Mike Hawthorn (4th – 13pt)
A Corinthian amateur with a professional outlook, his quest for a British winning car had met with failure at Vanwall and BRM and prompted a return to Ferrari. There he found a willing ally in Peter Collins and a dogged rival in Rome’s Luigi Musso.
The team itself was not at its best, its ‘new’ 801 model being somewhat of a bodge of the D50s inherited from Lancia at the end of 1955, and there were occasions when the ‘Farnham Flyer’, his kidney disease still secret, looked leaden in it.
He would, however, have won the British GP but for puncturing on the Maserati shrapnel of leader Jean Behra’s mechanical failure, and his effort at the Nürburgring – second-fastest to Fangio in practice and just 3sec behind at the finish – was eye-catching; had he pushed harder sooner, however, he might have won.
Unlike Vanwall, which bubbled beneath the surface for all its above-board correctness, the contentment pervading Ferrari was unwarranted and too comfortable. Hawthorn had the skill but perhaps not the will to change that. For the admirable Musso – third in the championship – it was the reverse.