Letter from the Monaco Grand Prix - 8th May 97

Dear All,
Today saw the first Formula 1 action in our little city - unfortunately in the eyes of FOCA/FIA I still do not qualify as media (despite 2 years of trying) so no action pictures. I can show a little of the atmosphere though. The weather? sorry I nearly forgot - it was just sun, sun, sun - like always in Monaco ;-). For full details of todays events see our GALE FORCE F1 page for Monaco.

Here's more photos from the old digital (all pictures are clickable and the IMAGE MAP page links most of the pictures to a plan of the circuit):

This is the Weather Reference shot taken from near the Palace (that's the Palace just below the big rock). This shot was taken about 12h30pm just before the second half of the practice session.
Here are some nice shots of the port taken from the same place as above:
This shot shows the Williams cars forming the queue for the weighing machine. Just in front of the white van you can see the corner where HH would destroy one of these cars in a few hours time.
You had to be there. We are sitting on the rock. In the middle of all those trees are the pits, off to the bottom right of the picture is the paddock. Every driver has to leave the paddock and pass that stand to get to the pits. The crowd were crazy - Alesi, Prost, Schumacher, Todt, Panis, Stewart, Berger and many more received absolute standing cheering ovations. This was LOUDER than F1 engines. I think it's the sun that does it...
Ever wondered what type of lens they have on the camera which gives the high-up shot of the port and seems to zoom forever? Well here it is.
When you have run 55 Grand Prix's you learn all the tricks. Here we are on the road down from the rock to the port - note how Monaco has installed a metal cage over the bushes so that fans can jump up and down on top without hurting the plants.
In the evening I was invited to a party in the Cafe de Paris organised by our friends at Grand Prix Tours - and guess who was the guest of honour - non other than hero of the day (and fastest driver) Johnny Herbert. We had a short chat about cars and computers and stuff. He seems to be a really nice guy who just takes everything in his stride. One lady at the party asked if today was his best result (first in the first day of free practice). In the nicest possible way he did admit that actually he had won a Grand Prix once - lady retired with red face.

Till next time.

Best Regards

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Words and pictures by GALE FORCE of Monaco