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How Stirling Moss Mastered Monaco to Defeat Ferrari in 1961 – Motorsports

A few years ago, in an article in Autosport magazine, I asked what it was like to drive a racing car in the city of Monte Carlo at the time.

He replied: “You can see who was faster around Monaco. He brought the car home with white sidewalls. They used to paint curbs, but when you brush them, you get white side walls. Then you would think: “Christ, he must have been ahead!”

“The car was narrower than it is now, but the curb was much taller than it is now, so it was something to watch out for. If you hit one hard, that was it. In fact, think about it. If you look at it, the wheels of the lotus can fall without touching it! “

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Not only was Moss an incredibly entertaining company, he was always very honest about driving and his explanation of how to focus on the 2 hour 46 minute race was fascinating …

“I started from the pole and had two Ferraris behind me. I remember thinking,” I have to make a perfect lap from here. ” I can’t do a perfect rap in Monaco, well I didn’t manage it.

“It’s not right to go through the left and right. Now, try it from here. Try again. This lasted almost three hours. It was a lot of tension.”

Richie Ginther, Ferrari, Jim Clark, Lotus 21, Stirling Moss, Lotus 18

Photo: David Phipps

Stirling Moss, Cooper Climax

Stirling Moss, Cooper Climax

Photo: Motorsport image

This was the first 1.5-liter World Championship race, and the Lotus 18 with the climax run by Moss Rob Walker probably gave 40bhp when there were only around 200.

“They were always three or four seconds late,” recalled Ferrari Moss. “I thought they were just playing with me. They were just sitting there: first Phil Hill, then Richie Ginther.

“Well, those buggers are just playing, they’ll roar past me on the last lap,’ I thought. That’s it because they didn’t! “

Moss ranked this victory as the best of his glittering career, emphasizing his mental strength and his race management as perhaps unparalleled.

“Concentration is a necessary product for Monaco and leading the race is much more difficult than following,” he said. “That’s why I classify ’61 as the best race. I avoided it by focusing on trying to stretch half the length here and there, and did I lose time with a hairpin? I was able to determine if I earned it, so I was constantly looking around when I entered.

Stirling Moss, Lotus

Stirling Moss, Lotus

Photo: Sutton image

– Motorsports

How Stirling Moss Mastered Monaco to Defeat Ferrari in 1961

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