The Start!

Ferrari, Matra, Monaco Grand Prix, Chris Amon, Jackie Stewart

In 1964 The start at the Monaco Grand Prix was moved from the harborfront straight, which  had often led to accidents at the Gasworks Hairpin, around to the other side of the pits. Later it was moved up closer to the St. Devote corner which leads uphill to Casino Square, a location where it remains today. The Royal Box was then just beyond the start/finish as can be seen here in the start of the 1969 Grand Prix.

On the far side, accelerating from his pole position is Jackie Stewart with his Matra-Cosworth MS80, a works car but entered by Ken Tyrrell’s team. Four-tenths slower in qualifying was Chris Amon with his Ferrari 312F1, but without the noticeable prior year’s exhaust system from inside the “V”. We suppose this was to allow greater engine commonality with their new 312P sports car. However, the first qualifying had been cancelled when the powers that be decided that for safety wings which were not part of the bodywork must be removed, so everyone had to do it again, wingless. Neither of the front row starters made it very far. First Amon, running second behind Stewart, lost his differential and not long thereafter Stewart and his teammate Jean-Pierre Beltiose both retired with driveshaft failures. This left matters in the hands of perennial Monaco winner Graham Hill and his Lotus 49-Cosworth.

Stewart and Matra, however, got things right and added four more wins during 1969 to add to the two they had had before Monaco. The Championship was theirs.

Photo by Yves Debraine © The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

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