1939 CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE

Table compiled by Don Capps & Leif Snellman

AIACR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 1939

DRIVER
Müller
Lang
Caracciola
von Brauchitsch
Nuvolari
Hasse
Dreyfus
Meier
Sommer
Stuck
Mazaud
"Raph"
Farina
Pietsch
Le Bègue
Gerard
Chinetti
Étancelin
Joa
H Hartmann
Biondetti
Evans
Wakefield
Ansell
Mandirola
Seaman
de Graffenried
Matra
L Villoresi
Mays
Brendel
Rocco
CAR
Auto Union
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Auto Union
Auto Union
Delahaye/Maserati
Auto Union
Alfa Romeo
Auto Union
Delahaye
Delahaye
Alfa Romeo
Maserati
Maserati
Talbot
Delahaye
Alfa Romeo
Talbot
Maserati
Mercedes-Benz
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Maserati
ERA
Mercedes-Benz
Maserati
Alfa Romeo
Maserati
Talbot
Mercedes-Benz
Maserati
B F D CH TOTAL
5 1 2 4 12
1 5 7 1 14
7 7 1 2 17
3 6 7 3 19
4 7 4 4 19
2 8 5 5 20
8 4 4 4 20
6 2 6 8 22
4 4 7 8 23
8 4 7 4 23
4 8 4 8 24
8 4 4 8 24
5 8 8 4 25
8 8 3 7 26
8 3 8 8 27
4 8 8 8 28
8 4 8 8 28
8 4 8 8 28
8 8 4 8 28
8 8 8 4 28
8 8 8 4 28
8 8 8 4 28
8 8 8 4 28
8 8 8 4 28
5 8 8* 8 29
5 8 8 8 29
8 8 8 5 29
8 6 8 8 30
8 8 6 8 30
8 7 8 8 31
8 8 7 8 31
8 8 8 7 31
      * Due to disq, otherwise 6 / 27 points.

Races:
Note:
There were never any official results of the 1939 championship as the season was interrupted (at least the Italian GP was missing) and AIACR could not meet because of the war. However, Lang was declared European Champion with 23 points in December 1939 by NSKK-Korpsführer Hühnlein who was simultaneously President of the ONS (Oberste Nationale Sportbehörde für die Deutsche Kraftfahrt - Highest National German racing organization).
      So Lang has always been regarded as the 1939 champion and he never had any doubts about his championship himself. But with the points system (Note 1) used in 1937 applied to the 1939 season Müller (Auto Union) would have been the rightful champion. Obviously Lang was declared champion without any references to the true points table. How and why the scoring was altered is unknown.

What about other possible explanations?
  • Could the points system have been changed between 1937 and 1939?
    No, due to information provided by Hans Etzrodt it is now clear that the same system was still in effect in 1939.
  • Could there have existed a rule that the driver with most victories was the champion regardless of points?
    Nothing has ever been found that seems to support such an explanation.
  • Did someone make a miscalculation back in 1939?
    The fact that Lang won with 23 points indicates that that was not the fact. It rather seems that other races, such as Pau and Eifelrennen could have been included in the table.

So Lang's 1939 title is strange and doubtful. Everybody agrees that Lang deserved the title as the best driver that year but rightfully the title should have gone to Müller. The reason Hühnlein prefered Mercedes-Benz driver Lang over Auto Union driver Müller remains a mystery. It is however notable that 60 years later professional racing book authors and GP historians still seem hesitant to take up the subject.