On 5th July 1959, the French Grand Prix was held at Reims. There were three cars for the factory drivers, Tony Brooks, Phil Hill and Jean Behra and a further two 246 F1s for the Belgian Olivier Gendebien and for the latest find from Luigi Chinetti, the Ferrari concessionaire in America, Dan Gurney.
Tony Brooks took pole position, beating Jack Brabham’s Cooper by three tenths with Phil Hill a further tenth behind. Behra was fifth at eight tenths, while Gendebien and Gurney were eleventh and twelfth. In the race, the man from Dukinfield maintained the lead from pole, ahead of Stirling Moss in a BRM, who would later retire with a broken clutch.
Tony Brooks went on to record his fifth F1 career win, the first for Ferrari, with Phil Hill second. After the race, the drivers looked as though they’d been on a battlefield rather than a race track, because the track surface had broken up in the heat, throwing up lots of stones which hit the drivers in the face and chest, when they were following other cars.
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.