Fittingly, as if a sign that motor racing needed to move on, the 5th of June, the day of the race, would break with mostly cloudy skies, but no rain. The crowd would move in on the circuit, the drivers would begin to arrive from the nearby villages and the cars would all make their way to the circuit through the village streets and other paths. The cars would finally be lined up on the grid and the drivers would take their positions behind the wheel.
Facing the downhill run toward the fast uphill at Eau Rouge, the start would be very important as it would be very easy to get out of place and suffer a race-ending accident before the race even got going. However, as the flag dropped to start the race, it was clear Castellotti wasn't about to give an inch. Heading into Eau Rouge, Fangio would get a great start off the line and would have the better position. Still, Castellotti wouldn't give in until the very last minute. It would be Fangio leading up the hill with Eugenio in 2nd place.
Although Castellotti would find himself 2nd heading up the hill at Eau Rouge, by the end of the first lap around the long and fast circuit, he would be down in 3rd place and losing ground to the two Mercedes.
Around the fast Spa circuit, having another car, preferably your teammate, makes things nice as there are many opportunities to slip stream around the circuit. Castellotti, unfortunately, would be there all alone. And by himself he could not keep up with Fangio and Moss.
Throughout most of the first half of the race it would be Fangio leading the way ahead of Moss while Castellotti continued in the 3rd position. If he were to hold still in that position he would collect some very valuable championship points, and prize money. Unfortunately, it would be too much to ask of the D50. For on the 17th lap of the race, Castellotti would find himself in trouble. The gearbox on the car would fail him leaving him out of the running. There would be no grand victory for the fallen this day.
Giuseppe Farina would take over the 3rd place position and would appear to be the Farina of old. However, there would be absolutely nothing the former World Champion could do, not against the might of two Mercedes at the front of the field.
The only hope Farina would have of recapturing his former glory is if there was a repeat of events at Monaco. And as Karl Kling retired from the race with oil pipe problems, it certainly wasn't out of the realm of possibilities.
Though just 13 cars would line up on the grid for the race, there would be only a total of four that would not complete the race. Unfortunately for Farina, that meant the two Mercedes of Fangio and Moss would not be among the four retired from the event.
Fangio would pull out a several second advantage on his teammate Moss and the two of them, in turn, would pull out an even wider margin over the remainder of the field. Turning out the fastest lap of the race on the 18th lap, and averaging more than 118mph, it would take Fangio just about two hours and thirty-nine minutes to complete the 316 miles and collect the win. Stirling Moss would be just eight seconds behind in 2nd place. Giuseppe Farina would look fantastic in a somewhat inferior Ferrari. Though he would finish the race a minute and 40 seconds behind, he would still come across the line in 3rd.
The Belgian Grand Prix, and a possible tribute to the late Alberto Ascari, had started out well with Castellotti showing the sheer pace of the Lancia. Unfortunately, unreliability would bring the tribute to an early, and fruitless, end. While it may have given Castellotti an opportunity to honor his friend, and garner more experience, the simple fact of the matter is that the team left the race with even more money having been, and needing to be, spent. Lancia was not in a good position.
Lancia's perspective would be put aright just one week after the Belgian Grand Prix. The tragedy at Le Mans would make everyone stop and think for a moment, which is something the sport needed to do with the rising average speeds and treacherous circuits. But while the tragedy may have brought things into perspective when it came to safety and speeds, for Lancia, it would put their future into perspective as well.
The fallout from the tragedy at Le Mans would include a number of Formula One World Championship races being cancelled. Some four rounds, the French, German, Swiss and Spanish rounds of the World Championship would eventually be cancelled. This was detrimental to the Lancia squad that desperately needed starter and prize money to stay afloat. But now, it just wasn't going to be there. Only the British round of the World Championship remained on the calendar throughout the summer months of the season. And only the Italian Grand Prix would follow before the World Championship would come to an end.
The financial picture for Lancia's Formula One program could not have looked bleaker. As a result, Lancia would have to make some very important decisions rather quickly. The problem wasn't merely the Formula One program. Lancia had refocused the whole of the company around the success or failure of the program. It wasn't extra money lying around in which the team was using to compete. Therefore, it would be decided by, June and July, that Lancia would be sold. Part of it would be purchased by an investment firm. Another portion of the company would be purchased by another Turin-based manufacturer—Fiat.
Fiat now had a racing team and a chassis, but it did not compete in Formula One as a manufacturer. Therefore, Fiat would go looking for a buyer of the car, its spares and all of the necessary tooling. And, on the 26th of July, just two months after the death of Alberto Ascari, the D50 cars, all of the spares, tooling and even the transporter, would arrive in Modena to be taken possession of by their new owner.
Aided by a five-year subsidy from Fiat, Scuderia Ferrari would now have the D50 chassis for use within its team. This would be a smart move on Ferrari's part as neither of their newer cars showed the promise, nor the pace, necessary to help the Italian firm regain its dominant place in Formula One.
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