Motor racing -- and on Sunday (22 May) an international star cast of drivers will take part in the next round of this year's Formula One Grand Prix world championships at the Monte Carlo circuit in the tiny Mediterranean principality of Monaco.
Motor racing -- and on Sunday (22 May) an international star cast of drivers will take part in the next round of this year's Formula One Grand Prix world championships at the Monte Carlo circuit in the tiny Mediterranean principality of Monaco. The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the oldest in the motor racing calendar and is the only round-the-houses course still used for Grand Prix racing. Its history covers 48 years of high drama -- and every motor racing hero that ever was has tested his skills to their limits on the narrow, twisting and dangerous two-mile (3.219 kilometre) circuit.
SYNOPSIS: Back in 1929 cars built by the legendary Ettore Bugatti dominated motor racing. They were not so much faster than their Alfa Romeo rivals -- but there were more of them available to amateurs and in general they won on their superior roadholding. A mysterious Englishman known only as "Williams" was the victor in the Monaco Grand Prix.
The elegant Bugattis won the race for the next two years - in 1930 Frenchman Rene Dreyfus piloted one of their cars to victory...
...In 1931 Monaco's own Grand Prix here Louis Chiron repeated their success. Recognised as an all--time great, Italian Tazio Nuvolari won in an Alfa Romeo in 1932. By 1936 the German Mercedes reigned supreme -- the driver -- Rudolf Carraciola.
After World War Two motor racing went through some profound changes and a new generation of star drivers emerged. One of them, Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio, won at Monaco in an Alfa Romeo in 1950. Another, Englishman Stirling Moss, revolutionised driving style and won in 1956 driving a Maserati.
Britain's Graham Hill receiving his winner's trophy from Prince Rainer and Princess Grace after his 1969 victory in a B.R.M. By 1971 the look of Grand Prix racing cars had changed radically -- they were lower, smaller, lighter and fitted with aerofoils to improve roadholding. Jackie Stewart of Britain won at Monaco in 1971, driving a Tyrrell.
For this year's race the Monte Carlo circuit has been modified. Drivers have complained that coming out of the tunnel into bright sunlight is a highly dangerous situation. So the tunnel has been modernised -- and Frenchman Patrick Depailler took the Visnews cameras on a pre-race lap of the new circuit in his Elf Tyrrell. The 1977 season is well underway, but problems facing the principal drivers include ill-health -- for Niki Lauda -- and the lack of a suitable car for current World Champion James Hunt.