Today we are walking through the pits before practice at the Monaco Grand Prix which will take place on May 22, 1955. Seen here in his Ferrari 625F1 is the French vigneron and driver Maurice Trintignant. He has been assigned one of four of Ferrari’s older four cylinder cars in which he will compete with the much faster Mercedes and Lancia teams.
However, Trintignant was equal to he task as he came through to win when both Mercedes retired, and the Lancia of Alberto Ascari crashed into the harbor.
And here is Lancia’s handsome new youngster Eugenio Castellotti who will start fourth with his Lancia D50, less than a second off Juan Fangio’s pole time in the Mercedes-Benz W196.
Castellotti was initially second to Fangio but then fell slowly back until having to replace a damaged wheel on lap 35. This put him well down the order but he kept going and as others retired he improved to finish second about 20 seconds behind Trintignant.
With his famous checkered band on his helmet, here is the Maserati top qualifier Jean Behra. The Maseratis were at Monaco in quantity, but they, like Ferrari, could not match the Mercedes or the Lancias.
Behra started fifth, next to Castellotti, but could not make much impression on the leaders. He would swap cars with his teammate Cesare Perdisa which cost a lot of track position but he would last to the end to finish third one lap down.
Here is the other half of the Behra/Perdisa third place finish. The young Italian “gentleman driver” started 11th on the grid but also , like Behra, fell back until after taking over Behra’s less good car he would spin off and retire on lap 81.
Nevertheless, he would share half points with Behra for third place.
Now here is Alberto Ascari, looking very determined to do well with the new Lancia D50 with its side-mounted fuel tanks and other innovative features from the creative mind of designer Vittorio Jano.
For much of the race Ascari ran second to Moss, Fangio having retired at half distance. But then Moss had his motor blow up and almost immediately afterwards, Ascari, not yet aware that he was now leading, went straight over the Chicane and into the harbor where he was quickly rescued.
And here is a ruminative Mike Hawthorn in his lone Vanwall, their second car for Ken Wharton being withdrawn. The new competitor with its Norton-derived four cylinder motor was not yet up to where it would be in a couple of years.
Hawthorn would start 12th with an identical qualifying time to Perdisa’s Maserati. He would retire after 22 laps with a broken throttle linkage.
Our last image is a bit of amusement for Stirling Moss and famed photo-journalist Bernard Cahier.
Photos by Ami Guichard ©The Klemantasi Collection – www. klemcoll.com
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