and Ascari had identical qualification times and Moss was only .1 seconds slower. What promised to be a classic battle among the three best drivers certainly began as such and halfway through the race, Fangio led Moss followed by Ascari. Fangio then retired due to transmission troubles and Moss inherited the lead. On the 80th lap, Moss also retired with a sick engine. On the same lap, and before learning that he now had the lead, Ascari spectacularly crashed his Lancia D50 into the harbor when his brakes locked up at the chicane, but he survived relatively unhurt after a brief swim. The lead fell to the 48 year old Trintignant who scored a much unexpected victory for Ferrari in his outdated Tipo 625. This would prove to be the only win of the season by any team other than Mercedes. Castellotti's Lancia D50 was second followed by Jean Behra's Maserati 250F.

3. Spa

Before the race, Ascari lost his life while testing a Ferrari 735 sports car at Monza. Lancia, who was
was already in serious financial difficulty, withdrew from racing although they allowed Castellotti to race their D50 at Spa as a private entrant. Castellotti did well by putting his car on pole, but Fangio and Moss passed him on the first lap in their Mercedes to finish in that order. Farina's Ferrari Super Squalo came third after Castellotti retired on the 17th lap.

The next weekend after Spa was the 24 Hours of LeMans. Mercedes 300 SLR driver Pierre Leveigh crashed into the crowd killing 83 spectators and himself. The cause of the crash was thoroughly investigated and apparently was not all Leveigh's fault. This tragety remains to be the worst accident in motor racing history. Amid public outcry over the dangers of motor racing to spectators, the French, German, Swiss, and Spanish Grand Prix were cancelled leaving only three more races on the calendar.

4. Zandvoort

Fangio was on pole with Moss second and Kling in third in their Mercedes...
Mercedes W196s. On the first lap, Musso's Maserati 250F got past Moss and Kling, but was quickly repassed by Moss on the next lap. For the remaining 98 laps, these three drivers circulated in order with Fangio winning by only .3 seconds ahead of Moss followed by Musso's Maserati almost a full minute behind.

5. Aintree

Mercedes entered four cars and Moss barely took pole by nipping Fangio. Moss held the early lead followed closely by Fangio and they finished in that order with Kling in third. Fangio and Moss were only separated by one car length at the finish while Kling was over a minute behind. Moss later suspected that Fangio could have passed him for the win, but held back to allow Moss to win his home grand prix; something that Fangio always denied. Overall, Mercedes took the first four places thus showing their complete domination over the rest of the field and wrapping up Fangio's third World Championship.

6. Monza

After nearly a two month hiatus, the season resumed on the new track which combined the road and recently constructed banked sections. There were no chicanes as were added in later years so race speeds were extremely fast. Once again, four Mercedes were entered; two of which were streamlined for Fangio and Moss. Maserati also entered a mildly streamlined 250F for Behra. Ferrari had acquired the D50s after the Lancia team's demise and entered two of those cars under the Maranello flag. However, they were withdrawn after practice due to excessive tire wear.

Fangio took pole by beating Moss by only .3 seconds. Karl Kling locked out the competition from the front row by taking the third spot on the starting grid for Mercedes, but Taruffi rather disappointingly qualified way back in 9th. However by the end of the first lap, Taruffi moved up to 3rd which put all four Mercedes in front. The silver cars led for the first 18 laps with Fangio...