Grand Prix racing without WWII?

Organized Grand Prix racing in Europe began in the early 1900s and by the 1930s had taken two main forms, the AIACR European Championship, which was the top flight of open wheel motorsport much as F1 is today with massive factory teams making cars on the very cutting edge of contemporary technology, and the smaller, less powerful voiturette racing cars which tended to produce more competitive racing.

When Grand Prix racing returned in late 40s there was no budget to return to the excess of the Pre-War European Championship. By default, voiturette became the top flight of European open-wheel racing. The first Formula 1 grids had 1930s voiturettes on them, and even the newly built cars basically performance matched the voiturettes. Further economic woes would actually see F1 regress further from this point as F1 ran to *F2 technical regs for a period, and really only began clawing back horsepower in the late 50s.

The pre-war top level grand prix cars were absolute beasts with 6 litre super changed V12s and V16s capable of putting out over 600hp, which F1 would only eclipse in the 1980s. Further, they began using many technical features that F1 would only adopt decades later, like the Auto Union car's mid engine layout (introduced to F1 in 1957 by the Cooper T43) and (while they never raced) Mercedes had begun experimenting with downforce generating wings (only introduced to F1 in 1968). It is actually quite interesting to ponder what might have evolved from these monsters without the disruption of the war and the subsequent years of austerity.

The war also impacted were the events would be held. The Pre-War home of the British GP, Brooklands (the largest super speedway ever), was cut up to make way for runway expansion during WWII, and the airfield that eventually became Silverstone (the fast yet twisty modern home of the British GP) was built. The slowing of the cars and changes to the circuits on the calendar also facilitated a change in emphasis. The pre-war championship was all about straight-line speed, which tracks like AVUS and Brooklands catered to. In the post war period the emphasis gradually shifted to corner handling.

Assuming WWII is somehow avoided last minute, what might the future of Grand Prix racing look like?
 
The pre-war top level grand prix cars were absolute beasts with 6 litre super changed V12s and V16s capable of putting out over 600hp, which F1 would only eclipse in the 1980s.
On that note, even in our world, the BRM V16, which was designed according to pre-war voiturette lines, was capable of putting out 585hp when it was raced in the few non-championship races that it was able to race while a demonstration in 1968 of the whole thing showed it could theoretically have reached 780 hp.
 
Off the top of my head, I'd say you see GP dominated by the Mercedes and Auto Union works teams to a degree that might harm popularity, possibly enough to lead to rule changes...

As fast as the W154s and Typ Ds were, how long would it be before they're seen as unsafe?
 
Once someone comes up with something, others will be trying to duplicate them with their own teams and materials. Imagine if a Porsche or Tatra rear engine air cooled car comes up to run and starts to win. Tatra put a V8 and V 12 in to their cars in the 30's. There is a good idea to use them to in a rear engine, aircooled, single person cockpit race car for development purposes like auto builders like Mercedes, AutoUnion, Alfa Romeo and such did back then.
 

Riain

Banned
IIUC the Germans dominated because of a nationalist support for racing, the rest of the field was thin to non existent although a Maserati won Indy. What can be done for the rest of the field?
 
IIUC the Germans dominated because of a nationalist support for racing, the rest of the field was thin to non existent although a Maserati won Indy. What can be done for the rest of the field?
There's a strong nationalist strain in play, yes, but the German cars were generally better-engineered & the teams ran like clockwork.

There's a prewar change in the formula, the one leading to the W154 (& W163); AFAIK, Alfa & Lancia (among others) had nothing comparable. (Some of that was lack of money, no doubt.)

I'm not conversant with the ins and outs of the rule changes, nor the rationale; it seems clear to me the 750kg "open" formula did not have the intended effect, & may explain the 3-liter (blown)/4.5-liter (naturally aspirated) limits for '38.
 
On the subject of the Nazi's funding Mercedes and Auto Union, I could see Moose step up aid to the Italian manufacturers.

I suppose it would also depend quite a bit on how exactly WWII is avoided.
 

marathag

Banned
he pre-war top level grand prix cars were absolute beasts with 6 litre super changed V12s and V16s capable of putting out over 600hp, which F1 would only eclipse in the 1980s
Tire technology.
It's easy to go fast in a straight line.
Curves, that's harder.
2nd, was the example of the 1955 Le Mans disaster with Mercedes bits flying into the Grandstand at 120+mph, and that was only 300hp.
 

Riain

Banned
There were quite a few non championship races in the late 30s and these were often won by other makes, although I suspect because the Germans didn't show up. Not many manufacturers made new 3l-b/4.5l GP cars by 1938: Maserati 8ctf, Alfa 308/12/16 and Delahaye 145 is about it i think.
 

Riain

Banned
Lago Talbot built a GP car or 2 in 1938, but like the Delahaye a 4.5 litre naturally aspirated engine so totally overpowered by the blown 3 litre Germans. That said I believe their better fuel economy was an asset on occasion.
 
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