The oval section of the circuit would continue to be used throughout the later-part of the 1920s and into the 1930s. Unfortunately, a number of deaths would cause the days of the slightly-banked oval to be numbered. And, when the Formula One World Championship began in 1950 the circuit used for the race would be a 3.91 mile road course totally void of the oval.
This would change heading into the 1955 season. Many of the deaths and dangers that had taken place during the late-1920s and 1930s had come as a result of cars leaving the circuit. The Monza circuit, even when just the road course would be in use, was all about speed. Therefore, steps would be taken to reintroduce the 2.8 mile oval back into the overall layout of the circuit. To be able to do this while maintain the speeds the circuit had become known for, construction would begin on increasing the banking on each end of the oval. This steepening of the banking would enable the cars to run flat-out around the banking but would help to secure the cars on the circuit. Finished in time for the Italian Grand Prix, teams would be greatest by the sight of the 6.2 mile monster when they approached.
Equipe Gordini, as usual, would approach the race with a three-pronged attack. However, Robert Manzon would not be behind the wheel of any of the three cars. Maurice Trintignant had driven for Gordini in the past and he would describe that time this way: 'Like Manzon, Behra and I raced gritting our teeth, taking risks to try and follow the leaders and, when our position was good, we feared retirement. It is morally exhausting to race in such conditions and at the end of the day you do not believe in miracles any longer.' Such difficulties would weight heavily on any driver. And, perhaps certain of the outcome, he would not make the trip to compete in the Italian Grand Prix with the team. Instead, Hermano da Silva Ramos, Jacques Pollet and Jean Lucas would get the starts.
While Gordini would arrive with a rather inexperienced driver lineup, the team would arrive with one of its new chassis, the Type 32. Jean Lucas would be the one given the opportunity to take it into competition for the first time. It would be a daunting task given the sheer fleet of Italian cars in the field, let alone the dominant Mercedes-Benz team.
Juan Manuel Fangio would take to the wheel of an update streamlined version of the W196. Streaking around the ultra-fast circuit, Fangio would post the fastest time in practice with a lap time of 2:46.5 around the 6.2 mile circuit. Stirling Moss would be just three-tenths of a second slower and would take the 2nd place spot on the middle row. The final spot on the front row would go to Karl Kling in one of the open-wheeled W196s. And so, for one last time, Mercedes-Benz would sweep the front row.
Giuseppe Farina would end up setting a time good enough for a second row starting spot but his D50 Lancia would end up being withdrawn after he and Luigi Villoresi suffered tire failures on the banking. This would leave spots open on the grid heading into the race.
Equipe Gordini certainly would have hoped to have been able to fill those gaps in the grid. However, the team needed to face reality. And the reality in practice wasn't the most enjoyable experience. Despite being behind the wheel of the new Type 32 with an engine based upon the very Mercedes occupying the entire front row, the new car would struggle in the hands of Lucas. Proven to be a bit big and heavy, the Type 32 just couldn't achieve the kind of performance comparable to that which it had been taken from. In fact, Jean Lucas' best effort in practice would be an absolutely disappointing 3:15.9. This obviously slow time would lead to Lucas being relegated to the 22nd, and final, starting spot on the grid. This was not good for a team believing and hoping in the Type 32 to hold the answer for the team's ascendance to power. The fact the car would be out-qualified by the older Type 16 certainly wouldn't help the team's confidence. Worse yet would be the fact that neither of the T16s would fair much better.
Hermano da Silva Ramos would be the fastest of the Gordinis. He would end up on the seventh row of the grid in the 18th starting spot. Jacques Pollet would be just a tenth slower in practice and would end up on the eighth row of the grid in the 19th starting position.
It would be a long way to the front from the tail-end of the field. But, how ironic it would be that the W196 would be stationed along the front row while the car it would help foster and give inspiration for would find itself holding guard at the back.
As usual, the weather would be sunny and bright the day of the race. The temperatures would be warm but not unbearable. There would be 50 laps ahead of the drivers as they lined up on the grid. Certainly, there would be a number of those on the grid that would not make it through the entire race distance, but each would sit waiting on the grid, hoping things would go their way.
As the flag dropped and the race got underway, it would be Stirling Moss that would get the better jump and that would be in the lead of the race heading into the first part of the lap. Ken Wharton's Vanwall would break right off the line and would lead to his retirement without having completed a single lap. Pollet would make an incredible getaway from the line and would end up in 11th place by the end of the first lap. But Pollet was in the older T16. The new T32, driven by Lucas, would be at the tail-end of the field and would remain there until Menditeguy had an error and dropped, momentarily, to the back of the field. Da Silva Ramos would come through the first lap sitting still in 17th position looking for the race to come to him.
If Gordini came to the race expecting the T32 to set the team on a new and prosperous course, he may have gone away with suicidal tendencies after what he witnessed. Not only had his T16s shown an incredible fragility, but the T32 would last just 7 laps before it too would be out of the race with a blown engine. It seemed the T32 was not different than the car it was intended to replace.
Once again, Gordini's hopes were down to the fragile T16. And, after a slip-up by Pollet in the early laps of the race, the two remaining Gordini cars would be running one right after another just inside the top 15. The two would run together just like Fangio and Moss at the front of the field. But unlike Fangio and Moss, their pace would be such that they would lose more ground then they would actually gain. Still, the men would be able to keep others, like Maurice Trintignant, Roberto Mieres and John Fitch behind them.
The two Gordini cars would be nearing halfway, and still, they would be seen running right together on the circuit. Unfortunately, that would all come to an end all within a few laps. The first of the two to fall out of contention and the race would be da Silva Ramos. Mechanical issues and woes would lead to his retirement after 23 laps. Just three laps later, mechanical woes would befall Pollet. Despite the team's best efforts, in both cases, the Gordini attack would come to another nasty and brutal end.
It would really matter very little. Juan Manuel Fangio would lead the race from the very first lap. Stirling Moss seemed destined to follow along in his teammate's tire tracks throughout the whole of the 50 laps. However, just past the halfway mark in the race, smoke would be seen pouring from Moss' car. His engine had let go. He was out of the race. Just 5 laps later, Karl Kling would depart the race with gearbox failure. Attrition was claiming its victims, and yet, there was Fangio, still at the head of the field with apparently absolutely no problems whatsoever.
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