XIX Grand Prix of Monaco
What a race !
Monte Carlo, May 14th.
With no races being held in the Argentine this year the Monaco GP was the first Grande Epreuve of the season and naturally everyone wanted to be in it but, as usual, the number of cars permitted to start on the narrow and twisting 3.145-km circuit was limited to sixteen. This year a different arrangement of selection was used, in place of the previous idea of taking the sixteen fastest in practice out of those invited to compete. Each factory team was given two places for their leading drivers, so that Bonnier and Gurney were in for Porsche, Graham Hill and Brooks for BRM, Brabham and McLaren for Cooper, Clark and Ireland for Lotus, and Phil Hill and von Trips for Ferrari. In addition to these ten Moss and Trintignant were given definite entries, as members of private teams, because they were both past winners of the race ! This meant that there were four places left for the remainder of the entry, to be decided between them on practice times; and battling for these places were Ritchie Ginther with a third works Ferrari, Hans Herrmann with a third works Porsche, Gendebien and Bianchi with Emerysons from the Equipe National Belge, Allison and Henry Taylor with UDT-Laystall Lotus cars, Masten Gregory with the Camoradi Cooper, Michael May, the Swiss driver, with Seidel's Lotus, and John Surtees with a Yeoman Credit Cooper. Reg Parnell had wisely only brought his fastest driver along and had sent Salvadori down to Naples where another F1 race was being held on the same day. Before practice started the outcome of the four final places was fairly clear, for obviously Ginther and Herrmann with works cars would get in, as would Surtees with the Yeoman Credit car, so that there was only doubt about the sixteenth place and the also-rans were to struggle for one position on the starting grid.
In bright and sunny weather practice began on Thursday afternoon, May 11th, and everyone was out with the exception of the Porsche team, the drivers and officials being there but no cars or mechanics. Jack Brabham was just in from Indianapolis, where he had been practising with the special 2.75-litre alcohol-burning Cooper-Climax, so he no doubt found the 1.5-litre Grand Prix Cooper-Climax a bit tame, but the Monte Carlo circuit as difficult as ever. A new and sensible innovation this year was the moving of the pits to the other side of the island on which they are situated, that is, on the return road from the Gasworks Hairpin. With cars taking the Tobacconist Corner on the harbour front faster each year the beginning of the pits area was fast becoming an unhealthy place to be, for many of the cars were still sliding when they reached the old pits area. This change not only made things a little less dicey, but also permitted a much better line through the long curve down to the Gasworks Hairpin. Further to this, many guard rails had been put up around the edge of the circuit, consisting of I-section girders let into the ground with springy steel strips bolted to them, while at the Gasworks Hairpin an additional row of straw bales was placed on the outside, thus protecting the paying customers but making the radius of the turn slightly different.
If noise was anything to go by, the new 120 degree V6-cylinder Ferrari was most impressive as Ginther went round, passing BRMs and Coopers with ease, even though many of the British entries had now got new 4-cylinder Coventry-Climax Mark II engines. Surtees was in a bit of trouble with the selector mechanism on his 5-speed Cooper gearbox and Moss was not happy about the fuel feed system on his 1960 Lotus. Graham Hill was going well in the BRM with Mk II Coventry-Climax engine, and the brand new works Lotus cars of Clark and Ireland were beginning to go very fast. Brabham was not in the picture at all, but nevertheless was quietly adjusting his Cooper to the conditions without any fuss, and Phil Hill and von Trips with the 60 degree V6 Ferraris were hot on the heels of Ginther with the new car. Practice had begun with lap times around 1 min 48 sec, but the faster drivers soon reduced this to under a min 45 sec, and towards the end of the afternoon the three Ferraris were all below 1 min 42 sec, as was Moss with his Lotus, the Walker team being back on form again. As practice neared its close the new Lotus cars really got into their stride and Ireland was down with Moss and the Ferraris and Clark was beginning to look fast as well as going fast. He did a terrific lap in 1 min 39.6 sec, looking almost wild, and on the next time round he lost it at Ste Devote Corner and crashed heavily, wrecking the Lotus but escaping injury himself. While the dust was settling, practice ended and he was the only one to get below 1 min 40 sec, but this was small consolation for the amount of work required to sort out the wreckage. The Lotus factory had only just managed to get the two cars ready in time for the event and now there was a panic call to bring the workers down to Monaco to straighten everything out, the remains having to be stripped right down to the bare chassis frame and many bent tubes having to be cut out and replaced, and parts straightened or replaced.
Following the Grand Prix practice there was Formula Junior practice, the entry being divided into two groups for the "Third Monaco-Junior" race to be held on Saturday, and it was interesting to reflect that the winners of the two previous Junior races at Monte Carlo, Michael May and Henry Taylor, were now taking part in the Grand Prix itself.
The next Formula 1 practice was bright and early in the morning on Friday, starting at 7.15 am, the Juniors already having practised at an even earlier hour. The Porsche team had arrived and had four cars with them, one as a spare, Moss had the Walker Cooper out as a spare and Yeoman Credit had their slim rebodied car as a spare for Surtees, both these reserve Coopers having old-type Climax engines. Needless to say there was only one works Lotus out, work on Clark's car still progressing, and Ireland's car now had a 5-speed gearbox in place of the 4-speed he used the day before. UDT-Laystall gave Allison the Mk II engined car for this practice, Taylor having had it previously, but Graham Hill still had the faster BRM. The Ferraris seemed very happy, their engines requiring little in the way of attention, and Ginther was putting in a lot of laps in the new one, this meeting being more in the nature of a test for the car than a serious race, but as it was turning out the new car was faster and as reliable as the older ones. There was no doubt that Ginther was going to qualify for the start for he turned 1 min 39.8 sec, and Surtees was equally sure of getting in as he did 1 min 41.1 sec, but Herrmann was not going fast enough and young Michael May saw a golden opportunity and took it. Two of the fast boys were having a little scrap and went by him, whereupon he tucked in behind them and thus inspired turned a lap in 1 min 42.0 sec with the old standard Lotus. This was well over a second quicker than he could hope to do on his own and he only did one lap with them, but it was all that he needed to get to the forefront of the qualifiers. The Porsche engines on fuel injection were going well, pulling hard from 2,000 rpm up to 9,000 rpm, but they were handicapped by not having enough gears, the 4-speed arrangement being tried out not being too successful. Phil Hill was really working hard and almost equalled Ginther's time and von Trips was not far behind, and for a while the three Ferraris were fastest of the morning, but then Graham Hill went out and broke things up with a lap in exactly 1 min 40.0 sec, thus taking third place in the morning's times. Clark was still second fastest overall and he, Ginther and Phil Hill were the only ones to get below 1 min 40 sec, and this had now become the target figure.
Ireland caused the Lotus mechanics more work by ramming the back of Gendebien and crumpling the nose of the new Lotus, and later, for another reason altogether, the left rear suspension on Gendebien's Emeryson later collapsed and he arrived at the pits with the wheel leaning at a most unorthodox angle. The ENB were having a bad time for, apart from neither car being fast enough, Bianchi stopped with oil pouring out of everywhere. After this second practice session the four qualifiers looked like being Ginther, Surtees, May and Allison, but there was still another practice period.
Saturday afternoon, at 2 pm, conditions were perfect, being warm and dry but with a cloudy haze over the sun which reduced glare and prevented excessive heat. Brabham had missed practice on the Friday having flown back to Indianapolis in order to take part in the qualifying trials and he was naturally enough still absent for this final session, but his car was at the pits for McLaren to try and make sure all was in order. On Friday Moss had tried the Cooper briefly and soon realised that the Lotus was much easier to drive on the twisty circuit, so he only had one car out for this final period, as had Surtees, but whereas the Walker Lotus was going well, having twin Bendix electric pumps now fitted in its fuel system, the Yeoman Credit Cooper did not do many laps and the motorcycle Champion became a spectator, along with Jimmy Clark, whose Lotus was still being rebuilt. Ireland's fibreglass nose cowling had been repaired and was now painted yellow and Ferraris were wiring an additional 6-volt battery in with the normal 12-volt in order to increase the current at the coils at high rpm. McLaren in his usual quiet and unflurried way had been getting on with the job in hand, going progressively faster, and it was not long before he got under the target figure of 1 min 40.0 sec, this being evidenced by the way he was gaining on Ginther in the new Ferrari while they were both out on the circuit. Ireland was not happy with the gear change on the new 5-speed box and bits were being filed off the gear gate, but Moss was now going very fast in his older Lotus. Michael May borrowed the spare works Porsche for a few laps and the Belgian drivers swapped cars for a time, and Allison still had the new Climax engine as Herrmann had ousted him from the qualifiers' list. Surtees was still well placed among the qualifiers with his Friday's time so did not bother to wear his car out, though his pit were keeping a watchful eye on Laystall in case either of their drivers looked like approaching 1 min 42.0 sec. The Walker Lotus was now going beautifully and Moss was making full use of it; suddenly putting all the Ferraris in their place with a lap in 1 min 39.1 sec, gaining pole position on the grid. The third Ferrari, driven by von Trips, had got below the target time of 1 min 40.0 sec, but so had Graham Hill who was well content with his BRM, equalling Clark's very fast lap of the first day. While practice was at its height Ireland muffed a gear-change while in the tunnel and spun, bouncing along the guard rails, demolishing the Lotus as he went and injuring a knee cap as well as suffering numerous cuts and bruises. Considering the speed, which was over 100 mph, and the conditions, he was very lucky to escape so lightly, but it put him into hospital for a time. The organisation took an absurdly long time to clear up the wreckage and pronounce the circuit ready for practice again, so that when it resumed there was only 10 minutes left, but meanwhile cement dust had been sprinkled on some of the corners where the road was looking oily, so that it was impossible for any more very fast times to be recorded. UDT-Laystall changed numbers and sent Taylor out in the Mk II-engined car in an attempt to qualify but it was to no avail. On times the four qualifiers were Ginther, Surtees, Herrmann and May, but as Ireland was now out of the race Allison was brought in.
Following this final practice the Formula Junior race took place and the total of 40 cars were divided into two heats by ballot, 20 cars to each heat. Both groups raced over 16 laps and then each first eleven went to the Final, irrespective of their speed or race time and the 22 in the Final raced for 24 laps for the III Grand Prix "Monaco-Junior." In the first Heat an immaculate Trevor Taylor in an immaculate 1961 Lotus-Ford drove an immaculate race, in a class by himself, while Heat two, which had only 19 starters, one Lotus failing in practice, saw the works Lola-Fords of Ashdown, Prior and Hine trying unsuccessfully to catch Maggs in Ken Tyrell's Cooper-BMC, this heat being won at a slightly slower speed than the first. The finalists lined up on the grid according to the time they took in their respective heats, so that Trevor Taylor was in pole position with Maggs and John Love alongside him. What would probably have proved to be a runaway win for the yellow-overalled Taylor in the gleaming Lotus 20 was spoilt when he spun on the opening lap and came round next to last with water coming out of a split radiator. On lap two he set up the fastest lap but then he saw his temperature gauge rising and stopped before he blew up. This left Arundell and McKee in the other Team Lotus cars to do battle with Love and Maggs in Ken Tyrell's Cooper-BMC cars so that the race took on an interesting Dagenharn v Longbridge aspect and they both took turns at leading, Arundell and Love changing places and the average speed rising steadily to more than that in heat one. The outcome was finally settled when Love spun at Ste Devote corner and though this let Arundell go on to an easy win it did not lose second place for BMC. Formula Junior drivers can be grouped into those who are going to make good racing drivers and those who will never be racing drivers whether they race Formula Junior, sports cars or saloon cars and some try all three, so that it was interesting to see two newcomers keeping up with the established Junior drivers these were the Swiss driver Josef Siffert in a 1960 Lotus-Ford and Philip Robinson in the Alec Francis-built very sleek Alexis, the former finishing fifth and the latter having the misfortune to lose a certain sixth place when his engine seized just before the end of the race.
The Grand Prix of Monaco was all set to start at 2.45 pm on Sunday afternoon and the weather was perfect for racing, being warm and dry with haze and clouds partly obscuring the sun. Jack Brabham had arrived at lunch time back from Indianapolis where he had averaged 145.14 mph for his four qualifying laps, and everyone was preparing for the 100 laps of the Monte Carlo circuit.
Surtees was using a Mk I Climax engine in his Yeoman Credit Cooper in place of the new one he had used in practice and Moss had the cockpit sides removed from his Lotus, anticipating a hot race, also having a drinking bottle fitted on the left of the seat. Clark's Lotus had been completed, fitted with a 5-speed gearbox but it had barely been run since the rebuilding was completed. Allison had the UDT-Laystall Lotus-Climax with the Mk II engine and altogether there were six of these new engines in the race, Ireland, of course, being a non-starter.
At 2.30 p.m. the sixteen starters lined up on the grid with Brabham in the unusual position of last, due to having done only one practice for the race. While warming-up it was found that Clark's engine was oiling the plug on one cylinder, presumably due to faulty or broken piston rings, so he was wheeled on to the grid with three hard plugs and one soft one in the engine and he waited until 10 seconds before the fall of the flag before he pressed the button and started the engine. Naturally the other 55 engines were running by this time and as the starter stepped to one side to indicate the last 5 seconds Clark's engine blew out a great cloud of smoke, a sure sign that all was not well in one of the cylinders.
The start was perfect and all sixteen cars rushed down to the Gasworks Hairpin with Ginther's Ferrari leading. The little American was first out of the hairpin and the red Ferrari fairly streaked away past the pits and up the hill towards the Casino, with Clark and Moss following. At the end of the opening lap Ginther was already many lengths ahead, followed by Clark, Moss, Gurney, Brooks, Bonnier, Phil Hill, McLaren, Graham Hill, von Trips, Suttees and Brabham, the World Champion having already gained four places. Ginther's start had left everyone gasping and wondering where he had gone, for he gained 5 seconds lead in three laps. On lap two Moss had gone through in second place and Clark was missing, though he coasted towards the back of the pits long after everyone had gone by. A wire to the fuel pump had been hurriedly assembled in the rebuilding and had become trapped under a frame tube and had worn through and started the pump. This was fixed and Clark motored round the hairpin to the proper side of the pits and had a plug changed for the troublesome one had oiled again. He did one more lap and it oiled yet again, so a very soft plug was put in and he finally joined in the race on all four cylinders when the leaders were on lap seven. Ginther's meteoric start with the 120 degree Ferrari had really shaken everybody and it took Moss five laps to recover and get into his stride. Gradually he whittled down the gap and Bonnier, in the new Porsche, kept with him, these two soon leaving the rest of the field. After Bonnier came a fast and furious pack of cars led by Gurney in the old Porsche and comprising Brooks, McLaren, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, von Trips and Surtees, these seven doing some pretty hectic pushing and shoving. Just behind sat Brabham watching all this and presumably waiting for it to sort itself out. By lap eight Moss was only 1.5 seconds from Ginther and Bonnier was still close to the tail of the Lotus. Gurney had detached himself from the pack and Phil Hill had scratched past Brooks but the other four were still nose-to-tail and arriving at the Gasworks turn in a struggling bunch, von Trips very nearly hitting McLaren amidships as he tried to cut in to the apex, only to come to rest and drop to the back of the bunch. At ten laps the pace was as hot as ever and Ginther went round in just on 1 min 40 sec, but, Moss was right with him and properly in his stride now so that Bonnier lost a bit of ground. As the bunch in the middle of the field approached the hairpin and started lap 12 Graham Hill was leading them, but then his engine cut and he pulled into the side and let the others go past. He pushed the car along to the pits but his race was over; his engine was using a belt driven fuel pump, but the pump gland had leaked and let fuel into the pulley bearing which had seized and the belt had broken.
On lap 12 Moss was right on Ginther's tail and still there on lap 13 and Bonnier had closed up again and on lap 14 both the Lotus and the Porsche nipped by the Ferrari. Meanwhile Phil Hill had caught and passed Gurney and the tight little foursome had become sorted out, Brooks being at the back and the others pulling away, with von Trips leading them. Brabham was still in tenth place and beginning to look as though he was going to stay there, his face showing signs of the lack of proper sleep from which he had been suffering during the past week. Moss had already lapped Allison and now began to pull away slowly but surely, Ginther dropping back a bit after his meteoric opening laps. After a bit of a struggle von Trips got past Gurney so now the three Ferraris were line-ahead in number order 36, 38 and 40 and holding third, fourth and fifth positions. At 20 laps Moss had pulled out a six second lead over Bonnier and the three Ferraris were beginning to hustle each other along and close up on the Porsche, while Gurney could not keep up the pace and was dropping back to join Brooks at the end of the fast part of the field. Brabham was now beginning to miss upward gearchanges, a sure sign that fatigue was affecting him and added to this his engine was beginning to smoke, no doubt caused by over-revving as he missed third gear. Behind Brabham, and spread out, came Herrmann, in the new short-chassis Porsche, Trintignant, Michael May and Allison, with Jimmy Clark now going all right but many laps in arrears. On lap 24 Phil Hill went by Ginther and the three Ferraris were right up with Bonnier's Porsche, but Moss was now 10 seconds ahead of them and looking very comfortable, though driving fast, lapping in well under 1 min 40 sec. On the next lap the three angry-looking Ferraris, with their shark-like noses, were crowding the silver Porsche and in the melee on lap 26 Phil Hill lead the group, with Bonnier almost alongside, and von Trips led Ginther, but it was all so close that for two laps any of them could have been in any position, except of course, in first place, for Moss was out on his own, but ominously not gaining any more ground. The foursome battling for second position were keeping a level 10 seconds behind Moss, and in view of the cutting and thrusting going on this was not much lead to have but he obviously could not increase it without stretching the Lotus a bit. At 32 laps Ginther got by von Trips and the order was Moss, Phil Hill, Bonnier, Ginther, von Trips and then some way back McLaren and Surtees in very close company. Surtees was driving his old engine very hard and McLaren was ill at ease for his fuel pressure was very high causing the carburetters to flood. Cooper had fitted electric pumps, like a lot of other people, but they were working too well, so now and again McLaren would reach over his right shoulder and turn off the electrical master switch which protrudes through the bulkhead thus switching off the pumps in an attempt to reduce the pressure to the carburetter. This little bother was slowing him a bit and it allowed Surtees to keep up and later go by and take sixth position. He did this very smartly as they approached the Gasworks righthand hairpin, for they came up behind Allison as they put the brakes on and McLaren went to the left of the light green Lotus and Surtees to the right so that all three arrived with the brakes hard on, wheel to wheel. By practically coming to rest on the very apex of the hairpin Surtees flicked round on the inside, while McLaren had to go wide. It was a superb bit of judgment on the part of the ex-motorcyclist for many famous drivers had tried a similar manoeuvre only to arrive too fast and go straight on across their opponent's bows, or too slow and have their opponent cut across the front and block the turn. While this was going on, Brabham was about to be lapped by Moss but avoided this by stopping at his pit to change plugs, as his engine had been misfiring for some time. Already lapped were Trintignant, who was going as well as the old Cooper-Maserati could be expected, Herrmann who was having trouble changing gear, Michael May, and Allison; while many laps behind Clark was circulating regularly having rather a boring time with no one to race against.
At 40 laps it looked as though stalemate had set in for Moss was still 10 seconds ahead of Phil Hill who was no longer being challenged by Bonnier, the Swede having given up trying to do anything about the leading Ferrari, but one man had not given up, and, in fact, had got his second wind, and this was Ritchie Ginther. He closed right up on Bonnier, leaving von Trips behind and on lap 41 did the well known "dive-to-the-inside" at the hairpin, ran a bit wide coming out so that Bonnier was able to get across to the inside as they left the corner and then the cars went up the road past the pits absolutely side-by-side, there being little difference on low-speed acceleration. However, the power of the Ferrari told and Ginther got ahead and rapidly closed on Phil Hill. This maneouvre had obviously "needled" Bonnier for he kept with Ginther and the two Ferraris and the Porsche were soon nose-to-tail. Ginther was clearly forcing the pace now, pushing Phil Hill along and towing Bonnier and the three of them slowly but surely began to gain on Moss, who was naturally being kept well-informed by his pit. At 45 laps his 10 second lead had been reduced to 8 seconds and by 50 laps, which was half distance it was 7 seconds and they were all lapping below 1 min 38 sec, already faster than anyone had gone in practice. Bonnier was beginning to pant with the effort of keeping up and he lost his "tow," while von Trips had been left quite a way behind. The Surtees/McLaren duel had ended, they were now running well apart, but Gurney and Brooks were running close together in eighth and ninth positions, but not doing anything very desperate. The rest of the field had been lapped twice or more by Moss, and May had stopped at the pits with a broken oil pipe on the gearbox. Brabham had reappeared for three more laps and then retired, while Jimmy Clark was still going round nine laps in arrears. Ginther now had the look of a very determined man and was pushing Phil Hill along very hard and by 55 laps had forced Hill on so much that Moss had only 4.5 seconds lead. Brooks had retired just before being lapped by the leaders, for he had got his nose cowling hooked on Gurney's exhaust pipe and in the ensuing excitement had over-revved the BRM's engine and it had burst. By lap 58 Moss could see the two Ferraris clearly in his rear view mirrors and was now driving really hard for the two red cars had a relentless look about them. Using the Lotus to its fullest extent Moss was able to hold the gap at 5 seconds, but he was really scrabbling into the Gasworks turn, using all the brakes at his disposal and staying in front by sheer driving virtuosity, never wasting a fraction of a second anywhere, especially when lapping slower cars. On lap 60 Bonnier did not appear, his engine having died on him due to vapour-lock in the fuel pumps which upset the injection pump. He walked back to the pits not realising that as things cooled off the system returned to normal. Fastest practice lap now seemed slow in comparison to the pace at which Moss and the two Ferraris were going. Every time the two Maranello cars gained a little ground Moss would nip by a slower car and the slight baulking would put the Ferraris back to 5 seconds. This was the luck of the game and on three occasions Moss just got by a slower car going into Ste. Devote and the American drivers had to follow it round by the Casino, losing valuable yards. This sort of "traffic driving" was the saviour for Moss, for there is no one to match him at lapping slower cars and taking every opportunity with an uncanny foresight. Phil Hill was certainly no match and Ginther could hardly hope to compete with his limited experience. It was rather like a fighter-plane being chased by a superior enemy and being saved by dodging into clouds. It had been obvious for some time that though Ginther was setting the Ferrari pace from third position, he was being held up by Hill, for whereas Hill was looking hot and breathless, Ginther was looking cool and calculating, chewing his gum and driving with a very set expression on his face. At 70 laps the gap was still 5 seconds but Moss was looking in his mirrors as much as he was looking ahead, driving as only Moss knows how, holding off the inevitable by sheer skill and brilliance. Only two weeks before we had seen Moss driving at nine and a half tenths in Sicily and now he was doing it again in Monte Carlo, not for a fleeting moment but continually, lap after lap, having no time to waste on waving to his friends. So great was the excitement that the rest of the runners were forgotten and the disappearance of Surtees when his Yeoman Credit Climax engine blew up on lap 69 was almost missed.
McLaren braked heavily before the hairpin to let Moss through and Ginther was beginning to make Phil Hill realise he was in the way. On lap 72 the gap enlarged to 64 seconds and this made Ginther get rough with his team-mate, who was out of his depth at this speed, and had been for some time. As they started lap 75 Ginther was alongside and elbowing him out of the way and by lap 77 he had closed the gap to 51/2 seconds and got away from Hill. On lap 78 he got hung up by a slow car on the twisty part of the course and the gap returned to 6 seconds but by lap 80 it was down to 41/2 seconds and Ginther was giving all he had got, the Ferrari sounding really angry. On lap 82 the gap was 4 seconds, only half a second gain, but how the wiry-little American was working to gain those few yards on a superb Moss who was watching his mirror all the time. They were now lapping below 1 min 37 sec and the tension was terrific, Ginther was looking so determined that a lesser man than Moss would have given up, but not the "Golden Boy," he was enjoying every minute of the battle, even if he was sweating a bit. Most people, especially a new driver to Grand Prix racing, would have settled for a safe second place behind the master-driver, but not Ginther, he pushed harder than ever, doing his 84th lap in 1 min 36.3 sec, only a tenth of a second off the absolute lap record set up last year by a 2.5-litre car. This reduced the gap to 3.5 seconds, but the superb Moss replied by recording an identical time on lap 85 and putting the gap back to 41/2 seconds. In the middle of all this excitement McLaren ran out of petrol as he rounded the hairpin, but was able to coast to the pits and take on more and rejoin the race, but it let Gurney by into fifth place. At 5 seconds the gap stayed, Moss having got the measure of the Ferrari by sheer driving skill for he was giving away over 25 bhp. On lap 89 they lapped von Trips and on lap 91 Ginther threw away his chewing-gum and determined to have one last desperate attempt. He had no great hope of getting the lead, for even if he caught Moss he would still have to get by, but he kept the pressure on in the hope that something would happen. It was too much to hope that Moss would make a mistake for even on the limit this rarely happens to the master, but there was always the hope that the Lotus-Climax would break, if pressed continuously; equally there was the risk that the Ferrari would break, but as Ginther showed last year at Modena he is a great believer in "if you are going to race, then race to the bitter end," and be had been really racing. On lap 96 he chopped half a second off and the gap was 41/2 seconds, on lap 97 he had gained a yard or two, on lap 98 it was 4 seconds and the same as they started their last lap. Not for a long while now had we seen such a race, where it was not going to be won until the chequered flag fell. All round that last lap Moss was watching his mirrors and Ginther was just as determined as ever and they crossed the finishing line 3.6 seconds apart and the vast crowd sank back in exhaustion saying "What a race, and this new Formula 1 has only just started." A very harrassed Phil Hill arrived third and on his slowing-down lap found von Trips stopped by the roadside, the Ferrari having lost all its sparks on its last lap, so the German rode to the finish on the tail of his team-mate's car. A very relieved and happy Moss went to receive the winner's cup, his third Monaco GP win and a happy and smiling freckle-faced Ginther said "Couldn't try any harder, but it wasn't enough." When he switched the Ferrari engine off the left-hand bank of chokes gradually filled with petrol, the float chambers flooding badly, which explained the slight hesitation the engine had had on initial pick-up away from the hairpin. Moss had taken the Mark II Climax engine well up to its limit of nearly 8,000 rpm, using every one of its 152 bhp and it had responded nobly, as had the Lotus chassis, Colotti gearbox, Dunlop tyres and Girling disc brakes.—DSJ.
Who is Paul Ritchie Ginther ? He rode as passenger to Phil Hill in a 4.1-litre Ferrari in the Mexican road race when they chased Maglioli in the works 4.9-litre Ferrari in 1954, and has been test driving for Scuderia Ferrari for 12 months.
We thought Silverstone had some excitable Marshals but one very junior one at Monaco was even more outstanding, waving his blue flag at all and sundry. Bit embarrassing, as it turned out to be Louis Chiron, who was supposed to be the Director of Race.
Moss really saved the day for the British; hope he can go on doing it, but the Ferraris look and sound pretty fierce.
Last year's record lap, 1 min 36.2 sec, this year Moss and Ginther did 1 min 36.3 sec; see what happens when the boys get down to some serious racing.
Notes on the cars at Monte Carlo
As it was the first Grande Epreuve of the season the Monaco race saw the appearance of the new-Lotus-Climax, the V 120-degree Ferrari and the 1961 Porsche chassis, as well as many other interesting new technicalities. Colin Chapman and his workers produced two brand new cars, obviously evolved from the 1960 cars and the 1961 Formula Junior cars, but bearing little connection mechanically. An entirely new small-diameter space frame was used, the major longitudinal members being used to carry oil and water from the rear-mounted Climax engine to the front-mounted radiators, a stripped-down chassis frame looking most unusual, having some frame tubes ending in threaded oil-pipe unions and others being rusty inside. Front suspension was a major departure from what has become conventional practice, for the top wishbone is no longer an A-bracket welded up from tubing, but a boxed-in A-shaped member made from sheet steel. A threaded tube is welded into the apex, to carry the spherical steering joint on the top of the king-post, and the wide base is joined to a tube carrying needle-roller bearings, through which passes a long thin pivot pin, the suspension no longer being carried on overhung bolts. The fabricated A-shaped box extends inwards beyond the pivot centre to form a rocker-arm, the short inner end being attached to the top of a coil spring and damper unit, this being inside the frame, on each side, and under the bodywork. To the inner ends of these rocker-arms a very short anti-roll bar is attached so that all the suspension mechanism is out of sight. While being new to Lotus the principle is not new, having been used in 1948 by Maserati on the 4CLT/48, the inner end of the rocker-arms operating coil-springs exactly as used on this 1961 Lotus. The lower front suspension members are normal welded tube A-brackets and the resultant layout is a clean and tidy front end, but adjustment and servicing is much more difficult, though the front of the fibre-glass body is quickly detachable, held in place by spring clips. The rear suspension of this new Lotus is a development of last year's layout, retaining the very low tubular A-bracket, double radius-arms on each side and coil-spring damper units, but instead of using the drive shaft as a suspension member there is now a short tubular top link above the drive shaft. Normally this layout would call for a sliding-spline drive shaft but Chapman has gone one better, retaining the one-piece drive shafts, with a normal Hardy-Spicer universal joint at the outer end but using a flexible universal joint at the inner end. These have very large pitch-circle spiders coupled together by a doughnut-shaped rubber ring which allows a small amount of in-and-out movement, thus doing away with the necessity of a heavy sliding spline shaft ; the rear disc brakes are now mounted outboard, on the hub carriers. Both cars were fitted with Mk II Coventry-Climax engines, with two 45DCOE9 Weber carburetters, the engines being mounted upright in the chassis frame. An entirely new transmission is used, built by ZF of Freidrichshafen in Germany, to Lotus requirements. This comprises a unit construction gearbox and crown-wheel and pinion assembly, the gearbox naturally being behind the axle line, and having baulk-ring synchromesh gears, and there are 4-speed and 5-speed versions available, depending on the circuit, the outward appearances being identical and both are controlled by a right-hand conventional gear-gate in the cockpit, the 4-speed being a normal open-gate and the 5-speed having an inter-lock mechanism on the gate. As with the 1961 Formula Junior Lotus the driver's seat in the new Grand Prix cars is very reclined and is surrounded by fuel tanks. The fibre-glass body is very closely wrapped around the mechanism, and is very shapely, resulting in one of the better-looking Lotus racing cars.
The new rear-engined Grand Prix Ferrari was also making its first appearance at a race meeting, this being the V6-cylinder of 120 degrees cylinder block angle, though the 1961 chassis has already been seen at Siracusa, fitted with the 60-degree V6 engine. The new engine is of the same bore and stroke as the earlier one, the dimensions being 73 x 53.8 mm, and each bank of three cylinders are in a monobloc casting, the cylinder heads having twin overhead camshafts and two plugs per cylinder. Special downdraught 40-mm Weber carburetters are used, designed specifically for the engine and designated 40IF3C, being one-piece instruments with three chokes to fit direct onto the cylinder heads. With such a wide angle to the vee of the crankcase the centre of gravity of this engine is very low, as is the whole car. Ignition is by twin coils and distributors, the battery being in the nose of the car as on the 60-degree engine, and current consumption is compensated by a very neat "pancake" type generator mounted on the front of the right-hand exhaust camshaft, being about the size of a circular tobacco tin and looking very much like a vibration damper. On the front of the left-hand exhaust camshaft is mounted a fuel pump, insulated from the heat of the engine by fibrous blocks, while on the rear of both these camshafts are circular-bodied oil pumps for additional scavenging, a build-up of oil in the crankcase having been one of the initial troubles on this new engine. Testing of this new engine was proved satisfactory before the race but there was not time to prepare more than one car, so the team drivers Phil Hill and von Trips had V60-degree engines and the new one was given to test-driver Ritchie Ginther. As on the 60-degree car at Siracusa, the 120-degree car used a 5-speed gearbox with rear-mounted clutch and inboard disc brakes, the only outward differences being that the 60-degree-engined cars have three double-choke carburetter intakes just behind the driver, on the centre-line of the tail, and the 120-degree-engined car has two rows of triple-choke intakes, one on each side of the tail. The three double-chokes are covered by a single gauze cover in place of the Perspex previously used, and the two triple-chokes have separate gauze covers, both cars having perspex air scoops for the inboard rear brakes. It was originally intended that the 6o-degree engine should run to 9,000 rpm and the 120-degree to 9,500 rpm, but already the earlier engine is being allowed up to 9,600 rpm for short periods.
The factory Porsche team arrived with four cars, all fitted with the normal air-cooled flat 4-cylinder racing engine, but in place of carburetters they had a fuel injection system. This comprised a Kugel-Fischer injection pump mounted in front of the engine to the left and driven by an open internal-toothed belt drive from the left-hand inlet camshaft, these rubber belts being the same as BRM used for magneto drives on their 21/2-litre engines. The injection pump delivers fuel via plastic pipes to injectors working at 440 lb/sq in, mounted in the inlet ports and air is fed in through tapering ram-pipes, one to each cylinder mounted downdraught as on a carburetted Porsche Spyder engine. These air inlets each have a throttle valve in the form of a circular plate in the orifice which swings sideways across the opening as the throttle pedal is actuated, small opening mixture strength being controlled by cut-away portions on this circular plate valve. This being a similar principle to the Amal GP motorcycle carburetter in that on full throttle the intake is completely free of obstruction unlike a normal carburetter where the butterfly valve and spindle are always in the intake. Two cars had the new chassis designed to take the flat 8-cylinder engine when it is ready, being similar to the old frames but wider at the back, one having a 6-centimetre longer wheelbase. These two had the new front suspension of double-wishbones and coil-springs the top wishbones having horrible-looking curved tubes for their front members. The two old cars were as raced at Bruxelles and Siracusa but the new ones had slightly sleeker nose cowlings but more bulbous tails due to the wider chassis frame. All had drum brakes and identical independent rear suspension by unequal wishbones and coilsprings, and sports-car 5-speed gearboxes, in which only the upper four ratios were being used. Gurney had to use an old car as he could not fit into the new short chassis, and naturally Bonnier had to have the long-chassis new car.
New mechanical features were not confined to factory entries for the two UDT-Laystall Lotus-Climax cars, one with a new Mk II engine, were both fitted with Laystall-built 5-speed gearboxes, with heavily ribbed barrel-shaped casings attached directly behind a new crown-wheel and pinion housing, the differential containing a limited-slip device on the ZF principle. These new gearboxes are controlled by a left-hand lever in an open gate in the cockpit and though this was the first time both cars had been fitted with these new gearboxes, one had already been tried out at Aintree in the BARC "200."
The works Coopers of Brabham and McLaren were the cars used at Aintree, but naturally had the new Mk II Climax engines fitted, and Yeoman Credit had two Coopers for Surtees to try, a standard 1961 car with Mk II Climax engine and their special-bodied one. Parnell had cured the fuel pump trouble experienced at Siracusa by throwing the whole mechanical pump set-up over the hedge and fitting two Bendix electric pumps. There were two more 1961 production Coopers present, the Camoradi one for Masten Gregory, and the RRC Walker car as a spare for Stirling Moss, he using the Walker-owned 1960 Lotus with Colotti 5-speed gearbox, and, of course, having a Mk II Climax engine in it. BRM also had one of these new engines fitted into Graham Hill's car, Brooks having an old-type 4-cylinder Climax, the cars being identical and there being a spare car available.
Altogether Coventry-Climax had produced eight new engines for this race, these being an interim model to tide people over until the new V8 is ready. The Mk II does not produce much more in the way of maximum bhp over the earlier enigines, but it revs higher and has a better torque curve as well as being more robust, the lower half being developed from the 21/2-litre engine. With all the British Grand Prix cars relying on Coventry-Climax for engines there had to be some diplomatic apportioning of these Mk II units, so Cooper received two, as did Lotus, and then there was one each for Yeoman Credit, UDT-Laystall, RRC Walker and BRM.
To complete the list of cars there were two Equipe National Belge Emerysons with 4-cylinder Maserati engines and an old Cooper with similar engine for Trintignant from the Scuderia Serenissima, all three cars having Colotti gearboxes, and Seidel's 1960 Lotus-Climax driven by the Swiss driver Michael May.