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Greatest Moments of Grand Prix

Greatest Moments of Grand Prix

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Greatest Moments of Grand Prix

129 pages
1 hour
Nov 7, 2014


Little Book of the Greatest Moments of Grand Prix written by motorsport writer and journalist Jon Stroud, is a collection of articles featuring some of the most iconic moments in motor racing history. Illustrated with fantastic photographs, the author looks back at historic moments including Stirling Moss's titanic 1961 battle with the Ferraris at Monaco through to the 2007 phenomenon that is Lewis Hamilton; the youngest ever driver to lead the World Drivers' Championship. From Silverstone to Suzuka, Melbourne to Monza, this book will bring back memories of some of the most exciting Grands Prix that have taken place over the last 50 years.
Nov 7, 2014

Tentang penulis

Ian Welch was born and educated in New Zealand. After briefly studying accountancy and commercial law he turned his attention to agriculture.He started an agricultural contracting business and progressed to owning several livestock farms. His business interests moved on to city based businesses. He has travelled extensively before opting for a quieter lifestyle in the idylic Bay of Islands. Writing has never been on his must do list, it happened more by accident. His first foray into writing came as a contributor to a local publication. Now with time on his hands he sat down to explore this passion. Target -Prendergast Uncovered is his second novel.Writing has suddenly transformed from a hobby into an obsession.

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Greatest Moments of Grand Prix - Ian Welch




Known locally as die Grüne Hölle – the Green Hell – the Nürburgring is a circuit like no other. Completed in the spring of 1927 its Nordschleife (Northern Loop) twists and turns around 100 bends for a treacherous 14 miles through Germany’s Eifel mountains and has widely been regarded as the most testing motor racing circuit in the world.

The 1957 German Grand Prix was set to be an exciting affair. At 46 years old, Juan-Manuel Fangio had dominated the season by winning three of the previous four races and was set to take his fifth World Championship. Only an unfortunate engine failure at the British Grand Prix which had allowed the Vanwall of Stirling Moss to take victory had prevented him from maintaining a perfect record. Demonstrating the supremacy for which he had become known, qualification was a mere formality with his 9:25.6 placing his Alfa Romeo 250F almost three seconds clear of the second-placed Ferrari of Mike Hawthorn. Two seconds further in arrears was the Maserati of Frenchman Jean Behra whilst Peter Collins’ Ferrari languished yet further behind in fourth having qualified over nine seconds down of the Argentinean ace.

For all the skill of their drivers, the premier teams knew that their race strategy would be critical for success. As race day dawned and a blazing sun filled the cloudless sky it was clear that tyre wear would be the deciding factor. After assessing the situation the Maserati team decided that they would bring their cars in at half distance for fresh rubber thus allowing them to start the race with a half load of fuel, saving precious weight on the rolling mountain circuit. Ferrari, on the other hand, elected to run their race non-stop; this would mean that their tyres would have to be conserved but time would not be wasted in the pit lane. After all, a few seconds lost in a Grand Prix can present an insurmountable challenge to even the best driver.

As the starter dropped his flag it was the Ferrari team who were first to take the advantage – Mike Hawthorn powering into the lead as the cars set off on their first circuit followed closely by his team mate Peter Collins. It was not long, however, before Fangio, taking full advantage of his Maserati’s reduced weight, made his move. Breezing past on the third lap he was then able to push steadily on until the need for fuel and fresh tyres forced him into the pits at the end of his 12th lap.

As he sped into the pit lane it seemed as if the Maserati tactics were going to pay dividends. He already had a 28-second lead and could feasibly join the fray level with his Maranello rivals but with the advantage of fresh tyres. But the best laid plans can come to nought in the wink of an eye. Whether influenced by the occasion or affected by the searing heat, the Maserati team’s pit stop was appalling. Fangio could do nothing but wait as his mechanics fumbled with wheels and fuel lines and desperately tried to reattach the maestro’s seat which had broken away as the car was jostled over the harsh mountain roads.

With his foot hard to the floor Fangio screamed his way out of the pits and back onto the circuit but all his good work of the first 170 miles had been undone. In the first half of the race with the advantage of a lighter fuel load he had managed to pull 28 seconds clear but now, although running with fresh tyres, the fuel loads would be about equal and what was more he was now 80 seconds adrift. The pit stop had taken almost two minutes!

Timing the cars as they passed it seemed as if Ferrari’s tactics had won the day. Not only was Fangio well behind but he was failing to make any impression on the progress of Hawthorn and Collins. Keen to let their drivers know that the pressure was off a message was displayed from the pits as the cars sped around for their 14th circuit. But the race was far from over; Fangio’s lacklustre lap times following his pit stop were far from a signal of defeat. Always the master tactician, he was carefully allowing his tyres to warm up and bed in without subjecting them to excessive wear. The race was on!

As Fangio flew past the finish line to commence his 15th circuit panic erupted in the Ferrari pit. The Argentinean had broken the lap record! To make matters worse there was no way of informing the relaxed Hawthorn and Collins until they had completed their 14-mile lap. Even when they knew what was happening behind them there was nothing that the Ferraris could do to counter Fangio’s assault. In what has been described as the most outstanding display of driving ever witnessed, each lap was completed in a new record time culminating in a staggering 9:17.4, eight seconds quicker than his pole qualifying time, as Collins and Hawthorn came into sight on the 20th tour. There was no stopping the Champion-in-waiting as he flew past both drivers over the Eifel Mountains and powered on to take his 24th final, and undoubtedly greatest, win of his career.



The lacklustre start of the 1958 world championship gave little indication of the drama, controversy and excitement that were to be in store as the year progressed. Nor did it hint at the down-to-the-wire finale or unparalleled sportsmanship that would hand one man the world title and rob the other of his best ever chance of taking motor racing’s crown.

The opening round of the competition in Buenos Aires saw little support from many of the major teams. Ferrari sent three of their new Dino 246s for works drivers Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins and Luigi Musso but Maserati, although well represented with six cars on the grid, were not themselves present having decided at the end of the previous year to withdraw from racing due to financial difficulties. The only other car present was the Cooper-Climax T43 of Stirling Moss who, with his new Vanwall unready for competition, had been temporarily released from his contract to enable him to take to the start line.

This was to prove a stroke of luck for the Briton and the Cooper team. Electing to drive the full distance without pitting for tyres or fuel, Moss stormed home to victory ahead of Musso and Hawthorn, and in doing so scored the first ever victory for the Cooper Car Company and the first for a post-war rear-engined car.

As the championship moved to Monaco the previously dominant Ferraris were once more denied victory as, for a second time, victory went to a Cooper-Climax; this time in the hands of Frenchman Maurice Trintignant. Unfortunately for Moss he had been forced to retire whilst leading when, after 38 laps, the engine of his new Vanwall failed. Hawthorn immediately took over the running in the Ferrari but he too suffered mechanical difficulties with a broken fuel pump and was back in his garage just 10 laps later.

Things went considerably better for Moss at the third round held at Zandvoort in the Netherlands. Although out-qualified by his Vanwall team mate, Stuart Lewis-Evans, Moss led from the first corner to the finish line to take an unquestionable victory in complete style. With the BRMs of Harry Schell and Jean Behra taking second and third and a Cooper-Climax driven by Roy Salvadori securing fourth, it was another dry weekend for Ferrari; their best placed machine being that of Hawthorn back in fifth.

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