• Argentinean Grand Prix 1956

New team, same outcome as Fangio opens with a win

Martin Williamson January 22, 1956
Juan Manuel Fangio crosses the line to win the Argentine Grand Prix © Getty Images

Juan Manuel Fangio repeated his success of the previous year with victory in the season-opening Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires. However, the withdrawal of Mercedes meant he did so for his new team, Ferrari, in a car adapted from the Lancia D50.

The local hero took pole at the front of a 13-car field consisting of Ferraris and Maseratis but a lesser known local, Carlos Menditeguy, took an early lead which he maintained until he slid off the track shortly before the halfway point and soon retired with a broken half shaft.

Nor was Fangio having a good day as his own car stopped with a fuel pump issue. He was left kicking his heels for ten laps until team-mate Luigi Musso was called in and replaced. Fangio then chased down Menditeguy, but he too spun and had to be push started. Maserati protested but to no avail - it was the reverse of the protest two years earlier when Ferrari had objected to work done on Fangio's Maserati.

Stirling Moss, who had signed for Maserati after Mercedes had quit, led after Fangio's spin but yet again was let down by his car as his engine failed near the end. Second place went to the Maserati of Jean Behra with Mike Hawthorn finishing third.

Chico Landi made history by becoming the first Brazilian to start a world championship race and, sharing the car with Italian Gerino Gerini, finished fourth.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA

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Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA Martin Williamson, who grew up in the era of James Hunt, Niki Lauda and sideburns, became managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group in 2007 after spells with Sky Sports, Sportal and Cricinfo