Letter from the Monaco Grand Prix - 9th May 97

Dear All,
Today had no Formula 1 but we did have some Porsche and Renault action in the morning. In the afternoon the track was open to normal traffic so I took a trip to the 'Marlboro Experience' and generally hung around the pits.

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

This is the Weather Reference shot taken from the end of the paddock, it was actually one of the last pictures today so the weather doesn't really match up with our next shot...
..Which shows the Porsches leaving pit lane for their free session. The picture was taken from the very end of the K grandstand on the port. To the left you can just see the race control center.
Here's some track action taken from the stand that backs on to the swimming pool.
Then we moved to the other end of the K stand. In the distance you can see the chicane stand. To the left of the crane you can see the large TV. Note all the boats which are moved off the wall just in case someone does a real flyer...
See this guy cleaning the boat. He's just opposite us. These Porsches blasted past about 10 meters from him and he never once looked up - maybe he had his Walkman on!
Here are some more shots from this position.
And then round to Casino Square to watch the Renault Spiders (pronounced Speeder in French) practice.
This is the mechanics race as they take all their spares back to the 'Spider Paddock' after the session.
and here's the Spider that didn't make it. He came into Casino Square sideways and just bounced about a bit.
This the the 'Marlboro Experience' - for adults only. Its a sort of Ferrari/Marlboro roadshow with dancing girls, loud techno music, cars hanging from the wall, changing Ferrari tyres competition, a picture of yourself in a Ferrari booth (there was about 5 Ferrari F1 cars) and a Monaco Postage Stamps Shop (what? yes really.)
Back to the more gentle world of Formula 1. This is the TV truck and Sat Dish farm. To the right of center you can see the English ITV truck with its BT uplink van.
Can a team sponsor a stand? It seems Prost fans have taken over this one at Rascasse. (It was just after this that I took our weather reference shot above - not a very good reference really.)
Here we are in the Paddock, on the left are the public, on the road are the Press and in the tents are the teams.
This is the entrance to the Paddock - lots of people milling around in case Schumacher makes an entrance (or exit).
After the Paddock I went round to the pits. Loads of people around the weigh-in - I saw an Arrows so I dashed into the crowd to try get a shot - and oops ran into this yellow one - sorry Ralph.
Finally got this half shot of Damons car - boy did they have fun trying to get through the crowd - I think the Police had gone for lunch.
I went into the stands to get a better shot of the Jordan and found they had decided to do a pit stop demo for the crowd - what a nice team.
This is the crowd I am talking about. We are actually at the pit lane entrance - to the far right are the Williams pits. I've drawn some lines for navigation. At the bottom of the line on the left is Damon's car, in the center is Ralph's car and under the right hand line is the weigh-in.
From the other end of this stand you can see down into the Williams pits. They were also running tyre changing demos for the crowd.
After some serious use of the elbow I managed to see some more of their demo.
Where has everyone gone?
To the pit lane party.
Drinks provided by Jordan.
The nibbles provided by Prost - some of those round black chewy things with the crunchy centers.
Monaco - this poster says it all.

Till next time.

Best Regards

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Words and pictures by GALE FORCE of Monaco