Bruce McLaren won the season-opener in Argentina, giving him his second consecutive victory after his win in the last race of 1959 in the USA. For the pre-season favourites, Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham, it was a less memorable weekend.
The Coopers arrived late in Buenos Aires due to a shipping delay, and Charles Cooper was reportedly ready to ask the authorities to postpone the race in order to allow Brabham and McLaren adequate practice time. The cars eventually arrived late on the Friday evening, and the current world champion did get his practice in, even if he only managed to qualify in 10th place.
Moss started on pole, but he too almost missed the race. Late in 1959 he had lost his UK driving licence after a minor motoring offence on the eve of the British Grand Prix, and that meant he was unable to obtain a racing licence. But, with the blessing of the RAC, Moss applied for and was granted a US racing licence.
However, it was Graham Hill, in his first drive for BRM, who took an early lead before becoming one of several drivers and cars to succumb to the fierce summer heat.
Moss, meanwhile, was swapping the lead with Jo Bonnier's BRM until he was yet again undermined by a mechanical failure, the rear suspension on his Cooper shattering on the 41st lap. Bonnier raced ahead but he suffered from overheating issues and slipped back to seventh.
Brabham's race ended on the 42nd lap when his Cooper Climax suffered a loss of oil pressure. Moss, meanwhile, had taken over Maurice Trintignant's car on the 66th lap and while he went on to finish third, he did not earn any championship points because of the change of car.
In a sport increasingly dominated by rear-engined cars, Cliff Allison bucked the trend by taking second place in his front-engined Ferrari 246, the best result of his career.