1960 Monaco Grand Prix (partially found footage of Formula One World Championship race; 1960)

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Stirling Moss claims Lotus' first ever World Championship victory.

Status: Partially Found

The 1960 Monaco Grand Prix was the second race of the 1960 Formula One Season. Occurring on 29th May at the Circuit de Monaco, the race was ultimately won by Stirling Moss in a Rob Walker-owned Lotus-Climax, marking the first World Championship win by a Lotus car. The event also marked the debut of future World Champion John Surtees.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1960 Monaco Grand Prix was the seventh running of the event as part of Formula One following its debut on the calendar in 1950.[1] It was also the 18th in Grand Prix history.[2][1] Lasting 100 laps,[3] the Monaco Grand Prix remains an integral event of the Formula One calendar, including being prestigious enough to be classified as part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.[1][4]

Heading into the race, the works Lotus team were bolstered with the signing of future champion John Surtees, while the privateer Walker team replaced their Cooper-Climax in favour of a Lotus 18 for Moss.[5][6] As Coventry-Climax had developed its engine to produce another 20bhp, it enabled Lotus and Cooper to generally control qualifying.[5] Moss broke the lap record set the previous year in both qualifying sessions, achieving pole position with a time of 1:36.3.[7][5][6][3] The only issue he experienced was that he became soaked with petrol that had leaked from the Lotus' fuel tank during one session.[7] Defending two-time champion Jack Brabham lined up second in a Cooper-Climax, with Brooks third in a BRP-owned Cooper.[6][3][5] Surtees qualified 15th, with only the top 16 fastest drivers being allowed to start the race.[3][5] In total, eight failed to qualify for the event, while notably all 16 qualifiers broke the previous year's lap record.[7][3] Among those who failed to qualify included Ferrari's Cliff Allison, who suffered a broke arm and fractured ribs after crashing at entrance of the chicane, which threw him free from his car.[7][3]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix commenced on 29th May.[3] Jo Bonnier, who qualified fifth in a BRM, made the strongest start and was in first by the time the cars reached the first hairpin.[5][7][6][3] Brabham moved past Moss, who was now down to third.[5][6] On lap 4, Brabham attempted to move by Bonnier at the hairpin, but the BRM held strong, while Brabham would be overtaken by Moss a lap later.[5][6] Moss was now pressurising Bonnier, but despite the BRM driver attempting to wave the Lotus by, Moss elected to stay behind and enable Bonnier to reluctantly set the race pace.[5][6] This was to the BRM's detriment as each usage of the brake required a re-pumping of the brake pedal.[5][7] Eventually, with other drivers closing in on them, Moss moved into first on lap 17 and already produced a gap of five seconds, while Brabham passed the Swede for second.[5][7][6][3] Surtees retired in his debut race after 17 laps following a transmission failure, while Brabham and Bonnier duelled for second.[5][3] As Bonnier re-passed for Brabham for second on lap 27, rain emerged lap later.[6] Moss proved overly-cautious, enabling Brabham to catch-up and pass both him and Bonnier to re-gain the lead on lap 34.[5][6][7][3]

However, Brabham damaged his Cooper's chassis on lap 41 after hitting a wall, which combined with gearbox problems, forced his retirement.[5][7][6][3] This allowing Moss to move back into first, and when sunny weather emerged on lap 46, he began to control the race again.[5][7][6][3] However, his 14-second lead on Bonnier was nullified when he made an impromptu pitstop after losing a cylinder.[5][7][6] It turned out a plug lead was detached, and with it re-attached, Moss began to close in on the BRM.[5][7][6][3] By lap 67, he was directly behind Bonnier, while Ferrari's Phil Hill passed Cooper-Climax's Bruce McLaren for third.[5][7][6][3] BRM's Graham Hill also attempted to pass McLaren, but ended up spinning off and smashing into the commentators' box.[7][5][6][3] Meanwhile, Moss re-passed Bonnier, the latter then retiring on lap 78 following a split rear suspension.[5][6][7][3] McLaren had earlier re-passed Hill; thus he was now in second but considerably behind Moss.[5][7][6] At this point, only four cars were on-track, prompting Brabham, Bonnier and others to hastily repair their vehicles to try and limp for the final points positions.[5][7][6][3]

Elsewhere, Moss claimed the first ever victory for a Lotus car and eight points in the Drivers' Championship.[8][7][5][6][3] McLaren beat Hill for second, while Cooper-Climax's Tony Brooks finished fourth.[7][5][6][3] Bonnier and Ferrari's Richie Ginther claimed the final points positions of fifth and sixth respectively, being numerous laps behind the leader.[7][5][6][3] Years later, Moss recalled that while the works Lotus team was happy that a Lotus car won the race, they were disappointed that it was not from one of its works drivers.[8] He nevertheless stated "I think they would certainly be happy to have the win, but pretty disappointed it wasn't one of their cars. I certainly would have been very disappointed if I couldn't beat Lotus. Or any of the other drivers. That's what one is out there to do."[8]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The race would reportedly be partially televised live, including by the BBC, RAI, and ORTF.[9] According to Issue 1,907 of Radio Times, the BBC would provide a dedicated 45-minute broadcast, in addition to showcasing the finish of the race alongside an international football match between Austria and Scotland.[10][9] No television broadcast has yet to resurface, but footage of the race can be found in documentaries and newsreels.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Colour footage from a British documentary
Colour footage of the race from a documentary.
British Pathé newsreel of the race.


Images[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]