The 1978 Monaco Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the XXXVI Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco, was the fifth round of the 1978 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Monaco on 7 May 1978. The race would see Patrick Depailler claim a maiden victory at the wheel of a Tyrrell, a win largely earned by the Frenchman after a stunning start.
Indeed, Depailler would start the race in fifth as Carlos Reutemann put his Ferrari on pole ahead of John Watson. Watson's Brabham-Alfa Romeo teammate Niki Lauda was third ahead of Mario Andretti in the Lotus, while Depailler shared the third row with the first McLaren of James Hunt.
At the start it was Watson whom assumed the lead, although Depailler shot through to second really before anyone could react. His charge would leave Reutemann and Lauda to fight for third, with the pair making contact later on during the opening tour.
That contact would put Reutemann in the pits for repairs, with Hunt joining him in the pitlane having hit the barriers trying to avoid the spinning Ferrari. Lauda, meanwhile, would carry on in third ahead of Andretti, while star of the show in Long Beach, Alan Jones started his afternoon chasing Jody Scheckter for fifth.
Jones soon slipped back behind Peterson and Gilles Villeneuve, although the order remained otherwise unchanged at the head of the field until the second half of the race. Indeed, it was only when Watson made a mistake and disappeared down an escape road that the leading positions changed, with Depailler inheriting the lead, while Watson rejoined behind Lauda.
Lauda's run in second would come to an end soon after as he picked up a puncture, with the Austrian rejoining outside of the points. He rejoined and duly began to carve his way back up the order on fresh tyres, aided by Andretti slipping down the order with a fuel leak.
Further breaks for Lauda included a gearbox failure for Peterson and a crash for Villeneuve, the Canadian's accident a result of him trying to watch Lauda rather than the track ahead. That put the Austrian back into fourth, soon to become third when Watson slid off the circuit a second time, before the #1 Brabham caught and passed Scheckter in the closing stages.
Depailler, meanwhile, was able to cruise home to claim his first F1 victory in his 69th race, with Lauda twenty seconds back in second. Scheckter came home third ahead of Watson, who almost caught the Wolf, while Didier Pironi and Riccardo Patrese completed the points.
The annual trip to the Circuit de Monaco on the streets of Monte Carlo heralded the start of the European season, with the annual trip to the Principality serving as the fifth round of the 1978 campaign. Indeed, the annual race around Monte Carlo remained something of an enigma on the F1 calendar, being a hugely popular event with a real lack of on-track action. Regardless, another huge 31 strong entry list, featuring more than 47 cars, was submitted, prompting another two phase qualifying system.
Arguably the biggest item of note on the entry list was the appearance of the new Lotus 79, a design which Colin Chapman proclaimed would fully demonstrate Team Lotus' mastery of ground-effect. The most prominent features of the 79 were its new top mounted, short, exhausts, which gave a new high pitched tone to the Ford Cosworth V8, as well as flexible, tarmac hugging side skirts, which would produce a large low-pressure air pocket under the car. Chapman had also decided to move the radiators to the sidepods, the oil cooling mounted on the left and water on the right, while the rear suspension had been completely re-engineered from the old 78 design.
The result was a rather sleek design, even compared to the 78 that the team had been campaigning for a season and a half. Both Ronnie Peterson and Mario Andretti had completed an extensive test programme with the car, which also resulted in cockpit adjustable front anti-roll bars, as well as a late move to cover the rear of the car in form-fitting bodywork, which was also sculpted into the rear-wing. Unfortunately only one of the new 79s was available in Monte Carlo, and was only expected to appear in practice. Andretti and Peterson would therefore be stuck with their familiar 78s, with a third 78 entered by privateer Héctor Rebaque.
Another long-await debut came in the form of a second generation of Wolf for Jody Scheckter, penned by Harvey Postlethwaite along similar lines to the new Lotus. Indeed, the Wolf WR5 also featured side-skirts, albeit rigid ones which would pop back up into the bodywork over bumps, as well as a top mounted exhaust with longer pipes. Where the new designs split was in the radiator mountings and monocoque design, with the WR5 featuring a Ferrari-esque front wing, a full size radiator on the front face of the cockpit/nose, and an overall angular design. The front suspension was also redeveloped, with double wishbones providing more travel without hampering the overall ride height.
Ligier-Matra also decided to debut their new car in Monte Carlo, with Jacques Laffite getting the full Ligier JS9 having raced a hybrid JS7 in the most recent Grand Prix. The new Ligier featured new flowing bodywork, with a bump over the rear of the car designed to deflect airflow onto a massively out of proportion rear wing. The front wing also remained on the larger side, with the car otherwise identical to the development version as raced by Laffite in Long Beach.
Elsewhere, Surtees had gone for evolution over revolution with their latest creation, with two examples prepared in time for Vittorio Brambilla and Rupert Keegan to race in Monte Carlo, at the behest of their private sponsors. Their new creation, the TS20, followed the same principles of their familiar TS19, with an angular monocoque which now had the radiators mounted directly into the sides. The design also sported new double wishbone front suspension, a needle-like nose with larger winglets and a new clutch design, although that would be more of a liability than a benefit later in the weekend.
Away from the new creations and the entry list appeared otherwise unchanged from how it had done in Long Beach, although several teams did have freshly built versions of their machinery. Brabham-Alfa Romeo were among them, having built a new BT46 for John Watson, although the Ulsterman found something fundamentally wrong with the car and so switched back to his original BT46. His teammate Niki Lauda would continue to use the car he had used in California, although all three cars were back to using conventional steel brakes, rather than the carbon versions trialled earlier in the season.
Ferrari had likewise built a new 312T3 for use in Monte Carlo, although both Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve would use their original versions. However, all three of the scarlet cars had gone through a minor update, with new cockpit adjustable anti-roll bars and a set of small aerofoils mounted on the rear bodywork. The team also had another series of soft Michelin tyres to test in Monte Carlo, with many of the Goodyear supplied teams looking on with envy.
There would also be new versions of the unrelated, but identical, Arrows and Shadow designs, with Carlos Reutemann finally getting a new DN9 from the former, putting him level with Hans-Joachim Stuck. Arrows, meanwhile, would give Riccardo Patrese their newest FA1 creation, with Rolf Stommelen continuing to use the car he had started the season with. Otherwise the cars appeared unchanged from their showing in Long Beach, with the Arrows duo made to pre-qualify, while the Shadow were allowed to go straight into qualifying.
McLaren had built a new M26 for the Monte Carlo race, although this was delivered to the hands of Brett Lunger and BS Fabrications, an independent entry from the factory squad. Indeed, James Hunt and Patrick Tambay would instead continue to campaign the cars they had used in Long Beach, with no changes implemented ahead of the race around the principality. Tyrrell were likewise unchanged for Patrick Depailler and Didier Pironi, as were the two ATSes of Jean-Pierre Jarier and Jochen Mass.
Fittipaldi's designer Ralph Bellamy, meanwhile, had continued his quest to copy the Lotus 78 since the Long Beach race, with Emerson Fittipaldi getting two F5As with new 78-esque rear suspension. The Renault had also had a minor upgrade, the turbocharger having been re-mounted, again, with hopes that that, combined with a more conventional NACA airduct, would allow Jean-Pierre Jabouille to actually finish a race. Williams had also made some minor, almost indistinguishable, changes to Alan Jones' cars, while Derek Daly returned to pilot the Hesketh.
There would be a familiar face returning to the cockpit at Ensign, whom had lured Jacky Ickx back to the F1 paddock to pilot their N177 in Monte Carlo, a year after Ickx had last raced. Martini also returned, again fielding the promising René Arnoux, while his Formula Two rival Keke Rosberg was handed the Theodore seat once again. Completing the field would be Arturo Merzario in the now black Merzario, which also sported some new sponsor logos.
Into the Championship and Reutemann had moved to the top of the standings after his second victory of the season in Long Beach, level on points with Andretti but ahead of count-back. Peterson was next ahead of Depailler, while Lauda had slipped back down to fifth. Elsewhere, Hunt was on the verge of slipping out of the top ten already, while Patrese had got onto the board for the first time, ahead of Tambay.
In the International Cup for Constructors it was still Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth who led the title hunt, the Norfolk squad leaving California with a nine point lead. Ferrari arrived in the Principality as their closest challengers ahead of Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, while Brabham-Alfa Romeo had slipped to fourth. Behind, Ligier-Matra moved ahead of McLaren-Ford Cosworth and Williams-Ford Cosworth, while Arrows-Ford Cosworth had got onto the score sheet, just a point behind their pseudo-rivals Shadow-Ford Cosworth.
The full entry list for the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix is outlined below:
Qualifying in the Principality would be split across two days, with Thursday and Saturday given over entirely to F1 practice. The first session of the weekend would be a one hour burst for the nine pre-qualifiers, fighting for two spots in the proper qualifying sessions. The practice/qualifying sessions would then follow the usual programme, with two "timed" periods on Thursday, with the third and final session on Saturday afternoon.
The pre-qualifiers, however, would be less ambitious, featuring the less-established teams and drivers in the field. Their number would quickly dwindle, however, with Danny Ongais failing to arrive at all in Monaco, taking the total number of drivers to eight. That tally was further reduced to six before the end of the first half-hour of running, with Héctor Rebaque and Derek Daly crashing out.
In terms of pace, however, there were only really two drivers with any hopes of making the cut, for the two Arrowses were in a class of their own. Indeed, Riccardo Patrese was in fine attacking form, finishing the session having brushed every barrier, but with a 1:31.31 to his name. His teammate Rolf Stommelen was less flamboyant but made the cut, with a second separating them from the drop-outs. Those to go out therefore were the F2 stars Keke Rosberg and René Arnoux, Brett Lunger in his customer McLaren, and Arturo Merzario in his black machine.
The full pre-qualifying results for the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||35||Riccardo Patrese||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:31.31||—|
|2||36||Rolf Stommelen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:31.88||+0.57s|
|DNPQ||32||Keke Rosberg||Theodore-Ford Cosworth||1:33.07||+1.76s|
|DNPQ||24||Derek Daly||Hesketh-Ford Cosworth||1:33.55T||+2.24s|
|DNPQ||31||René Arnoux||Martini-Ford Cosworth||1:33.72||+2.24s|
|DNPQ||25||Héctor Rebaque||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:34.59T||+3.28s|
|DNPQ||30||Brett Lunger||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:34.86||+3.55s|
|DNPQ||37||Arturo Merzario||Merzario-Ford Cosworth||1:49.43||+18.12s|
|WD||39||Danny Ongais||Shadow-Ford Cosworth||Withdrawn|
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
- T Indicates a test/spare car.
After the "rabbits" had their run out everything was rest for the first qualifying session of the weekend, with the pitlane opening a 11:30am. Once it did the pace proved to be furious, with Patrese's lap from pre-qualifying quickly forgotten about. Indeed, a host of familiar faces would push the ultimate pace around Monte Carlo down to the sub-1:30.00s, with no clear sign as to who would emerge on top.
The "super aces" in the field would prove to be Lauda, Carlos Reutemann and the two Loti of Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson, all of whom would get into the 1:29.00s before the end of the session. The "ace" bracket, those on the verge of breaking the 1:30.00 barrier, included John Watson, James Hunt, Patrick Depailler and Gilles Villeneuve, with little more than a second separating the entire top eight throughout the session. Ultimately, it was Reutemann whom ended the session on provisional pole, the Argentine claiming a 1:29.51 in the Ferrari to beat Andretti by 0.09s.
Part of Reutemann's success was due to the fact that the Ferrari gearbox was coping well with the harsh pace, unlike the Hewland boxes used by the rest of the field. Indeed, the relentless pace was combined with the improved grip of the increasingly soft Goodyear and Michelin tyres and improved rear suspension to push the Hewland creation to the limit, before being pushed over the edge by the more heavy footed drivers out of Monaco's famously tight corners. Come the end of the session there was not a Hewland equipped team that had not had some kind of gearbox trouble during the hour and a half run, although the British firm did have a lot of spares to supply the teams with.
Away from the gearbox gremlins and the heroes of pre-qualifying were not doing so well, with Patrese crashing his new Arrows bad enough to damage the monocoque, while Stommelen managed to crack his ribs by striking a kerb. Elsewhere the two new Surtees' appeared to be particularly delicate, with both Vittorio Brambilla and Rupert Keegan using the spare TS19 as their TS20s underwent constant repair, while Jody Scheckter trashed two gearboxes in the first hour. The Renault, meanwhile, did not have its customary turbo failure, although Jean-Pierre Jabouille did spend more time in the pits than out of them, while Lotus decided to bring the new 79 out of the paddock after Peterson buried his car into the barriers.
The second runout on Thursday after lunch would be less punishing on the gearbox front, most drivers managing to learn that a slight change in approach would preserve their ability to keep moving. Instead, the Circuit de Monaco decided to break engines instead, with Patrick Tambay and Depailler both stopping early with steam pouring out of their cars. For Tambay it was a case of random stone, while Depailler's issues were traced to a rear radius rod on the Tyrrell 008, a design fault that would also wreck the radiators in the spare car when the Frenchman took that out onto the circuit.
Over at Lotus, Andretti was busy trying out the new 79, although quickly came to the conclusion that his race worn 78 would be better suited for the city streets. Yet, even a return to his usual charger was not enough to keep Andretti in the hunt for pole, for Reutemann pulled out a mesmerising effort of 1:28.34 to top the timesheets at the end of the day, with Lauda the only other man to break into the 1:28.00s. Andretti was next ahead of Reutemann's teammate Villeneuve, with Hunt, Depailler, Peterson, Watson, Scheckter, on his fourth gearbox, and Alan Jones forming the "ace" section.
Friday was given over to a support programme of Formula Three and Renault saloon cars, allowing the Grand Prix teams to, in many cases, rebuild their cars ahead of the final quali-blast on Saturday afternoon. The "untimed" period on Saturday morning would, however, undo some of this work, with Scheckter getting though yet another gearbox, while Andretti did the same in the Lotus. Elsewhere Surtees trialled a new front suspension design, with no improvement, Tyrrell were running with hastily re-sculpted radius rods on their rear suspension, while Watson took over the spare Brabham after finding an issue with his usual charger.
Into the final session itself and Scheckter broke gearbox number five on his out lap, with the South African racer barely stopping to get out of the new Wolf and leap into the spare. A few minutes later and Patrese ended his hopes of moving up the order by smashing the barriers, moments after teammate Stommelen booked his place in the race with a strong time, gritting his teeth through the pain of his ribs. Watson was another early trouble maker, losing valuable time by slapping the wall and breaking his left rear suspension, while teammate Lauda sat in the pits, confident his 1:28.88, while not good enough to topple Reutemann's Thursday effort, would go unbeaten.
It therefore came as a rude surprise when Watson stabbed him in the back, in some respects, in the final moments of the session, the Ulsterman flinging his car around to record a 1:28.83 to snatch second on the grid. Lauda was left unable to respond, with himself and team boss Bernie Ecclestone left dumbstruck, while Reutemann ended up third fastest on the day with a 1:28.95. Best of the rest behind those three would be Andretti, Depailler Hunt and Peterson, all of whom had been given ultra soft Goodyear tyres to get ahead of Villeneuve in the second Michelin shod Ferrari.
The non-qualifiers were also sorted out during the final session, although in truth those set to drop off the grid were known early on. Indeed, the only man with any real concern would be Emerson Fittipaldi, who spent the entire afternoon on the bubble in twentieth, unable to even match the pace of the injured Stommelen. Ultimately, however, neither of ATSes, Brambilla in the Surtees, nor Clay Regazzoni could get ahead of the Brazilian's time, although the fastest of the four, Jochen Mass did have some hopes of getting onto the grid due to the damage on Patrese's Arrows.
The full qualifying results for the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||2||John Watson||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||1:30.86||1:30.24T||1:28.83T||+0.49s|
|3||1||Niki Lauda||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||1:29.86||1:28.84||1:28.88||+0.50s|
|4||5||Mario Andretti||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:29.60||1:29.10||1:29.34||+0.76s|
|5||4||Patrick Depailler||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:30.40T||1:29.80T||1:29.14||+0.80s|
|6||7||James Hunt||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:30.39||1:29.48||1:29.22||+0.88s|
|7||6||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:29.93||—||1:29.23||+0.89s|
|9||20||Jody Scheckter||Wolf-Ford Cosworth||1:31.77T||1:30.34||1:29.50T||+1.16s|
|10||27||Alan Jones||Williams-Ford Cosworth||1:31.81||1:30.62||1:29.51||+1.17s|
|11||8||Patrick Tambay||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:32.41||1:31.16||1:30.08||+1.74s|
|13||4||Didier Pironi||Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth||1:32.21||1:31.90||1:30.55||+2.21s|
|14||35||Riccardo Patrese||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:32.72T||1:31.67T||1:30.59T||+2.25s|
|16||22||Jacky Ickx||Ensign-Ford Cosworth||1:31.67||1:31.20||1:30.72||+2.38s|
|17||16||Hans-Joachim Stuck||Shadow-Ford Cosworth||1:31.30||1:32.21||1:31.97||+2.96s|
|18||18||Rupert Keegan||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:34.23||1:32.51T||1:31.31||+2.97s|
|19||36||Rolf Stommelen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:32.02||1:49.90||1:31.31||+2.97s|
|20||14||Emerson Fittipaldi||Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth||1:31.36||1:32.50||1:31.42||+3.02s|
|DNQ||9||Jochen Mass||ATS-Ford Cosworth||1:31.64||1:32.36||1:31.40||+3.06s|
|DNQ||17||Clay Regazzoni||Shadow-Ford Cosworth||1:31.51||1:32.15||1:32.31||+3.27s|
|DNQ||10||Jean-Pierre Jarier||ATS-Ford Cosworth||1:33.82||1:33.08||1:32.11||+3.77s|
|DNQ||19||Vittorio Brambilla||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||1:32.88||1:32.46T||1:32.93||+4.12s|
|DNPQ||32||Keke Rosberg||Theodore-Ford Cosworth||1:33.07|
|DNPQ||24||Derek Daly||Hesketh-Ford Cosworth||1:33.55|
|DNPQ||31||René Arnoux||Martini-Ford Cosworth||1:33.72|
|DNPQ||25||Héctor Rebaque||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:34.59|
|DNPQ||30||Brett Lunger||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:34.86|
|DNPQ||37||Arturo Merzario||Merzario-Ford Cosworth||1:49.43|
|WD||39||Danny Ongais||Shadow-Ford Cosworth||Withdrawn|
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
- T Indicates a test/spare car.
The usual pre-race paraphernalia ahead of the annual blast around the Circuit de Monaco was dragged out for the 1978 race, with the circuit opened, as ever, by the Prince and Princess of Monaco. The pre-race warm-up passed without issue, before various parades of old cars, drivers and road vehicles heralded the start of the Grand Prix. Indeed, two parade/warm-up laps later and the field were assembled on the grid, with Carlos Reutemann awaiting the change of the starters lights scheduled for 3:30pm.
Unfortunately Reutemann would not get his Ferrari moving as the lights flashed to green, and was duly absorbed into a brawl between Niki Lauda and James Hunt into Sainte Devote. John Watson, meanwhile, would take the lead from second on the grid, while Patrick Depailler shot to second, screaming past Hunt and Lauda almost before Reutemann had started rolling. The rest of the field thundered into Sainte Devote behind them, with Reutemann, Lauda and Hunt all clipping one another to give each other damage.
Indeed, Reutemann was left with a damaged rear left tyre, having knocked Hunt's nose out of joint to snatch third on the run through Beau Rivage. More contact at the chicane would leave both limping back to the pits with punctured tyres, gifting Lauda third. Out front, meanwhile, Watson would complete the opening tour with a small lead over Depailler, who himself held a fair gap over Lauda and the rest of the pack.
The race soon settled during the second lap, with Reutemann just managing to scream out of the pits before Watson put him a lap down. Depailler, meanwhile, was glued to the back of the Ulsterman, a surprise given how far off the Tyrrell had seemed to be from the Brabham-Alfa Romeo previously, while Lauda calmly stalked them in third. Indeed, while those two were frequently brushing barriers and sliding through corners, the Austrian was methodically weaving the #1 Brabham around the Principality, with all three pulling clear of the group behind.
Heading that group would be Mario Andretti, although the American ace was unable to charge off to catch them, for he had Jody Scheckter, Alan Jones, Ronnie Peterson and Gilles Villeneuve all stuck to his tail. Another gap followed before Patrick Tambay appeared all on his own, before Didier Pironi came along fighting with Jacky Ickx and Riccardo Patrese. Elsewhere Rupert Keegan and Hans-Joachim Stuck were effectively out having hit one-another early on, while Jacques Laffite was fading badly as the Ligier-Matra picked up an ultimately terminal gearbox fault.
The intense duel between Watson and Depailler would continue to rumble on for the following laps, with the Frenchman unable to make a move, but hoping to pressure the Ulsterman into a mistake. Behind, Jones was again pushing his Williams to breaking point trying to attack Scheckter in the Andretti pack, with a small oil leak dropping oil onto his rear brakes. This ultimately became a more significant issue on lap thirteen, with the Australian racer slithering wide at Sainte Devote and scraping the outside wall, allowing Peterson and Villeneuve to flash through.
The race would follow much the same pattern until half distance, with Depailler still flinging his Tyrrell in the mirrors of Watson, while Lauda watched on in third. Indeed, as the halfway mark approached the Austrian decided that he should try and force the issue on Depailler, although the Frenchman took no notice as he continued to try and force Watson into a mistake. Behind, Jones had dropped out having caught back up with Villeneuve, the rest of an unsurprising lack of oil, while Ickx was in and out of the pits with an incurable brake issue.
Shortly after half-distance Reutemann, whom was still running a couple of seconds ahead of Watson but almost a full lap behind, would get stuck behind Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault, having been inadvertently waved past by Rolf Stommelen and Emerson Fittipaldi. The Argentine's subsequent fight ensured that Watson could make no further progress, and, having had to push hard to keep Depailler at bay, found that his brakes temperatures were soaring. A couple of laps later and Watson duly went sliding down the escape road at the chicane with no feeling in his brakes, gifting the lead to Depailler and Lauda as he gathered himself back up to rejoin in third.
Reutemann eventually managed to force his Ferrari past the Renault a few laps later, before moving aside to allow Depailler and Lauda through. Lauda himself, meanwhile, was pressing the Frenchman hard for the lead, only to suddenly shoot into the pits at the end of lap 45 having felt a rear tyre deflate. A quick change of both rear Goodyears saw the Austrian ace go screaming out of the pits down in sixth, just as Andretti came in with a major fuel leak.
Lauda's disappearance therefore gifted Depailler a commanding lead at the head of the field, for Watson could not close on the Tyrrell, while Scheckter, now in third, still had Peterson and Villeneuve in his mirrors. Elsewhere, Stommelen had given up due to the pain in his ribs, while Hunt had made no progress after his first lap issues, and duly retired with a suspension failure. Ickx had also fallen, the Ensign having had its brakes bled twice, a driveshaft changed and three sets of fresh tyres before the Belgian called it a day, while Andretti was back in action, albeit six laps down.
Into the closing stages and all eyes were on Lauda, who was catching Scheckter and co. hand over fist with his fresh tyres. Indeed, by lap 63 the Austrian was right alongside Villeneuve heading through Mirabeau, with the pair going wheel-to-wheel through to the chicane on the harbour front. There, the young Canadian would suddenly drift into the barriers on the left-hand side of the track, destroying the left side of his car as he went skating down the escape road on the inside of the chicane. Villeneuve would, however, escape unharmed, and duly cited that he had suffered a puncture running through the tunnel as the reason for running straight into the barriers.
That put Lauda up into fourth, for Peterson had retired a few laps earlier with a gearbox failure. That news gave Scheckter a hurry up, with the Wolf suddenly beginning to close in on Watson, whom had given up on victory as his brakes continued to cause trouble. Indeed, the Ulsterman's hopes of second were soon to be ended by his troublesome brakes, for the #2 Brabham went skating down the escape road at Sainte Devote with ten laps to go.
Watson would rejoin the race just ahead of his teammate Lauda, and duly gifted his teammate third knowing that he was going to struggle to finish at all if he fought. That allowed Lauda to close onto Scheckter at an alarming rate, a series of fastest laps during the final moments dragging the Brabham right onto the back of the Wolf, just as Scheckter lost second gear. The South African racer was therefore powerless to prevent the defending World Champion scything past into Rascasse with two laps to go, and was quickly left to simply keep his Wolf going to the chequered flag.
With that the race was run, with Depailler cruising home to claim the first victory for the Tyrrell 008, and his own maiden triumph. Lauda was a distant but satisfied second, while Scheckter did keep the Wolf running in third, despite pieces of his ruined second gear littering the inside of his gearbox casing. The ever unlucky Watson was fourth ahead of Pironi and Patrese, while Andretti was the last classified finisher in eleventh, six laps behind.
The full race results for the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
- McLaren entered their 150th race as a constructor.
- James Hunt entered his 75th race.
- Maiden victory for Patrick Depailler.
- Tyrrell claimed their 21st win as a constructor.
- Niki Lauda earned the 80th podium finish for Brabham as a constructor.
His maiden F1 victory had ensured that Patrick Depailler left Monte Carlo at the head of the Championship, the Frenchman pulling five points clear of the pack behind. Indeed, the chase behind Depailler was being jointly led by Carlos Reutemann and Mario Andretti, the Argentine ahead on countback, while Niki Lauda was only a couple more points behind in fourth. Ronnie Peterson was next, within nine points of the Frenchman out front, with a gap back to John Watson in sixth.
Lotus-Ford Cosworth still led the International Cup for Constructors title fight despite the fact that they had failed to score, although their advantage had been slashed to three points. Indeed, Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth, courtesy of Depailler's victory, had moved into second, while Brabham-Alfa Romeo had closed the gap in third. Ferrari, meanwhile, had slipped to fourth ahead of Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth, while Wolf-Ford Cosworth were finally on the board in sixth.
Images and Videos:
- 'Monaco GP, 1978', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr302.html, (Accessed 06/08/2018)
- D.S.J., 'The Monaco Grand Prix: A process of elimination', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/06/1978), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/june-1978/36/monaco-grand-prix, (Accessed 07/08/2018)
- D.S.J., 'Notes on the cars at Monaco', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/06/1978), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/june-1978/37/notes-cars-monaco, (Accessed 07/08/2018)
- 'Monaco 1978: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/monaco/engages.aspx, (Accessed 06/08/2018)
- 'Monaco 1978: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/monaco/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 06/08/2018)
- 'Monaco 1978: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/monaco/classement.aspx, (Accessed 07/08/2018)
- '5. Monaco 1978', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1978/monaco.aspx, (Accessed 06/08/2018)
- '1978 Monaco GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2018), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1978&gp=Monaco%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 06/08/2018)
|V T E||Monaco Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Circuit de Monaco (1929–present)|
|Races||1950 • 1951–1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • |
|Non-F1 races||1929 • 1930 • 1931 • 1932 • 1933 • 1934 • 1935 • 1936 • 1937 • 1948|
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