1956 Formula One season
|1956 FIA Formula One
World Championship season
|Drivers' Champion: Juan Manuel Fangio|
The 1956 Formula One season featured the seventh FIA World Championship of Drivers  as well as numerous non-championship races for Formula One cars. The championship series commenced on 22 January 1956 and ended on 2 September after eight races. Juan Manuel Fangio won his third consecutive title, the fourth of his career. Until the 2006 season this was the last season during which no British constructor won any championship race.
Fangio joined Ferrari after Mercedes-Benz, with whom he had won the 1954 and 1955 titles, withdrew from the sport. Ferrari acquired the folded Lancia team's D50 cars and put together a strong team containing Fangio, Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso and Peter Collins. Fangio won the opening race after commandeering Musso's car after his own car had broken down. Collins and Fangio's team-mate at Mercedes, Stirling Moss – now driving for Maserati provided the biggest challenge to his title defence, each winning two races. In an open season the British Connaughts, Vanwalls and BRMs also showed some signs of promise.
Going into the final race of the season, Fangio had an eight-point lead over Collins and the consistent Jean Behra, driving for Maserati. The only way he could lose the title would be to score no points with Collins winning and setting fastest lap. (Because a driver could only count their best 5 scores, Behra could not win the title). Fangio retired, and with Musso unwilling to share his car with Fangio, Collins had a great chance of winning his first title. Collins, in a remarkable act of sportsmanship, instead chose to hand his car over to Fangio to allow the Argentine to finish second in the race and win his third title in a row.
The following races counted towards the 1956 World Championship of Drivers:
The Suez crisis was a contributing factor in Formula One in 1956. The Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix were affected by this crisis, and the oil prices were too high for the teams and drivers, so the two races that were originally supposed to be held at Zandvoort and Pedralbes were cancelled.
Teams and drivers
The above list does not include competitors in the 1956 Indianapolis 500.
1956 Drivers Championship final standings
Championship points were awarded at each race on an 8–6–4–3–2 basis to the first five finishers, with an additional point awarded to the driver setting the fastest lap of the race. Points for shared drives were divided equally between the drivers, regardless of who had driven more laps. Only the best five round results were counted.
- Italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded – point shared equally between drivers sharing fastest lap)
- Bold indicates pole position
- † Position shared between more drivers of the same car
- Only the best 5 results counted towards the Championship. Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
Non-Championship race results
The following non-championship races for Formula One cars were also held in 1956:
|Race Name||Circuit||Date||Winning driver||Constructor||Report|
|23x15px IV Glover Trophy||Goodwood||2 April||23x15px Stirling Moss||23x15px Maserati||Report|
|23x15px VI Gran Premio di Siracusa||Syracuse||15 April||23x15px Juan Manuel Fangio||23x15px Lancia-Ferrari||Report|
|23x15px XI BARC Aintree 200||Aintree||21 April||23x15px Stirling Moss||23x15px Maserati||Report|
|23x15px VII BRDC International Trophy||Silverstone||5 May||23x15px Stirling Moss||23x15px Vanwall||Report|
|23x15px IX Gran Premio di Napoli||Posillipo||6 May||23x15px Robert Manzon||23x15px Gordini||Report|
|23x15px I Aintree 100||Aintree||24 June||23x15px Horace Gould||23x15px Maserati||Report|
|23x15px I Vanwall Trophy||Snetterton||22 July||23x15px Roy Salvadori||23x15px Maserati||Report|
|23x15px IV Grand Prix de Caen||Caen||26 August||23x15px Harry Schell||23x15px Maserati||Report|
|23x15px II Sussex Trophy||Goodwood||8 September||23x15px Roy Salvadori||23x15px Cooper-Climax||Report|
|23x15px I BRSCC Formula 1 Race||Brands Hatch||14 October||23x15px Archie Scott Brown||23x15px Connaught-Alta||Report|
Notes and references
- FIA Yearbook, 1974, page 119
- 1956 World Championship race results and images Retrieved from f1-facts.com on 4 October 2008
- 1956 World Championship images Retrieved from The Cahier Archive on 4 October 2008