Monaco GP 1977
MAY 22, 1977
Monaco GP, 1977
Niki Lauda was fit again in time for the Monaco GP, having missed the Spanish event because of a rib problem. The major teams were unchanged although Renzo Zori had been dropped by Shadow because of a dispute over sponsorship and his place had been taken by a new 23-year-old Italian rising star called Riccardo Patrese. The Stanley BRM team had again disappeared while McLaren had decided against using the M26 and was back with the old M23 again.
The Brabham team had been involved in intensive testing before the race and John Watson showed that progress had been made by taking pole position ahead of Jody Scheckter's Wolf, Carlos Reutemann's Ferrari and Ronnie Peterson's Tyrrell. Then came the second Brabham of Hans Stuck, Lauda's Ferrari, Hunt's McLaren and Patrick Depailler in the second Tyrrell while Jochen Mass (McLaren) and Spanish GP winner Mario Andretti (Lotus) completed the top 10. Clay Regazzoni had troubles in the Ensign and decided to fly to the United States instead to qualify a Theodore McLaren for the Indianapolis 500 and so Jacky Ickx was given the Ensign drive and qualified on Saturday. Ian Scheckter crashed his March heavily and damaged his ribs and so did not qualify. It was a bad weekend for March with all four cars failing to make the race.
At the start Jody Scheckter made a better start and took the lead from Watson with Reutemann third, Stuck fourth and Peterson fifth. It was lead that the Wolf never lost. Watson's second place continued until the 45th lap when gearbox trouble dropped him behind Lauda who had worked his way to third in the early laps, passing Peterson and Reutemann and profiting from the retirement of Stuck. Reutemann finished third after a quiet race with Mass, Andretti and Alan Jones (Shadow) completing the scorers.