Back when safety wasn't that much of a concern.
Formula 1 still remains the Queen of Motorsport, but we have to admit that it looked a lot more interesting 56 years ago. We have stumbled upon a video of an amazingly high quality from the Monaco race weekend shot on 70mm film and featured in the 1962 German documentary Flying Clipper a.k.a. Mediterranean Holiday.
The video goes to show how much the Monte Carlo track has changed in the last five decades and also how safety wasn’t much of a priority in the early 1960s. It’s worth mentioning that the onboard footage is not from the actual race as most likely it was filmed earlier that weekend, but definitely worth a watch.
Held on June 3, 1962, the Monaco Grand Prix was won by none other than Bruce McLaren driving for Cooper-Climax, ahead of the Ferraris belonging to Phil Hill and Lorenzo Bandini. While all of today’s F1 have to use a 1.6-liter V6, rules weren’t as strict back then. Flat-fours, V6s, and V8s were at the starting grid, along with the flat-eights of Porsche and De Tomaso.
With so many engines – all of which were 1.5-liter units - the soundtrack was varied and dare we say a lot more alluring compared to the current crop of highly intricate hybrid powertrains. The engines used in the 1.5-liter era (1961-1965) developed only a fraction of the power available today considering the Porsche 804 with its flat-eight had almost 180 hp while Mercedes-AMG is close to hitting the 1,000-hp mark. Even so, the sound was way better.
It will be interesting to see how Formula 1 will change in the next 56 years and whether the cars will still have a combustion engine taking into account downsizing has had a great impact and Formula E is gaining traction. Hopefully, we’ll all still be around in 2074 to find out...