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Classic onboard - Modena navigates Monza madness

31 Aug 2016

The start of the 1990 Italian Grand Prix had a bit of everything - a 26-car grid, several wild moments, spins and even a roll, which also triggered the red flags to fly. In the midst of it all, we ride with Brabham's Stefano Modena for a very unique look at an explosive opening lap at the 'temple of speed'...

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Ever wondered what it would feel like to start a Grand Prix, when every split-second counts amidst a swarm of screaming engines, every driver fighting for track position or the optimum line? A rearward-facing camera on Stefano Modena's car gives a very good sense of what the Brabham driver had to contend with in 1990, as a poor initial getaway from 17th on the grid leaves him vulnerable to attack from the likes of Arrows’ Alex Caffi. Modena does a superb job of thinking on his feet to hold off such attacks and stay out of trouble - which is more that can be said for the field in general. Emanuele Pirro is the first man to be caught out, spinning onto the grass at Rettifilo - which jinks left and right twice, as opposed to the current right-left chicane. The real drama is yet to come: up the road Derek Warwick goes off and turns his Lotus upside down at Parabolica, forcing Modena to pick his way very carefully through the resulting chaos. With the race red flagged, Warwick was remarkably able to run back to the garage and take to the restart in the spare. Modena wasn't so lucky - he fell to the back of the field at the second restart, and eventually retired at one-third distance.