1955 Monaco Grand Prix
|Race 2 of 7 in the 1955 Formula One season|
|Date||May 22, 1955|
|Official name||XIII Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco|
|Location||Circuit de Monaco|
|Course length||3.145 km (1.955 mi)|
|Distance||100 laps, 314.5 km (195.5 mi)|
|Driver||Juan Manuel Fangio||Mercedes|
The 1955 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monaco on May 22, 1955. It was the second round of the 1955 World Drivers' Championship and was given an honorary name, Grand Prix d'Europe.
Stirling Moss had been signed by Mercedes for the new season and Maserati had replaced him with Jean Behra. The Silver Arrows of Fangio and Moss dominated, running 1-2 until half distance, trailed by Ascari and Castellotti. At the halfway mark, Fangio retired with transmission trouble, giving the lead to Moss. Almost a lap ahead, a seemingly sure win for Moss was ended on Lap 80 when his Benz's engine blew. The new leader Ascari got it all wrong at the chicane coming out of the tunnel, his Lancia crashing through the barriers into the harbour and having to swim to safety. Maurice Trintignant, in a Ferrari 625 thought to be uncompetitive, inherited the lead and scored his first Formula One victory.
This race marked the Grand Prix debut for Cesare Perdisa. It was the only Grand Prix appearance for Ted Whiteaway. This was the last Grand Prix appearance for Alberto Ascari; he was killed four days later testing a Ferrari sports car at Monza.
It was the first win for Maurice Trintignant and Englebert tyres. It was also the first podium and points for Eugenio Castellotti and Cesare Perdisa, and the first win for a French driver.
|2||30||Eugenio Castellotti||Lancia||100||+20.2 secs||4||6|
|3||34|| Jean Behra
|4||42||Nino Farina||Ferrari||99||+1 lap||14||3|
|5||28||Luigi Villoresi||Lancia||99||+1 lap||7||2|
|6||32||Louis Chiron||Lancia||95||+5 Laps||19|
|7||10||Jacques Pollet||Gordini||91||+9 laps||20|
|8||48|| Piero Taruffi
|9||6||Stirling Moss||Mercedes||81||+19 laps||3|
|Ret||40|| Cesare Perdisa
|Ret||2||Juan Manuel Fangio||Mercedes||49||Transmission||1||1|
|Ret||14||Louis Rosier||Maserati||8||Fuel leak||17|
|DNQ||4||Hans Herrmann||Mercedes||Driver injured|
- Formula 1 debut for Cesare Perdisa, who shared third place drive with Jean Behra, and Ted Whiteaway, who failed to quality
- Juan Manuel Fangio broke the track record that had stood since 1937, when Rudolf Caracciola turned a lap in 1:46.5 in a 5.6-litre Mercedes W125, running the circuit in 1:41.1 on the first day of practice in his Mercedes W196.
- Alberto Ascari matched Fangio's time in his Lancia D50 during the Saturday practice, though the order had been set on the first day of practice in a singular exception to the policy of the time of all practice laps counting towards grid position.
- In practice, Mercedes youngster Hans Herrmann crashed into a harbour wall and suffered injuries that took him out for the rest of the season.
- Ascari was driving the number 26 car, the same number that had been on the P2 Alfa Romeo his father, Antonio Ascari, had been driving when killed in the July 26, 1925 French Grand Prix. The superstitious Ascari was between Mercedes drivers Fangio and Stirling Moss in the numbers 2 and 6 respectively.
- Andre Simon had the first Mercedes to leave contention in the race, when engine failure took him out of the race. Of the Mercedes, Fangio left the race next with transmission problems on lap 50, leaving Stirling Moss in first and Ascari in second. Lap 80 saw Moss taken out by a minor problem in his car's sophisticated valve train, leaving Ascari in first. He never made it past the pits to see that, however: his Lancia didn't make the chicane (possibly losing traction on oil from Moss's engine failure) and he flipped over the barrier and in to the harbor. His Lancia was craned out of 25 feet of water while he spent the night in the hospital.
- Later events indicate that he probably should have kept his superstitions up and taken this as an omen, but his motivation wouldn't quit and four days later he was back in the cockpit at Monza, where he was killed in a bizarre accident while testing a Ferrari. On the 26th of the month. There are no definite explanations for either of Ascari's accidents, but the Monza incident was, apart from possible undetected brain injuries after the crash, probably caused by an improperly-sized tire – 7.00x16 rather than 6.50x16 – combined with an imperfect track surface.
- Mercedes also had not seen the last of their troubles – after all three cars left contention with mechanical problems at Monaco, the worst accident in racing history involved a Mercedes.
- Louis Chiron's start made him the oldest driver to start a grand prix (55 years, 292 days).
Drivers' Championship standings after the race
|1||1||Maurice Trintignant||11 1⁄3|
|1||2||Juan Manuel Fangio||10|
|1||3||Nino Farina||6 1⁄3|
|1||5||José Froilán González||2|
- Note: Only the top five positions are included.
- Kettlewell, Mike. "Monaco: Road Racing on the Riviera", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 12, p.1383.
- Kettlewell, p.1383.
- Williamson, Martin. "Maurice Trintignant". EPSN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Drivers: Maurice Trintignant". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Kettlewell, Mike. "Monaco: Road Racing on the Riviera", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles, Volume 12, pp. 1381–4. London: Orbis, 1974.
1955 Argentine Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1955 Indianapolis 500
1952 Monaco Grand Prix
|Monaco Grand Prix||Next race:
1956 Monaco Grand Prix
1954 German Grand Prix
|European Grand Prix
(Designated European Grand Prix)
1956 Italian Grand Prix