XXVIII Gran Premio d'Italia
A TRULY WONDERFUL VANWALL VICTORY
Monza September 8th.
Realising the impossibility, from a technical angle, of running a race on the combined road and track at Monza, the past lessons having been absorbed, the Automobile Club of Italy decided to hold this year's Grand Prix of Italy on the road circuit only. The last time this was done was in 1954, before the banked track was built, and then the circuit was slightly longer than it is at present, so that this year's speeds represented an entirely new set of records.
Every year before Monza the two Italian teams have a try-out during the week before the race and prior to official practice beginning, and this year the 12-cylinder Maserati was the great hope, Behra and Fangio having been lapping in 1 min. 44 sec., unofficially. When the official practice began at 3 p.m. on the Friday afternoon, Maserati, Ferrari, Vanwall and all the private owners except the Centro-Sud pair were ready to go, and it was Schell who started things. He began lapping around 1 min. 48 sec. in one of the lightweight chassis six-cylinder cars, and then Brooks went out in one of the Vanwalls and very soon stirred things up by making a lap in 1 min. 45.6 sec., shortly afterwards improving this to 1 min. 44.9 sec. The Scuderia Ferrari had their Lancia/Ferraris out and von Trips was having his first Grand Prix drive since his Nurburgring sports-car accident. As he was pushed off, fuel which had run down into the exhaust pipes ignited, and he was being wheeled along with sheets of flame belching out of the megaphones and looking highly dangerous until the engine fired and blew the flames out. After a lap or two he came in and Hawthorn took the car, lapping in 1 min. 47.1 sec. Then Fangio joined in the fun, driving a lightweight-chassis six-cylinder Maserati, and he started off with 1 min. 43.7 sec.; he then did 1 min. 43.5 sec., improving on the time of Brooks, so he came in to sit and watch the result. This little effort had caused the Maserati engine to be pushed round to 7,800 r.p.m. but it did not seem to mind. Collins was circulating steadily but going very little faster than Hawthorn, and when Musso went out and tried all he knew and recorded only 1 min. 45.7 sec., it was pretty obvious that the Lancia/Ferraris were lacking steam, and going past the pits they were visibly slower than the Vanwalls. Moss was out in another Vanwall and got down to 1 min. 44.4 sec., while Lewis-Evans was running pretty steadily at around 1 min. 46 sec. They both came into the pits and Moss took over the junior member's car and in a very short time recorded 1 min. 44.2 sec., and then 1 min. 43.9 sec., while Behra was doing 1 min. 45 sec. in the third of the lightweight six-cylinder Maseratis. Scarlatti was the fourth team member of the Trident firm, and he was driving the old "Spa" ducted-radiator car, while Piotti, Gould and Godia had their own cars, the last-named, however, having been entered as a fifth factory car. Halford had made arrangements to borrow a Maserati for this race, keeping his own car in readiness for taking to Silverstone. The car he borrowed was the 1956 model owned by Du Puy, which had not been used since its return from New Zealand, where the late Ken Wharton should have driven it. It had now been rebuilt and painted red, with a green flash down the centre of the bonnet, so that it looked the twin of Halford's own car.
The track temperature was very high and for a time there was a slight lull in proceedings, everyone waiting for the cool of the evening to begin. The position stood at this point: Fangio fastest with 1 min. 43.5 sec., then Moss with 1 min. 43.9 sec., and third Brooks with 1 min. 44.9 sec., and there was every indication that a really "hairy" split-second dice was going to start, for fastest time of the day.
Behra went out in the vee-12-cylinder Maserati, but was not outstandingly fast, and then the Vanwall team began to shuffle around with the numbers on the cars, wiping them off one car and painting them on another, having four cars for the three drivers to choose from. Brooks went out and started with 1 min. 43.7 sec., and then really stirred things up with a lap in 1 min. 43.3 sec., the best so far and the first to record a speed of over 200 k.p.h. for the lap. Von Trips was proving to be the fastest of the Ferrari team. with a time of 1 min. 45.6 sec., and he then handed the car over to Gendebien, but the Belgian could not approach this sort of lap time, being fairly consistently around 1 min. 50 sec. Moss then went out in the car Brooks had been driving but could not make any improvement to the lap time. Schell went out again in a six-cylinder Maserati and the 12-cylinder car was put away, still not being quite right. Moss then went out in his original car, having tried all the others, including the spare, and this time he set a new f.t.d. with a lap in 1 min. 43.2 sec., a speed of 200.501 k.p.h. Behra was trying really hard with a six-cylinder car and eventually did a rousing 1 min. 44.3 sec., but the Vanwalls were obviously the fastest cars and their drivers were really and truly setting the pace for this first practice period.
It was now 5.15 p.m., with another 45 minutes of practice left, and at this point three of the Vanwalls were taken away to the paddock, everything being well under control, but Moss stayed behind with his fast one, in case anyone had ideas about improving on his best time of 1 min. 43.2 sec. Conditions were now excellent, the sun was going down and the air was quite cool, and Collins was the first to go out again, but his times were still no menace to the Vanwalls, but then Fangio went off again and Moss sat up and took notice. Starting at 1 min, 45 sec., Fangio gradually went faster and faster, until he did 1 min. 43.4 sec., and then his last lap equalled Moss' time of 1 min. 43.2 sec., so the battle was now really on. Out went Moss in the Vanwall and started with a lap in 1 min. 43.5 sec., so that Fangio realised the boy meant business, and, sure enough, the lap times dropped rapidly, Moss' ultimate lap being 1 min. 42.7 sec., a speed of 201.557 k.p.h. This was really serious motoring, and it seemed unlikely that Maserati could do anything about it, but they sat waiting at the top end of the pits while Collins went out once more, but he could not even improve on von Trips' time, let alone approach the Maserati or Vanwall times. Just as the timekeepers announced six minutes to the end of practice, Fangio went off again in his six-cylinder Maserati, so it was now or never. With a completely clear track he pulled out all the stops, taking the corners on the absolute limit, sliding to the very edge of the road, but the Maserati just had not got the power to cope with the British car, and even though Fangio stretched it to 7,900 r.p.m., his best lap of the three he did before the circuit was closed was 1 min. 43.1 sec., so to Moss and Vanwall went the honours for the day, and it was very obvious to everyone that the Vanwall team had not only set the pace throughout practice. but had come out on top -- and without the slightest trouble.
On Saturday there was another practice period, again from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., and the Maserati team were as before, whereas the Ferrari team had had a shuffle. The long-chassis car which should have been for Hawthorn was now given to von Trips, while the engine was swapped for that in Collins' car, only Musso keeping his car unchanged. On the long-chassis car an aluminium tray had been fitted around the carburetters and a long intake running to the front of the nose, rather reminiscent of a Cooper-Bristol, had been added. The only change in the Vanwall team was that Lewis-Evans had the car that had been spare the day before. The day was even hotter than before, and for quite a time there was not much enthusiasm to go motoring, though Hawthorn took the modified long-chassis car round for a few laps, running on von Trips' numbers. Lewis-Evans went out to do some steady lappery, having had only a few spasmodic laps the day before, and the two Centro-Sud cars now joined in, driven by Gregory and Bonnier. The 12-cylinder Maserati was now much happier and, after a few laps with a six-cylinder, Behra took it out and, winding it up to a full 10,000 r.p.m., he got his time down to 1 min. 43.9 sec. This made Brooks go out and try, and he got the Vanwall round in 1 min. 43.2 sec., so yet another session of Monza one-lap speed trials began. While the Vanwalls were standing at the pits the heat of the sun was so great that it was causing vapourising in the Bosch pump, so wet rags were hung over the pumps to cool them. Fangio then arrived, and went straight out in his six-cylinder Maserati, equalling Brooks' time, but almost immediately the British driver retaliated with a really shattering 1 min. 42.9 sec., while the day was still very hot. Moss did a few laps but showed no improvement over this time and came back to the pits, and then Behra went out again in the 12-cylinder Maserati. Now, thanks to the Vanwall team, a good time was going to have to be less than 1 min. 43 sec., anything more was relatively unimpressive; yet none of the Lancia/Ferraris could approach this target, though Collins did manage 1 min. 45.5 sec., thus making the best time for the Rampant Horse team. Behra could only just break 1 min. 44 sec. with the 12-cylinder car, and then Lewis-Evans was off again, this time in the spare Vanwall. Behra brought the 12-cylinder car in and handed it over to Fangio, and went out again himself on his six-cylinder model. With very little warning, and certainly no fuss, Lewis-Evans suddenly recorded 1 min. 42.5 sec. and, to show it was no fluke, he followed it with 1 min. 42.4 sec., and this really set everyone buzzing, for practice was now rapidly drawing to a close. As the Vanwall mechanic flagged Lewis-Evans in, after his last electrifying lap, the engine cut and he coasted out of sight, to come to rest round beyond the Lesmo turns. Meanwhile Fangio had been thrashing the 12-cylinder Maserati round and, getting more and more used to it, he got down to 1 min. 43.8 sec. Just to see that everything was all right with his own car Moss did a leisurely 1 min. 43.4 sec., and at that the day finished, with the Vanwall mechanics setting off to tow in the broken car of Lewis-Evans. In spite of all the battling that had been going on, this was the first casualty among the works boys; it subsequently turned out to be a broken magneto rotor shaft, so it was not too serious, All these closely-fought time trials among the Factory teams rather overshadowed the efforts of the private owners, but Gregory had done an excellent 1 min. 48.9 sec. and Bonnier 1 min. 49.17 sec., these two being the only ones to break 1 min. 50 sec. among the non-works cars, Halford had been having fuel -feed trouble with his borrowed car, the cockpit tanks being gummed up through a long period of standing, and Simon was having similar trouble with the Maserati of Volonterio, which he was driving. Gould was getting thin on tyres, one front one loosening all its tread, but not actually coming off, and Piotti managed not to be last, leaving this position to the Bristolian.
The two days a practice had been truly memorable, with the Vanwall team in complete command of the meeting, and the final summing up of the times gave the order Lewis-Evans, Moss, Brooks, Fangio, Behra, Schell, Collins, von Trips, Musso and Hawthorn. There was no arguing the fact that the Vanwall team were easily the fastest, while the Lancia/Ferraris were right out of the picture.
Race day, on Sunday, saw the start arranged for 3 p.m., consistent with the practice days, and a thing many other organisers might well copy, for it allowed an appreciation of race conditions to be assessed very accurately during practice. It was a truly wonderful sight to see the three green Vanwalls on the front row, with only the six-cylinder Maserati of Fangio keeping them company. For many years now we have had to watch starts with one or two green cars scattered about amongst the rows of the grid, but here was a complete triumph: the first three cars on the grid were green and behind them came row upon row of red cars. If all three Vanwalls had blown sky high at the fall of the flag no one could have complained, for they had proved themselves in practice. As it was, when the flag fell it was Moss who leapt away into the lead, with Lewis-Evans and Brooks right on his tail, while Musso made a shattering start from the third row, where he had been in company with von Trips, Hawthorn and Gregory, and was right behind the Vanwalls as they roared away towards the Curve Grande.
The start had been one of those lovely Grand Prix affairs where everyone inched forward before the flag fell, but, even so, Behra, Schell and Collins in the second row did not get among the leaders. In the fourth row had been Scarlatti, Bonnier and Halford, followed by Godia, Simon, Piotti and Gould. Down the back straight it was Moss leading, with the screaming pack hard on his heels, and as they ended the hair-raising opening lap the order of the leaders was Moss, Behra, Lewis-Evans, Brooks, Musso, Fangio, practically nose to tail. The next lap saw Behra a little closer to Moss, Evans and Brooks side by side, Fangio right behind them, and Musso hanging on gamely, followed by Schell, Hawthorn and Bonnier, the Swedish driver having a real go and leaving all the other independents way behind. The practice had shown that the issue lay between Vanwall and Maserati and now the race was living up to the practice, with Behra out to show the British that the 12-cylinder Maserati could really go, for he had taken the new car, whereas Fangio had settled for a six-cylinder. On the fourth lap Behra sailed past Moss going down the back straight, and now the battle was really on, for the end of lap four saw the order Behra, Moss, Brooks. Lewis-Evans, Fangio, running in line-ahead formation, with only a foot or two between each car, having come out of the south turn in a very close bunch across the road. These five had already left the rest behind, but following came Schell, Collins, Musso, Hawthorn and Bonnier in another such fiendish dice. Down the back straight again they went, and Moss went back into the lead, so that lap five read: Moss, Behra, Brooks, Fangio, Lewis-Evans, as quick as that, and the leader was lapping at 1 min. 47.5 sec., on new tyres and full tanks. There was clearly no quarter being given, and certainly no holds being barred, the Vanwalls driving as a team and making the two Maserati drivers use whatever road was left over; gentlemanly "after you" stuff was not the order of the day! Every kilometre of the race was being hotly contested, the cars running two and three abreast through the corners, all text-book driving having been thrown to the winds long ago.
On lap seven Fangio whammed by into the lead, followed by Moss, Brooks, Lewis-Evans and Behra, but leadership in this battle of the giants was only theoretical, for no stop-watch could measure the gaps between this leading group of five. Behind them Schell was sweating visibly to keep off the attacks of Collins, while Musso was not far behind, though Hawthorn had been passed by Bonnier, the Englishman not being too happy with the handling of his Lancia/Ferrari. The rest of the field were trailing along in the rear, but, bearing in mind that they were lapping at nearly 120 m.p.h., it will appreciated that they were doing some pretty skilled trailing. Von Trips and Gregory were having a wheel-to-wheel battle and, farther back, Godia was leading Halford on the straights but losing ground on the corners. Just when it looked as though Fangio had got command, Moss took the lead, and then Brooks went by the lot, while four laps later Lewis-Evans sailed by into the lead and Moss look a back seat. There was nothing at all to choose between these five drivers and cars, and they finished each lap in a solid bunch, none of them ever looking like being able to keep the lead for long; it was real Grand Prix racing with a vengeance, and the most wonderful thing of all was that three of the five were British cars driven by British drivers, something that has never before been seen in Grand Prix racing.
The pace was so hot that somebody had to give in, and on lap 20 it was Brooks who succumbed, for his throttle stuck open and he had to stop at the pits to have it freed, losing a whole lap to the leaders and rejoining the race just as the four leaders went by again. Bonnier had already been at the pits, his Centro-Sud Maserati showing signs of getting hot, which was not surprising in view of the speed he was going, while Hawthorn was now back in his stride and having a go at Musso, though they had dropped quite a way behind Collins. Bonnier's pit stop had put him at the back of the field, behind Gould, Simon, Halford, Godia and Gregory, reading from the back, and at this point came the leaders, now rapidly closing on Scarlatti and von Trips, who were still dicing together. On lap 22 the order was Moss, Lewis-Evans, Fangio and Behra, but they were so close that it might easily have been the other way round; however, on the next lap Lewis-Evans signalled distress to his pit and came in at the end of the lap.
Now the bitter fight was breaking up fast, for Evans had cracked the head on the Vanwall, a core-plug weld having given way, and though it was peened over as a temporary repair he was last when he rejoined the race four laps later. Fangio and Behra were now getting very much out of breath and decided to call off the wheel-to-wheel battle, letting Moss get ahead and hoping that he too would have trouble like his team-mates, and by lap 26 things had settled down to some semblance of order, Moss being 5 sec. ahead of Fangio, who was lending Behra. Then came a long gap before Schell appeared, still ahead of Collins, and after another gap came Hawthorn and Musso, just about to be lapped by Moss. Brooks came next, leading Scarlatti and von Trips, who in turn was followed by Gregory all on his own, and then Godia and Halford still battling happily; another long gap ensued before Simon appeared, leading Bonnier, Gould and Lewis-Evans. On lap 28 the big dice really finished, for Behra stopped for rear tyres and fuel, the 12-cylinder Maserati having proved very extravagant, and it was a fine sight to see the Frenchman get away again using very high revs. and spinning the wheels madly in order to keep the multi-cylinder engine up on the power curve. This stop dropped him down to fifth place, behind Collins, and a whole lap behind Moss, while on lap 30 Moss lapped Collins, leaving only Fangio and Schell on the same lap as himself.
At this point Brooks reappeared at the pits to complain that oil was appearing in the cockpit, and as he stopped it was noticed that a large piece of tread had come off one of the rear tyres. The oil leak was traced to a bung having come out of the gearbox. Luckily it was still lying in the undertray, and after some rather brusque words from Mr. Vandervell it was screwed back in place and the gearbox refilled. By the time the rear wheels had been changed five laps had passed and then the heat of the day had vapourised the fuel in the injection pump, so that when Brooks was ready to go again the car would not start. After much pushing it was dragged back to the pits, the vapour lock got rid of, and then he was able to rejoin the race, but now last behind Lewis-Evans. After these petty bothers all eyes were on Moss, who was now 10 sec. ahead of Fangio and gaining ground rapidly, and it was hoped that his car would not give trouble. Bonnier came in once more with too much temperature and, rather than risk blowing-up, the car was withdrawn, while Schell came in with an oil leak, and as a precaution the rear tyres were changed at the same time. This left only Moss and Fangio on the same lap, followed a long way back by Collins, Behra, Hawthorn, Musso, Scarlatti and von Trips, these last two still having a race together, and in consequence they were gaining on the people in front. Although occasionally broken up by other cars lapping them, Godia and Halford continued their race, Halford gaining on the corners and Godia gaining on the straights. Then Scarlatti and von Trips went by Musso, and the Roman stopped at the pits to complain of an obscure vibration, but nothing could be found amiss so he was sent off again.
By lap 40 Moss was leading Fangio by 17.5 sec., and it was obvious that the World Champion was playing a waiting game, hoping for the Vanwall to break up, it being quite impossible for the Maserati to cope with the superior speed, even though he had revved the six-cylinder engine to 8,400 r,p.m., a mere 800 r.p.m. over the limit. On lap 41 Fangio made a quick pit-stop for rear tyres, the race speed being more than Pirelli could guarantee to cope with, and this let Moss get nearly a whole lap ahead. Way down at the back of the field Simon stopped to refuel and Volonterio took over, only to be black-flagged as the officials did not realise he had done the necessary practice laps. After a brief discussion he was allowed to continue. The 12-cylinder Maserati had run its race, for on lap 35 Behra had stopped to take on water -- it was obviously running very hot -- and though he restarted at the end of the field the car was not showing its earlier form, and on lap 45 he came in for more water. This was just over half-distance, the total laps being 87 to make a full 500 kilometres, and the situation was Moss in the lead, nearly a lap ahead of Fangio, then Collins, Hawthorn, von Trips, Scarlatti, Gregory, Musso, Halford and Godia, with Behra, Brooks and Lewis-Evans still trying to make up time for their pit stops. The oil leak on Schell's car had proved unrepairable, so Scarlatti was called in and the American took the car over, the rear tyres being changed at the same time. Lewis-Evans was in the pits once more, still suffering from the water leak in the head, and though he restarted it was only for a few laps, the car finally succumbing on lap 48. Halford had eventually got the lead fromt Godia, for the Spaniard thought it was time he led on the south curve but came unstuck and spun, though he managed to keep going. However, Halford's lead was short-lived for a valve-spring cap then split and he had to retire. The overheating 12-cylinder Maserati finally protested strongly and Behra coasted straight into the paddock with the engine dead and a trail of oil coming out from underneath, and it retired officially with "boiling water trouble." Brooks was now running in close company with Moss, even though he was only in 10th position, and his car was going perfectly, as was the leader's.
At 55 laps there seemed little hope of anyone doing any overtaking, and a lull settled on the race, it now being a question of waiting to see who was going to break down first. It turned out to be Collins, for he went by on lap 58 making a horrid noise, and two laps later came into the pits on six cylinders. After some fiddling he went off again, on seven cylinders, did a lap like that and then retired with a suspected broken valve. Now the order was Moss, Fangio, Hawthorn, von Trips, Gregory, Schell in Scarlatti's car, Musso, Brooks, Godia, and Gould and Volonterio bringing up the rear. At lap 68 Moss was given a signal which said "LOOK TYRES," which he did and carried on with no signs of distress, and he was now well over a whole lap ahead of Fangio, the Maserati driver having given up all hope of ever catching the flying Vanwall. Gregory at last found someone to dice with, for Hawthorn lapped him, and he then hung on closely, the Lancia/lFerrari and the blue-and-white Maserati running round in close company.
At the end of the 77th lap Moss came into the pits, the near-side rear tyre was changed and some oil added to the tank, and in the meantime Fangio went by, to be on the same lap as the Vanwall, but then Moss was off again, now about three-quarters of a lap in the lead. On the same lap Hawthorn arrived at the pits with misfiring engine and it was found that one of the fuel pipes to the carburetters had split. This was bodged up and he rejoined the race, but now down to fifth place, so that von Trips moved up into third position, followed by Gregory. It was now nearly all over, apart from the rejoicing, and while Moss sailed round serenely in the lead, Brooks was still driving hard, and just before the end caught Musso to take seventh place, and on lap 74 he had recorded the fastest lap of the race, in spite of having an inoperative clutch.
Amid much rejoicing by the many British people present and an air of bewilderment from the Italians, Moss crossed the line to win the third Grande Epreuve for Vanwall this year, and the first British win at Monza, having beaten the full force of Italy on its home ground in one of the straightest and most open fights we have seen for a long time. Fangio finished second, nearly three-quarters of a minute behind, but nevertheless World Champion for the fifth year, and von Trips arrived third, having driven a steady and unspectacular race, but now fully recovered from his crash injuries.
Gran Premio D'Italia -- Formula 1 -- 87 Laps -- 500.25 Kilometres -- Hot
1st: S. Moss (Vanwall) 2 hr. 35 min. 03.9 sec. 193.563 k.p.h.
2nd: J. M. Fangio (Maserati) 2 hr. 35 min. 45.1 sec.
3rd: W. von Trips (Lancia/Ferrari) 2 laps behind
4th: M. Gregory (Maserati) 3 laps behind
5th: G. Scarlatti/H. Schell (Maserati) 3 laps behind
6th: J. M. Hawthorn (Lancia/Ferrari) 4 laps behind
7th: C. A. S. Brooks (Vanwall) 5 laps behind
8th: L. Musso (Lancia/Ferrari) 5 laps behind
9th: F. Godia (Maserati) 6 laps behind
10th: H. Gould (Maserati) 9 laps behind
11th: A. Simon/ O. Volonterio (Maserati) 15 laps behind
Fastest lap: C. A. S. Brooks (Vanwall), on lap 74, in 1 min. 43.7 sec. -- 199.614 k.p.h.
Retired: L. Piotti (Maserati). lap threet; J. Bonnier (Maserati). lap 31, overheating; H. Schell (Maserati), lap 34, split oil pipe; B. Halford (Maserati), lap 47, broken valve cap; S. Lewis-Evans (Vanwall), lap 49, cracked head; J. Behra (Maserati), lap 50, overheating; P. Collins (Lancia/Ferrari), lap 62.
A nice gesture of enthusiasm at the finish was the appearance of an enormous Union Jack which covered the victorious Vanwall as it stopped at the pits. From whence it came nobody seemed to know.
A finer culmination to a season of progress one could not wish for. To beat the Italians at Monza is surely the greatest achievement ever made by a British racing car of any type.
It was a nice birthday present to Mr. Vandervell. The "guv'nor" was 57 on the day of the race. Now that Britain is well and truly on top of the Grand Prix tree, not once, but three times in one season. every right-thinking enthusiast should make sure his car is fitted with Vandervell bearings, if only to ensure a steady flow of money into the coffers which support the Vanwall team.
At last the 12-cylinder Maserati showed some sort of form, and Behra's efforts with it were commendable. It was certainly fast.
The Ferrari team were in a very unhappy state, being very much down on power, but rumour about using straight petrol now bears more weight than ever. If the Ferrari cars go well at the beginning of next season, relative to all the other cars, then we shall know the answer.
The Vanwall team still maintain they are not using anything very special in the way of fuel, even though their eyes are streaming from nitro-methane fumes as they tell you.
The Cooper-Bristol-inspired air intake on the Lancia/Ferrari in practice presumably worked, for Collins had one fitted to his car for the race. The tray round the carburetters was left off both his and Hawthorn's car for the race, however.
Tyres were a big problem, 17-in, rears being desirable to avoid tread throwing, but with Mr. Pirelli still out of the racing business stocks are running low.
Notes on the Cars at Monza
The Maserati team ran their three lightweight-chassis six-cylinder cars, the old hack car with the ducted radiator and the heavier 1956 chassis, and a new 12-cylinder car. This new car had a chassis with offset transmission, as used last year at Monza, the 12-cylinder engine running across from right to left, with the propeller-shaft running under the left front corner of the driving seat. Behind the clutch was a reduction-gear train, to lower the prop.-shaft line and also reduce the speed of the shaft, and a five-speed gearbox was used, as on the 1956 Monza cars. The front of the chassis frame had been modified and the steering box was no longer positioned in front of the engine on outriggers but was mounted on the right-hand side of the frame, just above the wishbone mounts, the steering-column running across the right-hand cylinder head. The intakes for the carburetters were surrounded by an aluminium tray, as experimented with at Rouen earlier this year, and sunken ducts on the bonnet top scooped in air. In the radiator intake was fitted a baffle to deflect air up to the top of the cooling element. The engine was still using 24 coils, with the special Magneto-Marelli distributor units driven from the inlet camshafts, while plugs were 14 mm. The exhaust system had reverted to the original long thin tail-pipes.
The Ferrari team consisted of four cars ostensibly the same, inasmuch as they all had Lancia-inspired wishbones and coil-springs at the front, de Dion rear, with transverse leaf-spring, and the narrow 1957 bodywork. However, one car had a wheelbase some 4 in. longer than the others, which could be seen by the gap between the bunch of megaphones and the rear wheel, while this car also had the old modified Lancia chassis frame, the other three having Ferrari-built chassis frames of different size tubing. Two of the normal cars were fitted with long air-intakes extending down to the front of the nose, while in practice one car was fitted with deflectors in front of the megaphones, presumably as an attempt to provide more exhaust extraction.
As has been commonplace, the Vanwall team consisted of four cars, all identical, and so much so that all components are easily interchangeable from chassis to chassis, this being part of the overall Vandervell plan. The only changes made, apart from gear ratios, were the use of varying tyre sizes during practice. but this was more of necessity than design, due to shortage of stocks of Pirellis.
The Centro-Sud Maseratis had both undergone complete overhauls since Pescara, the Gregory car now being blue with white stripes, while the Bonnier-driven one had a completely rebuilt engine and was now silver with a blue-and-yellow stripe down the centre. D.S.J.