Italian GP 1956

Italian GP, 1956

The Lancia-Ferrari and Maserati teams were back in action again at Monza with Vanwall rejoining the fray having missed the German GP. There was no sign of BRM. The Lancia-Ferrari team entered Juan-Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins, Luigi Musso, Eugenio Castellotti, the Marquis de Portago and Wolfgang Von Trips (although he crashed heavily when a steering arm broke and so he did not start).

Maserati has the usual gaggle of cars led by factory drivers Stirling Moss and Jean Behra while Vanwall ran local hero Piero Taruffi alongside Maurice Trintignant and Harry Schell. Connaught sent three cars but they were not very competitive with Jack Fairman being the fastest but qualifying only 15th on the grid.

At the start Musso and Castellotti got ahead and spent the early laps dueling frantically, destroying their tires in the process. This meant that both had to stop early for new rubber. Fangio, Moss, Collins and Schell had formed the second slipstreaming group and so this became the battle for the lead. Collins eventually pitted for tires and dropped back. De Portago suffered a tire failure on the banking and was lucky not to have a big accident. He did hit the wall but was able to drive the car to the pits to retire with a damaged suspension. Castellotti also suffered a tire failure and crashed heavily but without hurting himself.

Shortly before half distance Fangio pitted with a broken steering arm. Castellotti was put in the repaired car and Fangio's hopes of winning the World Championship began to fade. Moss was at the front and beginning to pull away from Schell. Behra has retired from third place and so that had fallen to Musso. The Italian moved to second when Schell stopped to refuel but it was expected that when Musso stopped he would hand over the car to Fangio. The pit stop came and went but Musso stayed in the car and when Schell retired he was back in second position.

Collins was in a position to win the World Championship but when he came in for a tire check with 15 laps to go he made the remarkable decision to hand over his car to Fangio, thus giving Fangio the chance to win another World title. It was a great sporting gesture.

The race seemed to have settled down but with five laps to go Moss ran out of fuel. As he was coasting to a stop, his Maserati team mate Luigi Piotti slowed down and used his car to push Moss's 250F to the pits. Moss had lost the lead to Musso, but with three laps to go the Lancia-Ferrari driver suffered a broken steering arm as the car came off the final banking and he came to an unseemly stop opposite the pits. Moss was ahead again and he won the race by six seconds. But with Fangio in second place the World Championship went to the Argentine driver for the third consecutive year.

36 Stirling Moss Maserati 250F 50 2h23m41.300s  
2= 26 Peter Collins Lancia Ferrari D50   
2= 26 Juan-Manuel Fangio Lancia Ferrari D50 50 2h23m47.000s   
Ron Flockhart Connaught-Alta B 49  23 
38 Francisco Godia-Sales Maserati 250F 49  17 
28 Luigi Musso Lancia Ferrari D50 46 Steering 
Jack Fairman Connaught-Alta B 47  15 
40 Luigi Piotti Maserati 250F 47  14 
14 Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 250F 46  18 
8= 22 Juan-Manuel Fangio Lancia Ferrari D50   
8= 22 Eugenio Castellotti Lancia Ferrari D50 46   
12 Andre Simon Gordini T16 45  24 
r= 46 Umberto Maglioli Maserati 250F   12 
r= 46 Jean Behra Maserati 250F 42 Steering  
10 42 Gerino Gerini Maserati 250F 42  16 
11 44 Roy Salvadori Maserati 250F 41  13 
18 Harry Schell Vanwall VW (56) 32 Transmission 10 
32 Jean Behra Maserati 250F 23 Magneto 
48 Bruce Halford Maserati 250F 16 Engine 21 
20 Maurice Trintignant Vanwall VW (56) 13 Suspension 11 
16 Piero Taruffi Vanwall VW (56) 12 Suspension 
24 Eugenio Castellotti Lancia Ferrari D50 Puncture 
10 Robert Manzon Gordini T32 Gearbox 22 
r= 34 Luigi Villoresi Maserati 250F   
r= 34 Jo Bonnier Maserati 250F Engine  
30 Alfonso de Portago Lancia Ferrari D50 Puncture 
Les Leston Connaught-Alta B Mechanical 19 
Hernando da Silva Ramos Gordini T32 Engine 20 
ns Archie Scott-Brown Connaught-Alta B  Refused Race Entry 25 
ns 50 Wolfgang von Trips Lancia Ferrari D50  Accident 26