The French racing driver, Patrick Depailler, won the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday (7 May).?
The French racing driver, Patrick Depailler, won the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday (7 May). It was Depailler's first Grand Prix win in 68 starts, and has put him in the lead for this year's World Championship competition.
SYNOPSIS: A huge crowd lined the streets of Monte Carlo for the race. Argentina's Carlos Reutemann and Niki Lauda, last year's world champion were both favourites. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were among the spectators. Reutemann in car eleven and Britain's John Watson, in car two, were in front of the starting grid. Watson converted his favourable position into an early lead, which was to last for many laps. In the early stages, Reutemann damaged a wheel and was in the pits for an entire lap.
Britain's James Hunt, in a McLaren, collided with a barrier and had to withdraw soon after. But his fellow countryman, John Watson, driving an Alfa Brabham, was showing the rest of the field including Patrick Depailler and Niki Lauda just how difficult it can be to overtake a determined leader on the narrow Monte Carlo course.
Almost whenever the leading positions changed, it was because misfortune had struck one of the leaders. This was to be Watson's fate losing, control twice and heading up safety roads - he eventually finished fourth.
As the race drew on, Patrick Depailler went into the lead ahead of Niki Lauda. Watson was trailing Jackie Ickx and Mario Andretti led Jody Schecketer But Patrick Depailler was on his own, and in the closing stages of the 75 lap race, looked in no danger of finishing anywhere but first.