1959 French Grand Prix

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1959 French Grand Prix
Reims layout
Reims layout
Race details
Date 5 July 1959
Official name XLV Grand Prix de l'ACF
Location Reims circuit, Reims, France
Course Temporary road course
Course length 8.348 km (5.187 mi)
Distance 50 laps, 417.383 km (259.350 mi)
Weather Hot, dry
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 2:19.4
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Stirling Moss BRM
Time 2:22.8
First Ferrari
Second Ferrari
Third Cooper-Climax

The 1959 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Reims on 5 July 1959. It was race 4 of 9 in the 1959 World Championship of Drivers and race 3 of 8 in the 1959 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers, it was the 37th French Grand Prix and the twelfth to be held at the Reims highway circuit and the fourth to be held on the longer and faster 8.348 km layout. The race was held over 50 laps of the eight kilometre circuit for a race distance of 417 kilometres.

The race was won by British driver Tony Brooks driving a Ferrari Dino 246. Brooks dominated the race, leading all 50 laps and winning by 27 seconds over his American Scuderia Ferrari team mate Phil Hill. Brooks said after the race a sticking throttle in the closing laps made it more difficult than the result seemed. Australian driver Jack Brabham was over a minute behind in third position driving a Cooper T51 for the factory Cooper racing team after stopping to get new goggles as the circuit broke up.

Race day was very hot, to the point where the bitumen started to melt. Race cars were dislodging aggregate stones as the race went on causing American Masten Gregory to retire with cuts to his face, and Graham Hill to retire his Lotus 16 after his radiator was holed.

Stirling Moss was disqualified from eighth position after receiving a push-start in his British Racing Partnership entered BRM P25. Moss had pushed his car hard trying to overcome a failing gearbox, claiming a new lap record. Jean Behra too pushed hard in his Ferrari 246, climbing into third racing against no less than four team mates at this race. Behra's engine broke under his charge and the Frenchman had a heated discussion with team manager Romolo Tavoni which ended with Behra punching Tavoni, it would be Behra's last race for Ferrari, with the Frenchman being fired for the assault.[1]

The win was the first of the season for Scuderia Ferrari and moved Brooks into second place overall, five points behind Brabham. Hill's second position moved him into third in the championship.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 24 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Ferrari 50 2:01:26.5 1 8
2 26 United States Phil Hill Ferrari 50 + 27.5 3 6
3 8 Australia Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax 50 + 1:37.7 2 4
4 22 Belgium Olivier Gendebien Ferrari 50 + 1:47.5 11 3
5 12 New Zealand Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax 50 + 1:47.7 10 2
6 44 United Kingdom Ron Flockhart BRM 50 + 2:05.7 13  
7 6 United States Harry Schell BRM 47 + 3 Laps 9  
8 40 Italy Giorgio Scarlatti Maserati 41 + 9 Laps 21  
9 42 Netherlands Carel Godin de Beaufort Maserati 40 + 10 Laps 20  
10 38 Brazil Fritz d'Orey Maserati 40 + 10 Laps 18  
11 14 France Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax 36 + 14 Laps 8  
Ret 30 France Jean Behra Ferrari 31 Engine 5  
Ret 16 United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Cooper-Maserati 20 Engine 16  
Ret 28 United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 19 Radiator 12  
Ret 34 United Kingdom Innes Ireland Lotus-Climax 14 Wheel 15  
Ret 18 United Kingdom Ian Burgess Cooper-Maserati 13 Engine 19  
Ret 10 United States Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax 8 Physical 7  
Ret 32 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 7 Radiator 14  
Ret 20 United Kingdom Colin Davis Cooper-Maserati 7 Oil Leak 17  
Ret 4 Sweden Jo Bonnier BRM 6 Engine 6  
DSQ 2 United Kingdom Stirling Moss BRM 42 Disqualified 4 11
DNS 36 Uruguay Asdrúbal Fontes Bayardo Maserati        
  • ^1 – 1 point for fastest lap

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ Williamson, Martin (18 December 2009). "Grit, punches and shattered goggles". ESPN F1. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  2. ^ "1959 French Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b "France 1959 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 15 March 2019.

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