• Monaco Grand Prix

Moss secures historic first win for Lotus

ESPNF1 Staff
May 29, 1960
Jo Bonnier takes the lead at the start from Tony Brooks, Jack Brabham, and eventual winner Stirling Moss © Sutton Images

Stirling Moss cemented his reputation as the master in the wet with a supremely confident win in the new Lotus 18 at a rain-affected Monaco. After setting new lap records in both practice sessions, he continued with a near-flawless display of driving on race day to beat Bruce McLaren by nearly a minute, giving Lotus its first world championship victory.

Finishing Friday's practice session soaked in petrol from a leaking tank, Moss went on to take pole, after all 16 qualifying drivers broke previous lap records. However, these did not include the much vaunted new Scarab team from the USA, which was utterly outclassed by the lightweight British cars and failed to qualify.

Despite the circuit's excellent safety record, Cliff Allison was thrown from his Ferrari during practice after hitting the barrier at the entrance to the chicane. He escaped with a broken arm and fractured ribs, but it was the end of his season.

Jo Bonnier in his new rear-engined BRM led the pack up the hill from the start, but by the 17th lap he was suffering from brake problems and surrendered the lead to Moss. A few laps later it started to rain, and Jack Brabham also overtook Bonnier as the drivers slowed to cope with the worsening conditions.

Brabham was jostling for the lead with Moss when, on the 43rd lap, he spun off after struggling with gearbox problems. The rain gradually stopped and Moss began to pull away until he had to pit on the 60th lap with a loose plug lead, allowing Bonnier to sweep back into the lead.

Small pools of water still remained on the fast-drying track and it was on one of these that Graham Hill spun his BRM, colliding with the commentators' box and leaving splintered wood and oil in his wake.

Moss caught Bonnier on the 67th lap and raced on to victory, while McLaren and Phil Hill fought a furious battle for second which eventually went in McLaren's favour. Tony Brooks finished fourth in his Cooper Climax, the only other car still running, after Bonnier pitted on the 78th lap. However, the Swede managed to get his car back on the track towards the end of the race, doing a few slow laps to finish a long way back in fifth and pick up two championship points.

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