|Posted on May 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM|
The Grand Prix de Monaco is the most prestigious and glamorous race on the Formula 1 calendar. Over the years the street circuit has delivered jaw-dropping, non-stop action against a breathtaking backdrop on the streets of Monte Carlo. Without fail the race continues to up the ante each year; and just when you think Monaco has shown you all of its tricks, this Grand Prix manages to shock and surprise once again. As we are about to head into the 72nd intoxicating race weekend in the Principality, we look back at some of the race’s unforgettable highlights.
Memorable Moments from Monte Carlo
The first Grand Prix de Monaco was held, organised by Antony Noghès under the auspices of the “Automobile Club de Monaco”. France’s William Grover-Williams took victory.
Louis Chiron became the first and only Monegasque to ever win in Monaco. Starting from 11th place on the grid, the hometown hero showed his ability in his Bugatti, finishing almost four minutes ahead of second-placed Luigi Fagioli.
The event was cancelled due to the death of Prince Louis II of Monaco.
The race was included on the calendar in the inaugural FIA World Championship of Drivers. It was a notable race as it was the first time a Grand Chelem (or Grand Slam) was achieved in Formula 1. Juan-Manual Fangio scored this by qualifying in pole position, clocking the fastest lap, leading every lap and winning the Grand Prix.
Louis Chiron scored points in his final home race, finishing sixth. At age 55 years and 292 days, he was the oldest driver to compete in a Formula 1 Grand Prix and still holds that record today.
Graham Hill’s domination saw him crowned the “King of Monaco” after winning five times in seven years (1963-1965 and 1968-1969).
Jack Brabham spectacularly lost the lead at the last corner on the last lap when he thumped into the barrier, handing victory to Jochen Rindt.
Arguably the most eventful race in Monaco’s Formula 1 history is the chaotic 1982 event. After qualifying fastest, Rene Arnoux led the pack before losing control of his Renault and spinning out on Lap 15. His teammate Alain Prost took the lead until, with just two laps to go, he lost control coming out of the harbour-front chicane and slammed into the barrier. During the final laps, the lead changed six times until Ricardo Patrese took victory after bump-starting his car on the second-last lap.
This period saw what is regarded as one of the greatest rivalries in Formula 1 history between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, and the pair dominated Monaco for ten years. Perhaps the sport’s most contentious race, the rain-soaked 1984 Grand Prix was controversially red-flagged at the end of lap 32 with Senna passing Prost before the finish line. But Senna’s “victory” was short-lived; the positions were taken from the previous lap where Prost led, giving the Frenchman his first of four wins in Monaco. Senna would eventually win a record six times; including the heart-stopping 1992 Grand Prix battle with Nigel Mansell where he crossed the line first by just two-tenths of a second.
Wet weather caused chaos on the track, and a new Formula 1 record was set when only three cars finished the race (Olivier Panis, David Coulthard and Johnny Herbert).
Michael Schumacher, sitting on provisional pole as qualifying came to a close, controversially stopped his car in the middle of the Rascasse hairpin. The now infamous tactic forced all drivers to slow down, including rival Fernando Alonso who was going quicker than the German, and looked to take pole. Schumacher claimed it was an accident but race officials disagreed and he started the race from the back of the grid. Alonso went on to win comfortably.
Nico Rosberg wins on home soil for the first time (the German born driver grew up in Monaco and currently resides in the Principality), thirty years after father Keke’s first win and only win here. Nico’s victory makes them the first and currently only father and son both to win in Monaco.
Categories: Formula 1 Features