Here we are in a back street at Monte Carlo before the start of the Monaco Grand Prix on May 19,1957. The car which has been pulled up and chocked into place on the exit ramps of the works Maserati transport is a Maserati 250F which will be driven by World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio. This seeming unusual position will allow the Maserati mechanics to have access to the underside of the 250F. In Monte Carlo there was no other space to set up to work on the cars. In the foreground is another 250F which is the car of Giorgio Scarlatti, Carlos Menditeguey or Hans Herrmann, the other three works Maserati drivers at Monaco.
Maserati had brought two additional cars, one a 250F T2, so called because it had a V12 configuration 2.5 liter motor. This car was tested in practice by both Fangio and Harry Schell who was entered in a works-supported 250F entered by the Centro-Sud team. Fangio decided that although more powerful than the normal 250F’s six cylinder motor, the V12 delivered that power at much higher rpm and was too “peaky” for the tight Monaco street circuit.
In addition to the three works cars there were seven other privately-entered 250Fs seeking a place on the grid which would be limited to 16 starters. Five entries, three of the Maseratis, including Herrmann’s, plus a BRM and a Cooper would all fail to qualify. As was expected based on his quick practice times, Fangio took pole. Fangio did not lead from the start but benefitted by threading his way through an accident at the Chicane caused by Stirling Moss and the involvement of the Ferraris of Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn on the fifth lap. That left it all open for Fangio to cruise to the win by some 25 seconds ahead of the Vanwall of Tony Brooks.
Photo by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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