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The 1979 Monaco Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXXVI Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco, was the seventh race of the 1979 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Monaco on the 27 May 1979.[1] The race would see Jody Scheckter claim his second win in a row, although it was the heroics of Clay Regazzoni that ultimately stole the show.[1]

Scheckter would start the race in perfect form, defeating teammate Gilles Villeneuve in a duel for pole that saw the Ferraris lap two thirds of a second faster than anyone else.[1] Patrick Depailler proved to be their closest challenger in the Ligier, while Regazzoni would start a lowly sixteenth for Williams.[1]

The start also saw Scheckter assert his dominance, the South African managing to sprint clear as teammate Villeneuve squabbled, and lost out, to Niki Lauda.[1] They were chased by Depailler into Sainte Devote and up the hill, with Jacques Laffite and Didier Pironi leading the charge from fifth and sixth.[1]

The opening laps proved to be rather tame, although Regazzoni would quietly go about picking off the slower cars ahead of him to climb into the top ten.[1] Out front, meanwhile, Scheckter was able to establish a small lead over teammate Villeneuve, whom squeezed ahead of Lauda on lap three before blasting clear of the Austrian.[1]

Pironi hence became the centre of attention, although only for his antics in removing the two Ligiers from contention with two clumsy lunges.[1] His first dive on lap sixteen force Laffite to head to the pits with damage, before he careened into the back of Depailler at Loews Hairpin and briefly flicked his compatriot onto two wheels.[1]

Indeed, it took a third collision to remove Pironi from the race completely, the Frenchman ultimately taking Lauda out with him as he tried a lunge on lap 22.[1] Those collisions hence put Alan Jones into third, with the Ferraris pacing themselves out front, while Regazzoni was promoted into the points.[1]

More retirements would work to Regazzoni's benefit, with Jones, Jean-Pierre Jarier and Jochen Mass all hitting trouble to put the Swiss racer onto the podium.[1] A transmission failure for Villeneuve then left Scheckter on his own out front, with the Swiss racer taking an all or nothing approach to catch the lone Ferrari.[1]

The pair duly started the final lap nose-to-tail but, try as he might, Regazzoni could not squeeze his Williams ahead of the scarlet Ferrari before the chequered flag.[1] Scheckter therefore claimed a second victory of the season ahead of the ex-Ferrari racer, while Carlos Reutemann secured third after an engine failure removed a recovering Depailler from the race with two laps to go.[1] The Frenchman was subsequently classified in fifth behind John Watson, while Mass survived a gearbox issue to limp home in sixth, albeit seven laps off the lead.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Formula One's annual trip to Monte Carlo and the Circuit de Monaco would be made in late May in 1979, with the Monaco Grand Prix celebrating an important anniversary.[2] Indeed, 1979 marked the 50th anniversary of the first Monaco Grand Prix, although it was only the 39th time that the Grand Prix had physically been staged, a result of the second world war and other financial strife.[2] As such there was to be another strong entry list for the race, despite the fact that the organisers had limited the field to just 24 for practice, and 20 for the race.[2]

Indeed, the size of the entry list meant that a pre-qualifying session was scheduled to reduce the field, although a list of "guaranteed" entries meant that all bar two of the practice slots were pre-filled.[2] All twenty of the Formula One Constructors Association registered teams were among those on the guaranteed list, as were René Arnoux and Riccardo Patrese at the behest of the organisers.[2] That left six on the pre-qualifying list to fight for the two remaining places, although that number soon dwindled.[2]

First to go would be Alfa Romeo, who decided that it was not worth risking their new car on the city streets, leaving Bruno Giacomelli without a drive.[2] Likewise, the Kauhsen squad running Gianfranco Brancatelli opted against making the trip, although the Italian racer himself did, while a furious Héctor Rebaque withdrew shortly before the pre-qualifying session, having previously been told by Bernie Ecclestone that he would be guaranteed a spot in practice at the end of 1978.[2] That left Hans-Joachim Stuck in the ATS, Arturo Merzario in his self-built creation, and Jochen Mass in the second Arrows left to fight for their place in the field.[2]

However, there would be some late drama ahead of the session after Rebaque withdrew, for Merzario managed to damage his hand while working on his car, leaving him unable to take part.[2] He duly enlisted Brancatelli to take over his car in pre-qualifying, despite the fact that the Italian youngster had never driven it before.[2] It therefore came as little surprise when Brancatelli failed to make the cut, meaning Stuck and Mass completed the 24 for practice.[2]

Into the "guaranteed" section of the entry and Ferrari arrived with their rear wings mounted in front of the rear-wheels, as had been trialled in Belgium.[2] The logic behind the move appeared to be to increase the amount of downforce acting around the rear wheels, as well a clean up the airflow over the back of the car.[2] Otherwise the two cars of Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve remained unchanged from their battles in Belgium, while the spare 312T4 arrived in an even more conventional form.[2]

The other big change in the field was to be found in the Renault garage, with Arnoux having been given parity with lead driver Jean-Pierre Jabouille.[2] Indeed, the ex-European Formula Two Champion had his own RS10 chassis to use in Monte Carlo, with both cars equipped with the French manufacturer's new twin-turbo charged V6 engine.[3] The turbos were mounted on either side of the V6 unit, boosting three cylinders apiece, with the exhaust system then moulding into a single megaphone style exhaust after each bank fed through its turbo.[3]

Elsewhere, Ligier arrived with a new JS11 for Patrick Depailler, required after the Frenchman damaged his newest car, and the original, at Zolder, while Jacques Laffite carried on with his race winning car.[3] Similarly, Williams had completed a new FW07 for Alan Jones to use, replacing the car he had damaged in Belgium, while Clay Regazzoni had his usual charger.[3] Elsewhere, Lotus had mounted some new air scoops to Mario Andretti's Type 80s, while Carlos Reutemann had the choice of three Type 79s.[3]

Brabham arrived with three complete cars for Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet to use, while the original BT48 was shipped as a large box of spares.[3] McLaren, meanwhile, had produced "C-spec" M28 for John Watson, featuring a myriad of minor tweaks and changes, while Patrick Tambay inherited the "B-spec" car from Zolder.[2] Wolf, meanwhile, had gone the other way, reverting to the older WR7 for James Hunt, while Shadow had been busy rebuilding both Jan Lammers and Elio de Angelis' cars, preventing them from developing anything new.[3]

Over at Tyrrell it had been a quiet fortnight since the Belgian Grand Prix, with Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jarier using their usual charges.[2] Ensign, meanwhile, had opted to run their new car again for Derek Daly, although the older MN08 was in the paddock as a spare.[2] Completing the field would therefore be the Fittipaldi of Emerson Fittipaldi, with the Brazilian again using his F5A instead of their new car.[2]

With six races down and nine to go it was Laffite who led the Championship hunt, level on points with Belgian GP winner Scheckter, but ahead by virtue of having two wins to the South African's one. Villeneuve completed the top three arriving in Mote Carlo, level with Depailler but ahead on count-back, while Reutemann rounding out the lead quintet. Indeed, just five points separated the top five after the opening six rounds, with defending Champion Andretti next up but twelve points off the pace.

In the International Cup for Constructors it was Ferrari who led the charge at the end of the Zolder weekend, having sneaked back ahead of Ligier-Ford Cosworth by a single point. Indeed, with almost two thirds of the season still to go it seemed as if those two would be in a private duel for the crown, although Team Lotus-Ford Cosworth were still in contention in third. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth were next, with less than half the number of points than Lotus, while McLaren-Ford Cosworth were even further off the pace in fifth.

Entry ListEdit

The full entry list for the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entreat Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Martini Racing Team Lotus Lotus 80 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Martini Racing Team Lotus Lotus 79 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Candy Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 009 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Candy Tyrrell Team Tyrrell 009 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 G
6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Parmalat Racing Team Brabham BT48 Alfa Romeo 1260 V12 3.0 G
7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M28C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M28B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS Wheels ATS D2 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T4 Ferrari 015 F12 3.0 M
12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T4 Ferrari 015 F12 3.0 M
14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F5A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS10 Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
16 France René Arnoux France Equipe Renault Elf Renault RS10 Renault EF1 V6t 1.5 M
17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Samson Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN9 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Samson Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN9 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
20 United Kingdom James Hunt Canada Olympus Cameras Wolf Racing Wolf WR7 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
22 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Team Ensign Ensign N179 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
24 Italy Gianfranco Brancatelli Italy Team Merzario Merzario A2 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
25 France Patrick Depailler France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS11 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Albilad-Saudia Racing Team Williams FW07 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Albilad-Saudia Racing Team Williams FW07 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Warsteiner Arrows Racing Team Arrows A1B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Warsteiner Arrows Racing Team Arrows A1B Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Team Rebaque Lotus 79 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
Source:[4]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix was to be staged on Thursday and Saturday ahead of the race, a change in schedule born of necessity rather than tradition.[2] Indeed, the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix had generated a large support schedule, including Renault 5s and Formula Three, which required the whole of Friday to sort out.[2] That left Thursday and Saturday afternoons to sort the Grand Prix grid, while Thursday and Saturday morning were reserved for F1 practice.[2]

Pre-QualifyingEdit

Pre-Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full pre-qualifying results for the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:33.19
2 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:34.30 +1.11s
DNPQ 24 Italy Gianfranco Brancatelli Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth 1:38.15 +4.96s

Thursday QualifyingEdit

A quiet Thursday morning practice session would pass without issue, although both Ligiers appeared to be off the pace, with both Jacques Laffite and Patrick Depailler claimed that they had wrist injuries.[2] Nelson Piquet, meanwhile, would quickly complain that his Brabham-Alfa Romeo was making him feel sick, with the Brazilian ultimately stopping early on with oil pouring from the underside of his engine.[2] Otherwise, there were no major issues, with no trips to the barriers for any of the 24 drivers.[2]

Into the first qualifying session of the day and it instantly became clear that there would be two different driving styles on display in Monte Carlo.[2] Most would adopt the more aggressive technique, bouncing from kerb to kerb on opposite lock, although the wiser heads in the field opted for a smoother approach knowing that there was plenty of time in both qualifying and the race.[2] The result would be fairly equal times between the two mindsets in the field, although the former group would suffer a greater number of issues.[2]

Indeed, the first driver to hit trouble would be Patrick Tambay, whose exuberance on the throttle ultimately left him out of fuel at the swimming pool.[2] Jean-Pierre Jabouille, meanwhile, would hit one kerb too many and break a driveshaft, with a similar fate befalling the sister car of René Arnoux.[2] Piquet was also struggling with his Alfa Romeo engine still bleeding oil from its casing, while Niki Lauda seemed to be obsessed with spring changes rather than getting out on track.[2]

Elsewhere, Lotus suffered some major headaches, beginning with Carlos Reutemann smacking into the barriers in his Lotus 79, moments before teammate Mario Andretti ground to a halt having run out of fuel.[2] Alan Jones, meanwhile, would write off his Williams early on with a visit to the barriers before the tunnel, while Didier Pironi had a less costly accident in the #3 Tyrrell.[2] Later on Piquet's day would come to a smoke end when his engine let go, while Hans-Joachim Stuck simply abandoned his ATS out on track with an suspected engine issue.[2]

Lauda 1979 Monaco Grand Prix

Niki Lauda looked set to be best of the Goodyear shod cars after Thursday's running.

A mid-session lull in mechanical strife would ultimately see the fastest times of the session recorded, with the final result making for some worrisome reading for the majority of the field.[2] Indeed, the two Ferraris were well ahead of the field, Gilles Villeneuve edging out teammate Jody Scheckter with a 1:26.91 to the South African's 1:27.35, before a full second gap back to third placed Lauda.[2] Most concluded that the source of this time gap was the work of Ferrari's Michelin tyres rather than the Scuderia themselves, with rivals Goodyear still waiting for their soft tyres to arrive at the circuit.[2] Fortunately for their large, and very vocal, customers, those tyres would arrive in time for Saturday's session.[2]

Saturday QualifyingEdit

Saturday's running would start earlier than expected, largely due to another full day of support races for the Renault 5s and small capacity BMWs.[2] Regardless, the hour long practice session allowed teams to bed in new engines, gearboxes and/or new cars after the troubles on Thursday, with most solving their issues after having Friday to think about solutions.[2] Furthermore, Goodyear's soft tyres had arrived overnight, and were being liberally distributed across the field in a bid to upset the Michelin shod Ferraris.[2]

Their cause was to be aided by the fact that Villeneuve would miss the start of the second and final qualifying session, for the Canadian's Ferrari was scattered in a hundred pieces across the Scuderia's garage.[2] An issue in the fuel system was the official cause of the mechanics' woes, with Villeneuve sat at the back of the garage, waiting for his car to be repaired rather than take the spare for a spin.[2] That allowed teammate Scheckter to set about besting his time from Thursday, with the South African ace duly doing so midway through the session, claiming a 1:26.45, having literally thrown the #11 car around the circuit.[2]

Indeed, it was only when the "injured" Depailler recorded a 1:27.11 that Villeneuve finally leapt into action, duly jumping into the spare Ferrari as his mechanics rushed about getting his proper car back together.[2] Fortunately for the Canadian racer his mechanics were swift and hence got him into his race car with half an hour still to run, allowing Villeneuve to record a series of quick laps.[2] Ultimately, however, Villeneuve would fall short of teammate Scheckter's new mark, settling for second with a 1:26.52.[2]

In truth there would be no need for Ferrari to rush things, for Depailler's 1:27.11 would be as good as it got for any of the Goodyear shod teams.[2] Over at Renault, meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Jabouille would cause havoc throughout the session, first breaking his transmission and abandoning his car halfway around the Circuit de Monaco, before walking back and squeezing himself into teammate Arnoux's car.[2] Arnoux was duly set to head back out in the old RS01, only for Jabouille to come charging back in claiming he simply could not drive a car setup for his diminutive compatriot.[2] Arnoux hence re-mounted his RS10 and went back out, while Jabouille was left to wander back to his hotel knowing there was little point in taking the old car out.[2]

Arounx's session ultimately came to an end a short while later, a split exhaust meaning he lost took much power to set a competitive time.[2] That left the two yellow-black Renaults perilously close to missing out on a spot on the grid come the end of the session, lying in nineteenth and twentieth, while Elio de Angelis, Jan Lammers and Derek Daly all inched closer to their marks.[2] Ultimately, however, all three would miss out on a spot on the grid, Daly throwing away his last-gasp effort by slamming into the barriers, meaning the two Renaults would get to start in spite of their troubles.[2]

The fourth and final non-qualifier would be Patrick Tambay, whose session had come to an effective end early on when his McLaren stalled, costing him a lot of track time.[2] Elsewhere, an unusually flustered Lauda arrived at the pits towards the end of the session with an embarrassed look on his face, the Austrian having clipped the barriers on his best lap and broken the rear suspension.[2] Teammate Piquet, meanwhile, had only got in a handful of laps before his fresh Alfa engine expired, while Emerson Fittipaldi fell from fifth on Thursday to seventeenth on Saturday as he suffered drive-shaft issues.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 1:27.35 1:26.45
2 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 1:26.91 1:26.52 +0.07s
3 25 France Patrick Depailler France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:28.69 1:27.11 +0.66s
4 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:28.32 1:27.21 +0.76s
5 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 1:29.83 1:27.26 +0.81s
6 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:28.62 1:27.42 +0.97s
7 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:28.99 1:27.42 +0.97s
8 30 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:29.41 1:27.47 +1.02s
9 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:32.68 1:27.67 +1.22s
10 20 United Kingdom James Hunt Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 1:28.84 1:27.96 +1.51s
11 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:29.08 1:27.99 +1.54s
12 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 1:29.89 1:28.22 +1.77s
13 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:29.23 1:28.23 +1.78s
14 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:28.89 1:28.23 +1.78s
15 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 1:29.56 1:28.30 +1.85s
16 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 1:28.48 1:28.51 +2.03s
17 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1:28.49 1:28.97 +2.04s
18 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1:29.53 1:28.52 +2.07s
19 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 1:29.33 1:28.57 +2.12s
20 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 1:29.87 1:28.68 +2.23s
DNQ 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:29.83 1:28.70 +2.25s
DNQ 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:30.68 1:29.53 +3.08s
DNQ 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth 1:32.02 1:29.99 +3.54s
DNQ 22 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth 1:36.89 1:30.18 +3.73s
DNPQ 24 Italy Gianfranco Brancatelli Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth 1:38.15
WD 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
Source:[2][5]

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Jody Scheckter
Gilles Villeneuve ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Patrick Depailler
Niki Lauda ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Jacques Laffite
Jean-Pierre Jarier ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Didier Pironi
Jochen Mass ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Alan Jones
James Hunt ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Carlos Reutemann
Hans-Joachim Stuck ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Mario Andretti
John Watson ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Riccardo Patrese
Clay Regazzoni ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Emerson Fittipaldi
Nelson Piquet ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 René Arnoux
Jean-Pierre Jabouille ______________

RaceEdit

Raceday proved to be the busiest of the race weekend to that point, with the first support race staged at 9:00am in wet conditions.[2] Hopes of a wet race among the Goodyear contingent would soon evaporate however, with the 11:30am warm-up session held in completely dry conditions, while the sun continued to burn away the clouds around Monte Carlo as the 3:30pm start time approached.[2] Indeed, the only pre-race drama came when Gilles Villeneuve split an oil pipe during said warm-up, with the resulting damage to his Ferrari F12 meaning that the Canadian ace needed a quick engine change to make it to the start.[2]

ReportEdit

Start 1979 Monaco Grand Prix

Jody Scheckter led the charge into Sainte Devote for Ferrari unopposed.

The familiar pre-race paraphernalia was also quick to appear and disappear, with Prince Rainier officially opening the circuit at 3:00pm, giving the drivers half an hour to get ready.[2] A faultless parade lap followed, before pole sitter Jody Scheckter roared away at the start, sprinting into Sainte Devote all on his own at the head of the pack.[2] Only fourth place starter Niki Lauda matched his getaway, with the maroon Brabham-Alfa Romeo streaking past Villeneuve and Patrick Depailler before either could respond.[2]

With that the fight for victory was all but over, for Scheckter hammered out a perilously quick opening lap to build a sizeable lead over Lauda in second.[2] Indeed, after an otherwise trouble free first lap, the Austrian was over a second behind the South African at the end of the first tour of Monte Carlo, and instead had Villeneuve tucked right under his rear wing.[2] They were chased by Depailler, Jacques Laffite and Didier Pironi, with the rest of the field largely appearing in grid order behind them.[2]

The early laps followed much the same pattern, with Scheckter simply driving away out front, while Lauda kept an eye on his mirrors to track Villeneuve.[2] Ultimately, those glances would be in vain, for the Canadian suddenly sent his Ferrari skating inside the Brabham into Sainte Devote at the start of lap four to claim second, scrambling over the kerb to get the job done.[2] Lauda, for his part, had opted to give the Canadian room to make the move once he committed, and would quickly come to be content in third as Villeneuve followed his teammate's lead and sprinted away from the Brabham.[2]

Indeed, Lauda was to prove to be something of a bottle-neck at the front of the field, with Depailler, Laffite, Pironi, Alan Jones, Jochen Mass, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Carlos Reutemann, Mario Andretti and James Hunt all chasing him in a long line.[2] Hunt would, however, soon disappear off the back of the train at Casino after a driveshaft failure, while Riccardo Patrese, who led the second group, smacked the wall and broke his suspension.[2] At the back, meanwhile, René Arnoux would be another early casualty, for contact with Nelson Piquet early one ultimately left the #16 Renault with a collapsed nose, with no spares available for the new car.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Villeneuve put together a string of fastest laps to catch onto the back of teammate Scheckter, and duly slotted in behind his teammate with thirteen laps gone.[2] By that stage the two had put ten seconds between themselves and the Lauda train in third, although Villeneuve made no attempt to get past his Championship challenging teammate.[2] As such, the two scarlet cars continued to dance away from the Lauda train over the following laps, prompting some in the crocodile to push more than seemed prudent.[2]

Ultimately, the man to make an optimistic lunge was Pironi, who braked marginally too late to pull off a lunge on Laffite for fifth, and hence only managed to smack into the back of the Ligier.[2] A furious Laffite was left to limp back to the pits with a punctured tyre, and would then lose even more time when he stalled trying to leave the garage.[2] He therefore rejoined almost two laps down, reappearing just ahead of the two scarlet Ferraris, and duly went streaking away from the leaders to try and catch the back of the pack.[2]

Depailler Pironi 1979 Monaco Grand Prix

Didier Pironi removed Patrick Depailler from podium contention with his second clumsy lunge of the afternoon.

Back with Pironi and he was about to cause his second accident of the afternoon, this time punting former teammate Depailler into a spin, and almost a barrel-roll.[2] Miraculously Pironi's Tyrrell escaped without damage, still tucked in behind Lauda, while Depailler spun himself back around at the back of the field having managed to miss the barriers.[2] That left both title contending Ligiers at the back of the pack, leaving Ferrari in prime position at the head of the field in terms of the Championship.[2]

Three laps later and Pironi was finally about to remove himself from the race, although this time he would actually be the victim rather than the cause.[2] Indeed, having got a good run on Lauda on the sprint up to Casino Square, Pironi managed to squeeze his nose inside of the Austrian's Brabham as they darted towards Mirabeau, only for Lauda to turn right across his path.[2] Pironi duly went sailing over the top of the Brabham, the back of the Tyrrell coming perilously close to Lauda's head, before smashing back down to terra firma and skating into the barriers.[2] Lauda, meanwhile, would limp back to the pits to retire with heavy rear-end damage, although both drivers were fortunately unharmed.[2]

In the midst of their chaos the two Lotuses removed themselves from contention almost unnoticed, with Reutemann the first to fall away with a split exhaust.[2] Andretti, meanwhile, would hang on with the group long enough to see Pironi's spectacular exit, only to have his hopes of podium demolished by a suspension failure on the rear of the Lotus 80.[2] All that left Jones in third ahead of Mass, Jarier and an increasingly distant Reutemann, while the two Ferraris continued to lead serenely out front.[2]

However, with the road block formally known as Lauda gone, and the ever opportunistic Andretti out of commission too, Jones was free to push as hard as he liked in the Williams, and would duly begin to demolish the Ferrari's lead.[2] Indeed, in a little over ten laps the Australian would go from fifteen seconds back to the tail of Villeneuve, who was himself occupying Scheckter's shadow as a rear gunner.[2] Yet, with half the race still to run, and Mass and Jarier now a long way behind, Jones knew he had time on his side, and so simply sat and waited for an opportunity to attack the Canadian rather than force the issue.[2]

Unfortunately Jones would never get a chance to pounce on either of them, for a mistake eleven laps later saw the Australian bounce off the barriers at Casino to end his race in frustration.[2] He duly dragged his broken Williams with a dejected expression on his face, while the Ferrari crew were left with an air of relief around their garage.[2] Indeed, their huge lead had suddenly been restored at the head of the field, for Mass was now a very distant third and on his own, having just inherited fourth from Jarier when the Frenchman's engine destroyed itself in a bloom of white smoke.[2]

However Mass was not going to be on his own for very long, for Jones' teammate Clay Regazzoni was now the man to watch, the #28 Williams having avoided the dramas around it to inherit fourth just after half-distance.[2] Now in clear air, Regazzoni was at least able to match the pace of the scarlet cars out front, and hence had little trouble catching Mass, whose brakes were overheating badly.[2] By lap 50 the inevitable move came and went without resistance from the German, who duly dragged his Arrows into the pits at the end of the lap to have his brakes looked at.[2]

Regazzoni soon began to chip away at the gap to Scheckter and Villeneuve over the following laps, and was to be given an unexpected boost when the Canadian suddenly came crawling into the pits at the end of lap 54.[2] Villeneuve's race was over with a ruined transmission system, with Regazzoni gaining heart as he passed the terminally wounded Ferrari, and duly carved the gap down to eight seconds on lap 58.[2] Yet, Regazzoni was not without his own troubles, and would lose four seconds on the following tour when his gearbox refused to give him access to second gear.[2]

That seemed to be that for Regazzoni's challenge, although the Swiss racer soon managed to drive around the problem and duly began to chip away at Scheckter's lead, although time was against him.[2] Behind, meanwhile, there was to be a terrific scrap for third, with Reutemann defending heavily from Nelson Piquet, John Watson and Depailler, the latter having pushed Watson so hard that the Ulsterman's McLaren M28C could almost be described as competitive.[2] Ultimately, however, Watson would not be able to find a way past Piquet, and, when fatigue began to eat away at his mental and physical strength, found himself powerless to keep Depailler at bay.[2]

Piquet 1979 Monaco Grand Prix

Nelson Piquet would show a lot of promise during the Monaco Grand Prix to challenge for the podium late on.

Depailler's move on Watson prompted some urgent messages from the Brabham pit to Piquet, urging the Brazilian to make a move on Reutemann before Depailler came lunging at him instead.[2] Unfortunately young Piquet's inexperience would show at this vital moment, for a lunge on Reutemann ultimately saw the Brabham slide into the back of the Lotus into Sainte Devote, costing him all of his momentum as Reutemann and Depailler carried on unhindered.[2] Piquet was hence left to sort himself out, although in his frustration to get back into the battle stamped on the throttle a little too hard and destroyed a ever fragile driveshaft.[2]

Into the penultimate lap and Regazzoni was now right under Scheckter's rear wing in the fight for the lead, while Depailler found himself in a similar position behind Reutemann in their battle for third.[2] It was the latter battle that was to be sorted out first, for Depailler would line up an optimistic lunge at Reutemann heading through the tunnel, only to emerge with smoke pouring from his exhausts.[2] Reutemann was left to cruise home in a very relieved third, as all of the attention now focused on the duel for the lead.[2]

Onto the final tour and Regazzoni's lack of second gear seemed to have cost him, for Scheckter simply pulled away on the run to Massanet, only for the Williams to drag itself right back into contention through Casino Square.[2] Regazzoni then tried a feint into Mirabeau, which Scheckter managed to swat aside, before the South African put his car in the middle of the road through Lowes.[2] Through the tunnel and again Regazzoni found himself drifting away, and was hence unable to challenge as they swept onto the harbour front for the final time.[2]

With that the race was run, with Scheckter duly scrambling out of the final corner a few tenths ahead of Regazzoni to claim a memorable victory, and the lead in the Championship.[2] Most of the cheers would be for the aforementioned Swiss racer, however, with the Italian fans, of which there were legion, notably chanting for "Regga" rather than the Scuderia.[2] Behind them came a reasonably satisfied Reutemann, eight seconds off, while Watson dragged the McLaren around to a lonely fourth after his afternoon of fighting.[2] Depailler was classified in fifth despite retiring on the penultimate tour, while Mass collected the final point, despite ending the afternoon seven laps behind Scheckter.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari 76 1:55:22.48 1 9
2 28 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 76 +0.44 16 6
3 2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 76 +8.57 11 4
4 7 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 76 +41.31 14 3
5* 25 France Patrick Depailler France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 75 Engine 3 2
6 30 Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 69 +7 Laps 8 1
7* 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 68 Transmission 18
8 15 France Jean-Pierre Jabouille France Renault 68 +8 Laps 20
Ret 26 France Jacques Laffite France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 55 Gearbox 5
Ret 12 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari 54 Transmission 2
Ret 27 Australia Alan Jones United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 43 Steering 9
Ret 4 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 34 Suspension 6
Ret 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck West Germany ATS-Ford Cosworth 30 Wheel 12
Ret 5 Austria Niki Lauda United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 21 Accident 4
Ret 3 France Didier Pironi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 21 Accident 7
Ret 1 United States Mario Andretti United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 21 Suspension 13
Ret 14 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 17 Engine 17
Ret 16 France René Arnoux France Renault 8 Damage 19
Ret 20 United Kingdom James Hunt Canada Wolf-Ford Cosworth 4 Transmission 10
Ret 29 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 4 Suspension 15
DNQ 18 Italy Elio de Angelis United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 8 France Patrick Tambay United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 17 Netherlands Jan Lammers United Kingdom Shadow-Ford Cosworth
DNQ 22 Ireland Derek Daly United Kingdom Ensign-Ford Cosworth
DNPQ 24 Italy Gianfranco Brancatelli Italy Merzario-Ford Cosworth
WD 31 Mexico Héctor Rebaque Mexico Lotus-Ford Cosworth
Source:[6]
  • * Depailler and Piquet were both still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.[6]

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

With seven races down the first of the drop-scores were being applied to the Championship standings, with drivers dropping their three worst results from the first seven rounds, as per the FIA's rules. Regardless of this rule, however, it was Jody Scheckter who led the title hunt, six ahead of Jacques Laffite after the drop scores were applied. The biggest loser as a result of the scoring rule proved to be Carlos Reutemann, whose loss of five points dropped him from a potential second back to fifth behind Laffite, Gilles Villeneuve and Patrick Depailler.

In the International Cup for Constructors the scoring system was far less convoluted, largely due to the fact that both cars could score points for each team. That meant that Ferrari continued to lead the way with half the season gone, leaving Monte Carlo with an eight point advantage over Ligier-Ford Cosworth. Lotus-Ford Cosworth were next, nine further back, while Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth and Williams-Ford Cosworth completed the top five.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 South Africa Jody Scheckter 30 (34) ▲1
2 France Jacques Laffite 24 ▼1
3 Canada Gilles Villeneuve 20
4 France Patrick Depailler 20 (22)
5 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 20 (25)
6 United States Mario Andretti 12
7 France Didier Pironi 8
8 United Kingdom John Watson 8 ▲1
9 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 7 ▼1
10 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 6 ▲6
11 Australia Alan Jones 4 ▼1
12 Italy Riccardo Patrese 2 ▼1
13 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1 ▼1
14 West Germany Jochen Mass 1 ▲1
15 Austria Niki Lauda 1 ▼2
International Cup for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 54
2 France Ligier-Ford Cosworth 46
3 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 37
4 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 15
5 United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth 10 ▲1
6 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 8 ▼1
7 United Kingdom Arrows-Ford Cosworth 3
8 United Kingdom Brabham-Alfa Romeo 1
9 Brazil Fittipaldi-Ford Cosworth 1

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 'Monaco GP, 1979', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr320.html, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 2.105 2.106 2.107 2.108 2.109 2.110 2.111 2.112 2.113 2.114 2.115 2.116 2.117 D.S.J., 'The Monaco Grand Prix: Some good fighting', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/07/1979), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/july-1979/63/monaco-grand-prix, (Accessed 23/12/2018)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 D.S.J., 'Notes on the cars at Monaco', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/07/1979), https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/july-1979/88/notes-cars-monaco , (Accessed 23/12/2018)
  4. 'Monaco 1979: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/monaco/engages.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
  5. 'Monaco 1979: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/monaco/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 'Monaco 1979: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/monaco/classement.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7. Monaco 1979', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1979/monaco.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
  8. '1979 Monaco GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2015), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1979&gp=Monaco%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
V T E 1979 Formula One Season
Teams Alfa Romeo • Arrows • ATS • Brabham • Ensign • Ferrari • Fittipaldi • Kauhsen • Ligier • Lotus • McLaren • Merzario • Rebaque • Renault • Shadow • Tyrrell • Williams • Wolf
Engines Alfa Romeo • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth • Renault
Drivers Alphabetically Andretti • de Angelis • Arnoux • Brambilla • Brancatelli • Daly • Depailler • Fittipaldi • Gaillard • Giacomelli • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Jones • Laffite • Lammers • Lauda • Lees • Mass • Merzario • Patrese • Piquet • Pironi • Rebaque • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Ribeiro • Rosberg • Scheckter • Stuck • Surer • Tambay • Villeneuve • Watson • Zunino
Drivers by Numbers 1 Andretti • 2 Reutemann • 3 Pironi • 4 Jarier • 4 Lees • 4/22/33 Daly • 5 Lauda • 5 Zunino • 6 Piquet • 7 Watson • 8 Tambay • 9 Stuck • 11 Scheckter • 12 Villeneuve • 14 Fittipaldi • 15 Jabouille • 16 Arnoux • 17 Lammers • 18 de Angelis • 19 Ribeiro • 20 Hunt • 20 Rosberg • 22 Gaillard • 22 Surer • 24 Merzario • 24/36 Brancatelli • 25 Depailler • 25 Ickx • 26 Laffite • 27 Jones • 28 Regazzoni • 29 Patrese • 30 Mass • 31 Rebaque • 35 Giacomelli • 36 Brambilla
Cars Alfa Romeo 177 • Alfa Romeo 179 • Arrows A1 • Arrows A2 • ATS D2 • ATS D3 • Brabham BT46 • Brabham BT48 • Brabham BT49 • Ensign N177 • Ensign N179 • Ferrari 312T3 • Ferrari 312T4 • Fittipaldi F5A • Fittipaldi F6 • Fittipaldi F6A • Kauhsen WK • Ligier JS11 • Lotus 79 • Lotus 80 • McLaren M26 • McLaren M28 • McLaren M28B • McLaren M28C • McLaren M29 • Merzario A1B • Merzario A2 • Merzario A4 • Rebaque HR100 • Renault RS01 • Renault RS10 • Shadow DN9 • Tyrrell 009 • Williams FW06 • Williams FW07 • Wolf WR7 • Wolf WR8 • Wolf WR9
Tyres Goodyear • Michelin
Races Argentina • Brazil • South Africa • United States West • Spain • Belgium • Monaco • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Netherlands • Italy • Canada • United States
Non-championship Races Race of Champions • Dino Ferrari
See also 1978 Formula One Season • 1980 Formula One Season • Category
V T E Monaco Monaco Grand Prix
Circuits Circuit de Monaco (1929–present)
Circuit Monaco 2007
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