F1 »

Korean Grand Prix: Six of the Best: Short-lived Grand Prix circuits

The circuit's bizarre Dorito-shaped layout started between Madonna and Pescara on the waterfront, heading through Pescara's town centre before turning inland and blasting through multiple hilltop villages, with the course exposed to a 500ft cliff drop in sections. The circuit turned towards the water at Cappelle taking a five mile straight line to the seaside village at Monte Silvano, where an acute turn through 100 degrees pitched drivers back onto the coastal road to Pescara.

Although the circuit was used for racing from 1924 to 1961, only once, in 1957, did the Pescara Grand Prix make up a round of the Formula One World Championship. The race, the penultimate round of the season, certainly had no problem attracting spectators, with over 200,000 fans lining the 16-mile circuit in sweltering August heat.

In protest at a proposed ban on road racing in Italy, and as a conciliatory gesture following Juan Manuel Fangio's capture of his fifth world title, Enzo Ferrari withdrew the Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins before the race. In the absence of the Maranello outfit, the Pescara GP was set up as a straight fight between Fangio's Maserati and Stirling Moss's Vanwall.

After three hours of racing, the 16-strong starting field had been reduced to just seven runners, and Moss emerged victorious, cruising home to beat Fangio by over three and a half minutes – even enjoying time to stop for a drink halfway through the race! Although Formula One would never return, Pescara continued to host motor racing for four further years before eventually succumbing to slowly evolving concepts of driver and spectator safety.

Ain-Diab Circuit, Casablanca, Moroccan Grand Prix, 1958:

The exotic environs of Casablanca played host to one of early F1's classic title showdowns in the inaugural and ultimately sole Moroccan Grand Prix in 1958.

Motor races had been held on dusty public roads around Casablanca 1925, but only in 1957 did Formula One cars arrive for the first time to tour the new Ain-Diab circuit configuration – built at the personal bequest of King Mohammed V to celebrate Morocco's recent independence. The 1957 non-championship race attracted an elite field and proved popular, leading to an upgrade to full championship status as the final round of the 1958 season.

In suitably Hollywood style, Casablanca played host to a title showdown between two dashing protagonists, Mike Hawthorn and Stirling Moss, bidding for theirs and Great Britain's maiden world championship.

The season had seen a classic tortoise and hare race for the prize, with Hawthorn's steady accumulation of points and a sole victory for Ferrari giving him the edge over Moss, whose three wins were counteracted by repeat poor reliability from his mechanically volatile Vanwall.

Moss knew that he had to win and set fastest lap with Hawthorn finishing no higher than third around the Ain-Diab circuit to take the title. Moss upheld his end of the bargain, taking a dominant win by a minute and a half, but a second place for Hawthorn saw him sneak the championship by one point.

Any goodwill accrued by the race was sullied however by a tragic coda that befell Stuart Lewis-Evans. On lap 41, the talented Briton skidded on oil and crashed into trees, his Vanwall bursting into flames as a fuel pipe ruptured. Lewis-Evans died six days later in hospital, and Tony Vandervell withdrew his Vanwall team, who had just won the inaugural Constructors' Championship, from full-time Formula One.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
14.10.2012- Race, Sergio Pérez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


October 02, 2013 9:56 AM

*cough* post-2002 Hockenheim *cough* Before I get comments that "Old Hockenheim was boring, too long and blah", let me explain. The whole reason it was shortened was to keep the track on the calender. Because they were removing trees to make the new circuit, they tore the old one up and planted the trees there. And there's an Irony to this... What's that irony you ask? Well, because they were making a new track AND tearing down the old one, along with pulling and planting trees, Hockenheimring nearly went bankrupt. As a result, they now have to alternate with the Nurburgring. Demolishing a classic track for a Tilkedrome that's only used once every two years? What a failure...


October 02, 2013 12:34 PM

superdawg - i thought about the new hockenheim, as well as new kyalami and new beunos aires, but think on reflection the topic of desecration/'reimagining' of old classic tracks deserves a separate article. there's a case to suggest that interlagos is the only true re-versioning that managed to retain some of the original circuit's grandeur. a1 ring, nurburgring, fuji would also all be up for critique. any others?

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.