• British Grand Prix 1957

Moss scores historic home win for Vanwall

Martin Williamson July 20, 1957
Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss celebrate victory © Getty Images
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After years of disappointment, only assuaged by Stirling Moss' win in 1955, the British Grand Prix gave the home crowd at Aintree cause for wild celebration. Not only did the pairing of Moss and Surrey dentist Tony Brooks win the race, they did so in a Vanwall, a car made in Britain - the first victory for a British-built car since Sir Henry Seagrove won the 1923 French Grand Prix in a Sunbeam.

Juan Manuel Fangio had been out of sorts since his win at Rouen a fortnight earlier. His Maserati had broken down in Reims the previous weekend, and he was also suffering from a gastric complaint.

Moss led by the end of the first lap from pre-race favourite Jean Behra in a Maserati, with the Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins on hot pursuit. Fangio, who had qualified in fourth, was struggling and eventually retired after 49 laps with a broken rocker. "I came out quite a long way down but that suited me fine," he said. "You see the trouble is that when you are leading and the car fails, you get labelled as a car breaker. But when you're at the back coming through the field they don't care if you break it. So at least I could have a go."

But on the 21st lap Moss pitted to try to cure a stammer in his engine, but the misfiring persisted and a decision was taken he should switch to Brooks' car, since Brooks was still affected by cuts received in a crash at Le Mans the previous month. Moss resumed in ninth but was soon chasing down new leader Behra, breaking his own lap record in the process.

A huge cheer went up when it was announced Behra had stopped - his clutch and flywheel assembly exploded, and the unfortunate Hawthorn ran over some of the debris, puncturing his tyre, leaving the Vanwalls of Moss and Stuart Lewis-Evans in the lead. Lewis-Evans then broke down with a broken link in the throttle control, resuming once he had repaired it himself after a long delay, leaving Moss a long way ahead.

He pitted to take on fuel as a precaution, allowing Luigi Musso to cut his lead to 25 seconds but to jubilant scenes Moss took the chequered flag. "The first one to congratulate us was Juan," Moss said. "Ever the great sportsman whether he won or lost."

The Ferraris of Musso, Hawthorn and Maurice Trintignant took the next three places. And Roy Salvadori scored his first world championship point and the first for a driver in a Cooper and in a rear-engined car.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA

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Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA Martin Williamson, who grew up in the era of James Hunt, Niki Lauda and sideburns, became managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group in 2007 after spells with Sky Sports, Sportal and Cricinfo