Greatest Moments in Monaco Racing History [w/videos]
Earlier this month we showed you what the uber-luxurious Principality of Monaco had to offer in the way of a car show, aptly named Top Marques at Monaco. But in all honesty, as ostentatious as that car show was, it’s not what Monaco is known for. Not by a long shot.
Described as crown jewel of the Formula One calendar, the Monaco GP is the race that all racing drivers want to win. Cloaked in history and glamour, the Monaco race is held in the streets themselves and at speeds scratching 150 mph and with literally no run-off to boot… well there is the harbor. Once described by F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet Sr., the race is like “riding your bicycle around your living room”.
So with over seven hundred horsepower and speeds reaching 150 mph there should be no shortage of great moments.
Michael Schumacher secures the provisional Pole position and with that being valuable in the streets of Monaco, Schumi “accidentally” parks his car at the hairpin. Thus preventing any faster laps. The race marshals didn’t find it so clever. He started the race at the back of the grid.
From ’84 to ’93 only two different people won the Monaco race. One of whom was Ayrton Senna. Famously (if it weren’t famous it wouldn’t be on the list), Ayrton was in first and lapping the track a full two seconds faster than his teammate, Alan Prost, in an identical car.
With a handful of laps left and a 55 second lead over his second placed eammate, the team radioed him to slow down. The act of slowing down broke his concentration and he crashed. Senna later described the whole race as an outer body experience and a period of divine concentration…
Alberto Ascari, the first official F1 World Champion, comes out of the tunnel, over-cooks the chicane and launches his Formula One car into the French Riviera. He surfaces seconds later and swims to safety. In doing so, he shows the world what kind of immortals drive F1 cars and lets yacht owners know where not to park.
Jack Brabham was best described in a Formula 1 car as a surgeon. Add that on top of the fact that Monaco is near impossible to set up passes, if you found yourself behind Brabham, consider that your finishing position. Jochen Rindt happened to find himself I that exact position at the 1970 running at Monaco.
Lap after lap, Rindt was hounding Brabham but to no avail. In the last corner of the last lap Brabham goes to insure his victory and protects his racing line. In doing so he slides off line and into the barrier. Rindt seizes the opportunity and could not believe what had just happened. Just as surprised as Rindt the Finish line marshal didn’t even drop the checkered, counting on Jack ‘Black Jack’ Brabham to take the win.
Photo Credit: afsilva and Cory Wendorf, WTF1.co.uk