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1957 Italian Grand Prix

The seventh and final round of the 1957 Formula-1 World Championship took place on September 8 in Italy at the famous Monza circuit. For the previous two years, the Italian Grand Prix had been held on a long circuit configuration, which included newly built banking, however, after quite dangerous incidents that occurred with Ferrari drivers due to tire delamination on profile bends, the organizers of the Grand Prix decided to return to the short configuration this year. At the same time, due to changes in the last two turns, which turned into one Parabolica, the current configuration was slightly different from the one of 1954, and now the length of the track was 5.75 km, while the drivers had to complete 87 laps.

Monza 1957.jpg

Three weeks after the Pescara Grand Prix, teams and drivers once again gathered on Italian soil for one of the main motorsport events of the season, and given the high-speed nature of the Monza circuit, local fans were looking forward to once again seeing the most uncompromising battle between the best Formula-1 drivers, secretly hoping that at the end of this festival of speed one of the Italian teams will be the winner. At the same time, even though by the last stage of the season there was no talk of fighting for the title, the question of the title of vice-champion was still open, and as many as six drivers from three different teams were contenders for it. The best chances for this title were Stirling Moss, Luigi Musso and Mike Hawthorn, who were separated by only 4 points, while the chances of Tony Brooks, Harry Schell and Peter Collins looked much more modest, and they had to hope not only for victory in this Grand Prix, but also for an extremely happy coincidence.

However, in addition to the fight for the title of the best after Fangio, the victory in Monza was extremely valuable in itself, whereas for the two Italian factory teams it had truly sacred meaning at all. A week before the Grand Prix, both Maserati and Ferrari, eager to approach their home stage fully armed, carried out intensive test runs in Monza, while the 12-cylinder car of the Modena team was finally able to appear in all its glory on this super-fast track and showed quite decent results.


When the time came for the Grand Prix itself, Maserati, as at the previous stage, was represented by Juan-Manuel Fangio, Jean Behra, Harry Schell and Giorgio Scarlatti, while they had at their disposal three lightweight 6-cylinder Maserati 250F cars, one 12 -cylinder bolid and another last-year 6-cylinder car, intended for Scarlatti.


Scuderia Ferrari was also represented by four drivers, and in addition to the main three racers Peter Collins, Mike Hawthorn and Luigi Musso, the German aristocrat Wolfgang von Trips, who had already competed for the team at the first two rounds in Argentina and Monaco, took the wheel of the fourth Ferrari 801 car.


As for the British teams, realizing that their low-power Formula-2 cars had no chance at Monza, Cooper decided to skip the final round, and in the end only the team of Tony Vandervell had to defend the honor of the Union Jack.


However, given the convincing victory of the British car in Pescara, both Italian teams were seriously afraid of serious competition from Vanwall, and, as subsequent events showed, it was not in vain. As for the Vanwall drivers, as in the previous few rounds, they were Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks and Stuart Lewis-Evans.


The remaining places among the participants of the Grand Prix were taken by private drivers in Maserati 250F cars, among whom were Masten Gregory and Jo Bonnier from the Scuderia Centro Sud team, as well as Chico Godia, Luigi Piotti, Horace Gould, Bruce Halford and Andre Simon.


Training for the Italian Grand Prix took place over two days, but already on Friday the British cars, thanks to their powerful engines and excellent aerodynamics, were able to demonstrate complete superiority over the Italian cars, and the result of qualifying was the absolute triumph of Tony Vanderwell's team, whose drivers took the first three places on the starting grid! At the same time, it was a complete surprise that the fastest of the Vanwall drivers this time was not Moss at all, but the much less experienced Lewis-Evans, who, having completed his best lap 0.3 seconds faster than Stirling, managed to record his first pole position already in his sixth Grand Prix!


Meanwhile, the only one who was able to impose at least some kind of fight on Vanwalls was the current world champion, however, even despite all his skill and using all the power of the 12-cylinder car, he failed to get closer to Lewis-Evans by less than 0.7 sec. Nevertheless, even this result allowed Fangio to take no less than the last remaining place on the front row of the grid, while his teammates Behra and Schell confirmed Maserati's good form by taking 5th and 6th places on the field. As for the Ferraris, their performance in qualifying could not be called anything other than a failure, and obviously inferior in speed to both Vanwalls and Maseratis, their drivers took places only from 7th to 10th, with Collins at the head. At the same time, perhaps the only pleasant surprise in qualifying for the Maranello team was the fact that von Trips, who had returned to duty, this time looked no worse than his teammates and, having completed a lap just 0.2 seconds slower than Collins, the German ended up finishing 8th, ahead of both Musso and Hawthorn. The fastest private driver, as has become the custom this season, was the American Masten Gregory from the Scuderia Centro Sud, who managed to show 11th result, while his teammate Jo Bonnier also looked very good, finishing 13th.



On the day of the race, Tony Vanderwell celebrated his 57th birthday, and looking at the three British cars in the front row, everyone understood that it would be difficult to imagine a better gift for the head of Vanwall than a victory here, in the Mecca of Italian motorsport!


Meanwhile, they in the Maserati, although were very impressed with the speed of the Vanwalls, still hoped to give the British a worthy rebuff, and following a discussion of the strategy for the race, it was determined that Behra would drive the 12-cylinder car, while Fangio, Schell and Scarlatti would start driving more familiar 6-cylinder cars.


Start. When the national flag is waved, all the cars take off, but Moss does it better than others and immediately takes the lead in the race! Behra also takes a great start in his 12-cylinder car, as well as Musso in a Ferrari, but if the Frenchman still manages to pass two Vanwall drivers and gain a foothold in 2nd, then Luigi, who finds himself surrounded by the British, has to slightly lift his foot off the accelerator, as a result of which the Italian remains only in 5th position. As for Fangio, he starts poorly and ends up only 7th, while Bonnier, on the contrary, immediately wins back many positions and ends up directly behind the world champion.
Position after 1st lap: Moss, Behra, Lewis-Evans, Brooks, Musso, Collins, Fangio, Bonnier, Schell, Hawthorn.
Lap 2: Ferrari, as in qualifying, does not shine with speed, and Fangio easily passes Musso and Collins, rising to 5th!


Moreover, having failed to keep the world champion behind, Collins misses another Maserati of Schell, as a result of which the Englishman immediately drops to 7th!


Meanwhile, Bonnier, who started the race well, loses one position to Hawthorn, but the Swede still shows very decent speed, keeping up with Ferrari!


Lap 3: Brooks, having hung on the tail of Lewis-Evans for a couple of laps, goes on the attack and leaves his teammate behind!


Meanwhile, having overtaken Collins, Schell also passes Musso a lap later and thus the American is already 6th!


Besides, a very interesting fight between Gregory, Scarlatti and von Trips is also unfolding outside the top ten, as a result of which the American misses both of his rivals.
Lap 4: Having failed to create a sufficient gap from his pursuers, Moss is attacked by Behra, and using the full power of his 12-cylinder engine, the Frenchman passes Vanwall on the back straight, thus becoming the new leader of the race!


Meanwhile, on the same lap, Collins and Musso change places, while in the trio Scarlatti - von Trips - Gregory the American again takes the lead. Besides, having managed to last only three laps, Piotti drops out of the race with a faulty engine.
Lap 5: Having lost the lead by just one lap, Moss counterattacks Behra on the same straight and takes the lead again!


Meanwhile, after waiting a few laps, Fangio finally steps up, and Lewis-Evans becomes the world champion's first victim!


In addition, changes are taking place in the trio of Gregory - Scarlatti - von Trips again and it is the Italian now who gets ahead!


Lap 6: Unfazed by the loss of the lead, Behra goes on the attack again and passes Moss!


Meanwhile, Fangio passes another Vanwall, this time of Brooks, while Tony also misses his teammate Lewis-Evans! Besides, on the same lap, Gould makes a mistake and loses two positions, letting Godia and Halford through.
Lap 7: Carried away by the fight with each other, Moss and Behra allow Fangio to come close to them, who, without further ado, passes them both and becomes the new leader of the race!


At the same time, the top five are still an incredibly tight group, and Behra also lets Brooks through, who previously managed to get ahead of Lewis-Evans again!
Lap 8: Frustrated by the loss of several positions at once, Behra makes a small mistake, as a result of which he misses another Vanwall!


Lap 9: The fight among the leaders continues, and this time Moss loses another position, who lets his teammate Brooks through!


Meanwhile, Bonnier, still showing excellent pace and not at all lagging behind the Ferraris, suddenly attacks Hawthorn for 9th and gets ahead!


In addition, after several laps of pursuit, von Trips finally manages to pass Gregory, after which the German rushes in chase of Scarlatti, who has already managed to break away from his rivals by a few seconds.


Position after 10 laps: Fangio, Brooks, Moss, Lewis-Evans, Behra, Schell, Collins, Musso, Bonnier, Hawthorn. Having started their fight from the very start, the first five racers are still driving in an incredibly tight group, separated by just a couple of seconds!
Lap 11: Having led only four laps, Fangio succumbs to the attacks of two Vanwalls, and Moss now becomes the leader again!


Lap 12: Another change of leader! Brooks, who was in the thick of the fight for the leadership for 10 laps, finally gets his chance and, having overtaken Moss, takes the lead!


In addition, on the same lap, Fangio misses another Vanwall and drops to 4th position!
Lap 13: Moss makes a small mistake and immediately drops back to the very bottom of the top five! Meanwhile, Fangio regains his position from Lewis-Evans, while Hawthorn, after several laps of pursuit, manages to repass Bonnier again.


Moreover, on the same lap, von Trips finally catches up and overtakes Scarlatti, thereby taking 11th position.


Lap 14: Scarlatti does not give up and, as a result of a counterattack, takes the lead again!
Lap 15: Moss, who due to his mistake found himself last in line for victory, begins a new breakthrough and leaves Behra behind!
Lap 16: Lewis-Evans, who for a long time was the only one of the top five who had not yet experienced the burden of leadership, passes both Fangio and Brooks in one single lap and thus becomes the new, already fifth, leader of this incredible race!


In addition, after several laps of pursuit, Collins finally manages to get ahead of Schell, while his teammate von Trips again gains the upper hand in his fight with Scarlatti!


Lap 17: After just one lap ahead of the American, Collins again gives way to Schell, while von Trips again lets Scarlatti through! Looking at the completely powerless attempts of the Scuderia drivers to impose a fight on their not very strong rivals, it becomes obvious that Scuderia fans will try to forget this Italian Grand Prix as soon as possible! Meanwhile, on the same lap, the engine in Bonnier's Maserati shows signs of overheating, and after a great race, the Swede has no choice but to pull into the pits!
Lap 19: Moss catches up with the top three and gains one position, leaving Fangio behind!


Lap 20: The incredible pace set by the leaders begins to affect the reliability of their cars, and the first of them who is forced to give way is Brooks, whose Vanwall gets the throttle stuck open! By some miracle, having managed not to fly off the track, Tony makes it to the pits, but he loses almost two minutes during repairs and returns to the track only in 11th position, already a whole lap behind his main rivals!
Position after 20 laps: Lewis-Evans, Moss, Fangio, Behra, Schell, Collins, Musso, Hawthorn, Scarlatti, von Trips. Despite Brooks' problems, the fight for victory does not reduce its intensity at all, and the four leaders are still separated by only 3 seconds!
Lap 21: Moss attacks his teammate Lewis-Evans and regains the lead of the race!


Lap 24: Lewis-Evans also in trouble! Due to the destruction of one of the core plugs, the Vanwall engine begins to lose power, and Stewart, having lost more than seven minutes in the pits, also falls out of the number of contenders for victory! Meanwhile, on the same lap, Hawthorn manages to get ahead of his teammate Musso, while Brooks begins to regain the positions lost at the pit stop and at once passes Scarlatti and von Trips, who still are fighting each other, thus allowing the German to get ahead of his rival!


Lap 25: Having already gotten rid of the second Vanwall, Fangio and Behra slow down a little, hoping that the same fate will befall Moss, as a result of which Stirling easily gets ahead!


Lap 26: Having passed Scarlatti during Brooks' double overtake, von Trips is unable to stay ahead and lets the Italian through again! Meanwhile, on the same lap, Bonnier finally catches up with the rest of the field and wins back one position, ahead of Gould.
Lap 28: Considering the much higher fuel consumption of the 12-cylinder car, Behra stops in the pits to refuel and change the rear wheels, after which the Frenchman returns to the track only in 5th position, already a whole lap behind Moss! Meanwhile, Brooks, flying along the track, already manages to catch up with the Ferrari drivers, and Musso is the first to give way under his onslaught!
Lap 29: Having dealt with Musso, Brooks passes Hawthorn a lap later, thus rising to 6th!


Meanwhile, Bonnier also continues his breakthrough, leaving Simon behind.
Lap 30: Brooks is in trouble again! Having almost caught up with Behra, who was in 5th, the Englishman suddenly pulls into the pits, complaining about an oil leak that was getting into the cockpit. Having examined the car, the mechanics discover not only that the gearbox bung has almost come out of its groove, but also that the rear tires have almost become completely unusable. Under the angry gaze of Tony Vanderwell, the mechanics immediately began to fix the problem, add oil and change the wheels, however, when all this was finished and Tony returned to the cockpit, the car still did not move! All attempts to push the car lead to nothing, and the mechanics, having pushed it back, remove the hood again, delve into the engine and finally realize that due to the long pit stop and the heat, the fuel in the injection pump simply evaporated! Having eliminated this problem too, the mechanics finally manage to start the engine again, however, as a result of this incredibly long pit stop, Brooks drops to the very last place!
Position after 30 laps: Moss, Fangio, Schell, Collins, Behra, Hawthorn, Musso, Scarlatti, von Trips, Gregory. After an absolutely incredible fight for the lead in the first part of the race, Moss now remains the sole leader, already 10 seconds ahead of Fangio!


Lap 31: Bonnier has problems with engine overheating again, which force the Swede to pit again, this time for good.
Lap 32: Lewis-Evans, in penultimate place, finally catches up with the rest of the field and gains one position ahead of Gould.
Lap 33: Schell has an oil leak problem, which forces Harry to finish this race in the pits and deprives him of the opportunity to win his second podium in a row! Meanwhile, numerous problems of rivals play into the hands of the Ferrari drivers, and, quite unexpectedly, Collins is now third!


Lap 35: The engine in Behra's 12-cylinder car begins to dangerously overheat, and the Frenchman pulls into the pits to top up with water, which pushes him even further back, to 11th position!
Lap 36: Due to an unexpected vibration, Musso begins to lose speed, and he gives up 5th position to Scarlatti! In addition, on the same lap, Lewis-Evans regains another position, overtaking Simon.
Lap 37: Despite the strange behavior of the car, Musso manages to counterattack Scarlatti and takes the lead again!


Lap 38: The vibrations in Musso's car intensify and Scarlatti without much difficulty passes the Ferrari again! Meanwhile, Godia, fending off Halford's attacks, makes a mistake and spins, as a result of which the Spaniard immediately drops to 13th position.
Lap 40: Tired of the vibrations in his car, Musso pulls into the pits and reports the problem. The mechanics immediately begin to inspect the car, however, having found nothing suspicious, they just shrug and send the Italian back to the track! As a result, having achieved nothing, Luigi returns to the race, while an extra stop costs him two more positions!
Position after 40 laps: Moss, Fangio, Collins, Hawthorn, Scarlatti, von Trips, Gregory, Musso, Halford, Behra. Moss is still confidently leading the race, increasing his advantage over Fangio already to 17.5 seconds!


Lap 41: Having worn out his tires badly, Fangio stops in the pits to change the rear wheels, as a result of which his gap from Moss increases to almost a whole lap!


Meanwhile, Simon also stops in the pits to refuel, after which his teammate Volonterio takes his place behind the wheel of the Maserati.
Lap 42: Behra gains one position by overtaking Halford, while Volonterio is suddenly shown the black flag! Having obeyed the order, the Swiss stops in the pits, and there he receives an explanation that, in the opinion of the marshals, his training experience was insufficient to participate in the race! Fortunately for Ottorino, Simon immediately gets involved, and after some debate the Frenchman still manages to convince the marshals otherwise and allow Volonterio to continue the race!
Lap 45: Just 10 laps after his pit stop, Behra stops again to top up with water, and thus the Frenchman loses three more positions! In addition, on the same lap, Lewis-Evans also pulls in the pits with an overheated engine, and this time for good.
Lap 46: Scarlatti begins to experience problems with his rear tires, and he gives way to von Trips and Gregory almost without a fight!
Lap 47: Having completely lost the pace, Scarlatti cannot even hold off Musso in his faulty car, and the Italian drops to 8th position! Meanwhile, Brooks and Behra, suddenly very close after their pit stops, begin their own battle, albeit only for 11th position, as a result of which the Frenchman manages to take the lead!
Lap 48: Halford, already in 9th place thanks to problems with his rivals, drops out of the race due to a broken valve mechanism.
Lap 50: The engine in Behra's Maserati eventually succumbs to overheating and the Frenchman pulls into the pits again, finally dropping out of the race.


Position after 50 laps: Moss, Fangio, Collins, Hawthorn, von Trips, Gregory, Musso, Scarlatti, Godia, Brooks.
Lap 51: Seeing Scarlatti falling back further and further, they in Maserati finally call the Italian into the pits, and after changing the rear wheels, Schell takes Giorgio's place in the car and gets back to the track in 8th, without losing a single position.
Lap 54: It takes Schell only three laps to catch up with Musso, and after passing the Italian literally as standing, the American takes 7th position!
Lap 58: Collins is in trouble! Driving along the finish line, his Ferrari suddenly makes a grinding sound and the engine begins to suddenly lose power!
Lap 60: Pulling into the pits, Collins hands his car over to the mechanics, who discover that two of the eight cylinders in the engine are no longer working. Having somehow managed to restore the functionality of one of them, the mechanics release the Englishman back onto the track, but due to a long pit stop, Peter is now only in 7th position! Be that as it may, the Scuderia is still the main contender for the bottom step of the podium as another Ferrari driver, Hawthorn, now moves into 3rd!


Meanwhile, on the same lap, Brooks makes up one position by overtaking Godia.
Position after 60 laps: Moss, Fangio, Hawthorn, von Trips, Gregory, Schell, Collins, Musso, Brooks, Godia.
Lap 63: After three laps, the same cylinder fails again in Collins' Ferrari and the Englishman pits again, retiring.


Lap 74: Despite a slipping clutch, Brooks is now the fastest driver on the track and it is the Englishman who sets the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1'43.7!


Lap 77: Having an advantage of more than one lap over Fangio, Moss pulls into the pits as a precaution, where the mechanics change one of his rear wheels and top up the oil along the way. Under the attentive gaze of the Vanwall chief, the pit stop goes off without a hitch, and the Englishman gets back to the track as a leader, still more than a minute ahead of Fangio!


Meanwhile, on the same lap, Hawthorn also pits, whose engine began to misfire, and after repairing the fuel line, the Englishman returns to the track only in 6th!


Now Ferrari's last hope for the podium is von Trips, who will inherit third place from Mike, while the next places behind the German are already occupied by two Maseratis of Gregory and Schell!
Lap 85: With two laps to go, Brooks, still flying along the track, manages to catch up with Musso, and the Englishman leaves the Ferrari behind without any struggle, taking 7th!
Last lap: Having completely slowed down towards the end of the race, Moss calmly crosses the finish line first and thus gives Vanwall their third victory this season! Of course, this success becomes the best birthday present for his boss Tony Vandervell, while it brings the Englishman himself the well-deserved title of vice-champion, which he has won for the third time in a row!


Meanwhile, despite the fact that this day was a real triumph for British motorsport, local fans seem not at all upset by the loss of their teams and very warmly welcome the Englishman, appreciating his amazing skill!


Finishing second, Fangio also pats Stirling on the shoulder, acknowledging his obvious dominance in this race, while congratulations also go to von Trips, who today scores his first Formula-1 podium! As for fourth place, it turns out to be Gregory, who, thanks to the next points won, rises as high as to 6th place in the overall standings, while Schell finishes fifth, who shares the two points received with Scarlatti.


Interesting facts:

- Stuart Lewis-Evans' first pole position;
- Stuart Lewis-Evans' first leading in the Grand Prix;
- Tony Brooks' first leading in the Grand Prix;
- Wolfgang von Trips's first podium and points;
- Giorgio Scarlatti's first points.

Driver standings


Alternative GP results

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