For the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 13, 1959 here are three of the five the Ferrari Team drivers: from the left, Tony Brooks, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney. Cliff Alison and Olivier Gendebien will drive two more Ferrari 246F1s. Enzo Ferrari had obviously loaded his gun for his home race. For the competition there were three BRM P25s and a slew of Coopers, three from the Surbiton works, a pair from Rob Walker’s private team and another two using Maserati power from Scuderia Centro Sud. There were also a pair of Lotus 16s and two Aston Martin DBR4s. Going into the Monza race, which would use only the road circuit, and with another race to run at Sebring, the Championship still looked to be all between Jack Brabham, driving for Cooper, and Tony Brooks.
The Coopers were now more than equal to the Ferraris. Their higher cornering speeds from their lighter weight and rear engine layout gave them an advantage in the corners while they now seemed to have enough punch on the straights from their Climax engine to keep up with the cars from Maranello. Ferrari still followed the old “horse before the cart” principle and would yet for another season.
In practice Moss and Brooks were the only drivers to get below 1:40, and then only by a few tenths, taking the first two places on the grid, but Brabham was also right there in the front row, only 0.2 second off the bogie time. Gurney and Phil Hill were on the second row, ahead of Gendebien and Allison who were split by Harry Schell’s BRM. The Astons, now a truly obsolete design, were about five seconds off the pole time.
The potential drama ended quickly as Brooks’ motor blew up in a cloud of smoke right off the line. Walker’s team had fitted knock-off rear wheels to the Moss car, indicating that they expected to make a tire stop, as would the Ferraris. In the first third of the race Moss drove conservatively, letting Phil Hill take the lead, thereby preserving his tires. Once again it was his 1958 Argentina tactic again: Moss did not intend to stop and once Hill pulled in to do so it was all over. The Cooper’s tires finished only partly worn. Here Moss overtakes Gurney later in the race.
At the checker Moss led Hill by almost 48 seconds with Brabham third. Gurney, Allison and Gendebien took the next three places for Ferrari, but Ferrari did not win.
Photos by Edward Eves ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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