1958 Monaco Grand Prix
- Sunday, May 18, 1958
- Grand Prix de Monaco
- F1 World Championship
THE organising committee of the Automobile Club of Monaco deserve full marks for not pandering to the present-day ideas of the FIA in turning Grand Prix races into “sprint-type” events, for they kept the XVI Monaco GP to a traditional full-length GP of 100 laps of the tiny, narrow, 3.145km street circuit. On the other hand they overdid their enthusiasm in inviting 29 entries to compete when the maximum permitted for the starting grid was 16.
Selection was made by practice times, the fastest 16 being considered as qualifiers. When it is borne in mind that 14 factory cars entered, plus the professional equipes of Rob Walker and Gugliemeno Dei, there was little hope for any truly “independent” driver. Although only 25 entries appeared for practice, BRM being one factory entry short, it still meant that the also-rans were wasting their time and wearing their cars out to no purpose.
However, it did provide them with an opportunity to learn the Monaco circuit and gain a lot of experience, but it was at the expense of cluttering-up the road with a lot of slow traffic for the works drivers and Monte Carlo is not a circuit for that sort of thing. It would have been far more intelligent to have invited two or three extra “independent” runners of known quality, over and above the 14 factory cars, rather than 15 for then they would have almost certainly got on the starting grid. Campbell did not arrive with his Maserati; Ecclestone sent only one Connaught, which Emery and Kessler had to share; BRM forfeited Flockhart’s entry, though the Scot took over Walker’s second and older Cooper; and a Maserati entry, reserved in case Fangio felt like coming, was, in fact, not used.