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Moments in Time - the Monaco Grand Prix

20 May 2014

In our series exploring the history of Grands Prix through a selection of iconic images, we focus the lens on Monaco. This trip down memory lane takes in seawater-induced chaos, one of the most dramatic finishes of all time, a huge first-corner shunt, an unusual celebration and more…

Ocean spray causes chaos, 1950

As if racing around the tight confines of Monaco wasn’t hard enough, on the first lap of the 1950 race - which occurred just eight days after the inaugural round of the world championship in Great Britain - the drivers arrived at Tabac corner (so named because of the tobacconist’s shop you can see in the background of this picture) to find an unexpectedly sodden track. It transpired that a particularly stiff breeze had swept water over the harbour wall and onto the track, instigating the chaotic scenes visible in this picture. Giuseppe Farina - who was running second to fellow Alfa pilot Juan Manuel Fangio - was the first to lose control of his car (pictured far left), and was subsequently collected by Froilan Gonzalez’s Maserati. Seeing the accident, Luigi Fagioli hit the brakes only to be hit by Louis Rosier’s Talbot who in turn had been pranged by Robert Manzon’s Simca. In total ten cars were eliminated in the pile-up, but Alberto Ascari (car 40 on the right of this picture) managed to wriggle his Ferrari 125 through the carnage and eventually came home second to Fangio.

(© LAT Photographic)

Mighty Moss puts on a Monaco masterclass, 1961

In the 1960 Monaco race, Stirling Moss took the Lotus marque’s first Grand Prix win with a privately-entered Lotus 18. When the Briton returned to the Principality a year later with the same ageing, underpowered car, no one expected him to challenge for victory again, especially up against Ferrari’s powerful fleet of ‘sharknose’ 156s. Against the odds Moss set pole, but still there were doubters - even when he assumed the lead on race day. The Scuderia’s trio of Richie Ginther, Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips all tried in vain to catch Moss, but by churning out one qualifying-style lap after another, the Briton managed to keep them at arm’s-length all the way to the chequered flag. Unsurprisingly, the race is remembered as one of Moss’s finest, requiring not only supreme skill but maximum concentration, both of which are evident in this picture. You may notice that the side panels of his car are missing. According to the man himself, they were removed before the race to aid cooling.

(© Sutton Images)

Mr Monaco makes it a hat-trick of wins, 1965

It was not for nothing that Graham Hill was given the nickname ‘Mr Monaco’. Five of the moustachioed racer’s 14 career victories came on the streets of the Principality, a track which suited his derring-do driving style to a tee. One of Hill’s finest drives on the Riviera came in 1965 when he had to charge back through the field after losing the lead to a bungled pass on a backmarker. This picture, taken as Hill climbed back up the order, shows the Englishman’s green BRM rounding station hairpin between the Ferraris of John Surtees and race leader Lorenzo Bandini. Despite his early setback, Hill would go on to win by over a minute from Bandini.

(© Sutton Images)

Stewart reigns supreme at ‘new’ Monaco, 1973

It wasn’t until 1973 that the Monaco circuit took on the configuration that we recognise today, with the building of a harbour-front swimming pool causing major changes at the end of the lap. Meanwhile, further back around the track the tunnel was extended due to the building of the Loews Hotel next to ‘station’ hairpin - and in this picture you can see 1973 race winner Jackie Stewart piloting his Tyrrell 006 through this iconic section of track. The Scot’s third and final triumph in the Principality moved him level with friend and mentor Jim Clark on 25 career victories.

(© LAT Photographic)

Daly takes flight at the first corner, 1980

Ste Devote is a difficult corner at the best of times, but never more so than at the start of a race when 20-plus cars are all jostling for position. Unsurprisingly there have been several first-lap shunts at the bend, the most spectacular of which was surely the one pictured here in which Derek Daly’s Tyrrell hopped, skipped and jumped over several other cars. The carnage was triggered when the Irishman ran into the back of Bruno Giacomelli’s Alfa Romeo and was then launched into the air, vaulting Alain Prost’s McLaren and team mate Jean-Pierre Jarier’s car in quick succession. Amazingly, no one was hurt in the melee, but all four cars involved were eliminated on the spot.

(© LAT Photographic)

Patrese emerges triumphant after dramatic finish, 1982

Races in Monte Carlo are rarely dull, but it took until lap 74 of 76 for the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix to burst into life. It was at this point that long-time leader Alain Prost lost control of his Renault on the harbour front, allowing Brabham’s Riccardo Patrese to pick his way through the wreckage and into P1. Suddenly, the Italian looked set for a first F1 win, but moments later he too had spun to a standstill at the Loews hairpin, engine stalled. Ferrari’s Didier Pironi and Alfa Romeo’s Andrea de Cesaris had both made their way past the stricken Patrese before he was able to bump-start his car back to life with a little assistance from the marshals. But there was more drama to follow. Coming out of the tunnel on the final lap, Pironi’s car ran out of fuel and ground to a halt. Victory now looked set to pass to De Cesaris, only he too had stopped with an engine problem. So who would win? None other than a resurgent Patrese (pictured here spraying champagne), though he and the timekeepers were a little confused by the notion at first, even sending fifth-placed Elio de Angelis (pictured left, partially obscured by De Cesaris) up onto the podium by mistake…

(© Sutton Images)

Senna makes amends, 1989

In 1988 Ayrton Senna qualified an astonishing 1.4s ahead of McLaren team mate Alain Prost, but gifted his great rival victory in the race by crashing out of a dominant lead. A year later, the Brazilian was determined not to make the same mistake again. This time he qualified 1.1s ahead of Prost and although the Frenchman remained pinned to Senna’s tail in the early stages of the race, he had no answer when the Brazilian turned the wick up. This picture shows the duo climbing up Beau Rivage towards Massenet, just before Senna put in a string of fastest laps to open the gap. Senna eventually came home 52s ahead of Prost for his second victory in the Principality.

(© LAT Photographic)

Panis wins war of attrition, 1996

Given his late father’s record there, it was only natural that Damon - son of Graham - Hill would want to win in Monaco more than anywhere else, but despite his dominant start to the season, 1996 was not to be the Englishman’s year. Instead, F1 racing witnessed a different, though no less fitting, fairy tale as a Frenchman in a French car won on this most famous part of the French Riviera. Olivier Panis started the wet/dry race in 14th, but through a combination of high attrition (only three cars were running at the flag) and bold overtaking, he soon moved up the order. Despite a clash with Eddie Irvine’s Ferrari and a spin at the chicane, the Ligier driver found himself on course for a famous victory when first Hill’s Williams gave up the ghost and then Jean Alesi’s Benetton followed suit. Here Panis is pictured proudly flying theTricolore from his cockpit on the slowing down lap.

Schumacher and Alonso crash out of contention, 2004

There’s a certain irony to this picture which shows Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari passing the destroyed remains of Fernando Alonso’s Renault in the 2004 race. The Spaniard had just crashed in the tunnel whilst attempting an around-the-outside pass on Ralf Schumacher’s lapped Williams. Then, barely three laps later whilst the safety car was out to clear Alonso’s car, Michael Schumacher had a near identical crash in the tunnel after tangling with the other Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya.

(© Sutton Images)

Webber head over heels after perfect weekend in Monaco, 2010

How do you celebrate victory in Formula One racing’s most glamorous event? By back flipping into a swimming pool of course! The driver about to splashdown in this picture is Red Bull’s Mark Webber who’d just completed a near perfect weekend in the Principality. On the Saturday he claimed an inch-perfect pole position, whilst on the Sunday he brilliantly maintained his composure in a race that featured no fewer than four safety-car periods. Better still, the result lifted Webber above team mate Sebastian Vettel (dripping with water in the background of this shot) in the championship standings.

(© Sutton Images)