The 1962 Monaco Grand Prix was the second round of the 1962 FIA Formula One World Championship, held in the Principality of Monaco on the 3rd of June, 1962. Officially the XX Grand Prix de Monaco, the race around the city of Monte-Carlo would be marred by the unfortunate death of marshal Ange Baldoni, killed after a wheel was dislodged by a first corner accident.
Monaco traditionally saw a mixture of automatic qualifiers from the "factory" teams leaving the rest to fight for a further six qualifying spots, and it was the Team Lotus lead driver Jim Clark who claimed the coveted pole, his first in a World Championship Grand Prix. It was not to be the Scot's day, however, as he retired with a clutch failure at half distance having narrowly avoided the first corner pile up. That left Bruce McLaren to battle his way through to a third career win, although he would require an engine failure from future Mr. Monaco Graham Hill in the closing stages to take his first Monaco victory.
Two weeks had passed since the Dutch Grand Prix in mid-May, and the major Formula One teams had gathered in Monte Carlo for the second round of the World Championship. The five major manufacturers were offered two automatic qualifying spots each to fill ten of the sixteen grid slots available in the principality, with Team Lotus, Cooper Car Company, BRM, Ferrari and Porsche all prepared to do battle. Porsche had, initially, opted not to attend the race, but had had a change of heart after Gurney's stunning drive in his 804 at the 1000 km of the Nürburgring, prompting them to attend after all, albeit with an older spec car for Jo Bonnier.
At Ferrari, there was a rather curious situation, with Baghetti replaced by Willy Mairesse, the Belgian racer having won the Naples Grand Prix for the tifosi on the same day as the Dutch race. Their third car was initially entered for Lorenzo Bandini, with Ricardo Rodríguez relegated to a training car, although all three would try their hand in attempting to gain the automatic qualification spot for Ferrari, the other one already handed to lead driver, and defending World Champion, Phil Hill.
There was some complaint, however, that men in older machinery would qualify automatically, while thirteen other drivers, many in new for 1962 customer cars from Team Lotus. The targets of these complaints were Bonnier in the older Porsche, and Tony Maggs, racing for Cooper in a 1961 machine, while former driver Jack Brabham, with a new Lotus 24, would have to attempt to qualify. So too would the two Lola-Climaxes of Roy Salvadori and John Surtees, despite the latter's pace in the Netherlands suggesting they were more than a match for the seemingly dominant BRM and Lotus products of 1962.
Unsurprisingly, given that the Championship was just one race old, it was Dutch winner Graham Hill who brought the lead of the Championship with him, three clear of second placed Trevor Taylor. Defending Champion Phil Hill would come to Monte Carlo in third, ahead of the absent Baghetti, while Maggs and Carel Godin de Beaufort (another who would have to qualify) rounded out the early scorers.
The Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers was also in BRM's favour after only one race, with Hill's victory handing them a three point lead over chasers Team Lotus. Ferrari were next up courtesy of Phil Hill's points rather than Baghetti's, while Cooper and Porsche were also on the board in the season's earliest exchanges.
The full entry list for the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix is outlined below:
Qualifying and Practice would once again be run simultaneously, with the action beginning on Thursday morning and running through until Saturday. However, the conditions varied day to day, including a bewildering situation on Friday where rain hit the circuit, a first at the Mediterranean city on a race weekend.
Given that the lap record around Monte Carlo had been set by Moss and Ginther during the 1961 race, some three seconds faster than the qualifying pace, it was expected that the front runners would be hoping to break the 1:36.0 barrier early on. That did not prove the case on Thursday, with Graham Hill setting the early pace as he muscled his BRM around the tight narrow streets of the city. Jim Clark and John Surtees were the only men capable of matching the Englishman's pace, while Phil Hill was bringing back memories of Juan Manuel Fangio by sliding through the hairpin at every attempt.
After a Friday washout, in which Team Lotus demonstrated a Lotus 24 with a BRM engine while Graham Hill and Willy Mairesse were the only drivers to set times under two minutes, the real action was to be found on Saturday, as perfect conditions bathed the circuit in sunlight. Yet, it seemed that nothing could stop Hill, as he set the first time under 1:36.0 early in the day, prompting Clark to try out all three Team Lotus factory cars in his attempts to best his compatriot. For the Scot, one last attempt did the trick, as, in his attempts to avoid the crowded Lotus pit garage, went out in his Lotus 25 and beat Hill by almost half a second to claim a maiden pole position.
The chaos of the previous three days ultimately led to a delay for the grid to be revealed, and Clark was eventually confirmed as being on pole position on Sunday morning, Hill having been distracted by the T.V. crews in the pits and so missed his chance for retribution. Therefore joining the ten automatic qualifiers (Ricardo Rodríguez missing out having been beaten by Lorenzo Bandini in their shared effort) were the two Lola-Climaxes of Surtees and Roy Salvadori, Maurice Trintignant, Bandini and Jack Brabham. Jo Siffert was also briefly included on the starting list, until Innes Ireland proved that he had managed a 1:37.0 lap amid the mess of times, meaning the Swiss driver failed to qualify, despite out pacing over a third of those set to start.
The full qualifying results for the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
|DNQ||44||Carel Godin de Beaufort||Porsche||1:45.9||2:07.4||1:44.4||+9.0s|
|WD||6||Roberto Bussinello||De Tomaso-Alfa Romeo||Car unready|
- A white background represents as an automatic qualifier.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
- T Indicates a driver using their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- * Rodríguez would not start the race as he set his time in car #38, shared with Bandini who went faster.
Sunday dawned in Monaco both wet and windy, although the latter would prove to be a blessing as finishing touches were made to the cars ahead of the 15:30 start time. Around an hour before the race start the clouds broke away to allow hot sunlight to shine on the city, and with the aid of the strong (albeit dying) wind, managed to dry the circuit almost completely before the cars set off at the start. The driver's briefing before the race had also stated that any movement before the flag dropped to signal the start would incur a one minute penalty, meaning all of the drivers would have to behave themselves with the heavy clutches of a 1962 Grand Prix car.
Despite the warnings of jumping the start, a mistake by race starter Louis Chiron saw him drop the flag, meaning most of the field got away hesitantly. The only man who did not question the drop was Willy Mairesse, whom blasted into the lead of the race, bumping into Jim Clark and Graham Hill on his way through. The contact forced Clark wide, although Mairesse's momentum would also prove to be the Belgian's downfall, particularly as he had to blast into the Gasworks Hairpin on the inside of the circuit.
Stamping on the brakes, Mairesse missed the apex and slewed the back of his car as it travelled across the circuit. In almost perfect unison, for they had all had an equal start, Clark, Hill and Bruce McLaren slammed on their own brakes, the Scot the sharpest to react and so almost came to a complete halt on the apex that Mairesse had just missed. Wider lines carried Hill and McLaren past Clark, both managing to find room either side of a sliding Mairesse, before the rest of the field now came to the now black tarmac of the Gasworks Hairpin.
Without a clear view of the events up ahead, those in the pack could only brake and take avoiding action, with cars scattering across the narrow street as they tried to avoid one another. Ultimately, the inevitable did happen, as Richie Ginther got out of shape on his brakes, hit Maurice Trintignant into Innes Ireland before rebounding into Dan Gurney, breaking a wheel from his car. Trintignant was carried into the sea wall, hitting with enough force to rebound back into the straw bales that marked the edge of the circuit, while Ireland was powerless to stop his car backing into the same marker. Ginther, meanwhile, had been carried straight into the bales head on, while his lose rear wheel, bounced over the bales straight into a marshal. Unfortunately, the target of the flying wheel, Ange Baldoni, would succumb to injuries sustained by the impact having been rushed to hospital although his fate would not be known until a week after the race.
The other marshals at the first corner, meanwhile, were quick to leap into action, although they would not have the circuit cleared by the time McLaren led the field through to start the second lap. In a period before flag signals to warn the drivers, it was down to their own judgement how fast they should approach an incident, and fortunately cool heads were shared all round, meaning all the remaining cars took the hairpin very slowly. The field would remain fairly subdued through the first sector of the lap as clearing work continued, although by lap three the track was clear.
In the mean time, the events of the first corner were slowly being pieced together. Ginther initially blamed himself for the accident, citing a stuck throttle, although camera footage shown to him later revealed the true cause of the accident. Elsewhere Mairesse, whom had somehow come away from causing the chaos at turn one unharmed, spun through the Station Hairpin, causing more avoiding action on the opening lap, while the other casualties of turn one limped into the pits. Gurney was now out after having most of his gearbox removed by Ginther, while Trevor Taylor dragged his Lotus 24 in with a shattered nose. Also back in action was Ireland, whom had dragged his car out of the bales and back to the pits, getting a fuel pipe repaired before sprinting back out into the action.
Not that there was much action to be had outside of the pit lane, as the first five laps passed with no movement among the leaders. That, of course, was soon to change, as McLaren found himself being drawn in by a charging Graham Hill, the Brit soon swinging his way past on lap seven away from the cameras. Clark was also on the move, his stop on the apex of turn one having thrown him down to sixth, before pulling a double move on Jo Bonnier with assistance from Jack Brabham, who was able to lead him through. A few laps later and the Scot was charging past Bandini for fifth, leaving Phil Hill as the next man in his sights, with Brabham already challenging the American up ahead.
By lap 10 it was clear that Graham Hill was in a class of his own, taking a second a lap out of McLaren as he sprinted away. Phil Hill was under increasing pressure from Brabham and Clark, with those two rapidly dropping Bandini. The Italian was in an increasingly lonely sixth place even in the opening stages, for John Surtees led the next bunch of cars in his Lola-Climax, which seemed to be struggling as the clouds returned to the principality.
Pressure was proving to tell on Phil Hill, and on lap 12 the defending World Champion made a rare mistake, spinning as the cars emerged on the sea front and allowing Brabham and Clark to sprint past. Another few laps passed before they were the centre of attention once again, this time to see Clark size up a move on the former double World Champion on lap 22. Away from the camera's the Scot muscled his way past, jetting off after McLaren whom both had been catching, although without Brabham in front of him, Clark was quick to cover the remaining ground. Two laps later and the green and gold Team Lotus machine was up to second, with Clark the only man able to match the pace of race leader Graham Hill.
Further down the order several after effects of the first lap incident were beginning to be felt as the race ticked past the quarter distance mark. Ireland had now developed an incurable fuel leak, vowing to continue on until his car lost all of its petrol, while Taylor was forced to call time on his challenge after a major oil leak put oil on his pedals. Mairesse, meanwhile, was in and out of the pits with alarming frequency, while Tony Maggs, Bonnier and Roy Salvadori continued on a lap down.
Back with the leaders and it was clear that if any man was to stop Hill taking a second race victory in a row it was to be his good friend Clark. A series of stunning laps saw the Scot slowly eat into the Englishman's lead, before a startling time of 1:35.5, a lap record set on lap 42, saw him drop to within a second of Hill. Hill finally managed to halt the Scot's charge at that point, Clark unable to get any closer or improve his time, although both were now consistently under 1:36.0 and pulling ever further ahead of the rest of the field, led by McLaren.
Their duel was furious, but was to be interrupted on lap 46 as they came across a battle for sixth. Surtees had been slowly drawing in Bandini since the quarter distance mark, and as half distance approached was preparing to make a move, just as Hill and Clark screamed up behind them. Opportunist driving from Hill saw him charge past the pair of them through Tabac, and incredibly risky, but ultimately rewarding move, for Clark was stuck behind the squabbling Lola and Ferrari through to the Gasworks Hairpin. The gap was now over six seconds, and that soon became eight when Clark came across former team mate Ireland at the back of the circuit, losing ever more time to Hill.
That, ultimately, proved to be that for the lead battle, as Clark soon began to struggle with a gearbox issue, his pace seeming to have put too much of a strain on his new Lotus 25. As the Scot slowly tumbled back towards McLaren, Hill marginally eased off his pace to protect his stressed BRM engine, a message reinforced when, on lap 56, Clark's Lotus rolled to a stop with a broken clutch. Rain, meanwhile, became the topic of conversation after reports that it would hit the circuit at just after four thirty, and other than the odd spit, the heavens were yet to open.
Hill's drop in pace meant he soon became involved with Surtees and Bandini once again, whom were still running together in a battle at the lower end of the points. The Brit, however, was under little threat from behind, leading the race by almost half a lap as McLaren held Brabham at bay by a handful of seconds. Of more threat to them both was the American Hill, for the scarlet Ferrari was running closer to the newer car's pace than expected as the race entered its final third, and was now hot on Brabham's heels. The American, however, would make another mistake as he tried his hand at apply pressure, a slide and narrow brush against that wall meaning he dropped five seconds off the Australian and had to work hard once again.
Back with the British Hill and the situation was suddenly dire. Although he maintained a lead north of 40 seconds, the Brit was unable to protect his engine efficiently, for every time he tried to ease off his pace Surtees came charging in his wake, frantically fending off Bandini in an epic scrap for fifth. With a quarter of the race still to go, the BRM engine began to emit small puffs of smoke although it still ran fairly healthily for the time being.
Back with the American Hill and he finally had his revenge on Brabham, sweeping past the Australian as they made their way onto the sea front. Half a lap later, however, and Phil Hill would have had third regardless, for Brabham, in his attempts to retake the American, pushed too hard through Casino Square, slid wide and up onto the grass bank at the edge of the circuit. He was fortunate to drag the car off the bank and bump start it on the run to Mirabeau, but a diagnostic stop in the pits ended his race with a suspension failure. That left three cars on the lead lap, although the state of the BRM leading the field suggested that that may soon become four.
With twenty laps to go, and smoke continuing to emit from his engine, Graham Hill had allowed Surtees to go charging by, a brief hiatus in Bandini's charge allowing the Lola to pull a small gap. Yet, Hill was running in the wake of the Lola, and the lack of cool air was harming his engine as much as it had been pushing it, with his lead also shrinking by over three seconds in two laps. With nothing else for it, Hill had to put even more stress on his engine to retake Surtees on lap 84, having just flashed past the pits and seen that Ferrari had given namesake Phil the signal to push as hard as he could regardless of the result.
The dramas for Graham Hill meant that McLaren and Phil Hill were now well within thirty seconds of his lead, while also hampering Surtees' efforts to shake Bandini. A brief respite for the Italian had seen him recover some of his energy, and he was quickly back on the Lola as it trailed the hobbled BRM in the lead of the race. With a little over ten laps to go, Bandini decided to take a chance, snatching the inside line through the Gasworks Hairpin after catching Surtees unawares. That move left him in fourth, and with a gap now in front of him (the battle allowing Hill to pull a few seconds clear), he was able to pull away from the Lola.
By lap 91 the leading BRM was back between Bandini and Surtees, making notes that were symptomatic of an engine in its death throes. And so it proved, for halfway round lap 94, six laps from the finish, the BRM spluttered one final time and died on the run to Mirabeau. Graham Hill was out after a masterful display, and it was now left to McLaren to take victory, if he could fend of the charging Phil Hill in the closing stages.
The defending World Champion was once again reflecting the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio as he thrashed his Ferrari round the final laps in Monte Carlo, taking over two seconds a lap out of McLaren. As they started the final lap the gap was down to five seconds, a fair advantage for McLaren, regarded as one of the best defenders in the business, and despite a stunning display from Phil Hill on the final lap the New Zealander was able to hold onto victory by a little over a second. The scarlet Ferrari slithered past the chequered flag having taken over three seconds out of McLaren on that lap alone, leaving few to question just why Phil Hill was a World Champion, while Bandini crusied home to claim a maiden podium finish, Surtees having fallen away drastically in the closing stages. Bonnier was a lonely fifth for Porsche after a day without trouble, while Graham Hill was classified in sixth adding one point instead of the nine he had been on for about ten minutes earlier.
The full results for the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
- * Graham Hill, Mairesse and Brabham were all still classified despite not finishing the final lap as they had covered 70% of the race distance.
- Maiden pole position for Jim Clark.
- Third World Championship victory for Bruce McLaren.
- First podium for Lorenzo Bandini.
Despite failing to finish, the classified sixth place for Graham Hill ensured that he stayed at the top of the standings as the field left Monaco, now level on points with name sake, and defending World Champion Phil Hill. Victory, meanwhile, had launched Bruce McLaren into third, one point off of the two Hills, while Trevor Taylor remained in fourth, ahead of Lorenzo Bandini. John Surtees and Giancarlo Baghetti were next, while Jo Bonnier and Tony Maggs left the principality level on points too. Rounding out the point scorers in the earliest stages of the season was Carel Godin de Beaufort.
Victory combined with minor points for BRM meant that Cooper-Climax shot to the top of the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers' standings, leaving Monaco with a one point lead. Another podium finish meant that Ferrari held third, while Lotus-Climax tumbled to fourth without scoring a point in the principality. Lola-Climax and Porsche rounded out the scorers, the former having got onto the board for the first time as constructors.
Images and Videos:
- 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: MONACO GP, 1962', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr104.html, (Accessed 26/05/2016)
- 'XX Grand Prix of Monaco', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 20/07/1962), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/july-1962/20/xx-grand-prix-monaco, (Accessed 26/05/2016)
- 'Monaco 1962: Race Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1962/monaco/engages.aspx, (Accessed 26/05/2016)
- 'Monaco 1962: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1962/monaco/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 26/05/2016)
- 'Monaco 1962: Race Results', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1962/monaco/classement.aspx, (Accessed 27/05/2016)
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