6th July 2018

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Aintree

HOME WIN FOR STIRLING

The R.A.C, the organisers of the British Grand Prix continued with the policy of rotating the two circuits capable of holding the race so in 1957 that honour fell once again to the three mile circuit at the home of the Grand National horse race, Aintree near Liverpool. A good number of cars from England would be expected and Vanwall certainly played their part, entering three cars for the first time. Happily, both Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks were now fit enough to drive, although in truth Brooks was really not fully recovered from his Le Mans accident. Having deputised very solidly, Mr. Vandervell decided to keep Stuart Lewis-Evans on the team and he took the third Vanwall seat.

With Roy Salvadori having deserted B.R.M. in favour of a drive for Vanwall in France, B.R.M. did not see fit to take him back into the team so Roy found a berth at Cooper alongside regular driver Jack Brabham. This left B.R.M. somewhat short of top line drivers, partly because Ron Flockhart was recovering from an accident and Herbert Mackay-Fraser had been killed in the sports car race at Reims. They brought in Jack Fairman, a reliable journeyman and alongside him they added Les Leston who had gained some experience of Formula 1 with Cooper at Monaco although he did not qualify for that race.

Ferrari and Maserati arrived in their usual numbers. Trintignant was back in the fourth Ferrari, replacing Gendebien and joining Hawthorn, Collins and Musso. The Maserati quartet was as for most of the season so far, Fangio, Behra, Schell and Menditeguy. Surprisingly there was no sign of the Centro Sud cars and only Bonnier and Ivor Bueb were present with non-works 250.Fs - Bueb's being the green Gilby Engineering car that was last raced at Goodwood.

The race was a triumph for the Vanwall team, particularly for Stirling Moss but he had to work really hard to achieve Vanwall's first Grand Epreuve victory because Peter Collins, continuing his excellent 1957 form, chased the green car for the whole of the 90 laps and it took all of Moss' supreme talent to stay ahead of the Ferrari, including setting the race's fastest lap on lap 88 out of 90, and the victory was achieved by the scant margin of just over three seconds. To add to Tony Vandervell's joy at this British victory, the other two Vanwalls both finished in the points with Lewis-Evans and Brooks coming home 4th and 5th. It was a fine effort by the team and delighted the large, partisan crowd for whom a British victory in a major race was a rare and unexpected sight.

It almost goes without saying that Jean Behra came 3rd. He was getting quite used to that, this being his third 3rd in a row. And it almost goes without saying that Fangio's Maserati broke down again and again a team mate was called in for him to take over. This time it couldn't be Harry Schell because he was already out of the race. So it was Carlos Menditeguy's turn to hand over a 250.F to his fellow Argentine on lap 37 and this time Fangio did see the chequered flag but the car was simply not quick enough for him to make much impression and the best he could manage was 7th place. Mike Hawthorn had a rather subdued afternoon, finishing 6th, a lap behind Moss - as was everyone apart from Collins.

Behind the Menditeguy-Fangio Maserati four other cars finished. Trintignant's Ferrari was 8th followed by a happy Les Leston who beat the Maseratis of Bonnier and Bueb. As well as the Fangio and Schell Maserati retirements both Coopers failed to complete the race, as did Fairman in the other B.R.M. and normal service was resumed as Luigi Musso's Ferrari lastest just 3 laps.

So a wonderful day for British motor sport with five of the first six finishers being British drivers and as many green cars in the first six as there were red ones. A false dawn or the shape of things to come? Only time would tell....

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 90 LAP RACE:

   1.
18
S. MOSS VANWALL VW.1
3.04.53'09
   2.
12
P. COLLINS FERRARI 801
3.04.56'32
   3.
4
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
89 laps
   4.
22
S. LEWIS-EVANS VANWALL VW.5
89 laps
   5.
20
T. BROOKS VANWALL VW.4
89 laps
   6.
10
M. HAWTHORN FERRARI 801
89 laps
   7.
8
C. MENDITEGUY / J. FANGIO MASERATI 250.F
88 laps
   8.
16
M. TRINTIGNANT FERRARI 801
88 laps
   9.
26
L. LESTON B.R.M. Type 25
87 laps
   10.
28
J. BONNIER MASERATI 250.F
87 laps
   11.
32
I. BUEB MASERATI 250.F
84 laps
Fastest lap:   S. MOSS, VANWALL VW.1,   on lap 88,   1.58'28

Retired:
24
J. FAIRMAN B.R,M. Type 25
73 laps
34
J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.43
51 laps
2
J. FANGIO MASERATI 250.F
37 laps
36
R. SALVADORI COOPER CLIMAX T.43
36 laps
6
H. SCHELL MASERATI 250.F
22 laps
14
L. MUSSO FERRARI 801
3 laps

Back to the 1957 F.1 race reports page.

Back to my slot racing home page.