Monaco GP 1978

MAY 7, 1978

Monaco GP, 1978

The Monaco race marked the start of the European season and with Lotus and Ferrari having split the wins in the opening four races, interest was high. The field was much the same as it had been at Long Beach with the addition of the Martini team. Ensign had dropped Lamberto Leoni and Jacky Ickx was making another F1 comeback with the team.

With only 20 starters being allowed at Monaco there had to be a pre-qualifying session again and this got rid of Keke Rosberg (Theodore), Hector Rebaque, Brett Lunger, Derek Daly (Hesketh) and Rene Arnoux (Martini).

Qualifying resulted in pole position for Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) but the Brabham-Alfas of John Watson and Niki Lauda were second and third fastest. Mario Andretti was fourth fastest with Patrick Depailler (Tyrrell) fifth, James Hunt (McLaren) sixth and Ronnie Peterson (Lotus) seventh. The top 10 was completed by Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari), Jody Scheckter (Wolf) and Alan Jones (Williams).

In the race Watson made the best start with Depailler behind him after a brilliant start from fifth on the grid. Reutemann was battling for third with Lauda and Hunt. At the chicane Lauda and Reutemann touched, Hunt had to swerve to avoid contact and hit the wall and so both he and Reutemann pitted for repairs, leaving Lauda third ahead of Andretti, Scheckter and Jones. The order did not change until lap 13 when Jones was overtaken by Peterson and Villeneuve.

On lap 38 Watson went up an escape road and dropped behind Depailler and Lauda but within a few laps the Austrian had to pit after a puncture. Andretti had also dropped down the order when he stopped to have a fuel leak fixed and so Scheckter moved to third place. Both Peterson and Villeneuve went out in the laps that followed, the Swede with a gearbox problem and the Canadian crashing while under pressure from the recovering Lauda.

Depailler duly won the race - his first F1 victory after 69 races - but Lauda's charge took him ahead of Watson (who had a second off and fell behind Scheckter) and Scheckter to claim second. Watson was fourth with Pironi fifth and Patrese sixth.

Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth  75 1h55m14.660s  
Niki Lauda Brabham-Alfa Romeo  75 1h55m37.110s  
20 Jody Scheckter Wolf-Cosworth  75 1h55m46.950s  
John Watson Brabham-Alfa Romeo  75 1h55m48.190s  
Didier Pironi Tyrrell-Cosworth  75 1h56m22.720s  13 
35 Riccardo Patrese Arrows-Cosworth  75 1h56m23.430s  14 
Patrick Tambay McLaren-Cosworth  74  11 
11 Carlos Reutemann Ferrari  74  
14 Emerson Fittipaldi Copersucar-Cosworth  74  20 
10 15 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault  71  12 
11 Mario Andretti Lotus-Cosworth  69  
12 Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari  62 Tyre Burst/accident 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth  56 Gearbox 
James Hunt McLaren-Cosworth  43 Anti-roll Bar 
36 Rolf Stommelen Arrows-Cosworth  38 Driver Ill 19 
27 Alan Jones Wlliams-Cosworth  29 Oil Leak 10 
22 Danny Ongais Ensign-Cosworth  27 Brakes 16 
16 Hans-Joachim Stuck Shadow-Cosworth  24 Accident/steering 17 
26 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra  13 Gearbox 15 
18 Rupert Keegan Surtees-Cosworth  Crown Wheel & Pinion 18 
nq Jochen Mass ATS-Cosworth    21 
nq 17 Clay Regazzoni Shadow-Cosworth    22 
nq 10 Jean-Pierre Jarier ATS-Cosworth    23 
nq 19 Vittorio Brambilla Surtees-Cosworth    24 
npq 32 Keke Rosberg ATS-Cosworth    25 
npq 24 Derek Daly Hesketh-Cosworth    26 
npq 31 Rene Arnoux Martini-Cosworth    27 
npq 25 Hector Rebaque Lotus-Cosworth    28 
npq 30 Brett Lunger McLaren-Cosworth    29 
npq 37 Arturo Merzario Merzario-Cosworth    30