1956 Monaco Grand Prix
- Sunday, May 13, 1956
- Grand Prix de Monaco
- F1 World Championship
The Classic Grand Prix of Monaco, held through the streets of Monte Carlo, was once again for Formula 1 cars and counted in the World Championship series, being the second in the 1956 list. Naturally all the big factory teams entered, leaving very little room for private owners, and in view of the town circuit being short and narrow a starting limit of 16 cars was fixed. There were 18 entries, so that during practice the two slowest cars were going to be ruled out, while, additionally, if any of the first sixteen were considered too slow then they too would not be allowed to start. This was a sound idea and meant that this classic Grande Epreuve was to accept the cream of Grand Prix cars and drivers.
The first practice was at the civilised hour of 4pm on the Thursday of race week, going on for two hours, and in addition to times counting for qualifying there was a prize of £100 for the driver making the fastest lap. This meant that there was considerable activity during the afternoon and that the whole meeting got away to a flying start, unlike some events which do not warm up until the day before the race. Conditions for practice were perfect and the circuit was only altered in one respect, that being at the chicane where the road comes downhill from the tunnel and does an ess onto the harbour front. Here the angles of the esses had been made much sharper so that the cars joined the harbour front at a lower speed, thus minimising the chances of a repetition of Ascari’s plunge into the harbour.
It meant slower lap times, so that the chances of the old record being broken were slight. This record stood to Fangio in 1min 42.4sec, made during last year’s race, though he had recorded 1min 41.1sec in practice.