1955 Monaco Grand Prix

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Monaco  1955 Monaco Grand Prix
Race details
Race 2 of 7 in the 1955 Formula One season
File:Monte Carlo 1950.png
Date May 22, 1955
Official name XIII Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco
Location Circuit de Monaco
Course Street circuit
Course length 3.145 km (1.955 mi)
Distance 100 laps, 314.5 km (195.5 mi)
Pole position
Driver Mercedes
Time 1:41.1
Fastest lap
Driver Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes
Time 1:42.4
First Ferrari
Second Lancia
Third Maserati

The 1955 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monaco on May 22, 1955. It was the second round of the 1955 World Drivers' Championship and was given an honorary name, Grand Prix d'Europe.[1]

Race report

Stirling Moss had been signed by Mercedes for the new season and Maserati had replaced him with Jean Behra. The Silver Arrows of Fangio and Moss dominated, running 1-2 until half distance, trailed by Ascari and Castellotti. At the halfway mark, Fangio retired with transmission trouble,[2] giving the lead to Moss. Almost a lap ahead, a seemingly sure win for Moss was ended on Lap 80 when his Benz's engine blew.[2] The new leader Ascari got it all wrong at the chicane coming out of the tunnel, his Lancia crashing through the barriers into the harbour and having to swim to safety. Maurice Trintignant, in a Ferrari 625 thought to be uncompetitive, inherited the lead and scored his first Formula One victory.[2]

Mercedes driver Hans Herrmann injured himself in practice and was replaced by André Simon.

This race marked the Grand Prix debut for Cesare Perdisa. It was the only Grand Prix appearance for Ted Whiteaway. This was the last Grand Prix appearance for Alberto Ascari; he was killed four days later testing a Ferrari sports car at Monza.

It was the first win for Maurice Trintignant and Englebert tyres. It was also the first podium and points for Eugenio Castellotti and Cesare Perdisa,[citation needed] and the first win for a French driver.[3][4]


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 44 France Maurice Trintignant Ferrari 100 2:58:09.8 9 8
2 30 Italy Eugenio Castellotti Lancia 100 +20.2 secs 4 6
3 34 France Jean Behra
Italy Cesare Perdisa
Maserati 99 +1 lap 5 2
4 42 Italy Nino Farina Ferrari 99 +1 lap 14 3
5 28 Italy Luigi Villoresi Lancia 99 +1 lap 7 2
6 32 Monaco Louis Chiron Lancia 95 +5 Laps 19
7 10 France Jacques Pollet Gordini 91 +9 laps 20
8 48 Italy Piero Taruffi
Belgium Paul Frère
Ferrari 86 +14 laps 15
9 6 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Mercedes 81 +19 laps 3
Ret 40 Italy Cesare Perdisa
France Jean Behra
Maserati 86 Spun off 11
Ret 26 Italy Alberto Ascari Lancia 80 Accident 2
Ret 46 United States Harry Schell Ferrari 68 Engine 18
Ret 36 Argentina Roberto Mieres Maserati 64 Transmission 6
Ret 12 France Élie Bayol Gordini 63 Transmission 16
Ret 2 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes 49 Transmission 1 1
Ret 8 France Robert Manzon Gordini 38 Gearbox 13
Ret 4 France André Simon Mercedes 24 Engine 10
Ret 18 United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn Vanwall 22 Throttle 12
Ret 14 France Louis Rosier Maserati 8 Fuel leak 17
Ret 38 Italy Luigi Musso Maserati 7 Transmission 8
DNQ 22 United Kingdom Lance Macklin Maserati
DNQ 24 United Kingdom Ted Whiteaway HWM-Alta
DNQ 4 Germany Hans Herrmann Mercedes Driver injured

Lap leaders

Juan Manuel Fangio (49 laps), Stirling Moss (31 laps), and Maurice Trintignant (20 laps).

Shared drives


  • Formula 1 debut for Cesare Perdisa, who shared third place drive with Jean Behra, and Ted Whiteaway, who failed to quality
  • Juan Manuel Fangio broke the track record that had stood since 1937, when Rudolf Caracciola turned a lap in 1:46.5 in a 5.6-litre Mercedes W125, running the circuit in 1:41.1 on the first day of practice in his Mercedes W196.
  • Alberto Ascari matched Fangio's time in his Lancia D50 during the Saturday practice, though the order had been set on the first day of practice in a singular exception to the policy of the time of all practice laps counting towards grid position.
  • In practice, Mercedes youngster Hans Herrmann crashed into a harbour wall and suffered injuries that took him out for the rest of the season.
  • Ascari was driving the number 26 car, the same number that had been on the P2 Alfa Romeo his father, Antonio Ascari, had been driving when killed in the July 26, 1925 French Grand Prix. The superstitious Ascari was between Mercedes drivers Fangio and Stirling Moss in the numbers 2 and 6 respectively.
  • Andre Simon's was the first Mercedes to leave the race, with engine failure. Of the other Mercedes, Fangio left the race with transmission problems on lap 50, leaving Stirling Moss in first and Ascari in second. Lap 80 saw Moss taken out by a minor problem in his car's sophisticated valve train, leaving Ascari in first. Ascari never made it past the pits to see that, however: his Lancia didn't make the chicane (possibly losing traction on oil from Moss's engine failure) and he flipped over the barrier and into the harbour. His Lancia was craned out of 25 feet of water while he spent the night in the hospital.
  • Later events indicate that he probably should have kept his superstitions up and taken this as an omen, but his motivation wouldn't quit and four days later he was back in the cockpit at Monza, where he was killed in a bizarre accident testing a Ferrari. On the 26th of the month. There are no definite explanations for either of Ascari's accidents, but the Monza incident was, apart from possible undetected brain injuries after the Monaco crash, probably caused by an improperly-sized tire – 7.00x16 rather than 6.50x16 – combined with an imperfect track surface.
  • Mercedes also had not seen the last of their troubles – after all three cars left contention with mechanical problems at Monaco, the worst accident in racing history involved a Mercedes.
  • Louis Chiron's start made him the oldest driver to start a grand prix (55 years, 292 days).

Championship standings after the race

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1uparrow green.svg 1 1 France Maurice Trintignant 11 ​13
1downarrow red.svg 1 2 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 10
1downarrow red.svg 1 3 Italy Nino Farina 6 ​13
1uparrow green.svg 10 4 Italy Eugenio Castellotti 6
1downarrow red.svg 1 5 Argentina José Froilán González 2
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included.


  1. Kettlewell, Mike. "Monaco: Road Racing on the Riviera", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 12, p.1383.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kettlewell, p.1383.
  3. Williamson, Martin. "Maurice Trintignant". EPSN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 30 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Drivers: Maurice Trintignant". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. Retrieved 30 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "1955 Monaco Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Kettlewell, Mike. "Monaco: Road Racing on the Riviera", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles, Volume 12, pp. 1381–4. London: Orbis, 1974.

Previous race:
1955 Argentine Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1955 season
Next race:
1955 Indianapolis 500
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1952 Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco Grand Prix Next race:
1956 Monaco Grand Prix
Previous race:
1954 German Grand Prix
European Grand Prix
(Designated European Grand Prix)
Next race:
1956 Italian Grand Prix