Monaco GP 1959

Monaco GP, 1959

A couple of months after the tragic 1958 season - which had seen the deaths of Luigi Musso, Peter Collins and Stuart Lewis-Evans - Tony Vandervell, the boss of the Vanwall team, announced that he was withdrawing from Grand Prix racing because of ill-health. A couple of weeks after that announcement Mike Hawthorn, the retired World Champion, was killed in a road accident.

There was considerable change to the driver lineup for the 1959 season with Stirling Moss joining Rob Walker's privateer Cooper team alongside Maurice Trintignant, Tony Brooks moving to Ferrari to join BRM refugee Jean Behra and Phil Hill and Lotus driver Cliff Allison. Bruce McLaren joined Jack Brabham in the factory Cooper team, as Roy Salvadori was recruited to drive for a new Aston Martin team, with team mate Carroll Shelby. BRM retained Harry Schell and Jo Bonnier and Ron Flockhart rejoined to replace Behra.

The first World Championship race did not take place until May but there were three non-championship F1 before that: The Glover Trophy at Good, the BARC 200 at Aintree and the International Trophy at Silverstone. The new 2.5-liter Coventry Climax engine was very competitive and Moss won the first race for Cooper, Behra the second for Ferrari and Brabham the third for Cooper.

It was no surprise, therefore, that these three men were alongside one another on the front row at Monaco with Moss ahead of Behra and Brabham. On the second row were Brooks and Phil Hill and the third row featured Trintignant, Bonnier and Salvadori (driving a High Efficiency Motors Cooper-Maserati as the Aston Martins were not ready.

Behra took the lead at the start and led Moss and Brabham. It was not until lap 22 that Moss managed to get ahead of Behra and Brabham followed through on the next lap as the Ferrari suffered engine failure. This promoted Phil Hill to third place although he would later spin and be overtaken by Schell and Brooks. On lap 81 Moss pitted with transmission trouble. He rejoined but retired almost immediately. This left Brabham out in front of Brooks with Trintignant third. Phil Hill had had three spins but was still fourth. Bruce McLaren finished fifth four laps down while Salvadori was classified sixth 17 laps behind. The race was Jack Brabham's first World Championship victory.

24 Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax T51 100 2h55m51.300s  
50 Tony Brooks Ferrari D246 100 2h56m11.700s  
32 Maurice Trintignant Cooper-Climax T51 98  
48 Phil Hill Ferrari D246 97  
22 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax T51 96  13 
6r 38 Roy Salvadori Cooper-Maserati T45 83 Transmission 
30 Stirling Moss Cooper-Climax T51 81 Transmission 
20 Ron Flockhart BRM P25 64 Spin 10 
16 Harry Schell BRM P25 48 Fuel Tank 
18 Jo Bonnier BRM P25 44 Brakes/ Accident 
46 Jean Behra Ferrari D246 24 Engine 
40 Graham Hill Lotus-Climax 16 21 Fire 14 
26 Masten Gregory Cooper-Climax T51 Gearbox 11 
44 Bruce Halford Lotus-Climax 16 Accident 16 
52 Cliff Allison Ferrari D156 Accident 15 
Wolfgang von Trips Porsche 718 Accident 12 
nq 34 Ivor Bueb Cooper-Climax T51   17 
nq 54 Giorgio Scarlatti Maserati 250F   18 
nq 10 Lucien Bianchi Cooper-Climax T51   19 
nq 12 Alain de Changy Cooper-Climax T51   20 
nq Maria Teresa de Fillipis Porsche 718   21 
nq 42 Peter Lovely Lotus-Climax 16   22 
nq 14 Jean Lucienbonnet Cooper-Climax T45   23 
nq 56 Andre Testut Maserati 250F   24