At long last a British car and drivers have won a grande epreuve. Cheered on by thousands of madly excited enthusiasts, Stirling Moss, aided by Tony Brooks, scored a momentous victory for Vanwall in last Saturday's Grand Prix of Britain and Europe at Aintree. It was a race packed with incident from start to finish; the issue was always in doubt, right from the moment of Moss's unexpected pitstop to give Jean Behra (Maserati) the lead, and his take-over of Brooks's car.
Seldom has such a drive been seen in a grand prix. Indeed it was a day of brilliant performances, culminating in the most thrilling final lap scenes probably ever to occur in a major motor race.
One cannot give too much credit to Brooks. Badly affected by his unhealed Le Mans leg injuries, he was, nevertheless, able to keep his car in a high enough position to give Stirling a chance of victory.
Stuart Lewis-Evans played his part in the triumph and was most unlucky to experience throttle linkage failure when running neck-and-neck with Moss, the two green Vanwalls leading the field. Mike Hawthorn drove one of the races of his life for Ferrari, and had the wretched misfortune to pick up the pieces of Behra's disintegrated clutch and burst a tyre. This may have cost him the race, for at that moment he was rapidly closing up on Behra, and Moss was not gaining sufficiently, despite his series of record laps.
However, that is motor racing. Luigi Musso drove with great verve for his second place, but did not look like catching the flying Vanwall. It was a most disastrous day for Maserati, not a single one of the works cars lasting the pace. Roy Salvadori was unlucky to lose fifth place with the Cooper-Climax when his gearbox split, but he and Bob Gerard (Cooper-BG Bristol) finished, as did Lewis-Evans after making a jury repair out on the circuit. Jack Brabham, in another Cooper, had the misfortune to have clutch trouble after 74 laps.