Motorsport legend Sir Stirling Moss has marked the 60th anniversary of his first Monaco Grand Prix win by returning to Monaco for the 2016 Grand Prix de Monaco Historique with the Maserati 250F that took him to his maiden victory in 1956.
Back in 1956 Moss and his Maserati started the race back in the middle of the grid, pole position having been taken by Fangio in a Ferrari. But Fangio wasn’t having a good day, with Moss storming past the Ferrari on lap one at the Gasworks corner and Moss led the race in his Maserati for every lap of the 100 lap race. Two laps after Moss took the lead Fangio hit straw bales and on lap 32 he hit the harbour wall, bending a rear wheel.
When he came into have the wheel fixed, he turned the Ferrari over to team mate Castellotti as back then teams could swap cars mid-race, which meant that on lap 54 when Peter Collins brought his Ferrari in Fangio took over that car, which he used to pass the Maserati driven by Jean Behra on lap 70.
Meanwhile, Moss and his Maserati kept their grip on the lead position. His only problem came on lap 86 when, while lapping Perdisa’s Maserati there was brief contact that lifted the bonnet on the 250F driven by Moss. This enabled Fangio to close the gap on the lead but not before Moss won with a six second margin.
This also explains why there were four people standing on the three step podium at the end of the race, Moss on the top step, Fangio and Collins for bringing home the same Ferrari on the second step, and Jean Behra in the second Maserati 250F completing the top three. Indeed, somewhat bizarrely by today’s standards, Fangio also finished in fourth place in the car he started race with, as that Ferrari was brought home by Castellotti.
Moving forward 60 years to 2016 Sir Stirling Moss, now 86 years old, joined other drivers from across six decades of Monaco Formula On motorsport to talk at the 7th Credit Suisse Historic Racing Forum on theme of ‘Manufacturers vs. Privateers: The battle for motorsport supremacy’ and how he relished success with low budget teams across a range of different motorsport disciplines.
Moss was then reunited with the Maserati 250F with which he won the 1956 Monaco Grand Prix. It’s a car in which he was spectacularly successful sixty years ago when he steered the Maserati to wins the New Zealand Grand Prix, Glover Trophy, BARC Aintree 200, Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco, London Trophy, Gran Premio d’Italia and Australian Grand Prix in 1956 and which were just some of his 22 wins in the Maserati 250F and 30 wins at the wheel of a Maserati.
Often described as the best Formula One car of all time, the Maserati 250F competed in Formula One from 1954 to 1960 and secured two Formula One Driver’s titles, in 1954 and 1957 for Jean Manuel Fangio, having contested 46 Formula One races with 277 driver entries. The 250F also contested countless non-championship races and was the springboard for some of the most famous names in motorsport.
Sir Stirling Moss describes the Maserati 250F as simply the best front engine Formula One he ever drove.