la Madeleine hairpin curve [W.F. Bradley in Motor Age, p20] ; Sailer broke down with a defective oil-feed pipe [Robert Dick: Mercedes and Auto Racing in the Belle Époque] : with a broken fuel-supply pipe [MOTOR (Berlin), No.8, p52] ; broken fuel pipe [Sport Kurier No. 156]; broken fuel pipe [Deutscher Kurier N0. 157], [broken fuel pipe [BZ zum Mittwoch No. 155]; Sailer broke a connecting rod after a splendid drive [Taso Mathieson: Grand Prix Racing 1906-1914]; with a broken crankshaft [AUTOMOBIL-REVUE No.30, p436]; on the sixth lap his rod bearings gave up the ghost, followed by the rods themselves [Karl Ludvigsen: The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars p57] - so, take your pick.

Christian Lautenschlager was born on 13 April 1877 in the small village of Magstadt, about 20 km from Stuttgart in Germany. At 14, his poor parents sent him to Stuttgart to learn the trade of a machinist. Over three years later after he had become a journeyman, he left for Switzerland, working in Zürich and Luzern. Back in Germany, Christian was employed at a bicycle factory in Chemnitz, Saxony. After five years traveling, he returned to Stuttgart at age 22 and applied for a job as mechanic at the works of Gottlieb Daimler. The old Daimler took a liking to the young Lautenschlager and employed him at the vehicle assembly department. When Gottlieb Daimler died on 6 March 1900, his longtime friend and chief designer Wilhelm Maybach took over the direction of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. Maybach was now preoccupied with running D.M.G. and therefore Gottlieb's oldest son Paul became the new chief designer. In that position, Paul Daimler was accountable for the design of a long row of racing types including the 1914 Grand Prix Mercedes. In 1905, Christian Lautenschlager was promoted to chief test driver, foreman in the driving department, responsible for the inspection and running in of all cars. His first race came in 1906, at the Ardennes circuit race. Daimler had entered three cars for this 600 km race and Christian Lautenschlager was Otto Salzer's mechanic. In the race, they came in ninth place due to having too many tire repairs. In 1908, D.M.G. entered three cars for the Grand Prix at Dieppe, which was firmly established as the most important race in Europe. Lautenschlager got one of the cars. Mechanic foreman and test driver Otto Salzer, racing for D.M.G. since 1903, drove the second car, Gentleman-driver Willy Pöge, director of an electrical equipment company, had driven Mercedes racecars for the last five years and was assigned the third car. The 13.6-liter engines, delivering 140 hp at 1400 rpm, powered the Mercedes grand prix cars. Lautenschlager was a strong man and this condition helped him to forge his successes. His victory in front of 300,000 spectators at the most important race of 1908 made the German very well known, and earned him 80,000 gold-mark. "I am overjoyed over the great triumph my firm has achieved with this victory," he said modestly, a D.M.G. employee since 1899. "We have earned this success, for the cars have been thoroughly tested for a long time. And while Lautenschlager stayed as driving-foreman in the factory, Otto Salzer and Willy Pöge contested and won several races for Mercedes. However, Lautenschlager received likewise all racing cars to be run in. In 1913, he was again part of the Mercedes team, not in the Grand Prix at Amiens but at Le Mans for the Grand Prix de France where he came sixth.
      Lautenschlager's next race was the 1914 Grand Prix. The spectators were estimated again at around 300,000. The world's best 37 drivers faced the starter. After 7h08m18s, Lautenschlager's white Mercedes was first to reach the Finnish; there was scattered applause only from the Germans but the crowd remained silent in shock and dismay. Lautenschlager collected 120.000 gold-mark for first prize.
      Mercedes employed Lautenschlager as top driver also in the Twenties. In 1922, the team went to Sicily and raced at the Targa Florio, where he only came tenth overall, second in class. In 1923, with the 2-liter formula in place, Mercedes went to Indianapolis with Christian Lautenschlager, Max and Karl Sailer and Christian Werner. Max and Karl Sailer came eighth, the best foreign car, Werner came Eleventh. Lautenschlager, accelerating out of turn four on lap 14, quickly spun several times on the oily track until the front of his car went into the wall; his mechanic Jakob Krauss slightly injured. In 1924 when already 46 years old Mercedes sent him once more to the Targa Florio, where he placed tenth again. He finished also in the Coppa Florio, which took place at the same time. When the Targa race was flagged off after four grueling laps, most drivers carried on for one more tour around the 108 km Medium Madonie circuit to compete for the Coppa and Lautenschlager came ninth. He never raced again, Lautenschlager worked till his retirement for renamed Daimler-Benz. In January 1954, at the age of 76, Christian Lautenschlager died in his sleep.

The fate of the 1914 Mercedes grand prix cars, winning four weeks before outbreak of World War I, is strange. Front fenders were added to the three winning cars and they were driven from France back to the Stuttgart factory. Just before the start of hostilities, another car, thought to be a spare went for exhibition to England at the Long Acre emporium of Milnes-Daimler-Mercedes, Ltd. None other than W.O. Bentley had suspected specific technical secrets in the engine and notified the British Admiralty about it. After war was declared, the car was hidden in a London warehouse under some packing crates. But the Mercedes was found and secured at once and sent to Rolls-Royce in Derby, where it was taken apart and the engine stripped and examined on a test bench. Rolls-Royce aero engines built during World War I closely resembled this engine. From Rolls Royce the Mercedes came into the possession of Count Zborowsky, who had a fatal crash in 1924 at Monza. Count Zborowsky won with this Mercedes at Brooklands, until he sold the car to a dealer. Then it received a four-seat body and became a touring car in the services of Mr. C.T. Brooklebank.
      Ralph DePalma who had raced a Vauxhall in the 1914 Grand Prix, decided to buy one of the victorious Mercedes GP cars after the race was over. The second placed car # 40 of Wagner was shipped to America two weeks before the British blockade of German ports. It arrived in time in Chicago where he won two 301.824 miles long races at Elgin plus $4,400 in prize money, just seven weeks after the Grand Prix. In September, he was first at two short races at Long Island. DePalma won the 1915 Indianapolis 500, the only Mercedes victory in this event. Then DePalma, consultant to the Packard Motor Car Company, had the Mercedes overhauled and modified at their experimental labs in Detroit. At the same time, the engineers were able to study the latest in D.M.G. aircraft engine design. America's Liberty aircraft engines were based on the D.M.G. design. The car now belonged to Packard. The Mercedes kept running and in 1916 DePalma won at Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas. By this time, the car was pretty much worn out and since a repair without German spare parts was unthinkable, the car was put aside. The car appeared again when yachtsman and racing driver Briggs Cunningham acquired the Mercedes and displayed it in the Sixties. It was part of his magnificent collection of pedigreed cars in his Museum at Newport Beach, California.
      Sailer's car No. 14, which had been leading at the beginning of the race until it retired with connecting rod problems on lap six, had been exhibited at the DMG showroom at the Champs Elysées in Paris when World War I broke out. Baron Petit, chairman of the French Motor Manufacturers' Association, found himself in uniform, with the rank of captain. He needed a car with which he could traverse his daily 600 kilometers between breakfast and supper, therefore he seized the car for himself. Upon inspection it turned out that connecting rods were broken and bearings worn out. Thereafter a new set of connecting rods were installed and the Mercedes ran now in the duty of Germany's enemy, where the car did daily 500 km from Paris to Lyon and when Baron Petit was staying in Paris, occasionally another 100 or 150 km was added. The car proved its worth as a fast travel-car extremely well. The fuel consumption amounted to about 18 liter per 100 km, particular problems did not crop up, the car was easy to steer. The engine required some attention. According to W.F. Bradley in Motor Racing Memories 1903-1921] , after the war the car was offered for sale as surplus stock in France. Baron Petit bought the car and used it for a couple of years until 1922 when it went into storage at the Aries factory. Many years later at the annual banquet given by the AIACR in Paris, in 1930, one of the German delegates was Engineer Max Sailer, who had driven the #14 Mercedes in the 1914 Grand Prix. By his side was Baron Petit, the owner of this car. During the conversation the German expressed regret that their museum in Untertürkheim did not possess one of the cars of that year. The Baron offered his car and in exchange the Baron should select any car he liked from the Mercedes range. The choice fell on the cheapest model appearing on the Daimler-Benz catalogue, but it had the distinction of being an entirely new type, with a 1.3- liter engine in the rear. The No. 14 Mercedes became the Museums car, carrying falsely Lautenschlager's number 28.
      Three race cars stayed at the factory and were modified with 4-wheel brakes. They also received upgraded pistons and improved valves, allowing the engines to rev above 4000 rpm. All three were entered at the 1922 Targa Florio. One painted in red was sold to Count Giulio Masetti who won the race ahead of Jules Goux in a Ballot. DMG entered the other two cars with Lautenschlager ended up 10th and Otto Salzer 13th.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
Der Motorwagen, Berlin
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa Sportiva, Torino
L'Auto, Paris
L'Ouest-Éclair, Rennes
MOTOR, Berlin
Motor Age, Chicago
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
The Autocar, London
Special thanks to:
Bernhard Völker
Frau Frieda da Silva Sengo, Mercedes-Benz Konzern Archiv
Gerhard Heidbrink, Mercedes-Benz Konzern Archiv
Giuseppe Prisco
Kris Culmer


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