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1958 German Grand Prix

The seventh round of the 1958 Formula-1 World Championship took place on August 3 in Germany at the famous Nürburgring circuit, which, due to the huge 22.81-km length, the many turns, height differences and trees bordering it, was rightfully considered one of the most difficult and dangerous and was referred to among drivers nothing less than “Green Hell". Compared to last year, some sections of the track received a new surface, while its length remained unchanged, whereas in accordance with the new rules the total race distance was reduced to 15 laps.


As last year, in order to increase spectator interest and expand the number of participants, the organizers of the German stage decided to combine the Formula-1 and Formula-2 racing competitions within one Grand Prix, before which the spectators were also offered sports and touring cars competitions, which were attended not only by local racers, but also several Formula-1 drivers. At the same time, the Grand Prix itself this year was also marked by a very diverse composition of drivers, teams and cars, most of which, as has become the custom this season, were British.

Meanwhile, after two consecutive victories in France and Great Britain, it was the Maranello team that arrived at the Nürburgring as the undoubted favorite of the championship, who hoped to continue their winning streak here and thus take another step towards the championship title.


At the same time, taking into account the joint holding of Formula-1 and Formula-2 races, Scuderia this time brought cars of both classes to the track, with Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins and Wolfgang von Trips driving Ferraris 246 Dino, and Phil Hill driving a 1.5-liter Ferrari 156, who finally received the opportunity to represent the team in single-seater racing.


Meanwhile, things were not so rosy for the Scuderia's main rival, the Vanwall team. In addition to the fact that in Great Britain, team leader Stirling Moss was forced to retire due to engine failure and thus cede the championship lead to Hawthorn, on the eve of the German stage, the British team managed to burn out several more engines on the test benches, as a result of which at the Nurburgring they had only three working units at their disposal. At the same time, given that Tony Vandervell always left one of the cars as a reserve, only Moss and Tony Brooks got the opportunity to take part in the Grand Prix, while Stuart Lewis-Evans this time had to be content with only the role of a spectator.


Apart from Vanwall, only two cars were also entered by Alfred Owen's team, which were driven by the unchanged Jean Behra and Harry Schell, while two other British teams, Lotus and Cooper, were represented more extensively, having prepared their cars to compete in both classes.  Colin Chapman's team was represented, as usual, by Cliff Allison and Graham Hill, who both drove Lotus 16s, with the former entered in Formula-1 and the latter in Formula-2 class. As for the Cooper team, they brought to the Nürburgring two T45 cars, driven by Roy Salvadori and Jack Brabham, and one T43, which was handed over to 20-year-old New Zealand debutant Bruce McLaren.


At the same time, it should be noted that according to the order of priority, in Germany a more powerful car should have gone to Brabham, however, succumbing to the persuasions of the organizers, who believed that Salvadori was better known in motorsport circles, John Cooper again gave it to the Englishman, thus depriving Jack of the opportunity to compete in the Formula 1 class.

Meanwhile, the rest of the top-league field was filled by Maurice Trintignant from Rob Walker's team, who drove here the same Cooper T45 as the factory team, and three private drivers in Maseratis 250F: Jo Bonnier, Hans Herrmann and Troy Ruttman, who represented the Scuderia Centro Sud team.


In the Formula-2 class, most of the private drivers went to the start in Cooper T43 cars, including Dick Gibson, Ian Burgess, Christian Goethals, Brian Naylor and Tony Marsh, with the same car entered by Rob Walker's team which was driven by Wolfgang Seidel. As for Lotus, only one other private driver decided to start in the Formula-2 class behind the wheel of a car made in Hornsey, who was none other than Ivor Bueb. German manufacturers this year were represented by two Porsche sports cars, models RSK and 550RS, the first of which was entered by Ferdinand Porsche's factory team and was handed over to Edgar Barth, while the second, like last year, was brought to the start by the Dutch aristocrat Carel Godin de Beaufort.



Qualifying for the German Grand Prix took place amid a heated battle for pole position between the Ferrari and Vanwall drivers, clearly demonstrating the superiority of these two teams over all other rivals, however, the winner of this battle was still the “scarlets” leader Mike Hawthorn, who managed to complete a lap with an amazing result of 9'14.0 and thus improve the track record shown last year by Juan Manuel Fangio by as much as 14 seconds!


At the same time, Mike’s main rival this time was not Moss at all, but his teamamte Brooks, who, having received a new car with an improved de Dion suspension, also turned out to be phenomenally fast, losing to Hawthorn by only one second.


At the same time, Moss himself showed the third result, 5.9 seconds from Hawthorn, while the last place in the front row went to the winner of the last stage, Collins, who was already 7.9 seconds behind his teammate.

Meanwhile, the main hope of local fans this year was the third Ferrari driver von Trips, and the German fully met the expectations of his compatriots, managing to show a very decent 5th result.


The Cooper cars also showed very good speed here, allowing Salvadori and Trintignant to take 6th and 7th positions on the grid, while Brabham, in his less powerful car, was almost in no way inferior to his “famous” teammate and showed 10th result, becoming the fastest driver in the Formula-2 class.


As for the BRM, when they first found themselves on this track, the mechanics of the British team spent quite a lot of time searching for the necessary settings, which is why Schell showed only 8th result, while Behra, having seriously damaged his main car already on the first day of training, was forced to finish the rest of qualifying in a spare car and ended up only 12th.


Meanwhile, for the drivers of Scuderia Centro Sud, qualifying turned out to be a real failure at all. Having managed to show a very good 9th result, Bonnier a little later encountered the failure of one of the valves, which forced him to start the Grand Prix with one faulty cylinder, while Herrmann, due to a breakdown of axle shaft, took a place only in the penultimate row of the starting field, and Ruttman, due to a broken piston that burned out at the very beginning of training, was unable to complete a single lap and dropped out of the Grand Prix long before the start.

Against the backdrop of the failures of Scuderia Centro Sud, things were going a little better in the Lotus team, however, it was also not without excesses. Having first appeared the Nurburgring track, Allison immediately began to show impressive speed, completing one of the laps with 11th result, however, he was not destined to achieve more due to the mistake of his teammate. Having crashed onto the bank due to a jammed engine at the very beginning of training, Hill, with Chapman’s permission, soon got back to the track at the wheel of Cliff’s car, however, already on his first fast lap, Graham made a mistake and got into another accident, thereby depriving his teammate of the opportunity to improve his own time and giving the Lotus mechanics a lot of extra work.



After reviewing the qualifying results, the Grand Prix organizers concluded that some of the drivers violated the rules by not completing the required six laps in practice, and canceled their results, sending them to start from the last two rows of the starting grid. And if for Herrmann, Hill, Goethals and Naylor this did not matter much, since they did not shine with speed in practice anyway, then for Bonnier, Brabham, Allison this decision was like a blow below the belt, depriving them of the opportunity to take advantage of their high starting positions.


Start. At the wave of the national flag, the cars take off and Vanwall drivers Moss and Brooks immediately take the lead, leaving their Ferrari rivals behind! At the same time, Stirling is still the first to enter the first turn, while the Scuderia drivers also miss Schell on the BRM, who once again had a great start!


Meanwhile, the main loser at the start is Trintignant, who, after a slight hitch, misses almost half of the field and thus goes into the race only 16th!
Lap 1: Without delaying matters, Hawthorn and Collins immediately rush into battle and, one after another, pass Brooks and Schell, after which they rush in pursuit of the leading Moss, who has already managed to break away from the pair of Ferraris by 6 seconds! However, an even more impressive breakthrough is achieved by Lotus driver Allison, who from the back of the field passes through a dense group of rivals like a knife through butter, and, having won more than a dozen positions, Cliff finishes this lap in 8th!


Meanwhile, Brabham, who like Allison was forced to start from the back of the field, is not as lucky as the Lotus driver, and in the chaos of the first lap, Jack smashes the nose of his Cooper into the back of Bonnier's Maserati! Moreover, if the Swede still manages to continue the race, albeit with a huge dent on his tail, then the Australian already at the end of the first lap turns into the pits, thus dropping out of the race! Besides, already at the very beginning of the Grand Prix, Naylor is also forced to retire due to faulty fuel pump on his Cooper.
Position after 1st lap: Moss, Hawthorn, Collins, Brooks, von Trips, Schell, Behra, Allison, Salvadori, Phil Hill.
Lap 2: Despite their best efforts, Hawthorn and Collins cannot drive as fast as Moss, and Stirling only increases his lead, bringing it up already to 10 seconds!


Meanwhile, the third Ferrari driver and the main hope of the local public, von Trips, while confidently in 5th place, already on the second lap has problems with his brakes, and the German pulls into the pits! After inspecting the car, the mechanics just shrug their shoulders and let Wolfgang back onto the track, having previously given him advice to use engine braking henceforth!

Meanwhile, on the same lap, Trintignant finally gets down to business, winning back two positions lost at the start, while Graham Hill, who did not have time to properly adapt to this track, on the contrary, loses two.


As for Bonnier, having managed to last only one lap after a collision with Brabham, the Swede still drops out of the race due to engine failure.
Lap 3: Moss completes the lap with a truly phenomenal time of 9’09.2 and thus brings his lead over the Ferrari pair up to 17 seconds!


At the same time, at this stage the Scuderia drivers begin a serious fight among themselves, and, having left his teammate behind, Collins is now taking the lead!


As for Schell, having started the race perfectly, the American begins to lose ground already on the 3rd lap, and missing Behra and Allison one after another, he drops no less, but to 7th!


Meanwhile, on the same lap, von Trips, still experincing brake problems, loses three more positions to Salvadori, Phil Hill and McLaren, while Trintignant, on the contrary, continues to slowly but surely move forward, getting ahead of two more rivals.


Besides, two other drivers have problems on the same lap: Gibson drops out of the race due to engine failure, while de Beaufort is forced to pit for a flat tire change.
Lap 4: Moss is in trouble! Having already brought his lead over the Ferraris up to 20 seconds, Stirling suddenly pulls to the side of the road due to a faulty magneto, thus giving up the lead to his two main rivals from the Scuderia! At the same time, Hawthorn and Collins continue their fight on this lap, and leaving Peter behind, it is Mike who now becomes the new leader of the race!


Meanwhile, one of the main heroes of this Grand Prix, Allison, wins another position, overtaking Behra, and thus the Lotus driver rises now to no less than 4th!


The Frenchman himself, having completed this lap, suddenly turns into the pits and, complaining about the unstable behavior of his BRM, leaves the cockpit, refusing further fight! Meanwhile, unlike Jean, von Trips is not stopped even by faulty brakes, and Wolfgang still manages to win one position, leaving behind the young McLaren, who, after the German, also lets Trintignant through!


Besides, this lap brings two more retirements, and the next ones to leave the race are now Herrmann and de Beaufort, both stopping in the pits with faulty engines.
Lap 5: Having taken the lead, the Scuderia drivers still continue to fight among themselves, and Collins is now taking the lead again, while Brooks, who is in third, is already 22 seconds behind the Ferrari pair!


Meanwhile, on the same lap, Schell yields to the attacks of Salvadori, thus already falling out of the points, while Trintignant wins back another position from von Trips and is already 8th!


Besides, on the same lap, the next two drivers drop out of the race: Hill's Lotus has an oil line rupture, while fuel pump fails on Goethals' Cooper.


Lap 6: Confident in the successful outcome of the race, Collins and Hawthorn continue to play their games and completely lose sight of Brooks, who suddenly picks up the pace and wins back 6 seconds from them at once!


Meanwhile, the leader in the Formula-2 class, Phil Hill, who had a very confident race today, spins on an oil slick left by his namesake's Lotus and almost crashes off the track on the descent to the Adenau Bridge! Fortunately, despite the extremely dangerous situation, Phil is lucky and manages to escape with only a roadside excursion, and although the American misses Trintignant, he still maintains the lead in his class!


Lap 7: Brooks laps in 9'16.7, thus reducing his gap to the leading Ferraris by another 6 seconds!


Meanwhile, the excursion to the curb still does not pass for Phil Hill without consequences, and, having lost the engine breather pipe, his Ferrari begins to slide on its own oil, as a result of which the American is easily passed by McLaren and von Trips, fiercely fighting among themselves! At the same time, the young New Zealander shows real class on this lap, and he manages to get ahead of not only two Ferraris, but also Trintignant’s Cooper!


Position after 7 laps: Collins, Hawthorn, Brooks, Allison, Salvadori, Schell, McLaren, Trintignant, von Trips, Phil Hill.
Lap 8: Having received a signal from the pits about Vanwall rapidly catching up with them, Collins and Hawthorn temporarily stop their fight and accelerate, however, it is too late, since Brooks, who completed this lap even faster, reduces his gap to them to just a couple of seconds!


Lap 9: Only half a lap is enough for Brooks to swallow the remaining distance, and already at the end of the finish line Tony is on Hawthorn's tail!


Meanwhile, on the same lap, McLaren, under constant attacks from Trintignant, still loses his position to the Frenchman, while Schell drops out of the race due to problems with the front brakes.


Lap 10: Having passed the first turn, Brooks attacks Hawthorn on the next straight and, having pushed his rival to the outer radius of Nordkehre, Tony still passes the Ferrari, thus taking 2nd!


However, Tony does not stop there and immediately begins his attacks on Collins, as a result of which this entire lap is spent in a heated battle for the leadership between Ferrari and Vanwall, with the former having an advantage on the straights, and the latter getting ahead on the twisty sections!


At the same time, against the backdrop of this amazing fight, Seidel’s retirement, who leaves the race due to a suspension failure, goes completely unnoticed.
Lap 11: Having managed to fend off Brooks' first attacks, the Ferrari drivers again take the lead at the finish straight, however, Tony does not give up and passes them one by one in Sudkehre and Nordkehre, after which he immediately begins to break away!


Unwilling to accept the loss of leadership, Collins attacks at the limit the entire lap, however, in the Pflanzgarten he still overdoes it and, flying off the track, crashes straight into the fence!


As a result of the strongest impact, the Englishman's Ferrari flies up and lands upside down on the other side, while Peter himself, having fallen out of the cockpit and flying at least twenty meters, lands in the very thick of the forest!


Nearby spectators and rescuers immediately rush to the scene of the accident, and after a short search they find Peter not far from the edge of the forest, barely breathing and with serious head injuries, apparently received after hitting a tree. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the rescuers immediately call an ambulance and load the unconscious driver into it, hoping that he will at least get to the hospital alive...

Meanwhile, despite this tragic incident, the race continues as before, and one of the main heroes of this Grand Prix, Allison, unexpectedly pulls into the pits, complaining of engine overheating. Having examined the car, Lotus mechanics rather quickly find a crack in the radiator, however, the repair itself takes too much time, and Cliff returns to the track last, thus losing a real chance to bring the Hornsey team their first podium!


Besides, on the same lap, von Trips, after a long and hard struggle, still manages to get ahead of McLaren again, while Phil Hill loses another position to Barth.


Lap 12: Trouble for the Scuderia does not come alone, and after Collins, Hawthorn also drops out of the race, with a clutch failure on his Ferrari! At the same time, after Mike's retirement, Brooks now remains the sole leader of the race, while the main contenders for the podium are now Salvadori and Trintignant in two Coopers!


As for Phil Hill, he loses a couple more positions on this lap, letting through Burgess and Bueb, who are desperately fighting each other!


Lap 13: Having overtaken Phil Hill, Bueb suddenly pulls into the pits at the end of the lap, complaining of a drop in oil pressure! Having opened the neck of the tank, one of the mechanics looks inside, however, at that very moment a loud bang is heard from under the car, and as a result of a break in the oil line, the entire pit area is now filled with oil! This is another retirement...
Last lap: Tony Brooks, having driven a fantastic race today, crosses the finish line first and thus wins his second Grand Prix of the season!


Having stopped his car, the Englishman immediately falls into the arms of Stirling Moss, who seems to rejoice at this success no less than his teammate, while, thanks to the eight points received, Tony now not only confidently rises to third place in the overall standings, but also allows his team to almost catch up with Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship!


Meanwhile, second place goes to Cooper driver Salvadori, who after a great race in Great Britain is celebrating his second success in a row, while third is Trintignant in another Cooper, who today managed a very impressive breakthrough after his problems at the start. As for local favourite, von Trips, the German will finish fourth today, which is also an incredible achievement considering that Wolfgang had to drive his Ferrari without brakes for almost the entire race! Meanwhile, the best driver in the Formula-2 class today is the young McLaren, who manages to make a very impressive debut on this most difficult track. However, all these successes, of course, soon fade into the background after the news that Peter Collins still could not make it and, without regaining consciousness, died in a Bonn hospital just a few hours after the race...


Interesting facts:

- Peter Collins' last Grand Prix.

Driver standings


Constructor standings


Alternative GP results

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