#104 1962 Monaco Grand Prix

2021-09-06 00:00

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#1962, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Giulia Montemurro,

#104 1962 Monaco Grand Prix

After the tests of Daytona, Sebring and Targa Florio, and before the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, on Sunday, May 27, 1962, the fourth episode of the Ma

After the tests of Daytona, Sebring and Targa Florio, and before the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, on Sunday, May 27, 1962, the fourth episode of the Marche world championship will take place on the Nurburgring circuit. This year, it is reserved only to the Gran Turismo cars: the 1000 Kilometers of the Nurburgring. But since the race also includes the Sport cars and those of that experimental category that have aroused so much controversy because of their unclear definition, it is clear that the interest in this tiring, difficult, German test focuses on the comparison of the fastest cars, from which the overall winner crew will come out. The field of participants in this category is quite small, but of a first-rate level, and includes three official Ferraris, Hill-Gendebien, Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez, and Bandini-Baghetti, two private Ferraris, Vaccarella-Trintignant for the colours of the Scuderia Serenissima and Ireland for the English team, two Maserati 3000, Graham Hill-Gregory and Cassner, and a few new Porsches with an eight-cylinder two-liter engine, entrusted to Bonnier-Gurney, Herrmann and Runte-Koop, in addition to the 1700 Rerà. Although, based on the current degree of efficiency, and especially on the results of previous tests, the Ferraris start with the role of favorites, but we should not underestimate the possibility of the Porsches, that, since the track is suitable for the characteristics of the car, are able to severely hamper the Italian machines, which have their leading men in the pair formed by the World Champion Phil Hill and the Belgian Olivier Gendebien, great specialist of long races.


To the list of candidates for the overall victory we must then add the berlinetta Ferrari of the prototype category, which can be considered an intermediate car between the Gran Turismo and the Sport, driven by the Ferrari test driver, Willy Mairesse, winner of the Naples Grand Prix, and from the English Parkes, which had an impressive race last year at Le Mans. Let’s move on to the Gran Turismo category, whose fastest competitors will not be limited to racing themselves, but will be able, at the end of the day, to enter the overall top positions. The 1000 Kilometers of the Nurburgring is not new to provide such surprises. For the world ranking, the German race is valid only for the classes 2000 and over 2000 cubic centimeters. In the latter, Ferrari will certainly be World Champion, having practically no rivals: the Modenese House will only have unofficial drivers in the race, including the crews of Abbot-Colin Davis, Noblet-Quichct, Scarlatti-Kochert, Peroglio-Taramazzo, and we will see them against the British Aston Martin piloted by the pair McLaren-Maggs, and a pair of Jaguars. With these premises, on Sunday, May 27th, 1962, the Belgian-American couple formed by Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill took Ferrari to victory in the 1000 Kilometers of the Nurburgring, world championship test for the Gran Turismo cars and challenge world-wide test for the Sport cars. The medium speed of the winners of 132.6 km/h is not exceptional because of a fine and persistent drizzle that falls intermittently, making the track slippery. Ferrari is in the lead of the World Championship with 32 points, while only one race is yet to be run: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. During the race there are many accidents, and fortunately no driver was injured. But let’s get to the chronicle of the race.


At the start, under the rain, the green Lotus of Jim Clark snaps first, and at the end of the first lap he manages to keep the advantage obtained with this lightning start. Forty seconds behind him, Dan Gurney’s Porsche, then Mairesse’s Ferrari and Graham Hill’s Porsche. The World Champion Phil Hill is in fifth place followed by the New Zealander Bruce McLaren on Aston Martin and by the Mexican Pedro Rodriguez on a 2-litre Ferrari. After half an hour of running it isn’t raining anymore, but the road is still wet. On the third lap, the first incident of the day: Pedro Rodriguez’s Ferrari goes off the road and ends up in a meadow. The driver is unharmed, but the car cannot rejoin the race. At the sixth lap Giorgio Scarlatti’s Ferrari gran turismo comes out of the road. Accidents follow one another. On lap eight, Carlo Abate’s Ferrari GT and Giancarlo Rigamonti’s Alfa Romeo collided and went off the road. The two drivers get away with a lot of fear and little damage, but they are forced to retire. Meanwhile, the race continues with its exciting and sometimes dramatic phases. Clark is always in the lead, but the red bolide of Mairesse presses and on the eighth lap the gap drops from 1'40" to just 48". Phil Hill’s Ferrari is also close by. The Californian ace covers the ninth lap in 9'34"4 at an average of 142.8 km/h. On the eleventh lap, Dan Gurney leaves the wheel of his Porsche to teammate Bonnier. Phil Hill takes advantage of this to move bringing himself in third position, while Bonnier resumed the race chased by the two-litre Ferrari of Bandini-Baghetti.


But on the twelfth lap we have the dramatic twist that will basically decide the race. Clark’s Lotus goes off the road near the start line. The car is damaged beyond repair. The driver, unscathed, walks back to the pits. The Ferrari of Hill and Gendebien, who had meanwhile taken second place, took the lead, but had to give il up to the Mairesse-Parkes pair after two pit stops. Halfway through the race, at the start of lap 22, Mairesse is still in the lead, followed by Phil Hill, but at the end of the same lap the Belgian makes a very short pit stop. This is enough for the World Champion to take the lead again with a 55 seconds advantage. On lap 33, Phil Hill stops at the pits for an ordinary stop and Mairesse takes advantage to resume the lead. But there’s only 30 seconds to the Ferrari of the American and the latter still has to refuel before the end of the race: when he refuels, Phil Hill comes back in the lead and remains there until the end, applauded by the huge crowd spread along the twenty-two kilometers of the picturesque circuit. The race has no more history: the only important episode is the withdrawal, two laps from the end, of the Bonnier-Gurney’s Porsche. Fifteen days earlier, at Zandvoort, everyone noticed the great progress made by the renewed English single-seaters and the difficulties of the Italian cars. Sometimes, however, it is a matter of making one slight change, so that the situation straightens out. The Monaco race could be interesting, in this regard, although it will be appropriate not to deceive anyone, given the characteristics of the Principality’s city circuit, which seems more congenial to the handling qualities and agility of English cars.


The 1962 calendar has been shuffled which means that the Monaco Grand Prix it's not the first race of the year as usual since the Dutch Grand Prix has already been held. The circus arrives in the Principality with the informations collected in Zandvoort, where B.R.M. won the race. This time again the entry list sees 16 cars and it's been decided by the ten invitations plus the six qualifiers from the remainder of the entry of 23. Marsh and Businello do not appear on track so the qualifiers are now eleven. On the difficult circuit of Monaco, in very different conditions than Zandvoort’s, we will know if the British constructors really managed to overturn a situation that, at the end of last season, seemed the beginning of a long Ferrari dominance. Actually, and according to the indications collected so far, the tortuous circuit of Monaco seems to give more credit - regardless of any other factor - to the possibilities of the green English single-seater, whose qualities of handling and stability are renowned; plus, the origin of the dangerousness of Lotus, B.R.M. and Cooper (now joined by the Lola) is probably the efficiency of the new 8-cylinder engines by Coventry-Climax (mounted by Lotus, Cooper and Lola) and by B.R.M. In these conditions, the goal of Ferrari seems difficult to achieve. They would need the upper class pilot, the Moss or the Fangio, to compensate for any mechanical inferiority. Just last year in Monte-Carlo, Stirling Moss managed to beat, with a 4-cylinder Lotus, the overpowered Ferrari, despite the obvious supremacy of the latter. Because on the Monaco track, the drivers’ skills are highlighted as in no other. But Moss won’t be there, and even if he was, he would be behind the wheel of a British car.


On the other hand, it may be that the apprehensions of the Modenese brand fans are premature. It’s happened before that a simple well-timed modification managed to sort out situations much more complex than those with which the technicians of Ferrari are today struggling (it seems that the uncertainties of the Italian single-seater are due to adherence deficiencies, which makes it difficult to exploit all the power provided by the engine). But it is not improbable to fit the German Porsche in the Italian-English clash, which, in turn, managed to set up a new opposed eight-cylinder engine. As you can see, the Monaco Grand Prix is called upon to answer several questions, especially on the iconic level, which ultimately constitutes the raison d'être of motor racing, and of those of Formula 1 in particular. The list of participants includes thirty-three names, ten of which are invited, which means they are admitted at the start by authority, regardless of the time taken during the official tests. The ten cars invited are B.R.M., Cooper, Ferrari, Lotus and Porsche, with two cars each. But not all of the Motorhomes have already designated the driver pair. At least Ferrari did, except for its team leader and world champion Phil Hill. The invited entries see two drivers for Porsche (Jo Bonnier and Dan Gurney), B.R.M. (Graham Hill and Richie Ginther), Cooper (Bruce McLaren and Tony Maggs), Lotus (Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor) and Ferrari (Phil Hill and the second red car nominated as X).


The list of the qualifiers instead is: Jack Brabham (Lotus-Climax V8), Maurice Trintignant (Lotus-Climax V8), Jackie Lewis (B.R.M. V8), Roy Salvadori and John Surtees (Lola-Climax V8), Masten Gregory (Lotus-B.R.M. V8), Innes Ireland (Lotus-Climax V8), Nino Vaccarella (Lotus-Climax 4), Carel Godin de Beaufort (Porsche 4), Jo Siffert(Lotus-Climax 4), and either Lorenzo Bandini or Willy Mairesse( Ferrari), which is not nominated X. In addition there is Ricardo Rodriguez with a training Ferrari. The quality of the qualifiers is surprisingly as high as the invited ones so it is a shame that Bonnier and Maggs could not make it due to obsolete cars. After the Dutch Grand Prix Porsche has decided to quit the Monaco race as they have been disappointed with the performance of their new 8-cylinder cars; things change though after their 2-litre 8-cylinder vehicles performance in the 1.000 kilometres at Nurburgring. Gurney and  Hanstein want to race with the new cars no matter how they perform so, after a long battle, the first one can drive the 8-cylinder. Bonnier instead has to drive an old 4-cylinder, the red one from the Scuderia Venezia which Porsche finalised for the occasion. As expected John Cooper enters his two drivers: McLaren on the lone Cooper V8 and Maggs on the last year's 4-cylinder car. It is a shame though that two drivers with old cars are admitted to a race limited to only 16 participants, since there are a lot of talents waiting to qualify with brand new vehicles, only because their team nominated them. But this is Monaco, always tainted with a bit of comic-opera.


Practice begins in the warm and dry afternoon in Monaco, Gurney has arrived from Indianapolis just in time to drive his lone 8-cylinder Porsche. The box area is full of excitement since UDT-Laystall has two new Lotus 24 models, one with the V8 Coventry-Climax from the car Ireland crashed during the Dutch Grand Prix, and the other with a new V8 B.R.M. engine. Both cars are using 5-speed Colotti gearboxes. Ireland is in the first car while Gregory is in the second one, the B.R.M. engine uses Weber carburettors and short stub exhaust pipes entirely unsupported; as spare they also have an old 4-cylinder Lotus. The entry for Trintignant, Rob Walker, has also a new car, a Lotus 24 with Coventry-Climax V8 engine, but as a precaution they also have the old 4-cylinder Lotus that the team used to win in Pau. Also B.R.M. has a new car for Ginther, it is the 1962 pattern with 6-speed Colotti gearbox as an experiment, it also has down swept exhaust pipes feeding into large diameter tail-pipes mounted under the rear suspension. The nose cap of the B.R.M. has been shortened for Monaco and Graham Hill's car, the Zandvoort winning one, has also the nose cowling cut down. As a spare they have the 1961/62 chassis car that Ginther drove at the Dutch Grand Prix. All three cars have fule injection.  Jack Lewis drives the V8 B.R.M. as private entry, Marsh has been entered by the Owen Racing Organisation but it seems that he does not want to show up. The Bowmaker team of Lolas is, just like in Zandvoort, with Surtees and Salvadori except that the first one's car has now a tubular top suspension arms on the front instead of the U-section ones, the geometry of the rear has been also altered.


Apparently Yeoman Credit has retired from the race leaving space or the Bowmaker HP team, the personnel though remains unchanged and the cars still use the Coventry-Climax V8 engines and Colotti gearboxes; both cars also have short, blunt nose cowlings. The Lotus drivers have the same cars used in Zandvoort too, Clark has the monocoque Type 25 and Taylor drives the Type 24, both with Coventry-Climax V8 engines and ZF gearboxes. Brabham still has its green Lotus 24 with Climax V8 engine but there's no sign of their cars, thanks to this some of the Juniors enter the Monaco Junior race. Meanwhle Ferrari has been able to sign a lot of its driver such as Hill, Bandini and Mairesse who have a 120-degre V6-engined cars just like in Zandvoort. This time all of the three of them use the wide rear wishbones, tried out by Hill in Holland, but the top spring anchorages are of the close in old pattern, for this reason the coil-springs are inclined more steeply. There is also a spare car, an old 65 degree V6-engined one driven by Rodriguez. There are also two private owners: de Beaufort with his old 4-cylinder Porsche and Siffert with a Lotus Climax 4-cylinder. The fastest lap set last year is 1'36"3 and it has been recorded by Moss and Ginther in the middle of the battle. Since the best practice time is 1'39"1, it is reasonable to think that the fastest drivers on the grid also this year will approach 1'36"0. The most confident team is B.R.M. that soon puts Hill out on track setting the pace but Clark seems to be in good shape while the Lola of Surtees is not working perfectly, even though it show some improvements. Gurney puts himself under the 1'40"0 mark encouraging Porsche while Hill sets the pace for Ferrari, his full opposite lock goes well into the gasworks hairpin bringing to mind Fangio with his 250F Maserati.


Meanwhile the B.R.M. and Lotus drivers have to wait for the understeer to be solved before pushing their V8 engines. Ginther does not feel happy about his B.R.M. and has a lot of issues since his throttle is not opening smoothly. The Lucas injection system uses a sliding plate throttle for each bank of four inlet pipes and a heavy, this requires a heavy pressure on the pedal to overcome the friction. Hill does not have the same trouble, maybe this is due to his bigger and heavier foot. Sometimes though the V8 engines need some delicate throttle control. The two UDT-Laystall cars set almost the dame lap times but, since the Climax V8 car has recently been assembled and there has been no time to make some adjustments plus the B.R.M. V8 engined car is out for the first time, not much can be concluded. More people than expected set a time under the 1'40"0 during the first practice, the fastest, as expected, are close to 1'36"0. The results and the pace are good, so the battle for the first rows on the grid is open with Clark and graham Hill leading the field. Practice ends at 3:30 p.m.  so the second session will start at 7:15 a.m., it's lucky that the mechanics do not have big damages to solve since the drivers behaved themselves. It will probably be the last round of practice to decide which, of the thirteen, will be admitted and which will be excluded. A regulation of this kind lends itself to many criticisms, but on the other hand one cannot ignore the security reasons that have suggested it. The Grand Prix will be held on the usual distance of 100 laps, for a total of 314.500 kilometers. The race record belongs to Moss on Lotus, who averaged 113.131 km/h. 


On Saturday the now traditional race of Junior machines will also take place, with the presence of all the strongest European specialists. In this category, English machines have dominated for a couple of years; but some Italian workshops have prepared new vehicles that seem able to do good things. Unfortunately, the wait for this race is betrayed on Saturday, June 2, 1962, because a fatal accident darken both the Junior event and the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix. Viction of the accident the British driver Dennis Taylor, during the junior category race that follows the official practice for the Grand Prix. The disaster occurs in one of the first tests of the first battery, in the sadly famous variant that connects the following descent to the tunnel along the port of Monte Carlo, a point of the circuit that often has been theater of fearful accidents. Taylor, who is not related to the homonymous Formula 2 driver, a few meters before the end of the slight descent fails to enter the curve, and after skidding, his Lotus ends up against a tree on the right of the road. Immediately collected and sent to the hospital, he arrived there lifeless, because of a basilar skull fracture. Another accident occurs, once again during the race reserved to junior cars, to another Englishman, Alan Rees, and always in the bend at the end of the descent on the bridge. Rees has multiple facial injuries, but fortunately his condition is not severe. The last day of official practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, before the two accidents, was marked by the drivers' hard work to qualify. Initially the Porsche, which after the disappointing performance at Zandvoort had decided not to participate in this Grand Prix in order to improve its car, at the last moment seems to have second thoughts and suddenly appears in Monaco, ready to race.


Gurney enters the competition at the wheel of an eight-cylinder, while Bonnier has to settle for an old four-cylinder car, without having to worry about qualifying, as he is part of one of the invited teams. The first practice session begins in the late afternoon of Thursday, May 31, 1962, with an medium-high temperature and a dry track. From the pits of the UDT-Laystall, two new Lotus 24 models hit the track, one with the V8 Coventry-Climax engine, recovered from Ireland’s car after the accident at Zandvoort and the other with a new V8 B.R.M. engine. The first car is assigned to Ireland, while Gregory is in command of the second. Another new car is Trintignant’s Lotus 24 with a V8 Coventry-Climax engine, who also prepared a four-cylinder Lotus - the same car the Frenchman won the Pau Grand Prix with - in the pits, in case the first car causes problems. The B.R.M. mounts a new Colotti-branded gearbox on Ginther’s car, in an attempt to solve their reliability problems, and shortens the nose of the cars of both Ginther’s and Graham Hill’s car, to limit the damage caused every year by duels on the streets of Monaco. Lola enters the race with the same drivers of the Grand Prix of Zandvoort, Surtees and Salvadori, with a different geometry in the rear of Surtees’ the car. Lotus did not make any changes to its cars, with Clark at the wheel of the model 25 monocoque and Taylor with the less updated Lotus 24, both with a V8 Coventry-Climax engine. Brabham takes to the track with a Lotus 24 with a V8 Climax engine, but a new car - which will carry his name - should make its appearance during the season. Last year, the fastest lap during the Grand Prix was 1'36"6, recorded by Moss and Ginther during their historic battle, while the fastest qualifying lap was 1'39"1.


Everyone therefore expects that the cars on track this weekend will be able to easily go below the threshold of 1'40"0. The B.R.M. is already at ease on this circuit from the first laps, with a Graham Hill very satisfied with his car, while Ginther still does not find the right connection with the car and struggles to reach his teammate. Clark also collects excellent times and is considered the main rival of the B.R.M. during this Monegasque weekend. Porsche and Ferrari seem to be cautiously optimistic for the situation they’re in: in fact, we saw their cars in great struggle during the Zandvoort Grand Prix. As expected, the British teams are ahead on the slow circuits compared to Ferrari and Clark takes the first position. The battle for pole position seems to be reserved to Clark and Graham Hill, but during the second practice session other drivers could join the fight. The Thursday of practice ends at 3:30 P.M. and the mechanics have until 7:15 on Friday morning to make further changes to the cars. On the following morning the streets of Monte-Carlo are wet from a torrential rain that will continue to fall until late in the evening. For teams and drivers it is impossible to bring the cars on track and the second practice session turns out to be a total disaster, with Brabham stuck in the pits with an engine filled with water and the pit lane half flooded. The only driver satisfied by these conditions seems to be Graham Hill, who runs without problems aboard his B.R.M. With the end of the session at 9:00 pm, most of the teams stay in the pits for several hours, in an attempt to dry everything that had been wet by the storm.


After an almost useless Friday, the cars registered for the Monaco Grand Prix are back on track on Saturday afternoon for a final practice session. The Lotus team spends most of the time working on a filming project, while Graham Hill does not waste time and records the best time in 1'35"8. Shortly after, Jack Lewis returns to the pits, losing oil from the carburetor and is soon mimicked by Surtees, with problems at the gearbox of his Lola. Mairesse and Gurney, despite going below the threshold of 1'36"0, can not reach Graham Hill’s time. When he gets back on track, Clark tries to record the best time and to do so also borrows the cars of his teammates, without even changing the number on the body. The Lotus garage is crowded with movie stars and cameramen and this doesn’t make Clark very quiet, but suddenly the they all decide to move towards Graham Hill and convince him to shoot a small scene on his B.R.M. Seizing the opportunity and still annoyed by that intrusion, Clark returns to the track and records the best time, getting the pole position a few minutes before the end of the session. After shooting the scene he was asked to, Graham Hill returned to the pits, convinced that he had kept his pole position, only to find out he was in second position. After the tests, the timekeepers begin to evaluate who will be the six drivers to enter the Grand Prix, but after the comparisons, they realize they have forgotten to count Ireland’s time of 1'37"0, and are forced to compare the times again. Only late in the evening, finally, the six drivers who have earned access to the Grand Prix are revealed: Mairesse, Brabham, Trintignant, Ireland, Surtees and Salvadori. On the following day, while the cars took up positions on the grid, a new rain shower washed the track, but at the start the roads of Monte-Carlo were dry again. On Sunday, while the cars are at the pits, the rain falls down again, but fortunately as the time of the start approaches the sun come back, a light wind blows and the road dries rapidly.


The Team Lotus B.R.M.-engined car is not yet right so Clark has the monocoque Climax V8 and Taylor the Lotus 24 with Climax V8. The gearbox on the new B.R.M.  has given trouble so Ginther will use the 1961/62 car, Graham Hill will keep his regular mount; while the Ferrari are all using the old-type 120-degree V6-engined cars. By 2:45 p.m. everyone is on the grid, all the engines are running, Louis Chiron is carefully counting-down, 30sec, 20sec, 10sec. At 5 seconds he raises the flag and in a last-minute panic drops it at the 3seconds mark. Drivers have been warned that jumping the start means 1minunte penalty (shades of BARC) but the early starting signal hits several drivers. Mairesse collides with Clark and Graham Hill, who are a bit slow off the mark; the Lotus jumps sideways about a foot and the Ferrari is through and heading for the Gasworks hairpin in the lead. This terrific start meant that Mairesse arrives at the first corner going much too fast and on the inside. He goes into a full-lock slide and uncontrollably slides past the apex of the hairpin causing a “chain-reaction”. Clark, Hill and McLaren are still in front-line order and, seeing the red Ferrari sideways-on, they brake hard, Clark almost coming to a stop on the inside. McLaren and Hill are quick enough to dive through, one on each side of the sliding Ferrari, towards the apex of the hairpin, and they lead by the end of the straight. Mairesse holds his slide, gets the lead and storms after them, but behind there is total chaos. The unexpected heavy braking of the front-line causes those immediately behind to try to dodge, but Ginther hits Trintignant, who spins and touches Ireland, who also spins his car. Ginther’s impact bounces him off the Lotus and his right rear wheel hits the back of Gurney’s Porsche. Meanwhile Trintignant hits the sea wall, spins back and lands up against the straw bales; Ginther goes  head-on into the bales and Ireland spins backwards into the barriers. The rest of the field is pushing and shoving their way round the corner but Taylor’s Lotus bends its nose cowling vertically upwards.


When the dust has settled, Ginther’s car is minus a rear wheel, hub carrier, brake and drive-shaft, the whole assembly unfortunately has gone down over the barriers and injured a marshal. Rob Walker’s brand new Lotus V8 is bent in all directions and derelict with its radiator torn right off, Gurney’s Porsche has the rear of its gearbox broken off, and Ireland is realising that his Lotus-Climax V8 is not badly damaged so is able to drive to the pits to have the broken petrol pipe repaired, while Taylor is having his nose cowling broken off. Ginther comes also back to the pits, taking the blame for the mix-up as he thinks that his throttle had stuck open, but it is an impression gained by the cars in front of him stopping more abruptly than anticipated. As if all this is not enough, Mairesse spins at the station hairpin causing more chaos, this time without any more breakages. There's quite a lot of panic as the field comes round the Tobacconist Corner, since the debris at the hairpin are still being sorted out. All the drivers that go by slowly, McLaren leading from Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Bonnier, Bandini, Clark, Maggs, Brabham, Surtees and Salvadori. A very deflated Mairesse arrives a little bit later, followed by Taylor, while Ireland is still at the box. The next lap is equally quiet, though Bonnier is put back in seventh place by Brabham and Clark, and on lap three the race really starts. Graham Hill start  to chase McLaren, Brabham closes up on Bandini and Surtees and Maggs prepare to pass Bonnier, while Ireland has at least started racing, his Lotus is looking a bit tattered around the tail but otherwise is going all right. It did not take Hill very long to get McLaren and, on lap seven, the B.R.M.  takes the lead with the latter settling for a good second place.


Clark is beginning to recover from the starting issues and has passed Bandini, wile Mairesse stops at the Ferrari pit very briefly. By lap 10 Hill’s B.R.M. leads by nearly 3seconds from McLaren’s V8 Cooper-Climax, with Phil Hill’s Ferrari 4seconds behind, followed by Brabham, Clark and Bandini with the other Ferrari. There already is a long gap from Surtees who's followed by the rest of the drivers such as Mairesse, nearly a lap behind, and Ireland who's bringing up the rear. Phil Hill is beginning to reach McLaren and Clark is challenging Brabham. But on lap 12 the Ferrari team leader spins on the sea front and the two Lotus V8s of Brabham and Clark slip away. Apart from a few spots of rain falling nothing much happens until lap 20: Clark is  preparing to pass Brabham and take third place on lap 22. Graham Hill is serenely in the lead, now 7seconds ahead of the works Cooper, but the danger now is Clark, who has caught and overtaken McLaren with no trouble at all and is starting to set fastest laps. After 25 laps Maggs, Bonnier, Salvadori and Mairesse have all been lapped, while Ireland has some issues with his a leaking fuel tank. Taylor gives up due to  an oil leak dripping on the pedals, pit stops have been made to try and stop the leak but it is useless. On lap 30 the order sees Graham Hill in the lead followed by Clark, McLaren, Brabham, Phil Hill, Bandini and Surtees, the remaining five runners are well behind. Clark is now in a record-breaking mood, his gearbox seems to be working smoothly after the issues with gear-changing at the beginning of the race.

After a series of fastest laps he has built a gap between his Lotus and the B.R.M. who's in the lead. Graham Hill is well aware of the situation and sets a new time record on lap 42 in 1'35"5. Clark reduces the gap to 1second from the B.R.M., but at this point Graham Hill is too far away. This little bit of pressing has left everyone else way behind and means that Bandini and Surtees are near to being lapped. On lap 45 1 second is still separating the B.R.M. and the Lotus, which means that they are in sight of one another. Surtees is trying to pass Bandini when Graham Hill comes followed by Clark. Given the situation,  Hill makes the most of the opportunity and gets round the Tabac corner just in front of Surtees and Bandini, leaving Clark behind them, and wastes no time in getting down to the Gasworks Hairpin, braking really heavily, nipping round the corner and running away on lap 46. Meanwhile Clark is still looking for a way past the Lola and Ferrari who are racing for the sixth place. This battle allowes Hill to regain a lead of 6.5seconds on lap 48, and this gap increases to 8seconds on the next lap as Clark is now blocked since he has to lap Ireland on the twisty part of the circuit. At the 50th lap, half of the race, Clark has not regained his former pace as he is in trouble with gear-changing again, and by lap 52 he has dropped back to 15seconds, followed by McLaren, Brabham, Phil Hill, and now a lap behind the leader Surtees and Bandini. Still running, but a long way back, we find Bonnier and Mairesse, while Ireland is still in and out of the pits, being sick from petrol fumes at the same time. Clark’s trouble seems to be more serious than mere gear-changing problems and on lap 56 he has to rest out on the circuit with a broken clutch.


The rain is still falling down and Graham Hill remains unchallenged, but his American namesake is getting very close to Brabham, having been closing the gap for many laps. As the B.R.M. goes through the Casino square, McLaren’s Cooper V8 is rounding the Gasworks Hairpin and Brabham was taking the chicane on to the harbour front, with Phil Hill close behind. These four drivers are the only ones on the same lap, Surtees and Bandini are one lap behind the leader, but not yet caught by McLaren. Having taken the advantage of lapping slower cars to get rid of Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill is no more challenged for the lead so he wants o ease off a bit, since he has a  45second lead. But by the moment he relaxes himself he finds Surtees right on his tail, with Bandini following him. Behind this awkward situation Phil Hill catches  Brabham, then overtakes it on a corner and dropped back to a 5seconds gap, starting to catch up all over again. The leader’s situation is getting desperate as the B.R.M. engine is beginning to blow smoke from its breathers and Hill badly wants to ease the pace a bit, this is not possible since Surtees is right behind, pushing hard; also Bandini is closing the gap from the Lola in order to regain the fourth place. Graham Hill now has decreased his lead to 36seconds and meanwhile his namesake had re-caught Brabham, this time with no mistake giving him the third place on lap 76. The Australian Lotus driver is starting to get too much tired while Phil Hill is looking  calm and confident. On lap 77 Brabham lost it going round the Casino square and goes off the road and up a grass bank, digging a great lump out of the Royal turf. Although he is able to drag the Lotus back onto the road and restart down the hill to the Mirabeau, but his suspension is gone so he slowly drives to the pits to retire.

The position of the leader is more precarious than before and, tired of the pressure of Surtees and Banditti, Graham Hill lets the Lola by. After only three laps of being between the duelling Lola and Ferrari he has lost 4seconds to McLaren and now has only 30second lead. This situation is not good so Graham re-passes Surtees on lap 84, the B.R.M. is smoking even more, but all this messing about means that McLaren is now only 28.5sec behind. Meanwhile the Ferrari goes to the box, seeing that Phil Hill is in trouble, so they give him the flat-out signal. The position of the B.R.M. now lookes anything but confident and, on lap 87, Bandini is right behind Surtees. As they rush down to the Gasworks Hairpin, Bandini raise a hand as a signal to the Marshals and Surtees, as if he is looking in his mirror, so he leaves his braking extra late he dives through on the inside chopping Surtees off just as he is going to lock over for the hairpin. Meanwhile, looking completely relaxed and confident, Bandini reaches the hairpin and climbs in fourth place, snicking through his 6-speed gearbox with some splendid gear-changes. On lap 90 Graham Hill has only a 26second lead over McLaren. There still is something wrong since he finds himslef between Banditti and Surtees and, as the BRM goes past the pits heading for St Devote corner, a rough note comes into the V8. He comes round again but B.R.M. supporters have their fingers crossed as the car goes to the Casino but the driver is obviously sick. 


Graham Hill gets as far as the Mirabeau hairpin on lap 93 when there is a bang from the engine causing him to stop down to the Station with oil pouring from the underside of the car. As he gets out, McLaren crosses the hairpin to take the lead and a few seconds later Phil Hill charges by. A Cooper pit is keeping McLaren informed of the situation but the young New Zealander is as calm as ever. With only five lips to go, the charging Ferrari is 12seconds behind the Cooper-Climax V8, the next lap 11seconds, then 8.5seconds, then 7seconds. The Ferrari supporters are going crazy. As they finish lap 99 there is only 5seconds between the Cooper and Ferrari, but McLaren is smiling to himself as he is quite confident that even if Hill closes the gap on this last lap he still has to overtake him. In a splendid display of self control McLaren finishes the last lap with the red car in full view in his mirrors, only 1.3seconds behind, but 0.3seconds would be enough. Phil Hill’s efforts have been more than worthy of the World Champion, and the Ferrari engine has more than proved its strength. In third place, on the same lap as the winner, we find Lorenzo Bandini, the young Italian has driven an excellent race, looking calm and unruffled at all times. Surtees is fourth just over a lap behind the winner, then there is Bonnier in the old Porsche, completely lacking in front shock-absorbers. Mairesse has kept going until lap 90 when he managed to switch off just before the engine issue that forced him to retire. It's not everyday the public witnesses a car race as interesting as this XXth Monaco Grand Prix, which saw a kind of sprint finish offered by McLaren’s race-winning Cooper and World Champion Phil Hill’s Ferrari.


Will later admit some men of the Ferrari crew, who on Saturday would have signed with their eyes closed for a result like this. Because after seeing the way the tests had gone, you wouldn’t have found a single willing to bet a dime on the possibilities of the Italian machines, overwhelmed in speed and stability by those of the various English brands. Even during the Grand Prix or, better, in its first part the green cars seemed to dominate the red ones. Instead, ultimately, to determine a more than honourable result for the Italian cars was the only element on which the Ferrari drivers could count on with certainty: the mechanical strength to the distance and the severity of this car-breaking circuit. The three Ferraris that started the race were all classified; the British cars - eleven of them on the starting grid - have placed only as many at the finish (and among these not even a Lotus in sight). Now there will be endless discussions about the outcome of this race, particularly about the chances of Phil Hill’s victory if he had woken up just a couple of laps earlier. As if the drivers were mechanisms to be controlled remotely and not men like others, with reactions, ups and downs, different from anyone else. Not to mention that in car racing there is also to deal with those things called engine, suspension, brakes, hoses, bolts, wires, etc. Now, it’s true that Phil Hill had a certain period of greyness during the Monaco Grand Prix, but when he felt like it, when he realized that the car was responding perfectly, and that the victory was not unobtainable, he behaved with a courage, temperament, and class that matched his fame and his role of World Champion.


In the last five laps Hill really put in a lot of effort, and few have noticed that in the end his car had a half-lacerated front left tyre, perhaps because of rubbing against a raised sidewalk. The technical situation in the field of Formula 1 is not so prejudiced as it was believed to be until the eve of this race: the dominance of the British cars is affected by a certain fragility, which ends up coming out in the long distance. Of course, the power shown by the B.R.M. of Graham Hill and the Lotus of Jim Clark (the two most brilliant and unlucky protagonists of the Monaco race) will have to make the Modenese technicians think, because even mechanical strength is a factor that you can develop and at that moment - in the current condition - the possibility margin for the Ferraris would become too small. But the season is still long and many things can still be changed: we therefore delay this speech to a forthcoming Grand Prix of the World Championship. Now back to the drivers. According to the generous Phil Hill - after underlining the determination and the tactical flair of the winner Bruce McLaren -  three riders, for several reasons, especially impressed him: Graham Hill, Jim Clark and the Italian Lorenzo Bandini. The young Milanese, now that he’s getting comfortable with the car, begins to show his character; in Monaco he fought with admirable commitment, coldness, intelligence. He went out at a distance, after winning a long duel with Surtees and perhaps being one of the reasons for the mechanical failure suffered by the B.R.M. of Graham Hill; at some point, while the Englishman had already lapped him, Bandini did so much that he managed to unlap himself, overtaking the B.R.M.: perhaps surprised, the moustached Graham Hill, who was running with plenty of advantage over everyone else and had started slowing down several laps earlier, reacted proudly, engaging with the young man a perhaps useless battle; that caused his engine to broke down.


In conclusion, Lorenzo Bandini, more experienced after the international confrontation, could become a champion. As for Graham Hill, his class may not be excellent, but his way of driving matches so well with this probably delicate but brilliant car which is the new B.R.M., that makes him seem irresistible. If the sentence made sense, we would say, talking about results and digits, that he was the moral winner of the Monaco Grand Prix. As for Clark, if he doesn’t make big mistakes, if he can master his temper, he can become a second Moss. Lastly, we must mention the New Zealand driver Bruce McLaren, who, on Cooper-Climax, won with a sprint finish the XX Monaco Grand Prix, the second race of the World Championship. Speaking of the cars, the English ones had started favoured, and one of them - the Cooper with Climax 8 cylinders engine - has indeed won. But at the end of the day, the technical situation doesn’t look as disastrous for the Ferraris as it appeared on the eve of this Grand Prix. The endurance qualities, however, were basically the greatest merit - which is not small feat, because car races are not short sprints - of Ferrari, allowing Phill Hill and Bandini to conquer the second and third place, as well as the top of the drivers' championship, where now the American shares the first place with Graham Hill, on equal points: ten each. Now Ferrari is waiting for new car updates for the upcoming Grand Prixs, which, however, may not be completed within the next race weekend which will be held in Belgium, on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, on June 17, 1962.


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