12th March 2019

MOROCCAN GRAND PRIX, Ain Diab

BROOKS WINS AT LAST

The 1957 Formula 1 season came to an end with the first race for modern Grand Prix cars to be run on the continent of Africa, albeit the very north-west of Africa, almost as close to Europe as it was possible to be. The circuit was constructed just outside of the city of Casablanca and went by the name of Ain Diab. It was basically rectangular and very fast, with really only three fairly tight corners and a multitude of fast curves. The rumour was that the Moroccan Grand Prix of 1958 would be a World Championship event, so this race was a toe in the water for the organisers and race teams alike.

The organisers were not terribly keen on having a lot of private entries so it was just as well that the five manufacturers who had competed throughout the year - some intermittently, it must be added - all made the long trip down, some taking ferries from France while others drove all the way down to Gibraltar and across to Tangier and then south-west down the coast to Casablance. What the locals made of lorries carrying racing cars passing through their towns and villages has not been recorded! However, the race teams did them proud with only Ferrari reducing their entry to just two cars, from their English pairing of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. Maserati pulled out all the stops and sent their full four car equipe for Fangio, Behra, Schell and Scarlatti. The three Vanwalls were in the hands of their regulars, Moss, Brooks and Lewis-Evans as were the two Coopers - Brabham and Salvadori. B.R.M. had yet another different driver in one of their cars. Ron Flockhart retained his seat but it the little Frenchman Maurice Trintignant became the eighth different driver to drive for the Bourne outfit during the season.

Just three private entries were invited to participate but in the end Piotti decided not to come, leaving just two 250.F Maseratis to make up the numbers, driven by Paco Godia-Sales and Jean Lucas in a car owned by a Frenchman named du Puy.

Tony Brooks had suffered a rather poor season with Vanwall with a lot of handling difficulties early on in the season and various retirements on and off all through, but finally everything worked as it should and he was able to register a victory in this end of season event. He had the better of his Championship-winning team-mate all through the weekend but it must be admitted that Stirling was far from on top form, suffering from a nasty case of flu which eventually caused him to retire from the race after 44 of the 55 laps. Fangio was another who was unwell but he soldiered on and was rewarded with third place and the kudos of being the first Maserati home. Between Brooks and Fangio, in second place was Mike Hawthorn, finding a little bit of the lost form that Ferrari suffered in the latter stages of the season. His team-mate Collins followed Fangio home, ahead of Schell and Behra in their Maseratis. All the top six completed the full 55 laps but the gaps between most of them were quite large with only Schell, 5 seconds behind Collins, providing any excitement at the end.

Other finishers were Lewis-Evans in the other Vanwall, Lucas and Salvadori. The Vanwall was one lap behind, Lucas three and Salvadori four. Both B.R.M.s broke down, as did Brabham and two of the six Maseratis also failed to finish, Godia's and the fourth works car of Scarlatti.

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 55 LAP RACE .

   1.
22
T. BROOKS VANWALL VW.10
2.13.33'95
   2.
4
M. HAWTHORN FERRARI 801
2.13.54'84
   3.
6
J. FANGIO MASERATI 250.F
2.14.55'19
   4.
2
P. COLLINS FERRARI 801
2.15.36'97
   5.
10
H. SCHELL MASERATI 250.F
2.15.41'82
   6.
8
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
2.16.12'42
   7.
24
S. LEWIS-EVANS VANWALL VW.1
54 laps
   8.
30
J. LUCAS MASERATI 250.F
52 laps
   9.
16
R. SALVADORI COOPER CLIMAX T.43
51 laps
Fastest lap:   M. HAWTHORN, FERRARI 801,   on lap 34,   2.20'05

Retired:
20
S. MOSS VANWALL VW.5
44 laps
26
M. TRINTIGNANT B.R.M. Type 25
41 laps
14
F. GODIA-SALES MASERATI 250.F
32 laps
18
J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.43
27 laps
12
G. SCARLATTI MASERATI 250.F
12 laps
28
R. FLOCKHART B.R.M. Type 25
9 laps

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