#63 1957 Pescara Grand Prix

2021-04-17 00:00

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#1957, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Nicola Carriero, Luca Saitta, Translated by Carola Buzio,

#63 1957 Pescara Grand Prix

The Pescara Grand Prix, which this year is valid for the world title, will not see Enzo Ferrari’s cars at the start. This is the decision, which will


The Pescara Grand Prix, which this year is valid for the world title, will not see Enzo Ferrari’s cars at the start. This is the decision, which will unlikely change, made by the manufacturer from Modena towards the end of Tuesday 6th August 1957. Enzo Ferrari is still disheartened by a series of recent events, such as the tragedy during Mille Miglia, the following requisition of the cars and the bad results of the latest races, and is committed to follow his decision of not racing in Italy anymore. His fans and his friends hoped to convince him to change his opinion, to fight again also on Italian tracks, and maybe they could have made it if things went better in the European Grand Prix last Sunday. Once again, on the Nürburgring track, Enzo Ferrari’s cars and team did not have luck. It seems that the English driver Mike Hawthorn, at a certain point of the race, thought that he was going to win and therefore, also in order not to force his car too much, slowed down his pace a little bit. As everyone knows, Fangio queued after him and towards the end of the race was able to push more thanks to the new set of tyres that gave a greater stability to the car. But the manufacturer has withdrawn the half intentions that he planned for Pescara; if his favourite driver Musso had scored more points in Adenau, being able to keep fighting for the world title, Ferrari would have put aside all the resentments and would have given everything for his favourite driver to be able to fight on the track in Pescara (and also his other drivers would have participated to the teamwork), but at this point, after Fangio’s awesome victory, for the first time in the history of motorsport, the world title belonged to Maserati and therefore Ferrari lacked that motivation that would have won against his doubts. A few days later, exactly on Sunday 11th August 1957, the Swedish Grand Prix, valid for the Sportscars world championship, sees another important success in the Italian industry. Scrolling the order of arrival is enough to understand that Jaguar, which looked intimidating after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has been clearly defeated. The race, which was dangerous because of the heavy rain that lashed the track almost since the beginning, has been dominated by Maserati and Ferrari. Between Ferrari and Maserati, the latter won, whose car has a 4.5L engine, looks particularly adequate to the characteristics of the circuit. However, despite Jean Behra’s awesome win and amazing momentum, Ferrari is still leading the world championship. 


And if, as it seems, the Grand Prix of Venezuela will not be held in November, Ferrari would almost win the world title. The race takes six hours on a 6.5 kilometres track and overall, the winning car does 145 laps, corresponding to almost 1000 kilometres. Despite the pace, greater than expected, incidents with tragic consequences are not reported: emotions, however, are not lacking and the most important is brought by the winner, Jean Behra, who, right after the start, while approaching a turn too fast, spins dangerously. The car, sliding on the wet track, then hits a protective barrier and almost falls on one side. Luckily, meanwhile, the speed is reduced considerably and, in this way, the brave French driver is not injured, so much so that he gets back to racing immediately. Luigi Musso instead lives another terrible adventure: having received a communication from Italy that Ferrari, for the Pescara Grand Prix, allows him to take part to the race with another car of any brand and with him proudly intending to defend his second place in the ranking after Fangio, Musso wants to show his class and his good shape in the Swedish Grand Prix. Therefore, he works hard and, taking turns with Hawthorn, keeps his Ferrari in the first positions. Unfortunately, while the race is coming to an end, his car catches fire. The immediate response of the mechanics, who rushed from the box, allows them to promptly tame the flames and, in just six minutes, they fix the damages caused by the fire. Musso restarts with momentum still managing to finish fourth. The third (and last) incident of the day involves the Argentinian Alberto De Tomaso who got on track, for cars up to 2000cc, driving an Osca 1500 teamed with his wife, the American Isabelle Haskell. The audacious newlywed couple slightly crashes with Alain de Zhangy’s Jaguar. The latter, whose car is left almost undamaged, keeps racing undisturbed; instead, the De Tomaso couple has to stop shortly after because their car is damaged. The race starts at 12:00 a.m. with a very big audience (more than 30.000 people), which gradually diminishes because of the rain. The fourteen drivers of the class over 2000cc are lined up on the outer edge of the track and, with a sign from the starter, rush towards their cars lined up in a herringbone shape. At the same time, fourteen drivers are waiting in their box because, according to the race rules, no one can drive for more than two hours and a half.


The start is very fast: Hawthorn with his Ferrari gets the first place, chased by Moss (Maserati), Collins (Ferrari) and Behra (Maserati). On the seventh lap, Moss overtakes Hawthorn and on the tenth lap Behra accomplishes a first feat establishing the track record with 2'22"3. On the eighteenth lap, Behra improves this record with a lap time of 2'21"9. The French driver is uninhibited: the race becomes so fast that, after the first twenty-five laps, Moss, Behra and Hawthorn have already lapped all the other drivers. On the forty-eighth lap, Hawthorn swaps with Musso: during this phase, the Italian driver is particularly good. Even Collins with his Ferrari gets to the first positions. After three hours of racing, a small turn of events takes place: Schell, who replaced Moss driving a Maserati, approaches his box where the mechanics feverishly inspect the gearbox but the reparation takes long and, in the end, the driver has to retire the car. Shortly after, Moss restarts driving the Maserati of the Swedish driver Bonnier. The race takes its shape, which will be definitive, around the hundredth lap, corresponding to two-thirds of the race: Behra leads; the Ferrari driven by Collins-Hill is following him, chased by the other Ferrari of Hawthorn-Musso. In the last part of the race, Moss, involved in a wild final, overtakes many drivers and finally gets back in the first places. Taking advantage of the fire that broke out on Musso’s car, the English driver finishes third. The winner Behra receives a warm applause on the podium and, for the lap of honour, he wears the usual crown made of oak leaves. A well-deserved crown. Maserati gets closer by two points to the rival, who is also from Modena, therefore the fight for the sportscars world title (title that concerns brands and not drivers) is still practically open because there are two more races in the schedule: the Targa Florio and the Venezuelan Grand Prix. But it was already announced that, due to safety reasons, it will not be possible to compete in the Targa Florio, while doubts arise also for the Venezuelan Grand Prix, scheduled for 3rd November 1957. In this way, the international motorsport season ends after the shocks and the controversies, still not solved, that distinguished it. Anyway, it will be an engaging end of season, which will mainly take place in Italy: on 18th August 1957 the Pescara Grand Prix, which is valid for the Formula 1 World Championship, followed by the Italian Grand Prix. 


It is virtually certain that Umberto Maglioli, whose medical condition is stable after the dangerous incident that involved him on Monday, 12th August 1957, while - with his teammate Edgard Barth - he was getting down the Gaisberg on a Porsche, will not participate to the last races. The Italian driver will have to stay in the hospital for twenty days and will then need a long recovery; therefore, the 1957 motorsport season has ended for him. Maglioli’s wife, who immediately left Biella after learning about the incident, arrives in Salzburg during the night and in the next few days affectionately takes care of her husband. On Tuesday, he is visited by the Italian Consul and a few officials of the Consulate. The doctors did not ban the visits, but they gave instructions to reduce the number of visitors in order not to tire the wounded. His teammate, the German Edgard Barth, has been admitted to hospital as well and, even though he is less injured than the Italian, cannot participate to the Austrian Grand Prix that will take place on 15th August. For Porsche, the consequences of this incident are quite unpleasant, because the two injured drivers were leading the European Hill Climb Championship both with twelve points and the Salzburg-Gaisberg is the third race of this competition. Gino Munaron, after the amazing second place obtained last Sunday on Ferrari 2000 in the Swedish Grand Prix, receives the invitation by telephone by Porsche to replace the unlucky Maglioli in the official team. Hopefully, the Italian driver will take part to the race. On Wednesday, 14th August 1957, Munaron returns to Turin from Sweden: the driver from Turin arrives during the morning and finds, at home, an official invitation from Porsche to participate to the Gaisberg hill climb race scheduled for Thursday, 15th August 1957, but, tired and weary, he decides to not participate to this difficult race. The Pescara Grand Prix, scheduled for next Sunday, has not had an easy development: organized for 15th August, according to tradition, exactly when the organizers and Csai were able to make this race, at international level, the official sixth leg of the Formula 1 World Championship, thanks to the elimination of the Belgian and the Dutch Grand Prix, the government veto for the continuation of motorsports in Italy came out. 


The Suez crisis, a conflict that began in 1956 with the military occupation of the French, English and Israeli troops of the north African canal against Egypt’s will - causes great complications in the provision of gas and, therefore, the organizers of the Belgian and Dutch Grand Prix ask the participating teams to accept a smaller remuneration. These last-minute withdrawals reduced to seven the scheduled races, therefore for the International Automobile Federation (FIA) it was necessary to add a race to give a greater credibility to the Formula 1 World Championship. Finally, once the Pescara Grand Prix was readmitted to the regular races, they had to obtain the permission from Anas concerning the suitability of the track, which is a street circuit, one of the most difficult to be approved. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari had developed his polemical stance, very determined to not attend the Italian races in correspondence with the end of the investigation concerning the tragedy occurred in Guidizzolo, whose main topic is exactly the Ferrari that had participated to the Mille Miglia. Enzo Ferrari was begged to change his mind (and there were also many violent attacks towards him, also connected with the difficult topic of the 500 Miles of Monza) but he kept his position. In this way, between hopes and disappointments, threatening clouds and glimpses of sun, the Pescara Grand Prix finally entered in the Formula 1 World Championship calendar, and, for this reason, an impressive organization is set up, worthy of the traditions; the race is valid for the world title and will finally offer to the Italian fans the chance of seeing the fearsome Vanwall. But the disappointment caused by the absence of the cars with the prancing horse logo of Francesco Baracca will remain. The race in Pescara returned to the glories of a bygone era, when on the very fast straight Montesilvano-Pescara the cars of Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Maserati, Auto Union were speeding with their legendary drivers: Nuvolari, Varzi, Caracciola, Fagioli, Rosemeyer, Moll, Borzacchini and Stuck. The battle between Maserati and Vanwall would have been definitely more engaging, intense and more extensive with the Ferrari and their drivers Collins, Hawthorn and Trintignant on track. To partially compensate for such disappointment, Ferrari allowed Luigi Musso to participate to the race with a car of any brand. 


Now the problem is finding this car, one that allows the best Italian driver to defend the prestige achieved and the second place in the Formula 1 World Championship ranking. This is not an easy task, even though the Scuderia Centro-Sud from Rome (which, as is known, only uses Maserati supplies) seems to have offered Musso a car, which however cannot live up to the other official Maserati competing. So? Basically, nobody would want that Ferrari’s decision remained such. Anyway, with or without Luigi Musso, the Pescara Grand Prix was born under the sign of the Italian-British fight, with all its fascinating reasons and a lot of uncertainty. While the car from London had won in Aintree, at the British Grand Prix, it was strongly defeated at the Nürburgring, on a track similar to the one in Pescara. However, in Pescara, the long straights between Cappelle and Montesilvano and between Montesilvano and Pescara, on the coastal road, could allow Vanwall - known to be very powerful and fast - to compensate for lower manageability and stability on the mountain section from Pescara to Cappelle. In any case the Maserati drivers - Fangio, Behra, Schell and Scarlatti - will have to work hard to hold off Moss, Brooks and Lewis-Evans, the three Vanwall drivers. Apart from this, without any doubt, engaging and uncertain fight and taking away the hope of seeing Luigi Musso participating, the XXV Pescara Grand Prix does not need any other thought. Neither Cooper nor B.R.M., which completed the English line-up, can hope to win. And, as for the fight for the drivers’ world championship, almost everything is in favour of Fangio, who won four out of the five races held so far. The race will have eighteen laps on a 25.579-kilometre-long track, for a total of 460.422 kilometres. The track features a variation of very high-speed sections to tackle in full throttle and a sector with a series of turns that winds between the villages close to the city. A technical and dangerous track, which is a tough race for both drivers and cars; moreover, the big audience that attends these events, spread throughout the whole track, considerably increases the risks of the race. The course starts in the northern area of Pescara, in correspondence to Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi on via Nazionale Adriatica, southbound and then turns towards the inland, heading west, and on the straight of the present via del Circuito until the surrounding countryside and the villages of Villa Raspa and Spoltore.


From here it continues with a series of turns towards the hills of the inland, until reaching Cappelle, the point of greatest altitude in the course. From here it turns heading to the sea and then into a long straight, the current via Vestina, also known as the flying kilometre, where in 1950 Fangio reached the incredible speed of almost 310 km/h, until arriving in Montesilvano, where the track turns towards the south going back again on via Nazionale Adriatica. The innate difficulties of the magic triangle, nickname of the track, are emphasized by the very high speed reached by the cars in proportion to the road, which is not always ideal, and the existing turns. On Friday, 16th August 1957, the unexpected news of the XXV Pescara Grand Prix is the decision taken in extremis by Ferrari to give a car to their driver Luigi Musso. This was an unofficial decision, since Enzo Ferrari’s decision of not letting his cars race in Italy persists until the judicial investigation on the Mille Miglia ends, but it is still of considerable sport and moral value. In this way, Musso can defend the second place in the world ranking and, maybe, give a new aspect to the prospect of the race. During the night, before qualifying, a Ferrari will be sent to Pescara and on Saturday morning the Roman driver will be able to begin training with his rivals. Therefore, the Maserati-Vanwall fight with the pair Musso-Ferrari will have a difficult rival, ready to join the fight, without obligations from the team. This small turn of events galvanizes the atmosphere of this event strongly connected to the old traditions, where Enzo Ferrari’s fair play and comprehension is particularly highlighted, and the memory of the victory of the first Pescara Grand Prix conquered by the former driver from Modena is not unknown. To sum up, the line-up of the Pescara Grand Prix sees four Maserati, with Fangio, Behra, Schell and Scarlatti; three Vanwall with Moss, Brooks and Lewis-Evans (the team from London approached Ferrari to borrow Collins or, alternatively, Hawthorn, but did not succeed); one Ferrari with Luigi Musso; two Cooper with Brabham and Salvadori; and then Gould, Halford, Piotti, Godia, Gregory and Bonnier, all driving Maserati. On Saturday it will be seen, during the official practices which are divided in two shifts, from 7.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., how the drivers will rank, amongst whom, as everyone agrees, Fangio, Behra, Moss and Musso are the four strongest drivers (fun fact: on Saturday, in between the breaks, the hay bales will be removed and the streets will be opened again to normal traffic). 


And more importantly they will show the real possibilities of Vanwall, always oddly connected to the characteristics of the tracks. If there is a happy man on Saturday in Pescara, that is Luigi Musso. The Roman driver won two battles for one case: racing in Pescara on a track where he already won in 1954 and racing with Ferrari, exactly on the day when Enzo Ferrari had decided to not race in Italy until the shadow of the investigation on Mille Miglia, still ongoing, would not come to an end. But his desire to go on track must be so strong, the power of persuasion implemented by Musso towards the rigid manufacturer from Modena must be so deep that the latter gave up and satisfied the driver’s requests. Maybe Enzo Ferrari is not such a monster as it is believed and, in any case, if he is faced with just sport, his emotions prevail over any type of thought. After all, exactly Enzo Ferrari, driver and not yet a manufacturer, had won in 1924 the first Pescara Grand Prix, driving the renowned Alfa Romeo P2. Although not in official form and limited to a single mechanical vehicle, Ferrari will therefore be racing tomorrow without interrupting the classic motif of this year's Formula 1 races: the Maserati-Ferrari-Vanwall confrontation. A confrontation that, this singular, difficult circuit, re-proposes in new terms, if it is true that the British manufacturer, beaten fifteen days ago at the Nürburgring, has been able to take advantage of the hard experience with a series of modifications to the chassis of its cars, which would correct their stability defects. On Friday, almost all of the fifteen entered drivers join the practice at length the approximately twenty-six kilometres of the circuit in touring cars and at a naturally reduced pace. Some - among them Fangio - are not too enthusiastic about the road surface in the straight sections, where speeds of over 250 km/h are exceeded, and there is no hiding their surprise that the technicians in charge of testing the course had the variants that interrupted the two main straights about halfway removed, since it is not a track but an authentic road circuit, with all its pitfalls and unknowns. One hopes that all means will be taken to keep the public off the road: in this, the organizers must really offer the measure of their abilities. 


Apart from all this and allowing for the abilities of present Formula 1 cars, practice starts with the knowledge that laps around 10'15"0 will be considered good, for this 25-kilometre circuit. As usual, Fangio sets the ball rolling with 10’14”9 and Moss follows with 10’20”0 and then Behra stops in a puff of white smoke indicative of a hole in a piston. Musso is soon charging round, clocking 10’18”0 and the battle is on. Having broken his six-cylinder car, Behra takes over the 12-cylinder one, and Moss tries another Vanwall as his is not terribly happy on suspension. The surface of the Pescara circuit does not allow for suspension errors, and shock-absorbers and chassis are taking an awful beating. Since the Nürburgring, Vanwalls have done some interesting sums over the matter of spring rates and damping, and it is showing signs of paying off on this hard circuit. Having settled in to the circuit, and the general atmosphere having stabilised itself, Fangio suddenly does a lap in 10'04"4 on his six-cylinder car, and now the fun starts. Musso gets down to 10'09"0 and then does 10'04"8, only fractions of seconds difference in 25 kilometres of dicing. Then, Moss goes out and does 10'05"8, so the heat is now really turned on. Fangio tries the V12 but finds it about as hopeless as Behra has, and cannot do better than 10'20"0, while Musso is doing an enormous number of laps, trying all that he knows to save the honour of Italy. He reduces his time to 10'03"5 amidst the cheers of the spectators, and Brooks does a lap in 10'08"8, which gives good support to Moss with the leading Vanwall. The timekeepers’ line on this circuit is situated in the middle of the row of pits, and the procedure is to wheel the car back beyond the timing line and take a flying run at it when setting off on a standing lap, otherwise it means that the first lap would not be timed when starting off from the upper pits. Equally, the cars in the lower pits have to cross the timing line at the end of the lap, in order to record a time, and then stop very hurriedly and reverse back to the pits, or else go all the way around again. The consequent pandemonium in the pit area is wonderful to behold, with cars going in all directions, but it is all quite safe as everyone is on their toes to the situation. After Musso’s fast lap, Maserati warms up Fangio’s six-cylinder car, but before he can take off, Moss goes away in the Vanwall, and the World Champion allows a little gap and then set off after him. 


While they are away on their 25-kilometre dice, activity in the pits is varied, some of the private owners are realising what a long way around it is for each lap and how hard it is on the car, especially without works backing, Ferraris are fairly happy with their only car, and Brooks and Lewis-Evans are conscious of the handicap of not having been to the circuit before. The little Coopers are unhappy about suspensions, especially front shock-absorbers, and Behra is a bit put out having no six-cylinder car available to make a good time. Moss arrives back at the pits and, a short time afterwards, Fangio arrives, but they do not stop and go on round for another lap, neither of their opening laps being very spectacular. The next time that they arrive, a cheer goes up from the happy crowds when it is announced that Moss has broken 10 minutes with a time of 9'54"7, a really stupendous effort, but after Fangio crosses the line, the loud-speakers bubble over with excitement and the crowd screams with joy, as only an Italian crowd can. Fangio does 9'47"7, a speed of 156.486 kph and that just about finishes the first practice period. In the afternoon, a surprising number of people are out again, in fact only two of the private-owners fail to turn up, and everyone goes thrashing around the circuit again. Behra’s car has a new engine fitted and he is having a real go to make up for lost time, while Musso is still trying hard. Observing out among the foothills leading up to Spoltore, it is very noticeable that Fangio and Behra are really throwing the Maseratis through the corners, taking the most awful liberties with the road-holding and getting away with it. The Vanwalls are going steadily, giving the appearance of not liking to go beyond a reasonable limit, and one feels that if the drivers try to slide them into corners, they would lose them altogether. The uneven surface of the road is playing havoc with the Vanwalls, setting up high-frequency wheel patter on the front, while the Maseratis are obviously suffering from shock loads being transmitted right through the car, the bodywork twisting and weaving and standing the hammering by reason of greater weight and a more solid foundation, but giving the drivers a pretty hard ride. The Coopers look positively frightening, and only the skill of the drivers is keeping them on the road, while it is doubtful whether they would be any faster if they had 2-litre engines fitted. 


It is not very difficult to see that Fangio has a bit-of-a-go, and his final lap time of 9'44"6 sets the seal on his morning’s efforts. Moss does not improve on his morning time, but nearly equals it, however, and Musso does 10 minutes flat, while Behra gets down to 10'03"1 and Schell does a creditable 10'04"6. Schell pays for the feat with an excellent time, 10'04"06, by knocking out the engine of his Maserati, which will be replaced overnight. This group of six drivers will most likely play for victory and places of honour. In what order of ranking and with what variations is impossible to predict, having to deal with those very delicate mechanisms that are racing cars, and with the difficulties of the circuit that the racers will have to face eighteen consecutive times. In motor sports these are compendious factors, justifying any uncertainty of outcome. The start at the Pescara Grand Prix will be given at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Early in the morning, about two hours before the start, Fangio complains of pain in his right shoulder; however, he does not give up participation. In front of an audience of about 200.000 spectators dissipated in the more than twenty-five kilometres of the course (this large turnout was thanks to the free access to the event, also because it would have been impossible to control all the entrances given the size of the circuit, moreover, many fans will enjoy the show directly from the terrace of their homes) as soon as the starter, Mr. Sedati, undersecretary of Public Works, lowers the flag in front of the sixteen runners lined up in seven rows, the race starts. The actual start is a little chaotic to say the least, and one mechanic gets scooped up on the bonnet of Gould’s Maserati as the 16 cars stream away down the straight towards the winding section of the triangular circuit. It is Musso on the lone Lancia/Ferrari who leads the way round on the opening lap, although Moss is not far behind, followed by Fangio, Brooks, Behra, Gregory and Lewis-Evans. Musso, Moss and Fangio go through the start, but Brooks draws into the pits, the Vanwall showing signs of overheating and having internal engine trouble, possibly a burnt piston, so it is withdrawn before an expensive explosion takes place. As the tail-enders arrive at the corners before the pits, Gould goes straight into the straw bales and Piotti does not even appear on the horizon, engine trouble having intervened. 


Gould eventually reaches the pits and retires, so the field is reduced to 13 at the end of only one lap. Up through the twists and turns, Musso is keeping ahead of Moss, but before the lap is completed, the Vanwall goes by into the lead, and so hard are these two driving that Fangio and the rest are getting left behind. Moss is really sliding the Vanwall through the corners, in a way that does not seem possible in practice, and looking down into the cockpit from a high bank it can be seen just how hard he is working away on the steering wheel. The two Coopers are having a friendly scrap together, and actually leading Halford’s Maserati, while the bodywork on Gregory’s car is beginning to shake loose already. On lap three, Moss is still leading, but Musso is trying really hard, and hanging on closely, both cars using all the road and kicking up dust and stones from the corners. The Maseratis are not showing the turn of speed that they had in practice, possibly because they are using a less potent fuel for the race, even though various sources deny this, but whatever it is, Fangio and Behra are losing ground on the leading Vanwall and the lone Ferrari. As Lewis-Evans goes down the straight after the pits to start his third lap, a tyre tread throws off, and he has to run for the rest of the lap with a flailing rear tyre, so that he drops back the whole time and is relegated to the back of the field by the time he gets to the pits for a new tyre. On lap four, Moss begins to draw away from Musso by a second or two, while the gap between them and the Maseratis continue to widen and Behra has oil appearing all over the tail of the car. This is every bit as ominous as it seems and he retires at the end of the lap with a very sick motor car, having had an unhappy time ever since he arrives at Pescara. Brabham calls into the pits briefly to report that Salvadori overdid things and went off the road, bending a rear wishbone but without personal damage, and this lets Halford get ahead. On the next lap, with Behra out, Schell moves up into fourth place, but he has Gregory at his tail and driving hard to keep up. Bonnier, in the other Centro-Sud Maserati, has the central part of the bodywork come adrift and goes round in a flurry of flapping aluminium, stopping at the pits to have all its screws back together. Poor Lewis-Evans is right out of luck, for the other rear tyre begins to throw bits of tread, and he has to stop once more for another new tyre, which keeps him right at the back of the field. 


Moss is now really into his stride and gaining seconds over Musso every lap, but the Ferrari driver is fighting as hard as he can and not giving up, and the Vanwall is proving too fast for anyone to catch it. Fangio is running alone in third place, but losing ground all the time, and Schell and Gregory are still in close company but a long way back. Then comes Scarlatti all on his own, and Godia, Halford and Brabham; Lewis-Evans and Bonnier having been lapped by the leaders due to pit stops. The lap times of Moss are being reduced every lap, and he eventually covers his ninth lap in the all-time record of 9'44"6, but even so Musso is only losing 2 seconds a lap on him, but Fangio is now over a minute behind the leader. On the way up into the mountains for the tenth time, the oil tank on the Lancia/Ferrari splits and, unbeknown to Musso, leaves a trail of oil on the road until the engine seizes and his gallant drive comes to an end. This leaves Moss way out on his own, and what really settles the matter is when Fangio slides on the spilt oil, bounces off some kerb-stones and buckles his left rear wheel, having to slow down considerably while he carries on around the circuit with a very wobbly wheel. At the pits he has a new one fitted, and offside front tyre is also checked, that too having received a clout, and he re-joins the race nearly 3 minutes behind Moss, and with no hope of ever seeing the Vanwall again. Brabham stops for fuel, and Bonnier stops for good, the Maserati running with a temperature and the bodywork coming adrift again. Moss is now out on his own, having vanquished all the opposition and the Vanwall hums its way on around the mountains and down the straights. Gregory is having a bad time with a scuttle that looks as though it is going to fall off, and he lets Schell draw ahead to a comfortable third place, while Scarlatti in fifth place is not too happy with a Maserati that is getting tired. Godia goes out during the 11th lap with engine trouble and Halford does not start his 11th lap as some teeth come off the main driving gear in the transmission. Lewis-Evans is going alright now, but so far back he cannot hope to catch up with anyone, and there are only seven cars left running. Before starting his 13th lap, Moss stops at the pits to take on oil, as the pressure is varying under braking, but with over 3.5 minutes lead he can well afford this. 


In spite of slowing his lap times to 9'53"0, Moss is still pulling away from Fangio, and Maserati are in a state of despair at such a thorough dusting-up by the dreaded Vanwall that started not so long ago appearing to be just another British sporting attempt at Gran Prix racing, but which is now capable of beating the world in general and Maserati and Ferrari in particular. Lewis-Evans is still not out of sight, for he begins to suffer from a sticking throttle and many times shot into corners much faster than he intends, and taken all round is not enjoying his Grand Prix. Scarlatti stops at the pits with a sick motor and no clutch, and after a lot of pandemonium is not going out again. Seeing this, the Vanwall pit signals to Lewis-Evans and he begins to press on, trying to catch the sick Maserati and takes fifth place. Moss tours around for the last two laps, in complete command, and comes home winner at record speed, holder of the lap record and having proved that the Aintree win is no fluke after all. This was a hard grim battle of man and machine against the local conditions, and although his team-mates had trouble, Moss has achieved a resounding victory in the finest type of Grand Prix road race imaginable. Fangio arrives in second place more than 3 minutes behind, having for once been unable to overcome the handicap of being up against a superior machine, driven by a not so inferior driver. It was a hard, tough Grand Prix in the real old traditional road-racing style, and every driver who finished had to work really hard, while the machines had taken a greater battering that has not been seen for a long time. Lewis-Evans presses on to good effect and catches Scarlatti, taking fifth place behind Schell and Gregory, the young American driver having driven a good hard race. After two hours and fifty-nine minutes, once the eighteenth lap ends, the English national anthem receives Stirling Moss, who crosses the line leading with a great advantage on Juan Manuel Fangio, who fails to close the gap with the rival crossing the line three minutes later. Schell is third, driving a Maserati as well, almost seven minutes after the winner; fourth place for Scuderia Centro-Sud, thanks to Gregory. Exactly during the seventeenth lap, the last one for the drivers who have already been lapped, Lewis-Evans overtakes Scarlatti gaining the fifth position which is worth one point. 


Jack Brabham, who lived an interesting adventure, crosses the line seventh, and last, with three laps less than the drivers in the first positions: the Australian driver ran out of gas but managed to not quit the Grand Prix because he was able to reach a gas station, refuelling the car just like any other normal driver. At the end of the race, Juan Manuel Fangio says that he could not put the prearranged tactical plan into practice, which planned a waiting race until the ninth lap, when the light weighting of the car, with half of the fuel in the tank (a hundred and fifty kilograms more or less) would have meant a complete exploitation of the capabilities of his Maserati. But that ninth lap must have been terrible for the Italian cars and Fangio’s plan will not be executed. The World Champion says that he had a difficult crash, sliding on the oil slick left by Musso: after breaking a bollard with the left rear of his Maserati, he literally found himself on the other side of the road, miraculously managing to keep the control of his racing car.


"The crash, which also compromised the efficiency of the rear end, took away the opportunity for me to put my plan into practice. But we do not necessarily have to win all the fights and, after all, the Vanwall today was really fast". 


Moreover, the efficient organization and the perfect public order kept by the considerable number of agents must be praised, but it was also spontaneously kept by the big audience spread throughout the track. Among the organizational details it has been seen with curiosity a helicopter which followed the whole race from one point of the course to another, ready to take action if needed. Luckily, everything went well, and the helicopter just landed close to the drivers whose car broke down, picked them up and brought them near their boxes, reassured their friends; Musso and the Spaniard Godia used this unusual service. Vanwall’s victory of the Pescara Grand Prix removes all doubts concerning the real potential of this car, which, after a long period of disappointments, is now achieving its best efficiency. It is a really modern car (with innovations like the direct injection engine and the disc brakes), with whom the Brits intend to undermine the technical superiority of the specialized Italian industry, which has been lasting for more than thirty years, except for two German occasions - before the war and two years ago. However, for the moment, the situation will not be overturned, for no other reason than the greater and more complete experience in motorsport of the two Italian teams, Ferrari and Maserati. But it is undeniable that the prospects for the future make those who care about these teams think about the future of an industry that is considered worldwide typically Italian. In other terms, it is preferrable to avoid a way more serious technical crisis, for its consequences, than the organizational one that already hit the Italian motor sports. Going back to the Pescara Grand Prix, sixth race of the Formula 1 World Championship, the winning driver of Vanwall, Stirling Moss, once he overcame the great resistance of Luigi Musso - driver of the only racing Ferrari - takes the lead dictating a frenetic pace and collecting a series of very fast laps, which ended in the new record of the difficult Adriatic track with a speed of 157.507 km/h.


After all, Maserati did not seem to be completely prepared and Jean Behra especially had to handle the consequences, quitting the race, which should have brought him to the second place in the ranking for the world title, right after three laps. Instead, behind Fangio, by now out of reach with his 40 points, is Moss (17), who overtook Musso (16) and Hawthorn (13). It could have been that, with the entire Ferrari team (the car from Maranello seemed to be recovering clearly) Moss could have worked harder, preventing him, in this way, from precautionarily pitting during the thirteenth lap to refuel with lubricant, with unpredictable consequences. But, putting aside the personal impressions, the numbers - timings, averages, records, gaps - still explain unequivocally the superiority of Vanwall, which has been the most unexpected fact of the XXV Pescara Grand Prix. Because if it is true that Moss, on the eve, was included in the favourites, the Abruzzian track was not considered to be suitable for Vanwall’s capabilities, which until a few days before were thought to lack in manageability and stability, essential requirements in Pescara, because of the mountain sector which is the key element of this track. Nor the class of Stirling Moss is enough to justify this result, number two in the world after Fangio now more than ever. In the end, the situation is now on the edge of uncertainty. The next Italian Grand Prix in Monza, which will include only the street circuit, excluding the track with banked turns where the tyres on Formula 1 cars do not guarantee enough grip, will say a clarifying word, if not definitive, on this Italian-English fight. In this regard, rumour has it that Enzo Ferrari will line up his full team in Monza, even though the famous investigation on Mille Miglia will not have come to an end by then. In fact, a few days after the Grand Prix, Peter Collins talks to Enzo Ferrari, and says:


"He has mourned enough. He needs to stop living in the past and needs to think again about the sport plans of the team".


Back in his apartment, after this outburst, Collins believes to have lost his place in the team, but Ferrari calls him back in his office with Luise and offers him to move in his villa in Maranello, uninhabited since the war, almost as a sign of gratitude for that spurring that, probably, will push Ferrari to continue racing.


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