Jack Brabham scored his second consecutive title win for Cooper, with Lotus emerging as a major force. But for a mid-season accident putting him out for several races, Stirling Moss might have won that elusive title.
By 1960 the rear-engined machines were completely dominant. For the time being Ferrari stuck with its old car and won at Monza - but only because the British teams boycotted the event.
Colin Chapman's Lotus team had been in grand prix racing for two years with very little success, but all that was to change with the new 18, the first rear-engined model. BRM also had a new rear-engined car, which had debuted at Monza the previous year. Bonnier stayed on, joined by Graham Hill from Lotus and American Dan Gurney from Ferrari. Phil Hill and von Trips stayed with the Italian team, while Brabham and McLaren maintained their successful partnership at Cooper.
McLaren won the opening race in Argentina and Cliff Allison did well to get his Ferrari home second. Bonnier and Moss (still in Walker's old Cooper) had both led before retiring. Allison was seriously injured in practice at Monaco.
Meanwhile, Moss got his hands on the new Lotus, and won in fine style in the rain, ahead of McLaren and Phil Hill. Once again, Bonnier's BRM led before retiring, while a notable newcomer was motorbike star John Surtees in a works Lotus.
Brabham had failed to score in either race, but bounced back by winning at Zandvoort. Innes Ireland took his Lotus to second, ahead of Graham Hill. For the second consecutive race Chapman gave a first chance to a future world champion. At Monaco it was Surtees and in Holland it was a young Scot called Jim Clark. He was battling for fourth when the gearbox broke, ruling him out of the race.
Spa was one of the blackest weekends ever in grand prix history. During practice Moss crashed heavily, breaking his legs. Then two young Britons, Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey, were killed in separate accidents. Brabham and McLaren went on to score a Cooper one-two, but only after Hill's BRM blew up while running second.
At Reims Brabham took a third consecutive win, and on this fast track the front-engined Ferraris of Phil Hill and von Trips gave him a hard time until they broke. Graham Hill was the star at Silverstone. He stalled on the line, and drove superbly through to the lead before spinning off. Brabham came through to score his fourth straight win, followed by the very impressive Surtees and Ireland.
Brabham scored a fifth win in Portugal and with it clinched the title with two races still to run in the championship. After missing two races Moss was back, and ran second before he had problems.
Monza was a disappointment. The race was on the banked track once again, and the British teams boycotted it on safety grounds. Ferrari turned up in force, and Phil Hill scored a hollow victory. The US Grand Prix moved from Sebring to Riverside, and Moss won. The race marked the demise of the 2.5-litre formula which had seen the transfer of power from Mercedes to the British rear-engined machines.