The engines would come to a roar and the race would be held up as the clock failed. However, the situation would be fixed, the flag would drop and the race would get underway. At the start, Alfonso de Portago would be seen inching his way forward, but as the field roared away, he would be slow to get going and would actually lose a few spots right at the start. Castellotti and Musso would get the better start and the two of them would be flying around the circuit nose-to-tail. A little further back would be Schell in one of the Vanwalls followed by Fangio and Collins. Alfonso de Portago would recover from his poor start and would actually end the first lap back in his starting spot of 9th.
The first 4 laps of the race would see the order remain unchanged. However, things were about to dramatically change and the complexion of the race would change from then on.
The incredible pace of the D50s around the Monza circuit would certainly leave the competition behind. The problem was the Englebert tires on the D50 couldn't handle the pace any better than the competition. The treads of the tires would begin to break loose and both Castellotti and Musso would fall way down in the order as a result of having to make a stop for new tires.
Neither Fangio nor Collins could take advantage of the situation as they too were on Englebert tires and had to be concerned about the same thing happening with them. However, Stirling Moss would not be struggling at all and he would come up from 6th place after the first lap of the race to be in the lead by the 5th. Harry Schell would also find his way to the front and would be in 2nd place right behind Moss. Fangio and Collins remained in the race, however, and sat in 3rd and 4th. Ferrari's fifth driver, de Portago, would also be hanging in there and would actually move up a couple of positions when Castellotti and Musso fell out of the running to get new tires.
The situation would get worse for Ferrari. Castellotti and Musso would be back in the race, but well down. Then, after just 6 laps, de Portago would suffer tread separation. However, his condition would be worse as the resulting delaminating tread would cause damage to his suspension. De Portago would limp around the circuit and would end up retiring from the race altogether.
So, Ferrari was now down to four cars left in the race. And, neither of them could really make much of an effort to set the pace for fear that the tire issue would come to haunt. This left Moss and Schell to set the pace at the front. While Taruffi and Trintignant struggled and ended up out of the race before 15 laps were gone due to suspension failures, Schell seemed to find the touch with the Vanwall and seemingly floated over the bumpy concrete banking to remain in 2nd place behind Moss.
Many would find the bumpy concrete and the pace more than their cars could handle. Before 20 laps would be complete there would be nine cars that would be out of the race. Unfortunately, de Portago would be one of them. This would limit Ferrari's use of their cars for either Fangio or Collins if they ran into trouble. And, given the tire troubles, it seemed likely they would need the help at some point during the race.
And then it would start. While Moss remained in the lead, Castellotti would throw another tread and would finally end up out of the race. Collins would also lose time and places having thrown a tread of his own. Musso would be making a charge back up through the field and would actually be in 3rd place by the 18th lap of the race. However, at the same time, Fangio would be struggling to make it back to the pits as he too was struggling, but with a broken steering arm. Fangio would make it back to the pits but would have to sit and wait while the team tried to repair the broken steering. Fangio would sit and sit. It seemed, especially with Behra in 3rd and Collins in 5th, that his championship hopes had been broken as well.
Some 30 laps into the 50 lap race, and amidst a brief rain shower, Moss continued to hold onto the lead. But, it would be Musso in 2nd place as the Vanwall's incredible run had come to an end for Schell. Musso had made a stop and had been asked to hand his car over to Fangio but would refuse. Schell's misfortune promoted Collins to 3rd as Behra would be out of the running due to magneto troubles. Fangio's car would finally be repaired. But instead of Fangio jumping back in behind the wheel of the car had had enough of his Lancia-Ferrari and it would actually be Castellotti behind the wheel of Fangio's car.
If things stayed as they were Collins would be the World Champion. However, with 15 laps remaining in the race Collins would do something unexpected and grand in gesture. Collins would come into the pits to have his tires checked for the final run to the end. However, when the tires were checked Collins would make an unexpected and kind gesture by getting out of his car and motioning to Fangio to take over. Fangio would climb into the car and would take off. His championship hopes were restored.
Moss continued to lead and looked unstoppable as he had led almost every lap since taking the lead on the 5th lap. However, with just 5 laps remaining in the race, which to that point seemed over, high drama would again grip the circuit as Moss would run out of fuel. It seemed the victory had been snatched from Moss' fingertips. But not quite.
Luigi Piotti, in a privately entered Maserati, would see an opportunity to help Moss and he would come up behind Moss to push him back to the pits. Piotti would push him all the way until Moss could roll into the pits to be refueled. Refueled, Moss would re-enter the race and would take off after Musso, who had taken over the lead of the race.
Though Moss re-entered the race, it seemed Musso would take the victory. However, with just 3 laps remaining in the race, Musso would throw another tread and would be out of the race. All of a sudden, just when it seemed victory had been snatched away from Moss, it would come back around to him. The World Championship would also come back around to Fangio as a result of Collins' grand gesture. He would be in 2nd place and firmly in hold of the World Championship, if the car could hold together through the final couple of laps.
The nudge by Piotti would end up being more than another nice gesture. Moss' return to the race would end up being very profitable as he would go on to victory completing the race in just under two hours and 24 minutes. Six seconds later, Fangio would come through to finish in 2nd place and take his fourth World Championship. Once again, the Connaught Engineering team would surprise as Ron Flockhart would come through to a 3rd place result. Out of the six cars Ferrari brought to Monza there would be just two that would make it to the end. Fangio's 2nd place would lead to a World Championship. The hasty repairs to Fangio's car would enable Castellotti to complete the final race of the season. Though he would finish 4 laps down, he would still come through to finish in 9th place.
Once again, the final race of the season would be something of a bittersweet moment for Ferrari. Yes, Fangio would come through to take 2nd place and his fourth World Championship title. However, it would take just about every car and Collins' selfless gesture to ensure the honor. Thankfully, the World Championship for Fangio would help to ease the pain.
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