The title at the end of the road
Jody Scheckter qualified his Ferrari 312T4 on pole for the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix, a fraction faster than team-mate and main championship rival Gilles Villeneuve. Third fastest was Patrick Depailler in a Ligier, half a second behind.
The South-African led all the way, but it was not an easy victory. Villeneuve pushed hard in the early stages, trying to unsettle his team-mate, until transmission problems forced him to retire. Then Clay Regazzoni (Williams), who had qualified a distant 16th, stormed through the field to finish less than half a second behind the winner.
It was an important win for Jody Scheckter in his quest for the drivers’ title: these 9 points, and the retirement of Villeneuve, gave him for the first time the lead in the standings. Later, in September at Monza, the South-African was crowned F1 World Champion in front of all the Ferrari fans (picture below).
Monaco was also the last Formula One race for 1976 World Champion James Hunt. The Brit, who lost his motivation for racing, qualified 10th in his Wolf, before retiring after four laps with a transmission problem. A discreet exit for the flamboyant Hunt.