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2024 Monaco Historic Grand Prix
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14th Grand Prix Historique
Every two years, the very rich history of the Monaco Grand Prix is celebrated with the Grand Prix Historique. Run on what are normally public roads, the Historic Grand Prix offers enthusiasts a unique opportunity the experience a sensation that is normally only reserved for the very best drivers in the world. Keen to seize this opportunity, drivers from all over the world come to Monaco, quite often with an eligible car bought specifically to compete on the streets of the Principality. The eight races on the schedule of the 14th biennial Historic Grand Prix cover the period between the first race in 1929 and the 1985 edition. The cut-off year coincides with the last year before turbocharged engines were used exclusively in Formula 1. In addition to the eight races, there was a special parade on Sunday to mark 30 years since Ayrton Senna's fatal accident at Imola. The display included an early go-kart, the 1984 Toleman and a McLaren MP4/5B, which was demonstrated by his nephew Bruno Senna.
Our photographers were at the iconic track throughout the 14th edition of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix with this class-by-class 180-shot gallery as the result.

Front-engined marvels
The inaugural, 1929 Monaco Grand Prix was won by William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti Type 35. So it was only fitting that the first race series (A2) featured an eclectic mix of Bugattis alongside the Maseratis, ERAs and Alfa Romeo. In qualifying, it was Paddins Dowling, who led the way with the iconic ERA R5B, which is better known as 'Remus.' This nick name was given to the car by Prince Bira of Siam and distinguished it from a sister car that was, not surprisingly, dubbed 'Romulus.' Dowlings also dominated the race and behind him there was a brief tussle between Brad Baker in another B-Type ERA and Michael Birch in a smaller engined Maserati 4CM. This was quickly settled in Baker's favour and Birch finished a deserved third.
The A2 race group was dedicated to post-War, front-engined Grand Prix cars. The turn-out was quite spectacular with no fewer than seven genuine Maserati 250Fs. Also entered were a highly original Talbot Lago T26C and four Lotus Type 16s. Starting from pole position however was 2022 winner Claudia Hürtgen in a Ferrari 246 F1 Dino. In the race, she was not challenged and she scored a fitting victory in what is the very last front-engined Grand Prix car to win a World Championship race. Marino Franchitti finished second in the fastest of the 250Fs and Tony Wood was third with the unique Tec-Mec Maserati.

Mid-engine revolution
During the second half of the 1950s, the sport went through a mid-engine revolution and after Phil Hill won the 1960 Italian Grand Prix with the aforementioned Ferrari, all Grand Prix winners have featured a mid-mounted engine. Shortly after this revolution, a new '1.5-litre' rule set was introduced which ran from 1962 through to the 1965 season. This brief era took centre stage in the Serie B race. The Monaco Historic Grand Prix is one of only a handful of meetings where there is a grid exclusively for these 1.5-litre car and no fewer than 30 cars were entered. Many featured a choice of Coventry Climax engines; either the four-cylinder or the FWMV V8 but there were also several BRM V8-engined cars and also the truly exotic Ferrari 1512 F1 powered by a flat 1.5-litre V12. Raced by Joe Colosacco for its American owner, the Ferrari had won last time round but now faced stiff opposition again from Andy Middlehurst in the Classic Team Lotus entered Type 25. Middlehurst had qualified on pole position, which gave him an advantage he did not give up. Despite clocking the fastest lap of the race Colosacco had to settle for second. For Middlehurst, it was his sixth win in the Historic Grand Prix with the ex-Jim Clark Lotus.

Sports cars
For one year only, 1952, the Monaco Grand Prix was run for sports cars. This was in response to a rule change with which the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) vehemently disagreed. Due to a lack of entrants capable of fielding fully fledged Grand Prix cars, the sport's governing decided to run the World Championship in 1952 for Formula 2 cars instead. Reluctant to run the flagship event for the 'junior formula', the ACM decided to invite sports cars for the 1952 Grand Prix. This act of resilience is still celebrated with a special sports car category, which is open to a slightly broader period to ensure a representative grid can be formed. In 2024, the organisers certainly succeeded as no fewer than 38 sports car participated in the first practice session. The field for the race was headed by Fred Wakeman in his Cooper T38 Jaguar after the American put in the only sub two-minute lap in qualifying. Starting third was Max Smith-Hilliard in a Bristol-engined Lotus Mark X. He had a poor start but showed that, with some broad shoulders, overtaking is possible at Monaco as he fought his way up the order to score the Serie C victory. Claudia Hürtgen finished second in a Maserati 300 S, while Niklas Halusa was third in a very early Jaguar D-Type.

The Cosworth DFV era
Ahead of the 1966 season, the regulations were changed once more, adapting a displacement limit of 3,000 cc for atmospheric engines and 1,500 cc for those equipped with forced induction. The latter avenue was not pursued until the late 1970s and these turbo engines are not eligible for the four race series that cover this period during the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. Throughout this era, the Ford Cosworth DFV V8 was the engine of choice for most teams but there were exceptions. These were represented in 2024 by a four of V12-powered Ferraris, two Matra V12s and a single BRM V12. This was an ex-Pedro Rodriguez car, fielded here by compatriot Adrian Fernandez.
The earliest three-litre cars were found in Serie D, which covered the the 1966 through to 1972 period. The colourful field showcased the rapid development of this period with the classic cigar-shaped cars being replaced by much modern looking wedge-shaped racers. In addition to Fernandez in his BRM, the group also included legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey, who was behind the wheel of a Lotus 49B. Michael Lyons looked set to dominate the race from pole position but for a steering issue that forced him to retire the family Surtees TS9. This promoted Japanese driver Katsu Kubota into the lead with the wedge-shaped Lotus Type 72 with which he had won at Monaco previously.
Serie E feature the 1973 through 1976 era and had a 21-car strong field. Having won the race two years ago, Stuart Hall was again the man to beat with the ex-Peter Revson McLaren M23. The Yardley liveried machine propelled Hall to pole position and he was not challenged in the race. Second was for Marco Werner in a Lotus Type 77 and Michael Lyons was third in another McLaren.
The messiest race of the weekend was for Serie F, which had a starting grid of 26 Grand Prix cars from 1977 - 1980. A start-line accident saw the race red flagged for the first time and then other incidents prompted two further suspensions. In the end covering only seven laps over a two-hour period, the winner was Michael Lyons on his third attempt of the weekend. He lead the way with his Hesketh from Miles Griffiths and Jonathan Cochet both in Fittipaldis.
The weekend was concluded with Serie G for naturally aspirated cars from the first half of the 1980s. A true Monaco specialist, Stuart Hall was on pole position again with his March 821 outpacing the intrinsically faster Williams, Lotus and Brabham machinery. He made no mistake and once again lead Werner and Lyons home.

Final thoughts
There really is no equal for Monaco, whether on the current Formula 1 calendar or on the historic racing scene. The streets of the Principality form a unique venue, combining the jet-set lifestyle of big yachts and ever bigger watches with the thrill of racing on track that is never straight and lined by truly unforgiving Armco barriers. So it comes as no surprise that the Monaco Historic Grand Prix is at the top of the bucket list for competitors and spectators alike. We have tried to capture this unique atmosphere in our exclusive gallery with 180 reasons to plan a trip to Monaco in May of 2026.

Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com