A rear-end revolution
For a change, the weather was cool for the Argentine race on January 19. All 10 competitors came to the line, but only nine got away as Peter Collins’ Ferrari broke a driveshaft as he let the clutch in.
Although Mike Hawthorn led at the start, the Ferrari was not happy, for it had too much understeer for the comparatively slow Buenos Aires Autodrome circuit, with its sharp corners, and it was not long before Fangio took his Maserati into the lead and Jean Behra harried Hawthorn.
After a sluggish start in the little Cooper, Stirling Moss began to drive really hard and caught Behra and Hawthorn, while Musso in the other Ferrari was only just managing to keep up. After only 30 of the 80 laps had been run Hawthorn’s car was losing its oil pressure, so he stopped to see if the level was low. It was not, so he carried on and hoped the engine would not blow up. After a record lap, on 130-octane be it noted, Fangio lost a tyre tread and stopped fora new pair of rear wheels, and this dropped him from the lead with a 19sec advantage over Moss, who was in second place, to fourth. Stirling was now leading and by half-distance was 53sec ahead of Fangio.
With his fingers crossed and not looking at the oil pressure gauge, Hawthorn began to make up for his time lost at the pits, but though he caught and passed Behra and Fangio, he could not quite catch Musso. Even though Moss’s little Cooper, with canvas showing on both rear wheels, was in the sights of the Ferrari, Musso seemed content with a certain second rather than having a go for first, so Moss ran out the winner of the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix. — DSJ