With the circuit being in the streets of the town there is no normal paddock at Monte Carlo and most of the teams base themselves in the large Renault garage in a side-street by the Automobile Club. The Ferrari team commandeered the basement for themselves, everyone else being crowded into the workshops at ground level. The only exceptions to this communal working were BRM, who were in a garage at the top of the town, a traditional spot where they have been for as long as I can remember, and the McLaren team who were hidden away in a garage in a side-street at the far end of the circuit.
At one time the various teams used to be spread out all over the town and in neighbouring villages, but traffic congestion gradually made this impracticable, the first signs of change being when the racing cars were no longer driven into Monte Carlo from places like Eze or Menton, but were brought in by transporter. Finally the traffic and parking problems forced most people to abandon the idea of travel, and with the growth of “democratic thinking” as it is called in Grand Prix circles, the communal garage/workshop plan was adopted.
Since the previous outing for Formula One cars, which was the International Trophy at Silverstone, a lot of work had been completed by many of the teams, some of it in the general 1971 building programme and some of it in a rebuilding programme repairing accident damage. The third of the Tyrrell cars had been completely rebuilt with a new chassis monocoque after its Silverstone accident, and Stewart was using this one as his car for the race, a new-style “droopy snoot” radiator cowl was available for this car, with the 1970 car as a practice vehicle. Cevert was driving the second Tyrrell car and it was fitted with the experimental Girling double-disc front brakes during practice, but they were not used for the actual race.
The March factory had rebuilt 711/1, the Alfa Romeo-engined car, with a new monocoque assembly, after Peterson’s crash at Silverstone, and it was now being driven by Nanni Galli in place of de Adamich, while Peterson was back in 711/2, the STP-sponsored Cosworth V8-powered car, and this was using some experimental copper discs on the front brakes in practice, and had a revised rear suspension. The third works March was 711/4, also Cosworth powered, for Spaniard Alex Soler Roig, and a brand-new 711 March, number five in the series, had been completed for American Skip Barber, it being red like the works cars and having the latest cockpit surround like the rebuilt 711/1. To complete the March line-up there was 711/3 driven by Pescarolo for the Frank Williams team and it was painted in the red of the Motul oil company.
Matra had three cars in the garage, the two 1971 cars used previously and a brand-new car, number six in the MS120 series, as a practice car for Amon. All three were fitted with the short, narrow nose cowling, and 04 and 05 had new rear aerofoils in the form of a large tray that covered the whole rear of the car and half the engine as well; the new car was fitted with the earlier smaller aerofoil. To try and improve their oiling system the cars were fitted with external oil tanks mounted at the back behind the Hewland gearboxes, like most of the British Formula One systems.
The Surtees team had their usual two 1971 models, with the original 1970 as a spare and for use by one of the many film companies using the Monaco GP as background material. Lotus had their two Type 72 cars, numbers R3 and R5, the former being unchanged for Wisell and the latter for Fittipaldi having an entirely new rear suspension, so drastically redesigned that it warrants the up-rating from 72C to 72D. Previously, and still on R3, the rear suspension comprised a very wide-base lower wishbone that absorbed all the fore and aft loads from the bottom of the hub-carrier, with a single transverse top link and a single radius rod from the top of the upright running forwards to an attachment on the front end of the appropriate cylinder-head of the Cosworth engine. Incorporated in the transverse link was a triangular member that was coupled to the link mechanism that operated the longitudinal torsion bar spring. On the new layout the bottom of the rear upright is located by two parallel links pivoting on a new sub-frame under the Hewland gearbox, and the fore and aft loads are absorbed by two radius rods on each side. The upper one is a lot longer than the previous single one, and runs from the top of the upright, forward to a ball-joint ahead of the engine, this ball-joint being suspended in space by a complex structure of very small tubes anchored to the front end of the cylinder-head, on each side of the car.
The lower radius rod is pivoted on the upright about midway between the lower transverse links and the centre line of the hub and the forward mounting is by a ball-joint on the rear bulkhead of the chassis monocoque. From the top of the upright a similar transverse link operates the torsion bar as on the previous version of the Lotus 72. On the D-version the air scoops to the rear-mounted oil radiators have been improved with the entries wider apart and less liable to collect engine heat. For this round-the-houses race both Lotus cars were using the 1970 three-tier rear aerofoil as downthrust is more important than drag.
Tauranac’s team of Brabham cars were the two used at previous races, the 1971 model fresh from its Silverstone victory and having raised radiator pods with the forward corners bevelled off in view of the confined and crowded conditions found on the Monte Carlo circuit.
Underneath all this activity, in the basement of the Renault garage, were four Ferraris, the Race of Champions winning car, 312B/2 No. 5 for Regazzoni and a brand-new 312B/2 for Ickx, this being number six in the flat-12-cylinder series. Since Firestone introduced the completely smooth “slick” racing tyre their various users have been troubled by vibration under cornering loads, thought to be generated by the wide smooth tyre sliding across the road surface and at the same time transmitting power. It also exists with Goodyear-shod cars as well, for Hulme complained of it during tyre testing with the latest McLaren.
In an attempt to damp out these vibrations the Ferraris were fitted with long thin dampers, as used to damp out “kick” in production car steering, and these were mounted horizontally across the back of the car running from the top of the uprights to a steel bracket mounted on top of the gearbox. Both of the 1971 Ferraris were using Lockheed brakes, as previously used only by McLaren. The third works Ferrari entry was No. 2 of the 1970 series and this was for Andretti, while No. 3 of the 1970 series was a spare, with team-leader Ickx’s number on it.
Away at the top of Monte Carlo were four V12 BRM cars, the two 1971 models for Rodriguez and Siffert and two 1970 models, one for “customer” Ganley and the other as a spare for team-leader Rodriguez. Number one P160, with the latest cylinder-heads on the engine, was for the Mexican and number two P160 was for the Swiss. There was a newly-styled “shovel nose” radiator cowling for the number one car. Both of the P153 cars had been brought up-to-date with 1971 type oil tanks, and ducted air coolers. In the McLaren garage were the two usual orange cars, the 1971 model M19 for Hulme and the revised 1970 model M14A/2 for Gethin, while the bones of another M14A were in the transporter as “travelling spares”.
With a total of 29 Formula One cars in Monaco the narrow pit lane during practice was desperately overcrowded, though fortunately all 29 did not appear at one time.—D. S. J.
Hulme finished 4th last year in 1 hr. 56 min. 04.9 sec. for the 80 laps, driving McLaren M14A/2. This year he again finished 4th in 1 hr. 53 min. 28.0 sec. for the 80 laps in the McLaren M19. Stationary progress?