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1957 French Grand Prix

Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France

Sunday, July 7, 1957
Very hot, dry and sunny
Fastest Lap:
Musso, 2m22.5
1957 season:

Fangio the Master

Rouen, July 7th.

After trying for many years, the Automobile Club Normand at last succeeded in wresting the French Grand Prix away from the Automobile Club du Champagne, and this year's race was held on the wonderful natural road circuit of Rouen-Les Essarts. This circuit is without question the finest in France and approaches the Spa circuit for the ultimate in Grand Prix courses. In the past it has only been lack of organising finance that has prevented the French Federation letting the Grand Prix of their country be run at Rouen, but this year the problem was solved and the French Grand Prix became a Grand Prix in the true sense of the words, rather than a flat-out blind as happens at Reims.

Situated a few miles south of Rouen, in the forest of Les Essarts, the 6.542-kilometre circuit contains everything from tight hairpins to 150-m.p.h. corners, steep uphill sections, and a wonderful 100-120-m.p.h. series of downhill swerves of the type that really sorts out the men from the boys in Grand Prix cars. Spectator value is at its best at Rouen for the whole of this downhill dice is visible from a very high embankment that runs along the left-hand side of the road, and to see "the master" in a 30-deg. slide at 100 m.p.h. from a vantage point almost directly above is to see the art of Grand Prix driving at its best. This was the first occasion on which Formula 1 cars have competed on the revised Rouen circuit and, with an entry of 15 cars, only one of which was privately owned, the other 14 being factory cars, it meant that practice just had to be seen, in spite of being early on Friday morning.