Surtees and Ferrari

Surtees, Ferrari, Monaco GP

John Surtees, the 1964 World Champion for Ferrari, sits in the Ferrari 158F1 practice car in the pits along the Monaco harbor front during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix which would take place on May 30, 1965. He would qualify fifth and then race with the older spec V8 car while his teammate Lorenzo Bandini had the benefit of the newer 1512F1 with a V12 motor which took fourth on the grid.

The race was notable for the absence of Jim Clark and Dan Gurney who were both at the Indianapolis 500. The Monaco organization took umbrage at Clark’s being elsewhere and guaranteed Lotus only one place on the grid which resulted in Chapman withdrawing both Lotus cars. However, Clark’s decision was a good one and resulted in a much better payday when he won the 500 on the Monday afternoon.

With Team Lotus withdrawing, the Monaco race looked to be set as a BRM benefit with Graham Hill on pole and Jackie Stewart in the second row. But, as usual, Monaco was full of surprises. Hill had a spin at the chicane when avoiding a slower car but then stormed back through the field, not an easy task at Monaco, and took the win. Bandini brought his new Ferrari in second with Stewart third. Surtees was fourth, finishing the race on the starter motor when he ran out of fuel on the final lap.

Surtees looks somewhat unhappy here, and probably this was a result of his uneasy relationship with Ferrari’s team manager Eugenio Dragoni who always seemed to give favored treatment to his well-connected countryman Bandini . This fraught relationship between Surtees and Dragoni would explode at Le Mans a year later.

Photo by Yves Debraine ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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  1. Peter–
    Hsd the pleasure to see John Surtees riding his MV Agusta motorcycle
    in Dutch Grand Prix in 1957 on country roads of Holland, Thrilling and
    took my breath away, but never occured to me he would someday be in GP car
    and in Ferrari.!

    That season he arrived at some events with new BMW 507 roadster
    which i understand he still has and cherrish,, Told me he scared
    himself silly in Mercedes 300 SL.


    Jim sitz


  2. Jack Brewer · · Reply

    Surtees’s difficult relationship with Dragoni went as far back as the 1963 12 Hours of Sebring when he defied team orders to finish second, and went on to win with co-driver Scarfiotti over teammates (and Dragoni’s favored crew) Bandini, Vaccarella and Mairesse. He told me during a conversation in the paddock at Goodwood a few years ago that Dragoni was so incensed that he actually protested his own car’s win in order to have the Bandini car take the the victory. The officials upheld their own lap charts (which comported with Mrs. Surtees’s!) and denied the protest. As he told me, “I never started a race without intending to win it!”


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