Grand Prix Classic




Round 6 - Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco, 20-23 May, 1982

The FISA-FOCA power struggle had basically evaporated by the time the teams arrived in Monaco. This seemed to be from a collusion of factors - commercial concerns, the feared turbo walkover not having dawned, and the death of the universally-loved Villeneuve putting things in perspective.

It had all subsided in time for the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix, happening as ever around the houses of Monte Carlo. The tight circuit was expected to act as a leveller for the atmospheric cars as much as Long Beach had, not that the speed differential compared to the turbos had been as pronounced as many had feared after Kyalami. Renault were confident that they had conquered the problem of turbo lag on tight circuits, Ferrari, BMW and Toleman-Hart less so, but even then their advantage of straight-line speed would be largely negated.


Entry Notes

The entry was once again down to 31, as Ferrari had only Pironi present. The team initially had no plans to even attend, but were convinced to continue by Pironi. Mauro Forghieri oversaw strengthening of the 126C2's cockpit, however. Ligier would give a debut to the new JS19 design, still using the conventional Matra V12 engine.

Elsewhere Brabham, for no particularly clear reason, effectively split their entry, with Piquet in a BMW-powered BT50 and Patrese in a Cosworth-engined BT49D. It pointed to wanting to develop the turbo car at races while ensuring the other machine brought home some points, but quite why World Champion Piquet was in the 'test' car was difficult to understand.

Meanwhile Avon, unhappy with the murky politics of the paddock in general and Ecclestone costing them their best runner in the ATS team in particular, withdrew from Formula 1. They sold their existing stock to the RAM March team, while Ensign would continue on leftover tyres from the Belgian Grand Prix weekend and Theodore arranged a contact with Goodyear.

[Full Entry]


Qualifying

The particular nature of Monaco's facilities meant that there would only be 20 starters, and to further reduce the entry to 26 for timed practice an hour-long session was arranged for Thursday at 8 a.m. This prequalifying session would only feature the drivers from teams which hadn't scored any points in 1981 - the Osellas, the Tolemans, the Marches and Serra's Fittipaldi, with five of the eight to be pruned before the remaining sessions began. No-one was particularly surprised to see Jarier and Mass make the cut, though Warwick did well to get into the main sessions.

A further six would be pruned over the Thursday and Friday sessions. The Renaults were living up to their pre-race promise, with Arnoux putting in a perfect lap on Friday to take pole, over half a second faster than second-fastest Patrese. Prost lined up 4th, behind Giacomelli's Alfa. Next came Pironi in the lone Ferrari, Rosberg, de Cesaris, Daly and Alboreto. Watson was 10th and Lauda 12th for McLaren, with Piquet back in 13th in the turbo Brabham.

Down the back of the grid, both Guerrero and Lammers were restricted by tyre troubles and failed to make the cut, joined by the trio who had survived the prequalifying session and the Arrows of Baldi.

[Full Grid & Practice Times]


Race

Monte Carlo was dry but a little dull and cloudy as the grid formed up. For the third race on the trot, first into the first corner was a fired-up Arnoux, with Giacomelli moving up past Patrese on the inside. Next came Prost, Pironi, de Cesaris, Alboreto and Rosberg, everyone making it through Saint Devote with minimal problems. The Renaults were running beautifully, Arnoux dropping Giacomelli with ease, while Prost used the turbo power along the start-finish straight to blast past Patrese on lap 2, and then past the Alfa Romeo in a carbon-copy manoeuvre next time around. Giacomelli soon slowed climbing the hill with a driveshaft problem, retiring in the pits completely crestfallen. No-one else seemed to be able to compete with the Renaults, though Patrese, Pironi and de Cesaris were having a close scrap over third place.

Then, on lap 15 with a comfortable lead over his team-mate, Arnoux nipped the kerb coming out of the Louis Chiron corner, sliding sideways and then completing a slow spin before coming to rest in the middle of the track with a stalled engine. This left Prost with a six-second lead over Patrese, and stalemate set in at the front. Further back Rosberg had got past Alboreto to take 5th, while both McLarens would retire without making any impression, by which time the ATS and Ligier cars had already disappeared. Mansell was running well in the Lotus but team-mate de Angelis would make his presence felt in a less welcome manner.

He was trying to pass Piquet, having an unhappy time in the Brabham BMW, and paid no attention to the blue flags waved at him as Prost closed to lap the pair. This allowed Patrese and Pironi to close up on the remaining Renault, and while the trio eventually got by it cost the Ferrari the tip of its' nosecone when de Angelis let the first two by and then chopped Pironi at Rascasse. Piquet held Prost and Patrese up for a further three laps, but while the Italian was close the whole time he couldn't make a real move.

Once clear, Prost once more pulled clear of Patrese, who in turn eased away from Pironi. Andrea de Cesaris had dropped back into the clutches of Rosberg after over-revving his engine, while Mansell had clipped a wall and made a long repair stop. While there were lots of bunches around, the race once again became something of a procession. However, on lap 62 it started to rain - not heavily,enough to make the track greasy, but not enough for anyone to consider wet tyres.

The first casualty was Rosberg, still pushing at de Cesaris, who slid at the exit of the harbour chicane and thumped his front-right wheel on the wall, damaging the suspension. Team-mate Daly soon had a nasty moment from 6th, spinning back into the barrier at Tabac to remove his rear wing and clout the gearbox, though he was able to continue. Soon after Alboreto pulled out of 5th with a suspension failure, and only nine cars were left for the remaining seven laps.

Then Prost, still pushing despite having a comfortable lead over Patrese, was held up again, and the culprit was once more de Angelis, with Daly sandwiched between them. The Italian once again ignored blue flags and generally got in the way, and when Daly finally got past at the start-finish straight Prost wasn't going to wait any longer, shoving himself around the outside of Saint Devote, brushing the barrier and giving the Lotus a nudge as he went. However, half a lap later he was out, losing it on the slippery surface after the harbour chicane and going nose-first into the right-hand barrier, tearing off one of his front wheels, barrelling backwards into the opposite armco and removing the rear wing and then the other front wheel before coming to rest on the outside of the track. He limped out with an injured foot as Patrese flew into the lead.

The Brabham driver was under no real pressure, with Pironi some way back with a misfiring engine, followed by the similarly afflicted de Cesaris. Next up was the lapped and battered Daly, with de Angelis and the charging Mansell a further lap down, and Henton and Surer still circulating slowly even further adrift. With two laps to go, however, Patrese simply lost the back end of the car going into the Grand Hotel Hairpin, skewing sideways and stalling the engine. Pironi and de Cesaris limped by into first and second.

The pace of these new leaders was so circumspect that de Angelis and Mansell unlapped themselves on the last lap. Pironi was driving very gingerly, under no threat from de Cesaris and aiming for the finish, but amazingly slowed even more coming out of Portier and ground to a halt midway through the tunnel - his engine electrics having cut out entirely. Also out was de Cesaris, who ran out of fuel at Mirabeau, and further back Daly hit a wall again at Rascasse, finally finishing off his Williams.

However, Patrese was somehow back in the running. Having stalled at the apex of the hairpin, the marshals had pushed him down the hill to get him out of the way, and he managed to get the engine to fire up and continue, furious with himself. Fury turned to bemusement as he passed the parked cars of de Cesaris and then Pironi to take the chequered flag for his maiden victory. Pironi, given a lift home by Patrese on the slowing down lap, and a tearful de Cesaris had done enough to be classified second and third, with the next runners being the Lotuses, Mansell having blasted past de Angelis on the climb to Casino on the final lap, while Daly was classified 6th.

There were various mutterings from some corners about whether the marshals had illegally aided Patrese, but the truth was no-one was exactly sure what it would mean if he was disqualified as no-one else had completed the full distance - awarding the race to Pironi when he had stopped in the tunnel (and also been pushed by marshals to move the car off the racing line) would have been absurd, as would somehow awarding it to the lapped Lotuses which had covered less distance than the Ferrari and de Cesaris' Alfa Romeo. Besides which, the marshals had simply pushed the Brabham out of the way; that Patrese had used the track's geography to help restart the engine wasn't in itself illegal. It was probably best for all that no protest materialised (presumably due to Ken Tyrrell not having much to gain) as the race's closing stages had seen enough confusion for everyone as it was.


Result

Pos.
Driver Car
Laps
Time/Retirement
Grid
1
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-Cosworth
76
1h 54m 11.259s
2
2
Didier Pironi Ferrari
75
+ 1 lap/Electrics
5
3
Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo
75
+ 1 lap/Out of fuel
7
4
Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth
75
+ 1 lap
11
5
Elio de Angelis Lotus-Cosworth
75
+ 1 lap
15
6
Derek Daly Williams-Cosworth
74
+ 2 laps/Accident
8
7
Alain Prost Renault
73
+ 3 laps/Accident
4
8
Brian Henton Tyrrell-Cosworth
72
+ 4 laps
17
9
Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth
70
+ 6 laps
19
10
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth
69
+ 7 laps/Suspension
9
R
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
64
Accident damage
6
R
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth
59
Engine
12
R
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW
49
Gearbox
13
R
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth
35
Oil leak
10
R
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-Cosworth
31
Differential
14
R
Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra
29
Handling
18
R
Eddie Cheever Ligier-Matra
27
Engine
16
R
Eliseo Salazar ATS-Cosworth
22
Extinguisher
20
R
Rene Arnoux Renault
14
Stall
1
R
Bruno Giacomelli Alfa Romeo
4
Transmission
3

Fastest Lap: Riccardo Patrese (Brabham), 1:26.354s

[Team-by-Team report]


Tables

Driver's Championship

Pos.
Driver
Points
1
Alain Prost
18
2
John Watson
17
3
Didier Pironi
16
4
Keke Rosberg
14
5
Riccardo Patrese
13
6
Niki Lauda
12
7
Michele Alboreto
10
8
John Watson
8
9=
Nigel Mansell
7
9=
Elio de Angelis
7
11=
Carlos Reutemann
6
11=
Gilles Villeneuve
6
13=
Rene Arnoux
4
13=
Andrea de Cesaris
4
13=
Eddie Cheever
4
16
Jean-Pierre Jarier
3
17=
Manfred Winkelhock
2
17=
Eliseo Salazar
2
17=
Nelson Piquet
2
20=
Derek Daly
1
20=
Chico Serra
1

Constructor's Championship

Pos.
Constructor
Points
1
McLaren
29
2=
Renault
22
2=
Ferrari
22
4
Williams
21
5=
Brabham
15
5=
Lotus
15
7
Tyrrell
10
8=
Alfa Romeo
4
8=
Ligier
4
8=
ATS
4
11
Osella
3
12
Fittipaldi
1