The 1965 Monaco Grand Prix, officially known as the XXIII Grand Prix de Monaco, was the second round of the 1965 FIA Formula One World Championship, held on the 30th of May. The race would be remembered for the dominant display of Mr. Monaco Graham Hill, as rivals Jim Clark and Dan Gurney missed the race due to their decision to race in the Indianapolis 500.
With Team Lotus absent, and Brabham-Climax fielding a rookie in the form of Denny Hulme, Hill would go to battle for pole with the Ferraris of John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini. The BRM racer duly managed to defeat his available rivals to pole, with Jack Brabham claiming second on the grid.
Off the line it was Hill who got away the best to take an early lead, although the show was almost stolen by inexperienced team mate Jackie Stewart who rocketed into second. Hill and Stewart were then able to escape from the pack, until the Englishman had to take avoiding action when the pair came across a slow Bob Anderson, meaning he dropped to fifth after slipping into an escape road.
Stewart would lead for four laps as Hill began his recovery, until a spin at Sainte Devote put him back to fourth. Brabham would then inherit the lead, only to retire a couple of laps later when his engine expired, leaving Hill, who had just taken Bandini for second, to lead until the flag. The closing stages also saw Stewart take third from Surtees with an excellent move, while Paul Hawkins had his car end up in the harbour after a spectacular spin at the end of the tunnel.
A huge five month gap between the 1965 South African Grand Prix and the Monaco Grand Prix saw most of the teams arrive with updated equipment, after a pre/mid-season development run. In that time, Paul Hawkins had taken victory at the II Cape South Easter Trophy, Mike Spence taken the honours at the I Race of Champions, Jackie Stewart win the XVII BRDC International Trophy, with Jim Clark claim the other two non-Championship rounds. It had been a busy time for most of the manufacturers too, with several completing preliminary tests of their 1966 equipment.
The main issue ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix was the fact that it clashed with the Indianapolis 500, which was set to be held on the 31st of May. Two regular F1 runners, Jim Clark and Dan Gurney, had been entered, although their teams would take very different routes in Monaco. Team Lotus withdrew their entries when their two drivers, Mike Spence and Pedro Rodríguez were not guaranteed grid slots, while Brabham called upon regular Formula 2 and non-Championship combatant Denny Hulme.
As for the other entrants, Graham Hill and new kid on the block Jackie Stewart arrived in Monaco among the favourites with BRM. They had no new updates for their cars, although a brand new third car was delivered to the circuit in time for practice. They would go to battle with the regular Ferrari pair of John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini, the World Champion preferring the V8 car to the Italian's F12.
Cooper-Climax arrived with their two factory cars, youngster Jochen Rindt getting one of the brand new T77s to bring him level with Bruce McLaren. Then came the new Hondas, with Ronnie Bucknum and Richie Ginther to do battle in an expanded effort from the Far East. The Japanese manufacturer was one of the few teams to build an entirely new car for 1965, using updated V12 engines and a revised rear suspension almost directly copied from the Lotus 33.
The privateer field was up next, with the RRC Walker Racing Team fielding Jo Bonnier and Jo Siffert as usual in their two mismatched Brabham-BRMs. Reg Parnell Racing had two cars, running Richard Attwood alongside regular runner Mike Hailwood, while DW Racing Enterprises had an expanded effort featuring Hawkins. Completing the entry list were John Willment Automobiles, who had only one car for team leader Frank Gardner to use.
Victory for Jim Clark at the season opening race meant that the Scot led the Championship from the get go, with the scale of his victory already making him favourite for the title. Defending Champion John Surtees was the Scot's closest challenger for Ferrari, while Graham Hill would leave South Africa in third. The rest of the points were split between Mike Spence, Bruce McLaren and the impressive debutante Jackie Stewart.
Unsurprisingly, it was Clark's Lotus-Climax outfit that led the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers, with Spence's fourth place denying points to their rivals. Ferrari were in second after Surtees' second, while BRM left in third with their partnership of experience and youth. Rounding out the scorers at the opening round were Cooper-Climax thanks to McLaren's fifth place.
The full entry list for the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix is outlined below:
Qualifying and practice were rolled into one as usual, with the first session on Thursday afternoon the longest of three sessions over the race weekend. The longer session, designed to allow the drivers to familiarise themselves with the narrow streets, was held in wet conditions to begin with, before two sessions, one on Friday morning and one on Saturday afternoon held in perfect sunshine. Target times for the pole contenders would be a 1:33.9, set by Graham Hill during the race in 1964.
Thursday's running was a distinct disappointment for those hunting for circuit records, with the heavens opening just in time for the start of the session. Only those out early got representative laps in, Hill and John Surtees out first to get some times in, and in the later wet conditions they were also the class of the field. For the rest all bar one driver would start, and although there was no telling what the weather would be on Friday and Saturday, many were content to wait out Thursday before hunting for a grid slot over the rest of the weekend.
A very early start in the Principality on Friday saw the action all done before breakfast, with BRM running both early and strong. Rookie Jackie Stewart was causing a stir with his aggressive style, hustling the second BRM around the circuit by braking the latest of everyone into the Station and the Gasworks hairpins. Hill was opting for a different technique, gracefully sliding his car round the corners as he closed in on his lap record.
By the end of the one hour morning session, it looked as if Hill had provisional pole after beating his lap record, only for Stewart to shock everyone with a 1:32.9 right at the death. Honda, in contrast, were really struggling with their high-rev, high-gear V12s, meaning they were unable to record competitive times, although as automatic qualifiers they would start regardless. Those battling to qualify included Jochen Rindt and Bruce McLaren for Cooper-Climax, Frank Gardner and the two DW Racing Enterprises entries.
Saturday's running was hampered by an engine failure for Lorenzo Bandini as the Italian dumped oil all around the circuit, although it was quickly cleared in the warm spring sunshine. Hill and Brabham set about dealing with the rookie Stewart's circuit record time, with the Englishman finally recording a 1:32.5 to settle the issue in the closing stages. Brabham got on the front row too, finding a tenth on the youngster, while Bandini managed to out qualify World Champion team mate Surtees before his engine blew itself apart.
The full qualifying results for the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
- * Ginther automatically qualified meaning there was no grid slot for Rindt.
Sunday was a dull grey day in Monte Carlo to rather taint the Principality's Mediterranean credentials, although that meant that the temperatures were ideal for racing. With no support races, the only other on-circuit action being a parade of historic race cars, it was not long before the Grand Prix racers were assembled on the dummy grid. All bar Ronnie Bucknum managed to pull onto the grid proper when signalled too, as the American's engine refused to start at the back of the field.
When the flag dropped it was advantage BRM, as pole sitter Graham Hill roaring into the lead while Jackie Stewart shadowed him perfectly from third. Jack Brabham, in contrast, fell back after a poor start, losing out to the two Ferraris as well as the rookie Stewart to run in fifth, just a few places ahead of temporary team mate Denny Hulme. Bucknum was only a few seconds late in getting away, his Honda having been too rich to start properly before suddenly bursting into life as the rest of the field pulled away.
The order remained unchanged at the end of the first lap, although Bucknum was up a place after team mate Richie Ginther had to crawl back to the pits with a broken transmission. Hill and Stewart looked to be in a class of their own out front, the two BRMs already a second clear of the two Ferraris, while Brabham had to defend heavily from Bruce McLaren and Richard Attwood. Bob Anderson was next across the line, leading a tight group containing Jo Siffert and Hulme, before Frank Gardner led the rest across the line.
Over the following laps the two BRMs were able to pull a second a lap clear of Ferrari consistently, with Stewart perilously close to the back of team mate Hill every time the cars were spotted on the cameras. The young Scot was determined to keep his team mate in touching distance, and the only time the gap opened up was when the youngster got caught behind the lapped Bucknum on lap 12. Ferrari were instead having to look behind them as Brabham came on strong, although the Australian's challenge faltered when his engine began smoking with a slow, but ultimately terminal, oil leak.
The race had been rather tame to this point, the only change in order coming when McLaren got out done by Attwood at the Gasworks Hairpin. Then, on lap 25, the leading pair flashed out of the tunnel only to find a limping Anderson in their way, the Brit having had a drive shaft failure. Hill was first to try and pass as the pair went into the chicane, although the speed difference meant he had to throw his car down an escape road and push it back out, handing the lead to Stewart.
As Hill rejoined in fifth after his short workout, Stewart began to stretch his advantage, while Brabham, taking heart from Hill's drama, pushed on and took third away from Surtees. He then tried to take Bandini only to find the Italian unmoved in the Australian's attempts to move into second, or the hand gestures then thrown in his direction. All this was to the advantage of inexperienced race leader Stewart, although that was soon to change as the youngster exuberance was finally punished.
In opening the 30th lap the young Scot had braked perfectly into Sainte Devote, before trying to get on the throttle as early as possible, meaning the back-end of his car stepped out. His attempts to correct were futile, and the BRM suddenly snapped into a full spin up the hill, before coming to a stop on the pavement on the left hand side. Bandini, Brabham and Surtees all flashed by before the Scot was back up to speed, with Hill just rounding Sainte Devote as the Scot roared off in the leaders' wake.
What then followed was a fantastic battle for the lead, as Brabham elbowed his way past Bandini, only to get into a huge slide at the Gasworks Hairpin, opening the door for the Italian to get back past. They continued to battle with Surtees looking on, the Englishman deciding to let them fight amongst themselves before picking up the pieces of their exuberance. As this was going on, Hill was fighting back, closing onto the back of his rookie team mate Stewart, with the Scot waving him through a few moments later.
Hill soon dropped his team mate as he charged off after Surtees, prompting the World Champion to try and take Bandini ahead. The Italian, however, was too busy to notice, still battling with Brabham for the lead after the Australian had managed to pass and make it through the Gasworks Hairpin without sliding wide. However, all was not well with the Brabham after the Australian's rev counter failed, meaning he had to judge by engine note where 10,500 revs was before changing gear.
For fifteen laps Brabham was able to do this fair effectively, although the strain on his engine from even the minor over-revving began to tell. His oil leak worsened over time, and at the end of the 44th lap the Climax engine finally failed, leaving Brabham to limp into the pits. That left Bandini in the lead from Surtees for a Ferrari one-two, although Hill was pressing the pair of them as they suddenly came to the scene of an accident at the Gasworks Hairpin.
Attwood had been braking into the final hairpin when, on lap 45, his rear suspension failed, send the Brit straight into the straw bales at the edge of the circuit. He was unhurt, and had just avoided taking McLaren out of the race too, having been alongside the New Zealander when the suspension gave way, with marshals leaping onto the circuit to clear away the debris. As this was going on, Hulme came into the braking zone to lap Paul Hawkins, while Bandini led the leading trio through just a few moments later. The quintet was suddenly having to scatter across the circuit to avoid one another, and the remains of Attwood's car, although there were no further dramas.
Just after half distance, Hill finally managed to force his way past Surtees for second, although the World Champion had ultimately relented to give his countryman an easy pass. That left Hill to stalk Bandini for the race lead, and it would be another ten laps before that pressure payed off. Into the Gasworks Hairpin, the BRM sold the Ferrari a dummy and slithered into the lead, before fending off a quick challenge into Sainte Devote.
Hill now began to build a lead at devastating pace, setting circuit record after circuit record as Bandini and Surtees were left to fight between themselves. The rest of their race would become a well mannered battle for second, until Surtees decided to try an optimistic dive into the Station Hairpin on lap 78, which did not go down too well. The defeated Italian then opted to drop his pace slightly to save fuel, a 1,000 rpm drop enough to ensure that his Ferrari made it to the end.
Suddenly, all of the attention was at the chicane on the harbour front, where there was a distinct lack of barrier in the quay. The cause was Paul Hawkins, the Aussie having struck the barrier and been spat into the straw bales, before his Lotus skidded into the water. Fortunately, the Australian racer was able to swim to the surface as the Lotus hit the bottom of the harbour, meaning he had a swim to the shore.
There was to be one last twist on the streets of Monte Carlo, although they would not affect Hill as he rounded the final corner to win for a third time in as many years. Then came Bandini and Stewart to complete the podium, for the late race drama had seen Surtees run out of fuel just a few yards on from the pits on the final lap. He ended up being classified in fourth, ahead of Bruce McLaren and the Swiss survivor Jo Siffert.
The full results for the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix are outlined below:
|4*||18||John Surtees||Ferrari||99||Out of fuel||5||3|
|5||7||Bruce McLaren||Cooper-Climax||98||+2 laps||7||2|
|6||14||Jo Siffert||Brabham-BRM||98||+2 laps||10||1|
|7||12||Jo Bonnier||Brabham-Climax||97||+3 laps||13|
|8||2||Denny Hulme||Brabham-Climax||92||+8 laps||8|
|9||9||Bob Anderson||Brabham-Climax||85||+15 laps||9|
- Surtees and Hawkins were still classified as they had completed enough of the race distance.
- Grand Prix debut for Denny Hulme.
- Ninth career win for Graham Hill.
- Maiden podium finish for Jackie Stewart.
- Tenth win for BRM.
Victory for Graham Hill sent him straight to the top of the Drivers' Championship, as he added the four points from finishing third in South Africa. The absent Jim Clark slipped to second, level on points with defending Champion John Surtees but judged ahead because of his win, while Lorenzo Bandini and Jackie Stewart completed the top five. The rest of the point scorers at this early stage of the Championship were Bruce McLaren, Mike Spence and Jo Siffert.
Hill's victory meant that BRM left Monaco in the lead of the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers standings, a point ahead of Italian based rivals Ferrari. Lotus-Climax slipped to third after their decision to miss the battle in the streets, while Cooper-Climax had four points in fourth. Brabham-BRM completed the scorers after Siffert's point for the RRC Walker Racing Team.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: MONACO GP, 1965', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr133.html, (Accessed 18/07/2016)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.60 2.61 2.62 2.63 2.64 2.65 2.66 2.67 D.S.J., 'XXIII Monaco Grand Prix Brilliant Graham Hill', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport Magazine, 01/07/1965), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/july-1965/32/xxiii-monaco-grand-prix, (Accessed 18/07/2016)
- ↑ 'Monaco 1965: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1965/monaco/engages.aspx, (Accessed 18/07/2016)
- ↑ 'Monaco 1965: Qualification', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1965/monaco/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 18/07/2016)
- ↑ 'Monaco 1965: Results', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1965/monaco/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/07/2016)
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