Too Close to Call?

Mercedes-Benz, Stirling Moss, klemcoll, Aintree

Here is Stirling Moss on his way to a win of the British Grand Prix on July 16, 1955 at the motor racing circuit which surrounded the steeplechase course at Aintree, near Liverpool.

Mercedes-Benz, Juan Fangio, klemcoll, Aintree

And here is the man who finished second – by only a very few feet – Juan Manuel Fangio. Both drivers were in Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix cars.

During practice Mercedes with four entries had proved faster than almost all others with only Jean Behra’s Maserati 250F getting among the German cars by setting the third fastest practice time. Nevertheless, the race was totally dominated by Mercedes with Karl Kling and Piero Taruffi completing a Mercedes 1-2-3-4 at the finish with the top three finishers having lapped the field. Behra had retired after nine laps and no one else could come close to the four Mercedes. Within the Mercedes team Moss had also been dominant, taking the lead from Fangio on the third lap and allowing his team leader a second eight-lap lead early on before taking over again, a lead which Moss held to the finish.

The fans really wanted to see Moss get his first Grand Prix win, which would be a first British Grand Prix victory for a British driver to boot. But would his team leader allow it or make Moss give way to him? Moss drove perfectly and arrived at the checker about five feet in front of Fangio. Many wondered if the World Champion had given the race to Moss but Fangio always denied having done so, saying that on this day Moss was faster having also set a new lap record.

Photos by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx

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