• French Grand Prix 1957

Three from three for Fangio in France

Martin Williamson July 7, 1957
Juan Manuel Fangio secured his third successive victory © Getty Images

Juan Manuel Fangio moved effortlessly toward his fifth world title with his third victory of the season at the French Grand Prix in Rouen. It was his fourth win in the race.

The venue for the grand prix switched from Reims to the much more technical track outside the cathedral town of Rouen, on country roads near the village of Essarts. There were notable absences. Stirling Moss was missing because of sinus problems while Tony Brooks, who had come second at Monaco, was recovering from a crash at Le Mans. Their places at Vanwall were taken by two more Brits - Lewis-Evans and Roy Salvadori. Connaught, meanwhile, had quit the sport after running out of funds.

On an unfamiliar circuit, Fangio was quickest in practice, and although Luigi Musso held the lead until the fourth lap, he soon passed him and never looked back. Musso was then under pressure from team-mate Peter Collins until Collins dropped back with gearbox problems. Fangio won by 50 seconds with the chasing pack of Ferraris vainly chasing.

A young BRM driver - Herbert Mackay-Fraser - was making an impression on his championship debut, passing Mike Hawthorn before his transmission failed. His team-mate, Ron Flockhart had a fortunate escape when thrown from his car at high speed and escaped with no more than a bruised leg.

Sadly, Mackay-Fraser's promise was extinguished a week later when he was killed at Reims.