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WATCH: Too tight to pass? 9 mighty Monaco overtakes

23 May 2016

Tight, twisty, bumpy and slippery - when it comes to overtaking, no circuit presents a bigger challenge than Monaco. But that’s not to say it’s impossible…

Schumacher passes Wurz, 1998

Wheel-to-wheel battles are not something you usually associate with Monaco, but 1998 saw a memorable three corner tete-a-tete in which Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher bullied his way past Benetton’s Alex Wurz to take second place. But Schumacher would pay the price for his strong-arm tactics, with his bump pass of the Austrian at Portier damaging his rear suspension and forcing him to pit for lengthy repairs.

Bellof passes Arnoux, 1984

Stefan Bellof sadly never lived long enough to show his full talent behind the wheel of an F1 car, but there were several occasions - such as at Monaco in 1984 - when he gave flashes of his outrageous potential. Having qualified his normally-aspirated Tyrrell dead last, the German had hauled his way up to P3 by the time the race was prematurely red flagged on lap 31. This bold, kerb-climbing overtake on Rene Arnoux’s Ferrari at Mirabeau - not a usual passing point - was one of several impressive moves he made along the way.

Raikkonen passes Hulkenberg, 2013

Having been forced to pit with nine laps to go after an overly ambitious move by Sergio Perez had left him with a puncture, Kimi Raikkonen returned to the track like a man possessed. Within eight laps he had risen from 16th to 11th, but it was this inspired around-the-outside move on Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg on the final lap that sealed the Iceman tenth place, and with it a hard-earned world championship point.

Mansell passes Prost, 1991

Nigel Mansell made late-race charges something of a speciality in his F1 career, and his run to second place on the streets of Monaco in 1991 was a prime example. Having been slowed by intermittent engine trouble early in the Grand Prix, the burly British racer sealed P2 with this fully tyre-smoking pass of Alain Prost at the chicane, 15 laps from home. Whether the Frenchman - his mirrors full of Williams - thought better of defending too hard is open to debate, but there’s no doubting Mansell’s full-blooded commitment. 

Perez passes Button, 2013

Sergio Perez was in a feisty mood at Monaco in 2013 – and he seemed determined to make the harbour-side chicane his own personal passing ground. Unfortunately for the Mexican, this exquisitely executed move on McLaren team mate Jenson Button was the only one that came off. A carbon copy overtaking attempt on Fernando Alonso failed, whilst the less said about his moves on Kimi Raikkonen - the latter of which ended with Perez in the barriers and the Iceman threatening physical violence - the better…

Fisichella passes Coulthard and Villeneuve, 2006

Passing anyone at Monaco is an achievement, even with a car advantage, so you have to give maximum credit to Giancarlo Fisichella for managing two overtakes in successive laps in the 2006 race in the Principality. And if his first move, on David Coulthard for P11, was a little ragged, his second pass on Jacques Villeneuve - which included a classic ‘fake’ out of the tunnel - was nothing short of sensational.   

Senna passes Lauda, 1984

A pass on a pit straight might not ordinarily stand out, but Ayrton Senna’s move on Niki Lauda in driving rain at Monaco in 1984 was both brave and significant. Here was an emerging superstar announcing himself on the world stage by ducking out of a wall of spray behind the then two-time world champion’s McLaren, his Toleman, writhing underneath him in a constant battle for grip, blazing confidently through the puddles. Senna would make harder passes in his career, but this remains one of the more iconic.   

Hulkenberg passes Magnussen, 2014

Monaco’s Portier corner is famous for, amongst other things, being the place where Ayrton Senna pranged his McLaren while cruising to victory in 1988. But it was also the location for one of the finest Monaco overtakes of recent years, when Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg brilliantly made an opportunistic lunge up the inside of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren stick.

Verstappen passes Maldonado, 2015

Max Verstappen would ultimately end his first Monaco Grand Prix with a heavy impact into the barriers at Ste Devote after a botched overtaking attempt on Romain Grosjean. But before that error - and the inevitable criticism that followed - the Dutch teenager had looked more than at home on the Principality’s streets, as this courageous and perfectly judged move on the other Lotus of Pastor Maldonado proved.