The 1956 Formula One season was the tenth season of FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the seventh World Championship of Drivers  as well as numerous non-championship races. The championship series commenced on 22 January 1956 and ended on 2 September after eight races. Juan Manuel Fangio won his third consecutive title, the fourth of his career. Until the 2006 season, this was the last season during which no British constructor won any championship race.
Fangio joined Ferrari after Mercedes-Benz, with whom he had won the 1954 and 1955 titles, withdrew from the sport. Ferrari acquired the folded Lancia team's D50 cars and put together a strong team containing Fangio, Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso and Peter Collins. Fangio won the opening race after commandeering Musso's car after his own car had broken down. Collins and Fangio's teammate at Mercedes, Stirling Moss – now driving for Maserati provided the biggest challenge to his title defence, each winning two races. In an open season, the British Connaughts, Vanwalls and BRMs also showed some signs of promise.
Going into the final race of the season, Fangio had an eight-point lead over Collins and the consistent Jean Behra, driving for Maserati. The only way he could lose the title would be to score no points with Collins winning and setting fastest lap. (Because a driver could only count their best five scores, Behra could not win the title.) Fangio retired, and with Musso unwilling to share his car with Fangio, Collins had a great chance of winning his first title. Collins, in a remarkable act of sportsmanship, instead chose to hand his car over to Fangio to allow the Argentine to finish second in the race and win his third title in a row.
The following races counted towards the 1956 World Championship of Drivers:
|Rnd||Race||Circuit||Date||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Constructor||Tyre||Report|
|1||Argentine Grand Prix||Buenos Aires||22 January||Juan Manuel Fangio||Juan Manuel Fangio|| Luigi Musso
Juan Manuel Fangio
|2||Monaco Grand Prix||Monaco||13 May||Juan Manuel Fangio||Juan Manuel Fangio||Stirling Moss||Maserati||P||Report|
|3||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis||30 May||Pat Flaherty||Paul Russo||Pat Flaherty||Watson-Offenhauser||Report|
|4||Belgian Grand Prix||Spa-Francorchamps||3 June||Juan Manuel Fangio||Stirling Moss||Peter Collins||Ferrari||E||Report|
|5||French Grand Prix||Reims||1 July||Juan Manuel Fangio||Juan Manuel Fangio||Peter Collins||Ferrari||E||Report|
|6||British Grand Prix||Silverstone||14 July||Stirling Moss||Stirling Moss||Juan Manuel Fangio||Ferrari||E||Report|
|7||German Grand Prix||Nürburgring||5 August||Juan Manuel Fangio||Juan Manuel Fangio||Juan Manuel Fangio||Ferrari||E||Report|
|8||Italian Grand Prix||Monza||2 September||Juan Manuel Fangio||Stirling Moss||Stirling Moss||Maserati||P||Report|
The Suez crisis was a contributing factor in Formula One in 1956. The Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix were affected by this crisis, and the oil prices were too high for the teams and drivers, so the two races that were originally supposed to be held at Zandvoort and Pedralbes were cancelled. The Indianapolis 500 was USAC-sanctioned so not run to Formula One specifications, and also counted towards the 1956 USAC Championship title.
Teams and driversEdit
The above list does not include competitors in the 1956 Indianapolis 500.
World Championship of Drivers standingsEdit
Championship points were awarded at each race on an 8–6–4–3–2 basis to the first five finishers, with an additional point awarded to the driver setting the fastest lap of the race. Points for shared drives were divided equally between the drivers, regardless of who had driven more laps. Only the best five round results were counted.
- Italics indicate fastest lap (One point awarded – point shared equally between drivers sharing fastest lap)
- Bold indicates pole position
- † Position shared between more drivers of the same car
- Only the best five results counted towards the championship. Numbers without parentheses are championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
The following non-championship races for Formula One cars were also held in 1956:
|Race name||Circuit||Date||Winning driver||Constructor||Report|
|IV Glover Trophy||Goodwood||2 April||Stirling Moss||Maserati||Report|
|VI Gran Premio di Siracusa||Syracuse||15 April||Juan Manuel Fangio||Lancia-Ferrari||Report|
|XI BARC Aintree 200||Aintree||21 April||Stirling Moss||Maserati||Report|
|VIII BRDC International Trophy||Silverstone||5 May||Stirling Moss||Vanwall||Report|
|IX Gran Premio di Napoli||Posillipo||6 May||Robert Manzon||Gordini||Report|
|I Aintree 100||Aintree||24 June||Horace Gould||Maserati||Report|
|I Vanwall Trophy||Snetterton||22 July||Roy Salvadori||Maserati||Report|
|IV Grand Prix de Caen||Caen||26 August||Harry Schell||Maserati||Report|
|II Sussex Trophy||Goodwood||8 September||Roy Salvadori||Cooper-Climax||Report|
|I BRSCC Formula 1 Race||Brands Hatch||14 October||Archie Scott Brown||Connaught-Alta||Report|
Notes and referencesEdit
- FIA Yearbook, 1974, page 119
- "Grand Prix Cancelled". Autosport. Retrieved 23 January 2016.