26th November 2018

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, Monza

CHAMPION MOSS - VICTORY FOR MUSSO

The final round of the 1957 World Championship saw the F.1 circus remaining in Italy but moving north to the industrial heartland of the country and to the very fast Monza circuit to the north of Milan. The championship was still in the balance, between two great British drivers, Peter Collins, who had scored very well early in the season and Stirling Moss whose fortunes had risen with the increasing competitiveness of the Vanwall, culminating in three consecutive victories. Adding the three lots of nine points to his fastest lap point at Monaco, he went into the race on 28 points, just one ahead of Collins. So it was very much a case of winner takes all and it promised to be a spectacular finale on Ferraris home turf.

Both Vanwall and Ferrari arrived with their regular compliment of cars - three Vanwalls and four Ferraris. The Vanwall drivers were their usual trio while Ferraris regular three were joined this time by Wolfgang von Trips. These seven cars were opposed by eleven Maseratis and no other cars. Neither B.R.M. nor Cooper making the trip to Italy this time. The four factory Maseratis were driven by their regular pilots, including Scarlatti again. Centro Sud again had Gregory and Bonnier in their cars and the remaining five private entrants this time were made up of Godia-Sales, Gould, Halford, Piotti and Andre Simon, having a rare outing in Ottorino Volonterio's 250.F. It seemed strange to think that before the Monza race, the top two Maserati drivers, Fangio and Behra had only scored as many points between them as Collins had on his own and one less than Moss. It really hadn't been a great year for Maserati.

Sometimes, the most anticipated events turn out to be nowhere near as thrilling as everyone hoped or indeed expected. Such was the situation at Monza. A battle for supremacy between the two Englishmen in their green and red machines, turned out to be a massive disappointment for one and a muted success for the other. It was clear during the practice sessions that apart from Musso, who was probably lifted by being on home ground, Ferrari were simply not going to trouble either Ferrari or Maserati. Musso remained highly competitive and come race day was completely peerless, storming away at the front to win his home Grand Prix by almost a full minute. At the very start, it looked as though Moss would be his main competition but following a wonderful run of results, the Vanwall chose this, of all days, to break down after only 6 laps. Moss made it back to the pits and on lap 29 (of 87) Lewis-Evans was called in for Moss to take over. This could have been a complete disaster for Stirling but he needn't have worried. He quickly made up places, passing Collins, who was struggling along out of the points as well as being let by by team-mate Brooks and eventually passing Hawthorn, reaching 4th place by the end. Halving the points for a shared drive gave him an extra one and a half points but that was irrelevant because Collins never looked like getting in the first five and trailed in a disconsolate 7th.

Meanwhile, up at the front the Maserati pair of Fangio and Behra gave valliant chase to Musso but never looked like catching the Roman, who steadily increased his advantage and came home the winner by 55 seconds. Fangio and Behra took second and third while Moss' speed had him rising to a very contented 4th. Hawthorn managed to fight off Brooks for 5th place, both a lap behind Musso, while the fourth Ferrari driver, von Trips, followed Collins home in 8th place giving Ferrari a 100% finishing record on this occasion. A further five cars finished, all Maseratis. Apart from Moss' very early retirement, all the retirements were Maseratis too,

So ended the 1957 World Championship, with Stirling Moss thoroughly deserving the title, especially when one remembers that he missed the French Grand Prix due to his sinus infection. Then again, Collins missed Pescara too. It was strange how, as the Vanwalls got better and better as the season passed, the form of Ferrari seemed to dip apart from that of Luigi Musso who was a revelation in the final couple of races. The final totals for the leading two drivers was Moss 29.5 points to Collins 27. However, it was far from the end of the Formula 1 season because there were still three nore non-championship races to go, one of which was in Africa!

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 87 LAP RACE:

   1.
32
L. MUSSO FERRARI 801
2.33.57'46
   2.
2
J. FANGIO MASERATI 250.F
2.34.52'70
   3.
6
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
2.35.31'43
   4.
20
S. LEWIS-EVANS & S.MOSS VANWALL VW.7
2.36.05'54
   5.
34
M. HAWTHORN FERRARI 801
86 laps
   6.
22
T. BROOKS VANWALL VW.6
86 laps
   7.
30
P. COLLINS FERRARI 801
86 laps
   8.
36
W. von TRIPS FERRARI 801
85 laps
   9.
24
J. BONNIER MASERATI 250.F
85 laps
   10.
8
G. SCARLATTI MASERATI 250.F
84 laps
  11.
16
B. HALFORD MASERATI 250.F
83 laps
  12.
14
H. GOULD MASERATI 250.F
83 laps
   13.
28
A. SIMON MASERATI 250.F
82 laps
Fastest lap:   L. MUSSO, FERRARI 801,   on lap 59,   1.42'47

Retired:
10
F. GODIA-SALES MASERATI 250.F
70 laps
26
M. GREGORY MASERATI 250.F
43 laps
4
H. SCHELL MASERATI 250.F
20 laps
12
L. PIOTTI MASERATI 250.F
12 laps
18
S. MOSS VANWALL VW.5
6 laps

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