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1957 Monaco Grand Prix

The second round of the 1957 Formula-1 World Championship, took place on May 19 in Monaco on the legendary circuit running through the narrow streets of the Principality. Compared to the previous year, the track has not undergone almost any changes, however, a new asphalt pavement has been laid along the harbour. The length of the track was 3.145 km, while the drivers had to complete 105 laps.

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As usual, the break between the first and second stages of the World Championship was quite long and amounted to more than four months, but this year it was overshadowed by very tragic events, as a result of which Scuderia Ferrari lost two of their drivers, Eugenio Castellotti and Alfonso de Portago. Castellotti died in mid-March on the Modena circuit while driving a new Ferrari 801, trying at all costs to improve the track record set by Jean Behra in a Maserati.

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De Portago crashed just a week before the Monaco Grand Prix during the Mille Miglia sports car race, and this accident claimed the life of not only the Spaniard, but also his co-driver Ed Nelson, as well as nine spectators.

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Considering the death of the two drivers, the team from Maranello approached the second stage, having at their disposal only Peter Collins, Mike Hawthorn and Wolfgang von Trips, therefore, wanting to strengthen the Scuderia line-up, Commendatore again turned to the services of Maurice Trintignant, who had already driven for the team in 1954-55 and brought it the winning cup in Monaco two years ago. As for the cars, all the team's drivers were given new Ferraris 801, which differed from their D50 predecessors with new chassis, bodies, gearboxes and upgraded engines.

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The first European stage of the championship turned out to be rich in novelties at all, and unlike the Argentine Grand Prix, in which only two factory teams took part, as many as six factory teams were present in Monaco, four of which were British. The first of them, Vanwall, brought to Monte Carlo three cars of a new modification, which differed from last year's models with an expanded nose, while the seats at the wheels of these cars were taken by Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks, whom Tony Vandervell managed to lure away from Maserati and BRM, respectively.

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The Connaught team brought to Monaco three last year cars of B modification with Alta engines, but one of them received a new “humpback” body, which changed the appearance of the car almost beyond recognition.

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At the same time, Connaught also underwent a complete renewal of the team, and British Formula-3 racing stars Stuart Lewis-Evans and Ivor Bueb became the team's new drivers.


In addition, the Monaco Grand Prix also saw the return of the Cooper team to the World Championship with their new rear-engine Formula-2 T43 cars with Climax engines, which were driven by Australian Jack Brabham and Englishman Les Leston.

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As for the last British team, BRM, unlike their competitors, it could not boast of new cars and brought the same long-suffering P25s to Monaco, while Ron Flockhart and Roy Salvadori became the team's drivers this season.

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The last factory team to take part in the Monaco Grand Prix was Maserati, represented this time by Juan-Manuel Fangio, Carlos Menditeguy, Harry Schell, Hans Herrmann and Giorgio Scarlatti. At the same time, one of the team's main drivers, Jean Behra, was absent at the second stage, since the Frenchman did not have time to recover from his accident in the Mille Miglia. As for the cars, in addition to the lightweight 250F bolids, which showed excellent performance at the first stage in Argentina, Maserati brought to the principality another experimental car with a new 12-cylinder V-engine.

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In addition to the factory team, two private drivers, Horace Gould and Luigi Piotti, took part in the Grand Prix on Maserati 250F cars, as well as the private team Scuderia Centro Sud, which this time was represented by Frenchman Andre Simon and  American debutant Masten Gregory.

Qualification

Like last year, the organizers, for safety reasons, limited the number of race participants to 16 cars, which meant that not all drivers would be able to qualify. In addition, wanting to further warm up the fight for positions, the organizers have again established a £100 prize for the fastest driver on the first day of practice. As could be expected, these rules had their effect on the participants, and throughout the three days of qualifying, serious passions were in full swing on the track. However, from the very beginning of the training it became clear that the incentive cash prize would go to either Fangio or Moss, who were much faster than all their rivals, and in the end it was the Englishman who earned £100, who was able to show his fastest lap at the very end of the first day of training.

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As for the Scuderia drivers, they had no opportunity to compete for the cash prize at all, since their new cars were delivered to the track only on Friday, and as a result, Peter Collins amused himself on Thursday by doing laps in the rear-engined Cooper car.


Meanwhile, on the night from Thursday to Friday, there was a heavy downpour in Monaco, which heavily wet the track, as a result of which for quite a long time the drivers were unable to get closer to the times shown the day before. However, as the track dried out, the cars began to go faster and by the end of qualifying the conditions were almost ideal. At the same time, the main fight for pole position unfolded between Fangio and Moss again, but this time Collins in a Ferrari also intervened in this fight. In the end, pole position went to the Argentine, who managed to improve his last year's result by more than a second, and after such a magnificent lap the two Englishmen could only throw up their hands.

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At the same time, Juan-Manuel showed this result while driving one of the 6-cylinder Maseratis, which were more suitable for this track, while the new 12-cylinder car, which was tested by almost all the team’s drivers, could not develop enough power when exiting the slow turns, which were plentiful in Monaco.

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Meanwhile, Moss and Collins found themselves alongside the Argentine on the front row, which suited them both, while the next places went to their teammates Brooks, Hawthorn and Trintignant. As for the last Scuderia driver, von Trips, he was not so fast and, having also lost to two Maserati drivers Menditeguy and Schell, took only 9th place on the starting field, which was not surprising, given the German’s complete lack of experience on this most difficult track.

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The last place in the top ten went to debutant Masten Gregory from the private team Scuderia Centro Sud, which was very impressive, considering that the American had no experience either on the track in Monaco or behind the wheel of a Grand Prix car at all.

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Of the remaining 11 drivers, only six were destined to make it to the start of the race, and in the end the lucky ones were the two Connaught drivers, Gould and Scarlatti in Maseratis, Flockhart in BRM and Brabham in Cooper. At the same time, the Australian in his rear-engine Formula-2 car managed to surprise a lot, being faster than six of his rivals, whose cars were at least 70 hp more powerful!

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As for Alfred Owen's team, their cars again experienced serious problems with both handling and brakes, and in the end only Flockhart managed to get to the start, while his teammate Salvadori was left out of qualifying, joining Herrmann, Simon, Piotti and Leston.

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Race

On Sunday night, heavy rain fell in Monaco again, but by the morning the weather cleared up, and by noon there was no trace of wet spots left on the track. Before the start of the Grand Prix, Prince Rainier of Monaco made his traditional lap of honor in his car, accompanied, as last year, by his wife, former American actress Grace Kelly.

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Meanwhile, even before the start, some drivers had problems: Bueb, when leaving the pits, smashed the bottom of the gearbox on the pavement, which forced him to hastily change to a spare car, while Moss’ Vanwall refused to start, and his engine was revived only by a push-start!

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Start. Moss and Fangio take off at the same time, leaving Collins behind, but the Argentine is still the leader at the first turn, only half a length of his car ahead of Stirling!

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However, already on the next straight, Moss goes on the attack on the world champion and, getting ahead, the Englishman becomes the leader of the race!

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Besides, Schell has a great start of the race, immediately breaking through to 4th place, while Trintignant, on the contrary, immediately loses many positions and becomes only 13th!
Position after 1st lap: Moss, Fangio, Collins, Schell, Brooks, Menditeguy, Hawthorn, von Trips, Gould, Gregory.

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Lap 2: Collins in turn repeats Moss' maneuver and passes Fangio on the straight after the Ste-Devote corner, thus taking second place!

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Lap 3: Collins does not stop there and, having caught up with Moss, begins to put all the pressure on his compatriot!

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Besides, on the same lap, Schell makes a mistake and lets four rivals through at once, while Hawthorn manages to pass Menditeguy.

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Lap 4: Menditegu loses two more positions and drops already to 8th place!

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Lap 5: Moss brakes too late at the chicane and crashes into a barrier of logs and sandbags!

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As a result of the impact, logs are scattered throughout the chicane, and Collins, who was following Moss closely, in an attempt to dodge the debris, crashes into the opposite barrier adjacent to the harbour!

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Meanwhile, Fangio is already approaching the scene of the accident, but the world champion notices the destruction in time and immediately slows down almost to a complete stop. After carefully passing the debris-strewn chicane, Fangio accelerates again and thus becomes the new leader of the race!

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A few seconds later, a couple of Brooks-Hawthorn arrives at the scene and Tony, having braked sharply, is immediately hit from behind by Mike, causing the Englishman’s Ferrari to lose a wheel!

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Fortunately, this blow passes for Brooks with almost no consequences, and the Englishman continues the race, while Hawthorn's out-of-control bolid ends up in the same place as Collins' car, stopping only a few centimeters from the cliff!

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At this point, the marshals at the chicane finally begin to wave warning flags, and all other drivers safely pass the accident site. As a result, the top three now look like this: Fangio-Brooks-von Trips, while the three unlucky Englishmen now have to watch the race only from the sidelines!

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Position after 5 laps: Fangio, Brooks, von Trips, Menditeguy, Schell, Gould, Gregory, Lewis-Evans, Flockhart, Trintignant.
Lap 9: Horace Gould begins to lose pace, causing the following Gregory, Lewis-Evans, Flockhart, Trintignant, Brabham and Scarlatti to form a tight group and begin a fierce battle among themselves!

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Lap 10: Having made sure that the car's handling was not affected in any way after driving through the wreckage, Fangio increases the pace and his lead over Brooks to one and a half seconds.

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Meanwhile, the fight behind Gould reaches its climax, and Trintignant, trying to pass two rivals at once, sticks the nose of his Ferrari into the rear of Lewis-Evans' Connaught, causing the Englishman to spin and drop to the very back of the field! At the same time, Brabham immediately takes advantage of the confusion, who immediately overtakes four rivals and rises to 7th place!

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Position after 10 laps: Fangio, Brooks, von Trips, Menditeguy, Schell, Gould, Brabham, Gregory, Trintignant, Flockhart.
Lap 11: Gould slips on the oil leaking from under his car and crashes into the barrier!
Lap 12: Bueb pulls into the pits with a broken rear fuel tank and the mechanics begin to dismantle it, hoping that Ivor will be able to reach the finish using only the side tanks.
Lap 13: Flockhart attacks Gregory for 8th place and takes the lead!
Lap 15: Menditeguy damages one of the tires on the curb and drives into the pits to change a tire, dropping to 10th place! Besides, on the same lap, Trintignant manages to pass Brabham, and thus the Frenchman is already in the points!

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Lap 18: Menditeguy begins to regain the positions lost during the pit stop and leaves Scarlatti behind.
Position after 20 laps: Fangio, Brooks, von Trips, Schell, Trintignant, Brabham, Flockhart, Gregory, Menditeguy, Scarlatti. Fangio continues to confidently lead the race, bringing his lead over Brooks already to 5 seconds.

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Lap 21: Menditeguy catches up with Gregory and passes the American, which is immediately used by Scarlatti, who also leaves Masten behind!
Lap 24: Schell comes into the pits with a broken front suspension, retiring from the race and giving up 4th place to Trintignant! At the same time, Brabham now gets into the points on his Formula-2 car!

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Lap 27: Trintignant is also in trouble! The engine in the Frenchman's Ferrari begins to fail, and Maurice enters the pits for a long repair, dropping to penultimate place! At the same time, Brabham now becomes 4th, and Flockhart on BRM now also gets into the points! In addition, on the same lap, Gregory counterattacks Scarlatti and regains 7th position!
Position after 30 laps: Fangio, Brooks, von Trips, Brabham, Flockhart, Menditeguy, Gregory, Scarlatti, Lewis-Evans, Trintignant.
Lap 33: Menditeguy gains another position by overtaking Flockhart, putting the BRM driver out of the points again!

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Lap 38: Menditeguy catches up and passes Brabham, already rising to 4th place!

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Lap 40: Von Trips, confidently in 3rd place, is ordered to enter the pits, and after stopping, the German gives his place to Hawthorn! At the same time, the tall Englishman barely fits in the cockpit of Wolfgang’s Ferrari, but still drives back onto the track without losing 3rd position!

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Lap 43: After spending only three laps in the cramped Ferrari cockpit, Hawthorn realizes that he simply cannot drive fast enough and returns to the pits, passing the car to the German again! Without wasting a second, Wolfgang drives back onto the track, but Menditeguy still manages to rush past, who is now in the top three!

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Besides, on the same lap, Scarlatti also turns into the pits, handing his car over to Schell, who returns to the track in 9th.
Position after 50 laps: Fangio, Brooks, Menditeguy, von Trips, Brabham, Flockhart, Gregory, Lewis-Evans, Schell, Trintignant. By the middle of the distance, Fangio noticeably increase the pace and brings his advantage over Brooks to 20 seconds!

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Lap 52: Menditeguy's impressive breakthrough ends with an equally impressive spin that sends the Argentine's car crashing into the barrier at the chicane, just meters away from the two crashed Ferraris of Collins and Hawthorn!

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At the same time, having got out of the car and crossed the road, the Argentinean immediately almost loses consciousness, but the marshals who arrived in time manage to pick up Carlos and take him away. Meanwhile, after the Argentine's retirement, von Trips again takes 3rd place, while Brabham and Flockhart are again in the points!

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Lap 55: Schell gains one position, overtaking Lewis-Evans.

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Lap 61: Smoke starts pouring out of Flockhart's BRM engine, taking away all the Scot's hopes for points in this race! At the same time, debutant Gregory now becomes a new candidate for a productive finish!

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Lap 62: Brabham stops in the pits for a scheduled refueling and lets Gregory and Schell go ahead!
Lap 65: Having barely had time to rejoice in his return to the points, Schell drops out of the race again due to problems with an oil leak! Thus, after the American's retirement, Brabham is now 5th again!

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Lap 68: Brabham doesn't stop there and, being much faster than Gregory, leaves the American behind!

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Position after 70 laps: Fangio, Brooks, von Trips, Brabham, Gregory, Lewis-Evans, Trintignant.
Lap 96: After almost 30 laps of a rather uneventful race, the engine on von Trips' Ferrari suddenly explodes, and the German, unable to control the car, flies into the fence next to the Casino! Fortunately, Wolfgang emerges from this accident unharmed, but he loses his well-deserved 3rd place to Brabham!
Lap 100: With five laps to go, Brabham's Cooper suddenly runs out of fuel at the Casino, and all the Australian's hopes of a podium in this race immediately dissipate like smoke! After coasting for another couple of hundred meters, the Cooper freezes in the next turn, but Jack, determined to finish this race at all costs, immediately jumps out of the car and begins to push it further!
Last lap: Fangio, after another masterful and confident race, crosses the finish line first and thus wins his second Grand Prix this season!

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The second, 25 sec behind, is Brooks, who also spent the race above all praise, and the Englishman gives Vanwall their first Formula-1 podium!

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Meanwhile, the third, quite unexpectedly, finishes Gregory, who today managed to make the most of the numerous problems of his rivals, and thus the American won his first podium in his debut race! Fourth place goes to another debutant, Lewis-Evans in the Connaught, while the final two points go to Trintignant, who, due to his forced pit stop, loses a full five laps to the winner. As for the last, sixth place, it goes to one of the main heroes of this race, Jack Brabham, who under the cheers of the audience, still manages to push his Cooper to the finish line!

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P.S. Despite the points scored by Lewis-Evans, the Connaught team, experiencing serious financial problems, soon announced its retirement from Formula-1, and thus the Monaco Grand Prix became the last one in the history of this British team.

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Interesting facts:

- Tony Brooks' first podium and points;
- Masten Gregory's debut, first podium and points;
- Stuart Lewis-Evans' debut and first points;
- Vanwall team's first podium;
- Connaught team's last Grand Prix.

Driver standings

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Alternative GP results

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