22/1/1956

Argentine Grand Prix, Buenos Aires. Won by Juan Manuel Fangio in a Ferrari.

Taking over Luigi Musso's car on lap 25, Juan Manuel Fangio went on to win the season opening Argentine Grand Prix. Many changes had occurred to the team line-ups over the Winter. With Mercedes leaving racing, Stirling Moss and Fangio had both signed on to new teams, Moss with Maserati and Fangio with Ferrari, where he was joined by new signees Peter Collins and Musso. Mike Hawthorn had left Ferrari for B.R.M., where he was joined by Tony Brooks. For the opener, Hawthorn was in the B.R.M. owned Maserati. Before the start, a car being pushed to the line ran over Moss' foot. Moss refused medical help and jumped into his car. On the start, Musso took the lead before quickly being passed by Froilan Gonzalez. Gonzalez led for 3 laps before Carlos Menditeguy moved out front. By lap 10, Menditeguy was pulling clear and Moss was in 2nd ahead of Eugenio Castellotti as Gonzalez fell to 4th. Fangio had fuel pump problems which a pit stop didn't correct and was out of contention, retiring on lap 23. 2 laps later, Gonzalez retired his Maserati with a broken valve and Musso was called in for Fangio to take over. While the driver change took place, Jean Behra went by to take 4th. Fangio quickly passed Jean Behra to re-gain the spot, only to spin back to 5th. After Castellotti retired his Lancia-Ferrari on lap 41 with gearbox trouble, the Maseratis looked unchallenged only to have Moss' car begin smoking and Menditeguy run out of track after breaking a halfshaft on lap 43. Fangio repassed Behra and began closing on Moss, whose car was misfiring and sounding worse by the lap. On the 61st lap, Fangio took the lead to the delight of the crowd. Behra too moved by his teammate, who finally retired on lap 82. Behra tried to close on Fangio, but after a spin, seemed to settle on 2nd. At the finish, Fangio's Lancia-Ferrari was 24.4 seconds ahead of Behra with Hawthorn 2 laps back in 3rd. As happened two years earlier, Nello Ugolini, now team manager for Maserati, filed a protest. This time that Fangio had received a push start after his spin. And, also in a repeat of two years earlier, the protest was rejected and taken to the FIA where it was also rejected.

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