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1955 British Grand Prix

The fifth round of the 1955 World Championship took place on July 16 in Great Britain at the new Aintree circuit, built near Liverpool, which for the first time was honored to host the British Grand Prix, replacing the already familiar Silverstone in this role. The length of this track was 4.828 km, while the drivers had to complete 90 laps.


After the tragedy that occurred in mid-June in the "24 Hours of Le Mans" race, automobile clubs in many countries questioned the further conducting of motor racing in their jurisdiction, and the first canceled stage was the French Grand Prix, which preceded the British one. As a result of this cancellation, the gap between the two rounds was almost a whole month, but the teams did not sit idly by, using the time they received to better prepare for the prestigious British stage, which, as usual, attracted a large number of participants.

Given the recent successes of Daimler-Benz, the German team found itself in the spotlight of British fans, who, naturally, hoped for the victory of their compatriot Stirling Moss.


At the same time, unlike the previous two Grands Prix, the Englishman's teammates here were not only Juan-Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling, but also the experienced Italian Piero Taruffi, who signed a contract with Neubauer until the end of the season.


Scuderia Ferrari, as in the Netherlands, was represented by Mike Hawthorn, Maurice Trintignant and Eugenio Castellotti, however, unlike the previous stage, they all got at their disposal last year's Ferrari 625 cars, which were more suitable for slow tracks.


The Maserati team this time was represented by three line-up drivers Jean Behra, Luigi Musso and Roberto Mieres, as well as rookie  Andre Simon, who has already held one race this season, driving for Mercedes.


The French Gordini team, as usual, brought three cars to the race, which were driven by the main drivers Robert Manzon and Nino da Silva Ramos, as well as French debutant Mike Sparken, who replaced Jacques Pollet.


As in previous years, the British stage also attracted the attention of many local teams and drivers, who made up almost half of the field. Tony Vandervell's team, having missed the stage in the Netherlands, returned to the World Championship with two new drivers, Harry Schell and Ken Wharton, while the American, who was fired from Ferrari, replaced Mike Hawthorn in Vanwall, who took his place in the Scuderia. The Connaught team, which had not participated in the world championships since 1953, exhibited two new Connaught B cars with a 1.5-liter Alta engine, one of which was with a conventional body, driven by Jack Fairman, and the second with a streamlined one, which went to Ken McAlpine.


In addition to the factory team, private racers Tony Rolt and Leslie Marr took part in the Grand Prix driving two of the same cars. Meanwhile, the Cooper team, which had also not appeared in the World Championship since 1953, was represented by Australian debutant Jack Brabham, who brought to the start a new Cooper T40 car, which was a sports car modification with a streamlined body and a 2.2-liter Bristol engine located behind the driver.


As for Alfred Owen's team, which devoted this season to the development of its own car, now it used last year's Maserati 250F car, which was driven by the team's new driver Peter Collins. In addition to the Englishman, Roy Salvadori from the Gilby Engineering team, as well as private racers Lance Macklin and Horace Gould took part in the Grand Prix driving the same Maserati cars.


Considering that the Aintree circuit was new for most of the drivers, there was a lot of activity on the track from the very first minutes of qualifying, but the fastest were once again the Silver Arrows, who managed to get into the top five with all four cars. At the same time, to the delight of the British fans, this time Stirling Moss turned out to be in the first position this time, winning his first pole position in his career and beating Juan-Manuel Fangio by only 0.2 seconds!


Meanwhile, the only driver who was not inferior in speed to the Silver Arrows was Jean Behra on a Maserati, who already had had experience on this track and eventually took third place, wedged between two pairs of Mercedeses.


The other Maserati drivers also looked very good and took 6th, 8th and 9th places, while Roberto Mieres lost to Piero Taruffi's Mercedes by only 0.2 seconds. Harry Schell also looked great, who managed to show the 7th time on an unfamiliar Vanwall, while his teammate Ken Wharton became only the 15th. As for the Ferrari drivers, they were clearly inferior to both Mercedeses and Maseratis, and having shown approximately the same time, they took only 10th, 12th and 13th places, with Castellotti at the head. In the Gordini team, Robert Manzon, as usual, turned out to be the fastest, who showed a good 11th result, managing to wedge himself between the Scuderia drivers. Meanwhile, Connaught's fastest driver was Tony Rolt, who took 14th place, but he already lost the pole position time for more than 6 seconds. The main losers of qualifying were Peter Collins and Jack Brabham, who took the last two places on the starting grid. Due to technical problems, the Englishman managed to drive only a couple of laps on his Maserati, while on the Cooper car, which was being prepared for the Grand Prix in a terrible hurry, the clutch did not work at all, and the Australian made only one installation lap.




On the day of the race, the weather is wonderful, and shortly before the start, the drivers take seats in identical Austin-Healey sports cars, on which they make a lap of honor. During the cavalcade of cars, a huge crowd welcomes their heroes, but special attention goes, of course, to the local favorite Stirling Moss. After completing the lap of honor, all the drivers take their seats in their cars and prepare for the start of the race.


Start. Fangio and Moss take off at the same time, however, to the disappointment of the audience, the Argentine still enters the first turn as the leader!


Meanwhile, Behra, who also started from the first row, hesitates a little, and several rivals immediately pass him at once! However, the Frenchman seems to be clearly on a roll today, and during the first lap he wins back all the lost positions, thus returning to third place again!


Besides, Collins and Salvadori become the heroes of the start, who manage to break through from the end of the peleton to its middle, while Schell and Marr, on the contrary, manage to move only with the help of their mechanics. Also, after the first lap, the peleton already suffers the first losses: Simon drives into the pits with a faulty gearbox, and Fairman drops out of the race due to engine failure.
Position after the 1st lap: Fangio, Moss, Behra, Mieres, Kling, Taruffi, Musso, Castellotti, Trintignant, Hawthorn. 
Lap 2: Kling and Taruffi alternately pass Mieres, pushing the Argentine to 6th place! Meanwhile, Trintignant overtakes his teammate Castellotti, and Salvadori, on the contrary, misses two rivals, dropping to 14th position.


In addition, Macklin and Gould also lose several positions.
Lap 3: Moss, after hanging two laps on Fangio's tail, goes on the attack at the finish line and passes the Argentine, driving the stands into a frenzy!


On the same lap, Mieres goes into a counterattack and passes two Mercedeses of Kling and Taruffi one after the other!


Meanwhile, Castellotti has problems with his Ferrari, and he misses three rivals at once, while Harry Schell, on the contrary, begins to regain the positions lost at the start, and rises to 14th place.
Lap 4: Kling attacks Mieres again and passes him!


Behind, the Ferrari drivers Hawthorn and Trintignant arrange a fight for 8th place, as a result of which the Englishman manages to get ahead.


In addition, Schell wins back another position, overtaking Ramos, and Rolt manages to pass Salvadori.


Lap 5: Having missed Hawthorn, Trintignant immediately finds himself under pressure from Collins, who attacks the Frenchman and gets ahead! Behind, Schell wins back another position, overtaking Castellotti, who has lost speed, and Macklin also wins back one position, overtaking Sparken. Meanwhile, Manzon, who had a very good race, retires with a broken transmission and returns to the pits on foot.


Lap 6: After overtaking Fangio, Moss picks up the pace, but he still can't break away from the Argentine for more than a couple of seconds!


At the same time, the third-placed Behra also drives very fast, still being within reach of two Silver Arrows.
Lap 8: Rolt passes Ramos' Gordini and becomes 13th.
Lap 9: Salvadori, following Rolt, also attacks the Brazilian and comes forward.


Lap 10: Behra is in trouble! Smoke starts pouring out from under the hood of his Maserati, but the Frenchman, not believing his eyes, drives past his pits, only to stop at the first corner! Jean had a great race today and clearly claimed the podium, but the rupture of the oil pipeline crossed out all the Frenchman's hopes for an excellent result. After Behra's retirement, Kling on another Mercedes gets into third place, but the German is closely pursued by Mieres on a Maserati. On the same lap, Castellotti finally drives into the pits, where the mechanics change the spark plugs in his Ferrari, as a result of which the Italian falls to the very end of the peleton.


As for Simon, after suffering all 10 laps with a faulty gearbox, he finally gives up and leaves the race.
Position after 10 laps: Moss, Fangio, Kling, Mieres, Taruffi, Musso, Hawthorn, Collins, Trintignant, Schell. The Moss-Fangio pair is still very tight behind each other, while the third-placed Kling is already almost 30 seconds behind his teammates!


Lap 11: Musso attacks Taruffi in the fight for 5th place and passes him!


On the same lap, Schell makes another overtaking, this time leaving behind  Trintignant's Ferrari!


Lap 12: Rolt drives into the pits with a faulty accelerator link, and as a result of a prolonged stop, he loses all chances of a decent result, dropping to last place.
Lap 14: Collins attacks his compatriot Hawthorn and takes the lead, rising to 7th place already! On the same lap, Marr passes Sparken, and Wharton overtakes McAlpine.


Lap 15: Ramos makes a mistake and misses five opponents at once.
Lap 16: Schell, in his turn, attacks Hawthorn and, having overtaken Ferrari, takes already 8th place!


Lap 17: Wharton drives into the pits to adjust his Vanwall, losing two positions, and he is followed by Castellotti, who finally drops out of the race with a broken transmission. 
Lap 18: Fangio, who has been waiting behind Moss for a long time, suddenly goes on the attack and becomes the leader of the race again!


Meanwhile, Mieres finally manages to overtake Kling's Mercedes, and thus the Argentine is already in third place!


In addition, on the same lap, Marr begins to experience problems with the brakes, as a result of which he misses two rivals, and Gould drives into the pits, dissatisfied with the handling of his Maserati.
Lap 19: Entering one of the corners, the brakes on Marr's Connaught lock up, causing the car to spin and stall! The Englishman tries to revive the engine again, but to no avail, and he has no choice but to leave the race.
Lap 20: Kling counterattacks Mieres and takes the lead again!


On the same lap, his teammate Taruffi finally manages to get ahead of Musso's Maserati, and the Italian takes 5th place!


Meanwhile, Rolt finally drops out of the race due to problems with the accelerator.
Position after 20 laps: Fangio, Moss, Kling, Mieres, Taruffi, Musso, Collins, Schell, Hawthorn, Trintignant. Despite the fact that the two leading Mercedeses have swapped places, Fangio also cannot break away from his teammate, and there is still only 1 second between them!


Lap 21: Schell is in trouble! Harry had just a great race and almost caught up with Collins, but the accelerator pedal under his foot literally crumbles into pieces, and the American has no choice but to turn to the side of the road!
Lap 23: Salvadori has problems with the gearbox, and the Englishman turns into the pits, retiring. On the same lap, the engine on McAlpine's Connaught starts to lose power, and Ramos passes the Englishman, while Gould drives into the pits with faulty brakes, leaving the race.
Lap 24: McAlpine loses another position, missing Wharton.
Lap 26: Moss, having spent eight laps behind Fangio, goes on the attack again and takes the lead!


Lap 27: The engine on Ramos' Gordini loses oil and the Brazilian drives into the pits, dropping out of the race.
Lap 28: McAlpine goes even slower and misses Brabham, dropping to last place!
Lap 30: The clutch fails on Collins' Maserati, and the Englishman turns into the pits, ending the fight. It's a pity, because today Peter showed an impressive race, managing to break through from the end of the field to 7th place. On the same lap, Sparken has problems with the rear suspension, and the Frenchman also drives into the pits, where he is met by Amadeus Gordini.


After a careful inspection of the back of the car, the "Sorcerer" gives the go-ahead to continue the race, and Mike returns to the track, losing one place.
Position after 30 laps: Moss, Fangio, Kling, Mieres, Taruffi, Musso, Hawthorn, Trintignant, Macklin, Wharton. Having overtaken Fangio, Moss begins to slowly break away from the Argentine, bringing his advantage to 3 seconds.


Lap 31: The engine on Brabham's Cooper loses power, and the Australian also turns into the pits, leaving the race. However, considering that Jack had to shift gears for 30 laps without the help of a clutch, it's surprising that his Cooper lasted so long at all. In addition, on the same lap, McAlpine drops out of the race, whose oil pump has finally stopped working.
Lap 32: The fight between Taruffi and Musso continues, and Maserati comes forward again!


Lap 33: Taruffi counterattacks Musso and regains 5th place!


On the same lap, an oil line breaks on Wharton's Vanwall, and his car begins to pour oil on the track.


Somehow reaching the pits, the Englishman stalls for a long repair, while the marshals cover the oil-soaked last turn with talcum powder.


Lap 36: Musso attacks Taruffi again and leaves Mercedes behind!


Position after 40 laps: Moss, Fangio, Kling, Mieres, Musso, Taruffi, Hawthorn, Trintignant, Macklin, Sparken. Moss continues to build up the advantage, bringing his lead over Fangio to 7 seconds already!


Lap 44: Macklin hits a wheel of his Maserati on the oil stain left in the last turn, and, unable to hold the car, flies straight into the hay bales on the side of the road!


At the same time, despite the fact that the engine stalls, the car itself does not receive any significant damage, and Lance, hoping to continue the race, goes on foot to the pits for help.


Lap 47: Macklin with a couple of mechanics returns to his car, which the marshals have already pushed to a safer place, and a couple of minutes later his Maserati comes to life, allowing the Englishman to return to the Grand Prix!
Lap 48: The engine on Mieres' Maserati does not withstand a long chase for Mercedes, and the Argentine drops out of the race, losing a real opportunity to compete for the podium.
Lap 49: After Mieres' retirement, Mercedes loses its last serious rival, and Neubauer orders Moss, Fangio and Kling to maintain the status quo. As for Taruffi, on the contrary, he is shown a sign to increase speed and continue attacks on Musso. At the same time, Hawthorn, who is beginning to be seriously pestered by the heat, misses his teammate Trintignant.


Position after 50 laps: Moss, Fangio, Kling, Musso, Taruffi, Trintignant, Hawthorn, Sparken, Macklin, Wharton. 
Lap 51: Wharton pulls into the pits, giving way his Vanwall to Schell.
Lap 56: After spending a few laps behind Musso, Taruffi finally manages to pass the Maserati, and thus all four Mercedeses are now leading the race!


Lap 60: The engine on Trintignant's Ferrari starts to overheat, and the Frenchman pulls into a pit stop.


However, after replacing the spark plugs, it turns out that the cylinder head is also damaged, and the Frenchman has no choice but to leave the race.
Lap 61: Hawthorn can no longer withstand the heat and, having driven into the pits, the Englishman gives up his car to Castellotti.


Lap 89: In the last laps, Fangio picks up the pace, reducing his gap from Moss to just 1.5 seconds!


At the same time, the spectators in the stands, already anticipating the victory of their favorite, are wondering whether Neubauer will use team tactics on the last lap, as it was at the previous stage in the Netherlands.
Last lap: After passing the last lap close behind Moss, Fangio leaves his teammate's slipstream at the last corner and, having caught up with the Englishman, crosses the finish line side by side with him!


Nevertheless, Moss still turns out to be half a body ahead of the Argentine, and thus the Englishman not only wins his first victory in the World Championship, but also becomes the first Briton to win a home Grand Prix!


At the same time, accepting congratulations, Stirling pays tribute to Fangio, stating that he considers the Argentine the best driver in the world, and also does not forget his team, which allowed him to win today. The Argentine himself also does not remain in debt, admitting that in this race his teammate was faster and, therefore, fully deserved this victory.


Meanwhile, the third and fourth places also go to the two Mercedes of Kling and Taruffi, and thus the German team achieves its best finish in history! At the same time, Maserati, which was the only team that managed to impose a fight on the Silver Arrows today, still gets a consolation two points for fifth place, which Musso brings to it. As for Scuderia Ferrari, after the failed qualification, its cars also fail in the race, and its only achievement is the 6th position of Castellotti, who loses the Silver Arrows for more than 3 laps.


Interesting facts:

- Stirling Moss' first victory;
- Stirling Moss' first pole position;

- Jack Brabham's debut.

Driver standings


Alternative GP results

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