On the 8th September 1957, the final round of that year's Formula One World Championships was held at Monza. The 1957 Italian Grand Prix abandoned the famous Monza banking, opting instead to race on the 3.57 mile track, which was very like the Monza of today, albeit without the chicanes.

Ferrari were back in action after boycotting the previous round at Pescara and so it was to be a three-way fight between the Lancia-Ferraris, the Maseratis and the Vanwalls. The British team continued their strong vein of form, with Stirling fastest in Friday practice. Stuart Lewis-Evans took pole position in the #20 Vanwall by 0.8 second from Stirling in the #18 Vanwall, with Tony Brooks qualifying third in the #22 Vanwall. 

Juan-Manuel Fangio put his #2 Maserati 250F on the outside of the 4-3-4 grid, a single piece of red on a front row of green, while his team mates, Jean Behra and Harry Schell in the #6 and #8 Maseratis, shared row two with Peter Collins's #30 Lancia-Ferrari. There were the other three Lancia-Ferraris of Wolfgang von Trips, Luigi Musso and Mike Hawthorn alongside the Scuderia Centro Sud #26 Maserati 250F of Masten Gregory on row three of the grid.

As Stirling recalls, the "Vanwalls completely outclasses the Ferraris, It came down to a straight fight with Maserati". Although the Vanwalls started the race from the front of the grid, Behra had moved up to second place by the end of the first lap.

Embed from Getty Images

Fangio attached himself to the train of cars ahead of him and the five began to pull away from the rest of the field, while indulging in a traditional Monza slipstreaming battle which saw the lead constantly changing between Stirling and Behra. 

On lap 7 Fangio took the lead but he was soon overtaken by Stirling, Brooks and then Lewis-Evans. Stirling confessed to his heart "skipping a beat on the 13th lap, when the gearbox started jamming, but after four anxious laps it somehow righted itself".

On lap 20 Brooks dropped out of the fight with a sticking throttle. Then Lewis-Evans ran into trouble and pitted with a steering problem.

This left Stirling in the lead with Fangio and Behra behind him, although Behra would pit soon afterwards for new tyres. This moved Schell into third place but he too retired with an oil leak, which meant that third placed was inherited by Collins. By lap 40 of the 87 lap race, Stirling was nearly 18 seconds ahead of Fangio, and when he pitted his Maserati to change tyres, he opened his advantage out to almost a minute.

At two-thirds race distance Collins also ran into engine trouble and pitted. This promoted Hawthorn to third, however a split fuel pipe dropped him to sixth in the closing laps, leaving Von Trips to take an eventual third place.  Stirling, as he had done at Pescara, made a cautionary pit stop 10 laps from the end of the race for new tyres and a top of oil. Barring a mechanical failure, the race was in the bag.

And that's how it finished, Stirling accelerated his Vanwall out of the last corner to take the chequered flag from Fangio and Von Trips.

As he recalled "For the third consecutive year, I was runner-up to Fangio in the World Drivers Championship, but, of more significance to me, I had won at this shrine to Italian motor racing at the wheel of una macchina Inglese, and that was the most important achievement of all".

1957 Italian Grand Prix Results:

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 18 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Vanwall 87 2:35:03.9 2 8
2 2 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 87 +41.2 secs 4 6
3 36 Germany Wolfgang von Trips Ferrari 85 +2 Laps 8 4
4 26 United States Masten Gregory Maserati 84 +3 Laps 11 3
5 8 Italy Giorgio Scarlatti
United States Harry Schell
Maserati 84 +3 Laps 12 1
6 34 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 83 +4 Laps 10  
7 22 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Vanwall 82 +5 Laps 3 1
8 32 Italy Luigi Musso Ferrari 82 +5 Laps 9  
9 10 Spain Paco Godia Maserati 81 +6 Laps 15  
10 14 United Kingdom Horace Gould Maserati 78 +9 Laps 18  
11 28 France André Simon
Switzerland Ottorino Volonterio
Maserati 72 +15 Laps 16  
Ret 30 United Kingdom Peter Collins Ferrari 62 Engine 7  
Ret 20 United Kingdom Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall 49 Engine 1  
Ret 6 France Jean Behra Maserati 49 Overheating 5  
Ret 16 United Kingdom Bruce Halford Maserati 47 Engine 14  
Ret 4 United States Harry Schell Maserati 34 Oil Leak 6  
Ret 24 Sweden Jo Bonnier Maserati 31 Overheating 13  
Ret 12 Italy Luigi Piotti Maserati 3 Engine 17