1963 Monaco Grand Prix (partially found footage of Formula One World Championship race; 1963)

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Programme for the race.

Status: Partially Found

The 1963 Monaco Grand Prix was the inaugural race of the 1963 Formula One Season. Occurring on 26th May at the Circuit de Monaco, the race was ultimately won by BRM's Graham Hill. Not only was this Hill's first of five Monaco Grand Prix victories, it also marked his first step towards becoming the only driver to achieve the Triple Crown of Motorsport.


The 1963 Monaco Grand Prix was the tenth running of the event as part of Formula One following its debut on the calendar in 1950.[1] It was also the 21st in Grand Prix history.[2][1] Lasting 100 laps,[3] the Monaco Grand Prix remains an integral event of the Formula One calendar, including being prestigious enough to be classified as part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.[1][4] For 1963, the Monaco Grand Prix would also be referred to as the Grand Prix of Europe.[5]

Heading into the race, Ferrari had been impacted by its drivers Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti, in addition to many of its staff, leaving the team in favour of starting ATS.[6][7][5] The prancing horse, who fielded John Surtees and Willy Mairesse, already had a head-start over its new rival, as ATS were unable to even enter the event since they had yet to complete the ATS 100.[8][5][7][6] For qualifying, Lotus-Climax's Jim Clark was setting consistently strong laps with an enhanced fuel-injected Lotus 25.[5][8] After beating out BRM driver and defending World Champion Graham Hill by 0.5 seconds, Clark ensured he achieved pole position with a time of 1:34.3.[5][8][6][3] Hill qualified second with 1:35, with him and teammate Richie Ginther utilising various suspension springs to maximise performance.[5][8][6][3] Despite encountering several issues during qualifying, including a water leak and crashing into the barriers at the chicane, Surtees would split the BRMs by lining up third out of 15 competing racers.[5][8][6][3]

The Race

With the starting order decided, the 1963 Monaco Grand Prix commenced on 26th May.[3] The BRMs made the strongest starts, moving ahead on the opening lap with Clark not far behind.[5][6][8] After being frustrated with Ginther's better acceleration in the corners, Clark eventually passed the American on lap 5 and began to close on Hill.[5][6] Clark almost moved ahead of the champion two laps later, but was thwarted again by the BRM's superior acceleration.[5][6] Clark again moved by prior to the Station hairpin, but ended up dropping back to third after spinning.[5] By lap 10, he would move ahead of Ginther again, and further pressurised his fellow Brit for the lead.[5] Despite being consistently beaten on the exit of most corners, Clark finally assumed the lead after overtaking Hill on the straights.[5][6][8] Four laps later, Clark was firmly in control, eventually increasing the gap to Hill by five seconds on lap 30.[5][6] Two laps prior, Surtees moved past Ginther for third, and eventually began to duel with Hill.[5][8][6] Despite a spray of oil from Hill's BRM obscuring Surtees' face and goggles, he refused to back away.[5][8][6]

By lap 41, Clark was seven seconds ahead, with Hill defending second from Surtees.[5][8] Clark equalled his lap record set at Monaco the previous year with a 1:35.5, before setting a new one with a 1:34.9.[5] Surtees eventually passed Hill for second, only to let Hill by five laps later.[5][8][6] The reason was that his goggles were so extensively covered in oil that he was unable to properly view the track now that he lacked a car to follow.[5][8] He then dropped back from the BRM so that he could replace his goggles, only to encounter oil pressure issues that enabled Ginther and Cooper-Climax's Bruce McLaren to close the gap.[5][6] By lap 75, Clark was 17 seconds ahead of Hill.[5] Meanwhile, Surtees dropped behind Ginther and McLaren as he was concerned that pressing on would destroy his Ferrari's engine.[5][6] On that same lap, Clark retired following a jammed gearbox; according to Motor Sport, his continual gentle movements of the gear-lever meant the selector had failed to function properly, eventually causing it to jam and Clark's Lotus to spin.[5][8][6] In a post-race interview, Clark insisted misfortune was to blame, stating "I really thought I was going to be the winner. But three things are necessary to win a race - the car to do it, the driver with the capability, and good luck. This was my turn to have ill-luck."[8]

Hill therefore gained the lead, setting a new lap record on lap 85 with 1:34.7.[5][8] While he was forced to contend with his right foot being burnt by the car's radiator, he held on to claim victory and eight points in the Drivers' Championship standings.[8][5][6] Ginther made it a BRM 1-2 after McLaren decided to end the duel between them, but the New Zealander was almost passed by a resurgent Surtees, the latter setting new lap records but ultimately being unable to close the gap in time.[5][8][6] McLaren and Surtees therefore finished third and fourth respectively, Cooper-Climax's Tony Maggs took fifth, while Lotus-Climax's Trevor Taylor came home sixth.[5][8][6] This marked Hill's first of five Monaco Grand Prix; his dominance of the event led to him being dubbed "Mr. Monaco".[9][8] He also achieved a third of the Triple Crown of Motorsport.[4][9] By winning the 1966 Indianapolis 500 and the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans, Hill became the first and to date only driver to achieve all three legs of the Crown.[4][9] While some believe the Monaco Grand Prix should be replaced with winning the F1 Drivers' Championship, the Englishman would again be the only driver to have achieved the Triple Crown.[4]


The race reportedly received full live coverage from French broadcaster ORTF.[10] It also received partial live airings from other broadcasters, including from the BBC.[11][10] According to Issue 2,063 of Radio Times, the BBC dedicated 20 minutes for the start, five minutes for an interim report, and 15 minutes for the race's end, providing forty minutes of live coverage.[11][10] While it did not air the race live, ABC televised 90 minutes of highlights on 8th June 1963.[10] None of these television broadcasts have resurfaced, but footage of the race can be viewed in documentaries and newsreels.



Colour footage from a British documentary.

Silent colour footage of the race.

Colour footage from a documentary.

British Pathé newsreel of the race.

See Also

Formula One Media

Triple Crown of Motorsport Media


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 F1 Chronicle detailing the history of the Monaco Grand Prix. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  2. Ultimate Car Page providing a list of Monaco Grand Prix. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Racing-Reference detailing the qualifying and race results of the event. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Topend Sports detailing the Triple Crown of Motorsport and how Hill is the only one to achieve it. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 Motor Sport providing a detailed race report. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 Grand Prix summarising the event. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  7. 7.0 7.1 Concept Carz detailing the brief history of the ATS team. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 ESPN summarising the race. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 WTF1 summarising Hill's Mr. Monaco nickname and how he achieved the Triple Crown of Motorsport. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 List of Formula One television broadcasts noting that ORTF provided full coverage, the BBC and others provided live coverage, and that ABC provided 90 minutes of highlights. Retrieved 14th Oct '22
  11. 11.0 11.1 BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues detailing the BBC's coverage of the race. Retrieved 14th Oct '22