Morocco GP 1958

Morocco GP, 1958

The recently-independent state of Morocco wanted to establish its own international identity and applied for a World Championship race on the Ain Diab circuit, a very fast road circuit near Casablanca.

Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn went to Morocco for the final round of the World Championship with Moss needing to win and set the fastest lap with Hawthorn finishing third if he was going to win the title. There was a strong field of 25 cars but as expected Hawthorn and Moss were at the front with the Ferrari driver a tenth faster after practice. Stuart Lewis-Evans was third quickest in his Vanwall while the second row featured Jean Behra's BRM and Phil Hill in the second Ferrari. Olivier Gendebien (Ferrari), Tony Brooks (Vanwall) and Jo Bonnier (BRM) made up the third row.

The newly-crowned King Mohammad V was present for the race and watched Moss take the lead at the start. Phil Hill made a great start from the second row (as he had done in the previous race at Monza) and was second. he challenged for the lead on several occasions but on the third lap he went off up an escape road and dropped behind Hawthorn and Bonnier. Hill quickly caught the Swedish driver and Hawthorn waved him through to go after Moss. Brooks, keen to help Moss by overtaking Hawthorn overtook Bonnier and caught and then passed Hawthorn. The World Championship was in play although Moss then ran into the back of Wolfgang Seidel and dented his car. Moss set a new lap record - which would gain an extra point - while Hawthorn speeded up and battled with Brooks for 11 laps before the Vanwall blew up. Hill was told to slow down to allow Hawthorn into second place. Lewis-Evans, in the third Vanwall, tried to close up but on lap 42 his engine blew up and as the car ran off the circuit the oil spraying from the engine caught fire. Lewis-Evans jumped out, his overalls alight, and the flames were extinguished. Despite this he had suffered terrible burns. He was flown back to Britain in a chartered jet and admitted to a specialist burns unit in East Grinstead but he died six days later.

Moss's victory was not enough to win him the World title but England celebrated Mike Hawthorn becoming its first World Champion. He announced his retirement a few days later - at the early age of 29. Three months later he was killed in a road accident in his Jaguar road car while racing the Mercedes of Rob Walker on the Guildford bypass.

Stirling Moss Vanwall VW (57) 53 2h09m15.100s  
Mike Hawthorn Ferrari D246 53 2h10m39.800s  
Phil Hill Ferrari D246 53 2h10m40.600s  
18 Jo Bonnier BRM P25 53 2h11m01.800s  
16 Harry Schell BRM P25 53 2h11m48.800s  10 
22 Masten Gregory Maserati 250F 52  13 
30 Roy Salvadori Cooper-Climax T45 51  14 
32 Jack Fairman Cooper-Climax T45 50  11 
24 Hans Herrmann Maserati 250F 50  18 
10 34 Cliff Allison Lotus-Climax 12 49  16 
11 50 Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax T45 49 *f2 19 
12 28 Gerino Gerini Maserati 250F 48  17 
13 52 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax T45 48 *f2 21 
14 58 Robert La Caze Cooper-Climax T45 48 *f2 23 
15 60 Andre Guelfi Cooper-Climax T45 48 *f2 25 
16 36 Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 16 45  12 
12 Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall VW (57) 41 Engine/ Fatal Accident 
54 Francois Picard Cooper-Climax T43 31 *f2, Accident 24 
56 Tommy Bridger Cooper-Climax T45 30 *f2, Accident 22 
10 Tony Brooks Vanwall VW (57) 29 Engine 
Olivier Gendebien Ferrari D246 29 Accident 
14 Jean Behra BRM P25 26 Engine 
26 Wolfgang Seidel Maserati 250F 15 Accident 20 
20 Ron Flockhart BRM P25 15 Engine 15 
38 Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax T45 Engine