They are the guardians of the history of the Monaco Grand Prix told, deciphered and photographed by the daily newspaper Nice morning: archives. With the complicity of the Monaco Media Library, we had access to these precious bindings from another time to more contemporary ones. They are also privileged witnesses to the perpetual transformations and evolutions of Formula 1, from single-seaters to drivers, from mechanics to safety.
They also guarantee the impact that the Monaco circuit has had on this sport with the first feats of arms of certain beginners who have become legends; polemics passed down to posterity, still matter of debate ten years later; thunderous rants whose echo still resonates and whose proposals have been able to shake up the established rules.
These archives finally allow us to remember. To remember those who lost their lives on this demanding course. Those who allowed, long before netflixto promote motor sport.
Here is a list, far from being as exhaustive as what the Grand Prix has been able to experience, of great moments relayed in daily life on the Riviera.
In 1955, Formula 1 passed second in the “city race”
Dense information, modeled in the characteristic style of period print newspapers: abundant and dense. In those years, Nice morning devoted only one page to Monegasque news. And the coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix, then also called “Grand Prix of Europe automobile”, also suffered from a limited space.
And yet, on that weekend in May 1955, Formula 1 entered a whole new dimension.
Trintignant and Farina at Ferrari; Musso and Behra driving their Maseratis; Ascari and Castellotti in the Lancia team, and especially the reigning world champion Fangio in the bucket of his Mercedes, all would smash the lap record – dating from 1937 and held by the German Rudolf Caracciola – by more than 5 seconds .
A total of 14 drivers will beat this reference time at the end of the three official free practice sessions.
A mind-blowing speed performance for single-seaters that were going between 95 and 112 km/h. And all this on a long circuit of 100 laps, a little over 314 km (course in 3 hours!)
Bandini fatal accident in 67
Denny Hulme’s first victory is almost anecdotal. Car at the 82nd of the 100 laps, death struck on May 7, 1967.
Benoît Pezzuto, sports journalist at Nice morninga moment experienced live. “As he started the pursuit against Hulme, Lorenzo Bandini was off-center in the chicane. He hit the straw bales. His car overturned and caught fire immediately. The fire spread to the straw bales and it was at the in the midst of a veritable inferno that the competitors remaining in the race passed in slow motion. Bandini unfortunately remained a prisoner under his overturned car.”
It was the first time that an accident was broadcast live on television.
Seriously injured, the Ferrari driver and great Italian hope was then transported to the Princess Grace polyclinic. He will die three days later, at only 31 years old.
1984. A controversial GP in more ways than one
Jean-Marie Balestre’s International Motorsport Federation (FISA), at war with Michel Boeri’s Automobile Club de Monaco over TV rights.
Print journalists who complain of being “Genoa” in their work by FISA.
Waterspouts that push race director Jacky Ickx to stop the race after 31 laps.
Ayrton Senna – 2nd when he came back hard on the leading man – who declared that this victory was stolen from him in favor of Alain Prost. A deluge of controversy fell on this… 42nd edition.
Two camps will then compete: those who will advocate a logical and reasoned decision by Ickx. And those who will cry scandal, like the Brazilian federation, questioning the integrity of Jacky Ickx – and his links with Porsche, engine manufacturer of the Prost team – who will defend themselves: “Better to stop the race one lap too early than one lap too late”.
Behind the scenes of the Grands Prix in photos (here, in 1990)
One of the specialties of your daily life on the Côte d’Azur. Photograph every year all the extras of the Grand Prix.
Capture emotions from the stands, immortalize the “people” on the edge of the track or on yachts, and unearth unusual shots.
All legendary with humor and lightness.
1994. The President’s Wrath
“Today, under the pretext of a show, we multiply the stops with refueling. Why not tomorrow by forcing the pilots to change helmets or socks.”
The remarks of Michel Boeri, president of the Automobile Club of Monaco, taken up in the May 14, 1994 edition of Nice morning. Furious at FIA President Max Mosley’s announcement that it was part of his drive to maintain pit stops – eventually scrapped in 2010.