Ferrari and Monaco – A Brief History

Ferrari racing in the Monaco Grand PrixFerrari has a storied history at the Monaco Grand Prix, having won the famous race eight times, yet it was not to be at the 61st running of the Monaco Grand Prix, as Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso finished in fourth place and teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended up twelfth.

The first ever Monaco Grand Prix in 1950 was the second ever championship race and Scuderia Ferrari’s first. A total of 19 cars started but 10 of them got no further than the opening lap. Giuseppe Farina, in an Alfa Romeo crashed at Tabac and was hit by Jose Froilan Gonzalez in a Maserati. The road was blocked and the rest of the group couldn’t avoid them and it ended in a carambolage. Juan Manuel Fangio won for Alfa Romeo, with Alberto Ascari second in the Ferrari.

The race did not return to the calendar until 1955, when Maurice Trintignant won in a Ferrari. The Frenchman was noted for his tidy style and made the most of the misfortunes of others, winning from ninth. To this day, there has only been one winner who started further back.

Although the Scuderia won elsewhere, victory in Monaco escaped it for 20 years, with Niki Lauda taking the 1975 win in the 312 T and doing it again the following year.

In 1979, it was an all-Ferrari front row with Jody Scheckter ahead of Gilles Villeneuve, but only the South African finished where he started. It was the Canadian’s turn two years later in the 126 CK when he made no mistakes, while overtaking Alan Jones in the Williams with just four laps to go. The spectacular win made waves in North America and Gilles and the number 27 Ferrari even featured on the cover of “Time” magazine.

This victory for the Scuderia was followed by another barren patch in Monaco. It took the arrival of Michael Schumacher to see a return to victory. In 1996, the German took pole but failed to finish that crazy race which saw only four cars make it to the line, the winner being Olivier Panis, the Frenchman having started 14th. The next year, at the wheel of the F310B, the German outclassed the field to win with 53 seconds in hand over Rubens Barrichello in the Stewart and over a minute in front of his team-mate, Eddie Irvine.

Two years later, Schumacher and Irvine finished first and second, while in 2001 Michael won for the fifth time in the Principality to equal Graham Hill’s achievement, only one win short of the Monaco record holder, Ayrton Senna.

[Source: Ferrari SpA]