The motor racing season is picking up steam. In one week, we will have two important races, more than 8.000 kilometres apart: the Grand Prix of Syracuse and the 12 Hours of Sebring on 26 and 27 March 1960. The Sicilian race is reserved for Formula 2 cars, which prescribes engines with a maximum displacement of 1500 cc, as opposed to the 2500 of Formula 1 according to which the world championship races are run. But this year the cadet formula acquires a particular interest in view of the change in Formula 1, which from 1 January 1961 will reduce the displacement to one and a half litres. Now, in most cases, the current Formula 2 engines will form the basis of those of the future grand prix, and hence the interest that more or less all the manufacturers of racing cars show for the 1500.
The Syracuse Grand Prix, the first major Italian event of the season, has therefore attracted top- class entries. At the wheel of the light single-seaters from Surbiton will be world champion Jack Brabham, Maurice Trlntignant, Harry Schell, Ron Flockhart, Olivier Gendebien and Belgian journalist-driver Paul Frère. On the other hand, Stirling Moss changed makes - but only for Formula 2 races - and signed a contract with Porsche of Stuttgart. Moss, supported by Masten Gregory, will therefore race with the German car, that among the 1500 cars also in the last season shared the highest number of wins with Cooper. The British colours will then be defended by the Lotus of Innes Ireland, Alan Stacey, and Mike Taylor. Against this coalition, there will be only one Ferrari, driven by German driver Wolfgang von Trips. The Modenese company has so far shown little interest in Formula 2 racing, for which it has practically only built one single-seater, powered by a very powerful 6-cylinder engine.
During the winter, this mechanical vehicle was however improved with a series of modifications that should allow it to validly face its English and German rivals. Finally, a certain curiosity is aroused by two new cars made in Italy with Alfa Romeo Giulietta engines increased to 1600 cubic centimeters, which should be the prototypes of the Formula Senior that has been advocated by many as a bridge from Junior to the real Grand Prix. It should be noted, in this regard, that in the meeting that took place on Wednesday 16 March 1960, the Italian Automobile Sports Commission decided to postpone for the moment the examination of the technical regulations that should exactly configure these, Seniors.
However, a few well-meaning craftsmen have already put them in the pipeline, and we will see a couple of them in Syracuse, led by Branca and Pirocehl. The Sicilian circuit is of the semi- permanent type; it is 5500 metres long, fast and well protected. It is on this circuit that on Saturday 19th March 1960 Trips, in a Ferrari, wins the 10th Grand Prix of Syracuse for Formula 2 cars, covering the 306 kilometre course in one hour and thirty-five minutes, at an average speed of 162.471 km/h. Ferrari achieved a resounding success with the only car it brought to the race. At the start, given at 15:30 by the President of the Region, fifteen runners start. Since the first lap Moss, with his Porsche, takes the lead followed by Trips and Ireland. Moss leads the race and on the 22nd lap sets the record in 1'58"8 at an average speed of 166.66 km/h. However, Trips, forcing the pace, overtook Moss in front of the stands during the 27th lap, and shortly afterwards the English driver stopped at the pits and retired.
Between Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March 1960, the 12 Hours race, the second round of the International Sportscar Championship, was held in Sebring, Florida. It could have been a great race, centred on the confrontation between the Ferrari 3000 and the new Maserati 2900; instead the Maranello Company - followed by Porsche - renounced to take part in it, at the cost of compromising its chances of regaining the makes title, for a matter of principle from which it did not intend to give up. And with good reason. The organisers of the American race thought it appropriate - as a partial derogation from international regulations - to impose the same brand of fuel on all competitors, the one that finances the event.
Now Ferrari is contractually bound to another oil company, and asked that at the very least the fuel supplied be anonymous (as is the case for the Le Mans 24 Hours, in accordance with the aforementioned international regulations. Enzo Ferrari had received extensive assurances from the Sebring organisers, documented in the exchange of letters that Ferrari himself has made public. It is an uneasy situation, inevitable if you like - given the major economic and advertising interests - but one over which the International Automobile Federation has shown a worrying lack of authority. The same position has been taken by the German manufacturer Porsche, and the result is the technical, spectacular and sporting impoverishment of a race that, by its very qualification as a regular event, should possess all the characteristics of regularity. On the other hand, the 2890 cubic centimetre Maserati will be present, which in the 1000 Kilometre Buenos Aires race, and more recently in the victorious Cuban Grand Prix, made such a favourable impression that it is considered the only car capable of fighting on equal terms with the tried and tested Ferrari.
Even more, at Sebring and probably later on, the trident car will be driven by Stirling Moss, perhaps paired with ex-Marine Dan Gurney. With the official Maranello team absent, the favourite is soon to be found. However, several Ferraris will be present at the race (in which grand touring cars will also participate): three have been entered by Luigi Chinetti, the American representative of the Modenese company, and will be driven by drivers Chuck Dalgh, Richie Ginter, Ed Hughus, Augie Pabst, Riccardo and Pedro Rodriguez. Another eight Ferraris will be driven by private racers, one of them (the 3-litre gran turismo) by the Turin-based duo of Carlo Mario Abate and Gianni Balzarini. The young Abate, Italian champion in the gran turismo class, had already attempted the adventure in a world championship race in January in Buenos Aires, together with another Turinese Miro Toselli. But with little luck. Now he's trying again with Balzarinl, his partner in the last victorious Mille Miglia. About two-thirds of the Sebring track runs on the runways of an air base and one-third on normal roads. As you know, last December the decisive round of the World Drivers' Championship was held there.
Belgian Oliver Gendebien and German Hans Hermann, in Porsches, win the 12 Hours of Sebring. At the start the British ace Stirling Moss, alternating at the wheel of a Maserati with the American Dan Gurney, immediately took the lead. Half an hour after the start, Jim Hughes, driving a Lotus Elite, went off the track and was thrown from the car, killing himself instantly. The car continued its uncontrolled race and coming back to the road it crashed into a photographer, Thompson, seriously injuring him. The poor man expired as he was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Jim Hughes was 29 years old and a car dealer: he leaves behind his wife and three children. He started racing in 1953, winning numerous races.
The second victim was George Thompson; he worked for the Tribune newspaper in Tampa. He was 31 years old. The mournful accident occurred less than 30 minutes after the start of the race, on one of the tightest bends on the difficult course. The testimonies of the people who witnessed the accident are conflicting, also since they were located at a certain distance due to the safety measures fortunately taken by the authorities. Spectators were prevented from occupying seats next to the runway. It is due to these safety measures that the tragedy at Hughes did not have frightening consequences.
A first version states that the photographer, who was killed, moved about a metre from the edge of the track to film some competitors passing by. In doing so, he would have found himself in the path of Hughes' Lotus, which was overtaking, or at least given the impression that the car would run him over: the driver swerved, hinting at an attempt to brake. The car spun around and overturned, running over the photographer. According to this hypothesis, the photographer was responsible for the accident.
A second version, which according to a more detailed investigation seems to be the most reliable, traces the cause of the accident back to an involuntary skid by Hughes. The curve where the fatal disaster occurred is U-shaped and the drivers take it wide, then tightening up after taking it and helping themselves in the turn with a dérapage. According to this hypothesis, the Lotus driver faced the final part of the bend at excessive speed. The predicted skidding was thus accentuated and ended tragically with the car overturning and the subsequent investment of the photographer found on the edge of the track. However, the ongoing investigation will allow the causes of the accident to be ascertained.
Stirling Moss, meanwhile, leads and increases his advantage, while behind him the Porsche driven by Bonnier is in fourth position. The Maserati driven by Hangsen-Crawford punctured, skidded and went into the sand surrounding the track. The two drivers, unharmed by the accident, tried to push the car on the circuit for an hour, but they had to abandon all attempts. Shortly afterwards, American Jack Fith, winner of the 1953 race, could no longer control his Corvette at Webster curve and went off the track, rolling over and sustaining minor injuries.
The driver was taken by ambulance to hospital. Fredd Spross' Austin Healey also rolled over after a few girls and the driver was also slightly injured. The Ferrari of Daigh-Ginther, after being in second place for seven hours, was forced to retire. Then it's the turn of the Porsche of Bonnier-Graham Hill. Gendebien became second: his gap from Stirling Moss was thirty miles, but four hours from the end Moss was also forced to retire due to mechanical problems, so that Gendebien - for the second time in a row - won the Sebring race.
As we have already had occasion to explain, the Formula , 2 cars of today will be the Formula 1 cars of 1961, the year in which the regulation of the cars for the World Drivers' Championship will be changed. This is why the races of the current season reserved for the 1500s are becoming increasingly important, especially for the manufacturers, who can take from them valuable indications for their future technical programmes. The first big Formula 1 race of 1960 took place three weeks earlier at Syracuse, with the Ferrari-Cooper-Porsche-Lotus confrontation, which was resolved in favour of the Italian car excellently driven by Wolfgang von Trips, the only representative of the Scuderia Ferrari.
In Brussels there should have been a rematch, but Ferrari has decided not to enter, for the moment paying for the flattering result obtained by its redesigned single-seater. Thus, in Brussels, the English and German cars will be competing against each other, but it is perhaps unnecessary to add that Ferrari's absence constitutes a serious blow to the interest of the race. There are 22 entered cars, but only 18 of them will be admitted to the start: therefore the official practice will also have a qualifying value.
In the Porsche there will be Stirling Moss, Bonnier, Gregory and the Belgian Goethals; in the Cooper, the World Champion Jack Brabham, Olivier Gendebien, Frère, Bianchi, Bristow, Schlesser, Lewis, Campbell, Marsh, Schell), Balisat, Seidel, Flockhart and Maurice Trintlgnant, the latter at the wheel of a Cooper with Maserati engine, owned by the Centro-Sud team. Then, in Lotus, Innes Ireland, Stacey, Piper and Clark (a promising youngster from the inexhaustible English breeding ground, who seems to have been hired by Aston Martin for Formula 1 races). Finally, the Argentinean Alessandro De Tomaso will race in an Osca, whose chassis is a Cooper modified by the Bolognese company.
The Brussels circuit is a new track that partly uses the motorway to Antwerp. It measures 4552 metres and alternates between a fast section and a lively one. The Grand Prix will be run in two races, each of 35 laps, equal to 159.320 kilometres. The classification will be based on the sum of the times. Average speeds of around 160 km/h are expected. Perhaps the real reason why Ferrari has given up the Brussels Grand Prix is that on Saturday morning there will be a series of preliminary tests on the Le Mans circuit for the 24 Hours, which will not be run until 25-26 June 1960, but for which the organisers are planning these impromptu training sessions both to facilitate the preparation of the constructors and the drivers, and - in a strictly technical sense - as a contribution to the safety measures taken to a large extent after the 1955 tragedy.
So, on Saturday 9 April 1960, Ferrari tests on the Sarthe circuit a new version of the 250 GT, more powerful and lighter than its predecessor, and perhaps also the three-litre sports car. Among the drivers summoned by Ferrari for these training sessions are Trips - the most comfortable with the Formula 2 car - and Seidel. Seidel will also race in Brussels. Seidel's programme is quite intense: first he will take part in the Belgian race tests; immediately afterwards he will leave by plane - a private aircraft - for Le Mans to train on Saturday morning with Ferrari. Finally, another hop to Brussels for the last Grand Prix practice. It doesn't seem the right way to be in the best, indispensable fresh conditions. But for car drivers, such tours de force seem to be part of the perilous job they have chosen.
On Sunday 10 April 1960, World Champion Jack Brabham wins the Brussels Grand Prix in a Cooper. The fight between Brabham and Moss (at the wheel of a Porsche) is exciting and ends only at the end with the success of the Australian. The field of starters, as said, was limited to eighteen but after twenty laps of the first heat only twelve remained in the race; David Pipe retired in a Lotus, Joschlesser in a Cooper, Lucien Bianchi in a Cooper, Seidel also in a Cooper, Clark and Stacey both in Lotus.
The fight seemed to be narrowed down between Moss and Bonnier, but also the latter was forced to abandon on lap 29. Then Brabham entered the scene and by pushing hard he managed to get closer to the English driver without ever overtaking him. The second heat was disturbed by an insistent and boring rain that didn't allow the drivers to push hard. In the last laps Brabham increased his rhythm and managed to cross the finishing line with a considerable advantage, while Moss, perhaps disheartened, was also overtaken by Trintignant.
Jack Brabham's victory in Brussels reopened discussions among car engineers about the advantages and disadvantages of the rear engine. In Brussels, the confrontation was between the Coopers, Porsches and Lotuses, but the single-seaters Brabham and Stirling Moss, first and second placed in the Brussels Grand Prix, are divided, for modern cars, by two opposing techniques regarding the arrangement of the engine: One - which could be defined as traditionalist - followed the scheme of front propulsion; the other considered it more convenient to place the drive unit to the rear (this is the same antithesis that can be seen in the production of small touring cars, where manufacturers are oriented in the two opposite directions).
To the first group belong Ferrari, Aston Martin and Vanwall; to the second Cooper, Porsche (Formula 2), Lotus and B.R.M. The latter two have only this year converted to the new technical direction; indeed the rear-engined BRM has not yet made its appearance in racing. The advantages of the rear-engined solution essentially lie in its greater lightness (because the drive shaft with its joints and supports is eliminated, and because the chassis itself - being subjected to less torsional stress - requires a less complex tubular structure than that of orthodox machines), and in the possibility of achieving a more rational aerodynamic profile. In addition, the elimination of the drive shaft favours mechanical efficiency with less dispersion of power through friction.
This explains, at least in part, why the Coopers, with an engine considerably less powerful than the Ferraris, were able to achieve higher performance last year, and also defend themselves well on fast tracks. On the other hand, single-seaters with a front engine and transmission to the rear wheels make it possible to distribute masses more easily and thus improve road holding. But this is a problem that has now been overcome, even by manufacturers who favour the more modern technical approach. However, the rear-engine in racing cars is not a novelty in recent years.
Already in 1925 the first car of this type appeared in Grand Prix: the Benz, designed by the late Ferdinand Porsche, the same famous German technician who, less than a decade later, built the famous Auto Union - a grand prix that, driven by Rosemeyer, Varzi and Nuvolari, scored countless victories between 1934 and 1939. Incidentally, Porsche was also the creator of the Volkswagen, the first production car with a rear engine; today, the factory that bears his name builds touring and sports cars exclusively based on the scheme of which Porsche can be considered the forerunner. The interesting technical comparison between the two technologies is likely to include a new element.
For the next Formula 1 (which will come into force on 1 January 1961, and which prescribes a maximum displacement of 1500 cc and a minimum weight of 500 kilos), Ferrari would in fact be planning to use both solutions, taking part in the very fast Grands Prix (Reims, Monza, etc.) with a conventional type car, and in the fast ones (Monte-Carlo, Zandvoort, Nurburgring) with a brand new rear-engined single-seater, currently being prepared at Maranello. It would be a system - undoubtedly of great technical and financial commitment - to radically resolve the uncertainty over the superiority of one type or the other in all conditions of use.
On Monday 18 April 1960, the Pau Grand Prix - the traditional Easter Monday motor race - suffered from the competition brought by the Goodwood meeting, scheduled over four races. The consequence is that the few available axes are divided between the French and the English event: these are the drawbacks of such a busy calendar that forces undesirable overlaps. In the end, it was Goodwood (55.000 spectators, confirming the ever-increasing passion of English people for motor sports) to offer the most interesting technical results in the two central races of the meeting: Formula 1 and Formula 2. In both races Innes Ireland made his mark in the new rear- engined Lotus, a car that was proving to be simply astonishing (and Ireland himself seemed to be on his way to becoming a great cross-Channel driver).
Moss was beaten at the wheel of both Cooper (Formula 1) and Porsche (Formula 2). It was not for nothing that the English champion decided to take part in the World Championship trials in a Lotus, which Scuderia Walker - for whose colours Moss raced - hastened to order from Lotus owner and designer Colin Chapman, a great chassis specialist. The importance of the chassis in racing cars is documented by the fact that both Lotus and Cooper use the same Coventry-Climax engine of 2500 cc on the Formula 1 car and 1500 on the Formula 2. As proof of this, at Goodwood, Ireland achieved a new record average of 161.550 km/h over 100 miles, five kilometres faster than Hawthorn (Ferrari) and Moss (Cooper) in 1958.
Therefore, we have to take note of the fact that Lotus will be this year among the great protagonists of the World Championship, whose resumption will take place on the last Sunday of May at Monte-Carlo, in a race that should see, besides Ferrari, Cooper, Lotus and BRMs, also Vanwalls and, maybe, the phantom American car Scarab. In the English race, the new B.R.M. cars with rear-mounted engine have also shown very good chances, while the Vanwall's appearance has been insignificant, at the wheel of which Tony Brooks has returned - as expected.
But it wasn't the final model that Anthony Vandervell was preparing, but the modified '58 type. At Pau the victory was won by World Champion Jack Brabham, after a long fight with the tenacious Trintignant. Both drivers, like most of the competitors, were at the wheel of Cooper-Climax. The Australian may be less brilliant than other drivers, but race after race he reconfirmed his qualities as an intelligent, prepared and positive driver. And in the meantime he is accumulating success and experience. It won't be easy to take the world title from him.
Neither at Pau nor at Goodwood is Ferrari present, faithful to the programme expressed by the owner of the Modenese company himself at the traditional end-of-year meeting with journalists. Reduced activity on all fronts, said Enzo Ferrari on that occasion, with the sole objective of attempting to win back the Formula 1 and Sports World Championships. At Maranello, in short, they are working in recollection, waiting for the most important months that are approaching. Competitive inactivity, however, hides a danger: that rival marques can make use of the precious experience of this preparatory period. Lotus, for example, in a few Sundays of races has succeeded in brilliantly overcoming the delicate phase of its new single-seaters' tuning; B.R.M. is doing the same thing.
Like athletes, mechanical means need gradual preparation, and above all through direct comparisons with opponents. A final consideration suggests the motor racing day on Easter Monday. Formula 2 races are now almost on a par with Formula 1 races, which they can very well replace without detriment to the interest and spectacle of the events. It is obvious that this is made possible by the fact that many manufacturers own cars from both formulas, and that the drivers are the same, thus satisfying the public, who are only sensitive to the appeal of the big names.
In anticipation of the imminent resumption of the World Championship, motor racing now offers interesting races every Sunday, with a growing number of participants and spectators. The undoubted crisis from which the world of motor racing has been afflicted since 1955 seems to be over, thanks to the reorganization of programmes and directions laboriously worked out at national and international level, and to the fresh energy and renewed enthusiasm of the sporting world. So it should come as no surprise that the list of participants in the 44th edition of the Targa Florio, which will take place on Sunday 8 May 1960, is growing day by day.
While the organisers are waiting for the official Ferrari and Porsche teams to sign up, the news of the participation of Umberto Maglioli, the strong driver from Biella, twice winner of the Sicilian race, at the wheel of a Maserati 2900, a car that aims straight at the conquest of the title, is very welcome. Among the latest entries, to be mentioned those of Carlo Mario Abate from Turin in a Cooper-Maserati 2000 (paired with Colin Davis) and Gino Munaron-De Leonibus in the new Alfa- Conrero 1150 sport (derived from the Giulietta). It was hoped to see Munaron, who had so brilliantly started the 1960 season, at the wheel of a Ferrari of the Castellotti Scuderia, for whose colours he was competing this year; but it seems that at the Targa the only car of the Lodi formation would be entrusted to the Cabianca-Scarfiotti duo.
The Targa Florio, founded in 1906 thanks to the patronage of the knight Vincenzo Florio, is the oldest car race in the world that is still run today. With the exception of two interruptions due to the world wars, the Sicilian race has been regularly held every year, and even today that its founder has passed away, it continues its cycle, linked to the most beautiful pages of motor sport and to the names of famous drivers. The edition that will be run on Sunday bears the number 44, and even if it no longer has the resonance of the past, it is still a respectable race, so much so that for some years it has been valid for the World Sport Championship.
The Targa Florio takes place this year over ten laps of the course, totalling 720 kilometres. Both touring and sports cars take part in the race. From the latter will come out the overall winner, and the choice of predictions must be reduced to the Ferraris (of 3 litres or 2400 cubic centimetres) of the couples Trips- Ginther, Phil Hill-Allison, Cabianca-Scarfiotti and Frère-Mairesse; to the Porsches 1600 and 1700 of Gendebien-Herrmann, Bonnier-Graham Hill and Barth-De Beaufort; and to the Maserati 2900 of Maglioli-Vaccarella. The starts will begin on Sunday 8 May 1960, at 8:00 am, with the Fiat Abarth 850 of Garufi-Tagliavia. Between car and car, the interval will be 20 seconds. The big cars will be the last to start. Of the 73 entries, only ten do not show up at scrutineering.
Bonnier, paired with Graham Hill at the wheel of a powerful official Porsche, sets the fastest time during practice on Saturday morning: 44'25"0 at an average speed of around 94 km/h. This average does not beat or even come close to the record set by Stirling Moss in the 1958 Targa. An average that does not beat or come close to Stirling Moss' record, set by the English champion in the 1958 Targa: 42'17"5 on the lap, at an average of 102.147 km/h. However, it must be remembered that Moss' record was set during the race, in excellent environmental conditions and in the midst of an exciting fight.
Bonnier's time - like those set by Maglioli-Vaccarella, Gendebien-Hermann, Allison- Phil Hill, Cabianca-Trips - is therefore susceptible to improvement during the great race on Sunday. On Saturday, at the end of practice, all the riders complained of finding gravel in some parts of the course, evidently due to recent repairs, forcing them to slow down for fear of skidding, undoubtedly dangerous on such a tormented course as the Madonie. It is therefore to be hoped that this inconvenience will be eliminated before the start. The Cerda circuit is hard enough and requires exceptional efforts from riders and cars, and the organisers are doing their best to present it in the best possible conditions.
During the test laps, those drivers who can be described as making their debut in the Targa Florio find themselves in more difficulty. One such driver is American Ginther, who up to this point is teaming up with Trips at the wheel of the brand new Ferrari 2400, which, according to Trips himself, has new features that Ferrari wants to test at the Targa. And if you think about the importance that Enzo Ferrari attaches to this classic Sicilian race in terms of the World Championship of Makes, it's easy to see what a jewel this new creation of his must be. Now, it seems that the technical director of the Ferrari team, who has come to Sicily with the team, does not want to risk any unpleasant surprises and will team up with Trips (an expert on the Targa; he has already raced it four times) with some of his best drivers: the 720 kilometres of the race, with its thirteen thousand bends, will frighten anyone.
Porsche - the other brand officially involved in this 44th Targa Florio and in contention for the World Championship - won last year's edition of the Sicilian race, with Barth Seidel, and on Sunday it will certainly want to repeat the exploit: its drivers are well prepared and the pairings very accurate. In fact, Gendebien-Hermann, Bonnier-Graham Hill, Barth-Beaufort, Von Hanstein- Antonio Pucci will be driving the silver cars from the Stuttgart marque. With their extensive experience in road racing, these are the teams that will play the leading roles. Excluding the Von Hanstein-Pucci pair, who will race in the tried and tested Carrera type, the other pairs from the Stuttgart-based company will have the delta note 1600 cubic centimetre HSK sports car.
In fact, it was Bonnier-Hermann in a Porsche that won the 44th edition of the Targa Florio, ahead of Trips-Hill in a Ferrari, Hermann-Gendebien in a Porsche and Scarfiotti-Cabianca in a Ferrari. Along the 720 kilometres of the difficult and winding Madonie circuit, the Stuttgart cars had no opponents, with the exception of the surprising experimental Maserati of Maglioli-Vaccarella. The Italian car had settled into second place, with a gap that ranged from three to four minutes in the first four laps. When Bonnier pulled into the pits to change with Hermann, Maglioli launched a violent attack and moved into first place. Then he ceded the lead to Vaccarella.
The driver from Palermo works hard and in the next two laps increases his advantage. But during the eighth lap, when he leaves the Porsche four minutes behind, a stone punctures the tank of the Maserati. The only incident of the stage (fortunately without serious consequences) occurred near Collesano. A competitor, the English Smith (on Osca 1100) goes off the road. The driver was taken to the emergency room at the Cerda grandstands and received treatment, with fractures to his left leg and arm. The car - which belongs to the Arena team - suffers serious damage.
On Saturday 14th May 1960, at Silverstone there was an interesting race for Formula 1 cars, the classic BRDC International Trophy, with the participation of Cooper, Lotus, BRM, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Vanwall. Of particular importance is the presence of Ferrari, which for the first time since the distant Argentine Grand Prix is taking the field against the British cars. The race wasn't valid for the world title, but since this year the British Grand Prix - which was naturally included among the championship races - will be run on 16th July 1960 at Silverstone instead of Aintree, the Saturday race will have the value of a sort of general rehearsal for the highest motor racing event on the other side of the Channel and, maybe even more, for the imminent Monaco Grand Prix that will close this intense month of May.
Ferrari participated with only two cars, entrusted to Cliff Allison and Phil Hill. The Silverstone circuit, fast but with eight rather marked bends, was rarely congenial to the Modenese Formula 1 cars, while the English ones, almost all of them fine-tuned on the track of the abandoned Northamptonshire aerodrome, were very well suited to it. The following day, Sunday 15th May 1960, the Grand Prix Napoli will be run for sports cars of 1600 and 2000 cubic centimetres and for Junior category cars, while at Monthery the Grand Prix de Paris will see the Formula 2 cars (all Cooper and Lotus) engaged with Trintignant, Schell and Lewis, in a short fifty kilometre test.
While drivers and mechanics were preparing for these new tests, the Targa Florio with its results and the comments that followed it was still the centre of attention of motor racing enthusiasts. The victory of Bonnier-Herrmann's Porsche didn't arouse too much surprise; the Ferraris had to be content with a regular race, almost waiting for the distance to crumble the Porsches' resistance. To tell the truth, things might have turned out differently if Trips hadn't gone off the road after very few kilometres of race, losing a lot of time in restarting.
Unfortunately, the race to be held at Silverstone was compromised in the morale of its spectators following the very serious accident in which Harry Schell lost his life. The American driver lost control of his car at Abbey corner during practice for the BRDC International Trophy, driving at around 160km/h, after slipping in the mud on the side of the track. His Cooper somersaulted and, after penetrating a safety barrier, collapsed a brick wall. Before his death, Schell had been extremely vocal in promoting roll cages on European racing cars, a safety feature required in the United States.
The browned flag in remembrance of the unfortunate racer overshadows the interest in the Silverstone race, where for the first time this year there is an almost complete confrontation between the Formula 1 cars prepared for the imminent resumption of world championship testing, namely the Ferraris (with Phil Hill and Cliff Allison), the Coopers (with the maximum title holder, Brabham, McLarcn, Brabham, McLarcn, etc.), the surprising new rear-engined Lotus (Ireland and Stacey), the B.R.M.s (Bonnier, Gurney and Graham Hill), the Aston Martins (Salvadori, Trintignant and Clark), a Vanwall with motorcycling ace John Surtees, the Cooper-Maserati (Gregory and Burgete), and finally Stirling Moss, who after demolishing the Cooper on Thursday during practice, will probably start in his brand new Lotus. However, the British driver Innes Ireland, in a Lotus 18, will be the winner.
On Sunday 22 May 1960, the 1000 kilometre race will be held on the extremely difficult Nurburgring circuit, the fourth round of the World Sportscar Championship, whose classification currently sees Porsche in the lead with 20 points, followed by Ferrari with 18 points and Maserati with 3 points. These three marques are likely to be the protagonists of the day in the German race as well, even if the English threat represented by Roy Salvadori-Jim Clark's Aston Martin should not be underestimated.
This time the predictions are pinned on the Italian cars, both the Ferraris (with the crews Phil Hill-Allison, Trips-Seidel, Ginther-Mairesse and Scarfiotti-Scarlatti, the latter two participating under the colours of Scuderia Castellotti) and the Maserati 2890 of the American Scuderia Camoradi, at the wheel of which will be two crews to be chosen between Stirling Moss, Gurney, Gregory and Gino Munaron, who thus comes to crown his dream of competing in this route he prefers, at the wheel of a car of great possibilities.
Moss made up his mind at the last moment, as a few days before he had declared that he didn't want to know about Nurburgring where he had already won twice. As for Porsches, all of them with an engine capacity between 1500 and 1100 cc, very fearsome for their handling qualities and resistance to distance, they will have at their disposal the usual Bonnier (who set the best lap time on the first day of practice), Gendebien, Barth, Herrmann, Trintignant and Graham Hill. The 1000 km of Nurburgring is therefore very interesting and the outcome is uncertain. It will be Stirling Moss, paired with American Dan Gurney, in the Maserati 2800 that will win the fourth round of the world championship sport category.
The race is very difficult: dense banks of fog and light, intermittent rain reduce visibility for most of the day and the treacherous circuit, which has countless ups and downs, is very hard for the competitors to drive. Nevertheless, more than 200.000 spectators attended the race. Stirling Moss - at his fourth victory in Adenau - proved to be unbeatable: the British driver drove for 300 kilometres, then momentarily gave up the wheel to his team mate, before going back to the Maserati and progressively distancing the pack of pursuers.
On the finishing line behind him there were the Porsche 1700 driven by Bonnier-Gendebien, the Ferrari driven by Hill-Trips and the Porsche driven by Hermann-Trintignant. In fifth place was the Italian Gino Munaron who, with the American Gregory, drove the second Maserati. It is to underline the behaviour of the Turinese driver who, after having obtained brilliant results in Argentina and in other races, with the fifth place in Nurburgring, is facing the international scene.
In the middle of the race the fog layer is so thick that the drivers are forced to turn on their headlights: the visibility is reduced to no more than 20 meters. The German Barth, third driver of the Porsche, at the end of the 25th lap makes a mistake on a curve and ends up in a ravine. Luckily the driver survived with minor bruises, while his car was completely destroyed. Shortly before, Scarlatti-Seidel's Ferrari had stopped in the pits to refuel. The car caught fire and two cans of petrol exploded with a huge roar.
Part of the spectators, fearing disaster, fled, while the flames swept through the Ferrari pit lane, rising ten metres into the air. The firemen, who immediately rushed to the scene, managed to extinguish the flames after seven minutes by throwing thick jets of foam. Scarlatti, who suffered burns on several parts of his body, was placed in an ambulance and rushed to hospital, where doctors treated him. According to their report, the Italian pilot could recover in a very short time, but he was advised to stay in hospital for a few days.
"The moment I locked the brakes I was hit by a huge flame, probably caused by a petrol leak. Without missing a beat, I jumped to the ground, where some Ferrari mechanics threw a blanket over me to extinguish the flames that had spread to my overalls".
Ferrari, which had entered four cars, lost three during the race, while Aston Martin, the other favourite brand, had to retire two of its three cars due to mechanical problems. With this result, Porsche gained 26 points, leaving Ferrari with 22 points. But, as provided for by the sporting regulations, the difference in results will be decisive in deciding the fate of the sporting championship classification.
Being the first important event of the season disputed in Europe, expectations are high for the Monaco Grand Prix, which will be held on the city circuit of Monte-Carlo. B.R.M. brought to the Principality three single-seaters of 1960 with rear engine, with Bonnier, Gurney and Graham Hill as drivers; Cooper relied on Brabham and McLaren to drive the new single-seaters, which had considerable updating, among them a five-speed gearbox and a coil spring rear suspension. The Cooper team will also have a '59 single-seater at its disposal.
The other two 1959 Coopers were sold, one to CT Atkins, now driven by Salvadori, and the other to Fred Tuck, driven by Halford. Team Lotus, in turn, participated with three rear-engined 1960 single-seaters, with Ireland, Stacey and Surtees, and a fourth car, driven by Moss for the Walker team, identical to the other three except for the colour (blue instead of green) and the diameter of the rear wheel spokes, which was larger than before. Scuderia Eugenio Castellotti, a private Italian company, grants Scarlatti the drive of a new single- seater called Cooper-Castellotti, with a Cooper bottom combined with a four-cylinder Ferrari Squalo engine and a Collotti five-speed gearbox.
Scuderia Ferrari brings its full team of drivers, with Allison, Phil Hill and Trips driving the 1960 single-seaters, as in Argentina, with the Dino 246 engine moved to the right rather than the left, the entire gearbox layout redesigned with the input now on the right side of the seat rather than the left, the fuel tanks mounted sideways and an independent rear suspension with double wishbones and coil springs. A fourth rear-engined Ferrari single-seater, new and tested only once, is also entered by Ginther. The front suspension is similar to that of the Dino 246 powered cars, but with softer coil springs, while on the V6 powered Dino 246s they are mounted behind the driver and attached directly to the new differential gearbox unit.
The Scuderia Centro-Sud participates with three Cooper-Maserati, with Maserati four-cylinder engines combined with Cooper gearboxes, containing gears and a Centro-Sud lubrication system. The drivers are Trintignant, Gregory and Burgess, the last to replace Menditéguy, who was unable to leave Argentina. Finally, two American Scarabs, the Formula 1s built and financed by Lance Reventlow and driven by himself and Daigh. These single-seaters, artfully built and meticulously designed, with a machining mould from Indianapolis, have simple rectangular frames with small- diameter tubes in which a four-cylinder engine is mounted on the side with the crankshaft to the left of the bottom.
There is a lot of interest in the entry list, with three models ready for debut: the rear-engined Ferrari, the Scarab and the Cooper-Castellotti; the new Cooper, the new Lotus, the Ferrari IRS and the new B.R.M. are ready for their European debut. Moss will drive the rear-engined Lotus for the first time. As for the other drivers, Gurney, Bristow, Naylor, Stacey, Surtees, Ginther, Burgess, Daigh and Revendow are ready for their first appointment on the spectacular and exciting street circuit of Monte-Carlo, with its tunnels and ups and downs. Ferrari's hopes in the Monaco Grand Prix are slim.
The Ferrari's task in front of the British single-seaters seems tremendously difficult. Predictions? It should be an all-British race, but you have to give the Ferraris at least some confidence. Monte-Carlo has almost always been the race of surprises: the important thing is to keep the mechanical means up to the end; the Italian team, already deprived of the unlucky Allison, will have tomorrow to stick to a waiting tactic: to attack the very strong English opponents doesn't seem possible. The race will be broadcast in Eurovision starting at 2:30 p.m.
The Grand Prix trials are organised for Thursday afternoon, very early Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, while the race will take place in the afternoon of Sunday 29 May 1960. As last year, the number of starters is limited to sixteen, but twenty-four entries are accepted. Therefore, the fastest practice laps will count not only for the position on the starting grid, as is normal, but also to decide whether one will take part in the race.
Consequently, furious activity ensues as soon as the circuit is opened for practice, and during Thursday afternoon all the cars - except those from the Centre-South and Scuderia Castellotti - try to qualify. The official record is held by Brabham (Cooper), with his 1'40"4 set during the 1959 race, while during practice Moss (Cooper) had recorded a time of 1'39"6. Therefore, the limit to be reached this year is at least 1'40"0.
However, bearing in mind that since the last Monaco race the Coventry-Climax engine has had a new cylinder head design and another 20 horsepower, as well as an improved torque curve, and that Dunlops has fitted everyone with a new 1960 tyre which has improved lap times by a good 2 seconds in 90 seconds, and also remembering that Moss is now driving a Lotus against last year's Cooper, it is reasonable to assume that he will be at least 3 seconds slower than his best lap last year. In addition there are many other combinations of cars, drivers and technical advances that seem to be well capable of being faster, such as Bonnier in the rear-engined B.R.M., Brabham in the 1960 Cooper, and Brooks in a fast Cooper for the first time at Monaco.
Everyone is hard at work on this early afternoon: the clocks are ticking and the speakers are talking. Everything seems to be going smoothly until Salvadori, in one of last year's Coopers, is credited with a time well under 1'40"0, then Brooks gets a time of 1'34"4. But when Moss got a time of 1'32"3 the alarm went off. Finally, it turned out that the official timekeeper's watch had a progressive error, starting at 3 seconds and worsening to almost 6 seconds as the afternoon went on.
The result is that the entire practice session is declared null and void, but some approximate times are published, to be considered purely as a guide. Obviously, drivers and mechanics return to their hotels with desperate looks on their faces. Only a few people have good reason to be happy, notably Bonnier, whose B.R.M. broke down as soon as practice began; also Stacey, whose Lotus had done the same, and Ginther, who failed to distinguish himself in his rear-engined Ferrari because of a badly adjusted gearbox selection. None of them were therefore able to record any time worthy of consideration.
On the other hand, the technical improvements in the cars brought to Monte-Carlo can be analysed. The new rear-engined B.R.M.'s have poorly finished cockpits, as the drivers - during testing - will be forced to stick pieces of rubber inside them to make them more comfortable. The B.R.M.'s use the rack-and-pinion steering of the 1959 cars, which had offset steering columns to bypass the front engines, so they still have offset steering columns even though the engine is no longer in the way, and the result leads to fairly slanted steering wheels.
But this doesn't seem to worry the drivers. Fuel is carried in two aero-type rubber tanks, one on each side of the cockpit, filled via an inverted Y-shaped tube from a nozzle just in front of the windscreen. Rubber belts with exposed internal teeth drive the two magnets, one on each side of the engine; these magnets are very small and light, like those used on the four-cylinder MV racing bikes.
The new five-speed Cooper gearbox has a reverse gear, and the entire selection and locking mechanism is housed in a large bulge on the right-hand side. The gearbox has a one-gallon sump, and this oil is circulated by a pump at the back of the box. The main shaft is fed internally, and each pair of gears also receives a jet of oil from a cast gallery tube. With all the gears free of oil from the sump, the latter can be described as a dry-sump system, thus reducing resistance. The rear suspension is from double wishbones with separate coil springs surrounding telescopic shock absorbers, while an anti-roll bar runs through an FND rear frame tube is coupled to the wishbones by short arms and links.
The Lotus owned by Walker is identical to the factory cars, except that the rear spoke rods have been increased in diameter as the original plan is to fit the car with a five-speed Collotti gearbox; this would have meant mounting the rear disc brake outboard on the hub carriers, where the arrangement already exists in the original design. However, it turned out that the Collotti gearbox was too high, and would have to be tilted by a few degrees. But time constraints did not permit this redesign, so the Lotus five-speed gearbox was left in place.
The four-cylinder Ferrari engine in the Cooper-Castellotti is so cramped that there is no room for the usual horizontal twin-body Weber carburettor; so a pair of twin-body intake carburettors are fitted, using right-angle cast aluminium manifolds in the inlet ports. The rear-engined Ferrari, on the other hand, has a new gearbox mounted behind the final drive. The shaft from the engine passes right through the box to a clutch mounted in the open, cantilevered end of the gearbox; the transmission then returns to the box and to the sprocket and pinion.
The clutch is operated by a hydraulic piston, exposed and mounted on the rear cross member of the chassis, which presses into the centre of the clutch in the open air, under the tail of the car. Significantly, the clutch housing has a toothed starter ring, and the gearbox casting has a cradle on top to take a starter motor, while a bracket on a nearby chassis tube features a starter button, indicating that Ferrari was already looking at the 1961 regulations.
On Saturday afternoon, after taking part in a Formula Junior race, the drivers returned to the track to decide which sixteen drivers would take part in the Monaco Grand Prix. But while some participants, such as Moss, Brabham, Bonnier, Brooks and Bristow, don't put much effort into finding the best times, being well within their personal limits and sure of a place on the starting grid, the rest of the racers are involved in a hard battle.
Moss did not improve on his previous best time of 1'36"3, nor Brabham his 1'37"3 and Brooks and Bristow their 1'37"7, but Bonnier equalled them in this last session. In the meantime, the Cooper-Castellotti - with its old four-cylinder Ferrari engine - finally arrived in Monte-Carlo; it would be driven in practice by Scarlatti and Munaron. However, in spite of the arrival of the Castellotti team, the list of the qualified drivers is also reduced by two participants, as Allison and Burgess will not officially take part in the contest.
In the last practice session Ginther showed to be very competitive at the wheel of his Ferrari with rear engine, while Gurney was unhappy with his B.R.M. with rear engine, the drivers of Scarab team improved their times, modifying springs and shock absorbers, and mounting Dunlop tyres. But the times they set were not good enough to give them a chance to start on the grid. In the meantime, to encourage British driver Alan Stacey to go faster, permission is granted to Jim Clark to get into Ireland's car, to run a few laps, while he tests the Walker Lotus to see how it compares with the official cars.
Two exceptional times were set by Salvadori and Halford, both driving 1959 Coopers in this galaxy of new cars, as they recorded 1'38"7 and 1'39"6 respectively. The two drivers will manage to stay among the top sixteen until the end of the afternoon. However, just before time ran out, Ireland and Trintignant managed to set a better time than the Cooper-Climax driver. That's why the curiosity rises to see if among those who managed to qualify there will be someone capable of maintaining the same speed in the race, or if the result obtained is the result of a lucky lap.
As a matter of fact, apart from the first ones in the classification, during practice it's easy to notice that Ginther, Gurney and Surtees could have gone on running all day long keeping their respective speeds, while some doubt arises among the last classified. In the afternoon of Sunday 29th May 1960 the sixteen fastest drivers during the qualifying session are invited to line up on the starting grid on the harbour front, under a warm sun but certainly not a cloudless sky; not by chance, by Monaco standards the weather prospects are not very conducive to a regular sunny day. When the starter lowered the flag, the three cars on the first row advanced ferociously.
Bonnier, who started from the second row, was the author of a superb start that allowed him to lead the race at the first hairpin bend, followed by fifteen cars that were pushing each other, among them the car driven by Graham Hill that was summarily closed inside the bend, not allowing the British driver to have the necessary space to turn his front wheels. At the end of the first lap the BRM driven by Bonnier led the race, preceding the Cooper driven by Brabham, and the Lotus driven by Moss in third position.
On the second lap Trips was forced to stop along the circuit to put out a small fire, as the short exhaust pipes under the Ferrari's tail ignited due to a deposit of oil oozing from the engine onto the sub-frame. This episode forced Trips to drop from eighth to fourteenth place, while Trintignant tried to recover the top positions after starting from the last available place on the grid; the French driver was now in fifth place. In the meantime, Bonnier set the pace, with Brabham on his heels; on lap four the Australian tried to overtake his rival on the hairpin but he didn't succeed, and on the contrary, on lap five he lost his second place to Stirling Moss.
Being very close to Bonnier, Moss was momentarily content to stay in second position. Meanwhile Brabham dropped back, allowing Brooks and Phil Hill to catch up. Behind them Ireland dropped behind Graham Hill and Bristow, and later behind McLaren. Then there was an appreciable gap between Surtees and Salvadori, who in his turn preceded Trips and Gurney, with Stacey and Ginther to close the group of the Grand Prix participants, as in the meantime Trintignant had to retire during the fourth lap with a broken gearbox. After ten laps Bonnier began to wish that Moss could take the lead and waved him off, but Moss stayed behind, pointing in gestures:
"No, you've taken the lead, you can set the pace".
However, the two leading drivers would have to be careful, as behind them McLaren was battling with Bristow and the two were pushing each other, to the extent that they both quickly managed to catch up with Phil Hill and Brooks, who in turn were pushing each other to go faster, and they got closer to Brabham. On lap sixteen the group from third to eighth began to threaten the two leaders, and although Bonnier continued to move and wave Moss through, the Lotus driver continued to wave, saying:
"No, you go ahead".
Bonnier is not too happy because the brake pedal of the B.R.M. has to be pumped before each application of the brakes, and he continues to have Moss at a few centimetres' distance. On lap 17 the danger of the following group is becoming important, so Moss decides to move ahead of Bonnier's B.R.M., and in two laps he manages to create an advantage of five seconds. In the meantime Bristow is forced to leave the group, as his gearbox breaks down.
The British driver is forced to stop in the pits, leaving Bonnier, Brabham, Brooks, Phil Hill, Graham Hill and McLaren all within a few metres of each other. Surtees also stops in the pits, during the seventeenth lap, as he is unable to select the gears correctly on his Lotus: this is because the bolt head has cut the crown, which in turn has slipped into the gearbox drive unit selector mechanism.
By lap 25, Moss had managed to extend his lead to six seconds, and he continued the race by handling the Lotus gently, while behind him the battle for second place continued. Bonnier is ahead of Brabham, while Brooks is trying to get closer to the Australian and Graham and Phil Hill, as well as McLaren, continue to put pressure on the leaders. However, there was a huge gap between McLaren and Ireland, who went on with a car not perfectly running, and an even more evident one between the latter and the group made by Salvadori, Trips and Gurney, with Ginther in the rear-engined Ferrari to follow in the last position because Stacey retired during lap 23; during the first laps, on his Lotus the engine supports had broken and the latter had leaned forward, blocking the accelerator in a partially open position. As a result, the British driver had hit a kerb, ruining another expensive alloy wheel.
The fight for the second place was so exciting that nobody noticed that in the meantime the sun had disappeared and threatening clouds had risen, till on lap 28 the rain started falling. Taking advantage of the wet asphalt Brabham got ahead of Bonnier, while Brooks spun off at Ste Devote bend, just before going up the hill towards the Casino, and Salvadori spun off and stalled at Gasworks hairpin. In the meantime, Trips is pulling away from Gurney, and overtaking Ireland. Although Salvadori restarted, shortly afterwards he pitted and retired, because the engine of his Cooper had overheated.
The whole circuit is now completely wet, therefore Moss slows down to what he considers a safe pace, but Brabham has a better rhythm and on lap 34 he takes the lead, while Bonnier also catches up with Moss but does not overtake him. The rain falls heavily and all competitors are forced to drive carefully. Phil Hill made a mistake at the gasworks but kept the engine running, while Brabham continued to lead the race, followed by Moss, Bonnier, McLaren, Graham Hill and Phil Hill; more detached followed Trips, Brooks, then Ireland, Gurney and Ginther.
On lap 38 the sun reappeared over the principality, but the rain continued to fall and conditions remained very hazardous. On lap 41 Brabham discovered how risky the conditions could be, as his car lost grip at St. Devote and hit a wall, bending the Cooper's chassis. So Moss is back in the lead, and continues his race with great care. When the rain began to stop, Moss pulled away from Bonnier, and when he finally stopped on lap 46, the British driver's Lotus had a gap of fourteen seconds. In the meantime Phil Hill tried to recover ground, after the mistake that condemned him to a difficult comeback, and managed to get closer to Graham Hill and McLaren, while Gurney returned to the pits and retired during the 44th lap, as a rear suspension strut and the hub-carrier broke.
At mid-race Moss was still ahead of Bonnier with fourteen seconds' lead, while McLaren followed at forty-six seconds and the two Hills at eighty-two seconds. Trips, who led a solitary race in sixth place, preceded the group made up of Brooks, Ginther and Ireland, who were one lap behind the leader. The circuit continued to dry quickly, while the public's interest focused on Phil Hill, who caught up with and overtook McLaren, taking third place thanks to a very delicate drive on the still wet circuit.
Ireland's failing engine eventually gave out completely on lap 56, as he climbed the hill towards the Casino. The British driver began a long push of his car back to the pits. His mechanics only discovered after the car had returned to the pits that the cause of the retirement was simply due to the magnet ground wire rubbing on the tachometer drive. On lap 60 Moss's Lotus suddenly started working on three cylinders, therefore the British driver decided to stop at his pit stop, while Bonnier took the lead. The problem on the Lotus is simply a detached spark plug cable, so Moss is soon able to return to the race.
For a few laps Trips Trips also had some problems in changing gears; but during the 61st lap the clutch gave way, reducing the survivors of this Monaco Grand Prix to only seven cars. In the meantime Moss was quietly catching up with Bonnier; the Swedish driver didn't know whether to try to stay ahead or succumb to the inevitable and wait for Moss to catch up with him. With thirty- five laps still to run, the mechanics of the Walker team signalled to Moss the distance from the first, but while the operation was being carried out the number three slipped out of the scoreboard, therefore the British driver convinced himself that he had only five laps still available to reach and overtake Bonnier. Consequently Moss, still twelve seconds behind the leading driver, tried to push hard for two laps, until a new signal informed him of the real race distance.
On lap 67 Moss was close to Bonnier's B.R.M., while behind McLaren regained the third place. However, the New Zealander, having reached the Gasworks hairpin, opened the steering too soon and spun off. Realising that he could not correct the car's behaviour, McLaren pressed the accelerator and the Cooper spun to the right. Just at this moment Phil Hill's Ferrari passes on the outside and Graham Hill's B.R.M. prepares to pass on the inside. Seeing McLaren still not completely in control of the situation, Graham Hill thinks of accelerating to take advantage of the situation, but he opens the accelerator at the wrong moment and goes off the road, colliding against the steps of a radio shack and breaking the front and the radiator of his B.R.M.; Hill stops wrapped in a rain of wood.
With this further retirement, the number of cars still in the race drops to six. And before the pieces could be picked up from the ground, Moss retook the lead. Meanwhile, Ginther pits with a strange noise coming from the Ferrari's sprocket and pinion, bringing the number of cars still in the race to five. Provided that nothing broke, Moss could not fail to win, nor Bonnier could lose the second place, but the fight for the third position was still open, because Phil Hill was third but McLaren didn't give up and reduced the gap from his rival. Few more laps and Hill let McLaren pass and conquer the third place. Nevertheless, the American driver didn't give up, preferring to follow the New Zealander waiting for the latter to make another mistake. During the seventy-eighth lap Bonnier stopped at his pit with a rear suspension split on the upright, just as it had happened on Gurney's car. And so, apart from Moss, McLaren and Hill, the only other car left in the race was Brooks' in his Yeoman Credit Cooper.
Moss pitted the remaining laps very carefully. In the meantime, a few laps from the end Brabham suddenly appeared in the pits, after restarting the bent Cooper, and tried to get back into the race, as there were only four competitors on the track. In the meantime Ireland, completely exhausted, came to the pits pushing his Lotus, while other drivers who had retired rushed to recover their cars, imitating Brabham's behaviour. Bonnier restarted slowly and Gurney started another lap with a rear wheel moving dangerously, while Ginther recovered the rear-engined Ferrari and pushed it towards the finishing line.
All this is great fun, but it should not have been allowed by the organisers because the duel between McLaren and Hill was not yet over, and the Ferrari driver could have made a desperate attempt on the last lap to get second place. At the end of the hundred laps foreseen Stirling Moss crossed the finishing line first, followed by McLaren and Phil Hill, while Brooks gained an unexpected fourth place, one lap behind the leader. Bonnier, Brabham and Gurney drove their cars across the line, while Ireland and Ginther pushed their cars. However, neither Brabham nor Gurney will be classified, having not completed at least fifty laps; their efforts are in vain. Moreover, the Australian driver is even disqualified.
With the peremptory victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, Stirling Moss moved up to the second place in the 1960 world championship classification, behind New Zealander McLaren. There was certainly no need for this umpteenth affirmation of the English ace to confirm the absolute superiority of a driver who has been waiting for years to be able to formally consecrate with the greatest motor racing title the clear class gap that divides him from all the other protagonists of this very difficult sport.
But Moss needed points for the world classification and a car that could support his impetus without betraying him. Perhaps, in Monaco, the Briton managed to find this in the slim, light, fast Lotus, the new English Formula 1 single-seater that with its ultra-modern features is now at the forefront of construction technology. The crowd sensed the drama of this imponderable, which had so far prevented Stirling Moss from winning the world championship, and everywhere followed his performances with sympathy and warmth.
In Monaco, where the public hugged the circuit as if overlooking the banks of a river, everybody cheered for Moss (perhaps also princes Ranieri and Grace, always very attentive to every episode of the race), cheering him on with enthusiastic applause, and when the driver stopped at the pits for a quick repair, a murmur of disappointment went through the stands. It seemed impossible that the strongest driver should still have to bow to bad luck. When the Briton restarted in pursuit of Bonnier, and in half a dozen laps caught up with him, Moss seemed to be transported in a fantastic flight by the enthusiasm of the people. Together with the great runner from across the Channel, other protagonists in this very interesting Monaco Grand Prix deserve a mention.
First of all, the likeable Swede Joakim Bonnier, whose characteristic black goatee gave a really impromptu appearance in the rather gigantic environment of motor racing. Bonnier gave Moss a lot of trouble, at the beginning by boldly leading the race, then doing his utmost not to lose the distance from his great rival. Luck ended by betraying him, but there was a precise feeling that the Swede was among the strongest drivers of the moment. And Brabham, unfortunately betrayed by his audacity on the slippery asphalt, Bruce McLaren, with his easy and authoritative style (the New Zealander is today the leader of the world classification, with six points' lead over Moss); the generous Phil Hill, number one of Ferrari drivers; the returning Tony Brooks, very brilliant until a spin advised him to be more prudent.
For Ferrari, beaten at Monaco and in search of a technical direction that would allow it to return to fight on equal terms with the English constructors, the season looked far from easy. But the new model with the rear engine is promising, and in any case on fast circuits such as Reims or Monza, even the current single-seaters, which have plenty of power, will be able to make themselves respected. The Monaco Grand Prix was just an episode: there will be no lack of revenge before the world championship comes to an end.