1957 Pescara Grand Prix

The 1957 Pescara Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race, held on 18 August 1957, at the Pescara Circuit near Pescara in Italy. The race was the 7th round of the 1957 World Championship of Drivers. The 15.99 mi (25.73 km) circuit is the longest to ever hold a world championship race in Formula One. The race was the first and only Formula One World Championship race to take place at the track. It was also the first of two consecutive Italian races, which meant that it was the first time that the same country had held two Formula One World Championship races in the same season.

1957 Pescara Grand Prix
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Circuit Pescara.svg
Race details
Date 18 August 1957
Official name XXV Circuito di Pescara
Location Pescara Circuit
Course Temporary road course
Course length 25.73 km (15.99 mi)
Distance 18 laps, 463.14 km (287.82 mi)
Weather Sunny, very hot, dry
Attendance 200,000
Pole position
Driver Maserati
Time 9:44.6
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Stirling Moss Vanwall
Time 9:44.6
First Vanwall
Second Maserati
Third Maserati
Start of the Pescara Grand Prix


The Grand Prix was contested by 16 drivers and three official constructors, with Luigi Musso entered unofficially due to Ferrari pulling out with safety concerns. The constructors were Maserati, Vanwall and Cooper-Climax.[1]:137 Juan Manuel Fangio led the championship with 34 points, ahead of Luigi Musso on 16 points and Mike Hawthorn on 13 points. Tony Brooks was in 4th with 10 points, and Sam Hanks, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins were all 5th with 8 points.[2] Fangio had won four races and had clinched the title at the 6th round, the German Grand Prix.[3]:59 Both Musso and Hawthorne finished in the top three for two races. Maserati had a strong start to the season, outshining Ferrari in both the race and qualifying on multiple occasions. Fangio had a strong start to the season, winning the first two rounds. Moss, however, had a poor start to the season. He struggled with reliability issues such as a broken throttle linkage at Argentina and became ill just before the French Grand Prix.[4]

The Grand Prix was the first and only World Championship race to take place at Pescara. No subsequent Grand Prix took place, probably due to the growing level of safety in Formula One and the lack of modern safety features at the circuit.[1]:4 The circuit hosted its last event in 1961, after which it was closed due to safety concerns.[5] The track was 15.99 mi (25.73 km) long, the longest circuit to ever host a Formula One World Championship round.[1]:8

The event took place at short notice due to the sudden cancellation of the Belgian and Dutch Grands Prix over disputes regarding fees. The organisers had offered the constructors reduced appearance fees, which they rejected.[1]:8 Due to the large size of the circuit, no attempt was made to require an entry ticket. Many spectators watched the race from houses around the track. Around 200,000 spectators were estimated to have been in attendance.[1]:3

Safety concernsEdit

Pending the investigation for the deaths of 13 people at Mille Miglia earlier that year, Enzo Ferrari stated that Ferrari would not compete in the race. However, he did enter a single Ferrari 801 after he received insistent requests from Luigi Musso. Although, he stated that this did not constitute an official Ferrari entry into the race.[6]

Despite a ban on all motor races on public roads following the disaster, the race was given special permission by the Italian Government to go ahead.[7] The track was modified to conform with new safety regulations introduced after the accident.[8] A chicane was added at the end of the seafront straight.[1]:101

Practice and qualifyingEdit

There were no official Practice sessions. However, due to the circuit being a road course, many drivers drove observation laps in road cars two days before the race.[1]:100 Qualifying consisted of two sessions which were held on the Saturday before the Sunday race-from 07:00 to 09:30 and 16:30 to 18:30 local time. Between the two sessions, the straw bales were removed and the road was opened up again to the public.[1]:103 At the end of the sessions, Fangio set the quickest lap time of a 9:44.6 which gave him pole position.[9] He set an average lap speed of 103.95 mph (167.29 km/h), which unofficially beat the previous lap record of 89.2 mph (143.6 km/h) because it was set during qualifying.[10] Moss was second with a 9:54.7 and Musso was third with a 10:00.0.[9]

Qualifying classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 2   Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 9:44.6
2 26   Stirling Moss Vanwall 9:54.7 +10.1
3 34   Luigi Musso Ferrari 10:00.0 +15.4
4 4   Jean Behra Maserati 10:03.1 +18.5
5 6   Harry Schell Maserati 10:04.6 +20.0
6 28   Tony Brooks Vanwall 10:08.8 +24.2
7 14   Masten Gregory Maserati 10:26.1 +41.5
8 30   Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall 10:29.6 +45.0
9 16   Jo Bonnier Maserati 10:36.2 +51.6
10 8   Giorgio Scarlatti Maserati 10:36.6 +52.0
11 18   Horace Gould Maserati 10:49.6 +1:05.0
12 10   Paco Godia Maserati 11:09.8 +1:25.2
13 12   Luigi Piotti Maserati 11:10.6 +1:26.0
14 20   Bruce Halford Maserati 11:16.3 +1:31.7
15 22   Roy Salvadori Cooper-Climax 11:24.2 +1:39.6
16 24   Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 11:35.2 +1:50.6


Two hours before the race start, Fangio complained of pains in his right shoulder. However, he still competed in the race.[11]

The race took place in the afternoon from 09:30 local time in dry and very hot weather.[1]:1[3]:60 Musso had a good start from the outside of the front row, going into the lead early on. Fangio and Moss continued side by side into the first corner with Behra close behind after having made a good start from the second row.[1]:109

A unique incident occurred when Jack Brabham's F2 Cooper was running short of fuel far from the pits and he pulled into a roadside petrol station and topped up.

Race classificationEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 26   Stirling Moss Vanwall 18 2:59:22.7 2 91
2 2   Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 18 +3:13.9 1 6
3 6   Harry Schell Maserati 18 +6:46.8 5 4
4 14   Masten Gregory Maserati 18 +8:16.5 7 3
5 30   Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall 17 +1 lap 8 2
6 8   Giorgio Scarlatti Maserati 17 +1 lap 10
7 24   Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 15 +3 laps 16
Ret 34   Luigi Musso Ferrari 9 Oil leak 3
Ret 10   Paco Godia Maserati 9 Engine 12
Ret 20   Bruce Halford Maserati 9 Transmission 14
Ret 16   Jo Bonnier Maserati 7 Overheating 9
Ret 4   Jean Behra Maserati 3 Oil leak 4
Ret 22   Roy Salvadori Cooper-Climax 3 Accident 15
Ret 28   Tony Brooks Vanwall 1 Engine 6
Ret 18   Horace Gould Maserati 0 Accident 11
Ret 12   Luigi Piotti Maserati 0 Engine 13
  • ^1 – Includes 1 point for fastest lap[7]


  • This was a race where some drivers qualified 20 seconds ahead of others. The biggest difference was pole sitter Juan Manuel Fangio's time of 9:44.6 compared to Jack Brabham's time of 11:35.2, almost 2 minutes off Fangio's time. This was because many of the drivers on the grid had never driven at Pescara before. Also, Brabham's Cooper was a Formula 2 car with a 1.5-litre engine and Pescara was a "power" circuit.

Championship standings after the raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
  1   Juan Manuel Fangio 40
  4 2   Stirling Moss 17
  1 3   Luigi Musso 16
  1 4   Mike Hawthorn 13
  1 5   Tony Brooks 10
  • Note: only the top five positions are included.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Williams, Richard (2013). The Last Road Race. Hachette UK. ISBN 9781780227092.
  2. ^ "Germany 1957 - Championship". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b Roger, Smith (2012). Formula 1: All the Races: The World Championship Story Race-By-Race: 1950-2011. Haynes Publishing PLC. ISBN 9780857330581.
  4. ^ Redhead, Brian (16 October 1957). "The Triumph Of The Vanwall". The Guardian. p. 18. Retrieved 16 November 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ MacLeman, Greg (3 February 2015). "Forgotten circuits of the world". www.classicandsportscar.com. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Sport in brief". Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail. 17 August 1957. p. 6. Retrieved 15 November 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ a b "Moss wins in a Vanwall". The Guardian. 19 August 1957. p. 1. Retrieved 18 November 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Fangio, Maserati Cars Favored In 25th Grand Prix of Pescara". The San Bernardino County Sun. 18 August 1957. p. 44. Retrieved 15 November 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ a b c "1957 Pescara Circuit Qualification". www.chicanef1.com. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Fangio Wins Pole Position, Eclipses Three Lap Marks". Daily Press. 18 August 1957. p. 3C. Retrieved 18 November 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Moss upsets Fangio, wins Grand Prix of Pescara". The San Bernardino County Sun. 19 August 1957. p. 11. Retrieved 18 November 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "1957 Pescara Grand Prix". formula1.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Pescara 1957 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

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1957 German Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1957 season
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1957 Italian Grand Prix
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1956 Pescara Grand Prix
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