The next day President Batista sat in a grandstand with his family while police searched frantically for Fangio. Phil Hill, Wolfgang von Trips and other drivers waited more than an hour at the starting area after an announcer reported that Fangio had been released and was on his way. When Fangio did not appear the drivers were ordered to their cars. Fifteen minutes after the start a privately owned yellow-and-black Ferrari driven by Armando Garcia Cifuentes, an inexperienced 27-year-old Cuban, skidded on a patch of oil as he was coming out of a turn and jumped the curb. He sailed into a grandstand, killing seven people. “It seemed only an instant,” Hill said, “and bodies were being mowed down.” A cloud of dust went up and spectators rushed in to to gawk at the bloodshed. Cifuentes had lacerated face and bruises, but was otherwise unhurt. All over the Malecon officials waved red flags. The race was ended, and spectators were told to go home.
According to international rules, the five laps constituted a race. Stirling Moss was declared the winner, and he collected the $3,000 prize. Von Trips came in fourth. Hill, who had hung back with piston problems, placed fifth.
That evening the rebels turned Fangio over to the Argentine ambassador. Once freed, he made a point of saying that he had been well treated by his kidnappers. They had fed him generously and allowed him to watch the race on television.