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Monte Carlo Stories: Park Maneuvers and Mass Crashes

Monte Carlo stories
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M onte Carlo is the classic in the GP calendar. The Grand Prix of the rich and famous, the accidents and traffic jams, the famous corners and crazy races. In short: The greatest anachronism in sport.

800 hp cars in the city are like an elephant on a tightrope. Monte Carlo has the slowest corner (42 km /h), the longest tunnel (400 meters), the smallest run-off zones (zero), the shortest track length (3,340 meters).

But the highlight of Formula 1 Season has even more to offer. Loads of stories. On May 21, 1950, the premier class drove through the city for the first time. The current edition is the 62nd Monaco Grand Prix. We remember curiosities, records, triumphs and dramas.

Curious stories from the Monaco GP:

Did you know that the Monaco GP from 1951 to 1954 was only advertised for sports cars.

The first major collision occurred at the second Grand Prix in history. Nino Farina had strayed from the track in the tobacco corner and got stuck in the Alfa Romeo of team-mate Luigi Fagioli. A total of nine cars were eliminated on the first lap. Two injured drivers were left on the battlefield. Franco Rol broke his arm. Froilan Gonzalez was burned.

In 1959, 1962, 1974, 1980, 1990, 1994 and 1995 there were collisions with more than three cars. The most famous was the start-up crash in 1980. Derek Daly slowed the Ste. Dévote curve too late, landed in the rear of Bruno Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo and climbed up there. The Tyrrell spun like a spinning top over Alain Prost's McLaren and landed directly on the nose of Jean Pierre Jarier's other Tyrrell. Result: Two Tyrrell, a McLaren and an Alfa Romeo stood dented at the edge of the track.

Two drivers have already fallen into the harbor basin in Monaco. In 1955 Alberto Ascari went overboard in the port chicane. In 1965, Paul Hawkins sank his Lotus in the sea. Like Ascari, the Australian was able to free himself and got away with the horror.

Monaco opened the season five times. In 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1966 the starting gun was fired on the Côte d'Azur.

The GP Monaco 1950 was the slowest race of all time with an average of 98.701 km /h.

The most tragic accident in Monaco occurred1967 in the harbor chicane. Lorenzo Bandini threaded it and hit the bales of straw. The Ferrari overturned and caught fire. The unfortunate Bandini was pulled out of the flames far too late. He died in the hospital three days later. Then the race distance was shortened from 100 to 80 laps. Bandini was assumed to have made a concentration error.

Lorenzo Bandini is the only driver who died at the Monaco GP. In 1962, a marshal was killed in a collision at the start.

10 of the 61 Monaco Grand Prix took place in the rain. Jean-Pierre Beltoise's journey in the rain will not be forgotten. The Frenchman, who died in January, led from the first to the 80th round. A balancing act over 2: 26.54.7 hours.

The safety car was sent out onto the track in 11 Grand Prix - for a total of 21 missions. In 2011 and 2013 the race was completely interrupted. In 2011 for 21 minutes because of an accident by Vitaly Petrov, in 2013 after a crash by Pastor Maldonado for 25 minutes.

Formula 1 drove on a total of eight route variants through Monte Carlo. Originally a lap measured 3,180 meters. Today it is 3,340 meters. In the first version the course had 13 turns. Today there are 21. The swimming pool section and Rascasse have only existed since 1973. Originally, the start was on the straight between the tobacco curve and the gasometer hairpin.

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest training time of all in 2011 with 1.13.556 minutes Times on. That corresponded to an average of 163.467 km /h.

Monaco is the race of serial winners and one-day flies. Not only with the drivers, where Ayrton Senna holds the record with six wins, while Jean-Pierre Beltoise (1972), Olivier Panis (1996) and Jarno Trulli (2004) won their only Grand Prix here. It's similar with the teams. McLaren leads the Monaco rankings by a wide margin with 15 wins. Ferrari drivers only stood in the royal box eight times. Alfa Romeo (1950), Wolf (1977), Ligier (1996) and BrawnGP (2009) won only one Grand Prix each in the Principality.

In 1957, the Grand Prix covered the longest distance. Winner Juan-Manuel Fangio was only flagged after 105 laps. That corresponded to a distance of 330.225 kilometers. The shortest Monte Carlo race took place in 1984. After 31 laps or 102.672 kilometers, Alain Prost saw the checkered flag. Heavy rain caused race director Jacky Ickx to stop.

Taki Inoue was an involuntary leading actor in training in 1995 in one of the strangest Formula 1 accidents of all time. The Japanese was dragged back to the boxes after a spin. Safety car driver Jean Ragnotti overlooked the convoy during his inspection round and crashed into the arrows in his Renault Clio at the swimming pool. He overturned and buried Inoue, who was no longer wearing a seat belt. After the rescue, the accident pilot was unconscious for 5 minutes, but otherwise unharmed.

InMonte Carlo has already seen many cars fly: in 1974 Hans-Joachim Stuck after a collision with James Hunt. 1979 Didier Pironi after a rear-end collision against Niki Lauda. In 1983 Marc Surer and Derek Warwick crashed into each other at the end of the home straight. Two years later Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese. In 1986 Patrick Tambay stumbled upon Martin Brundle's Tyrrell in the Mirabeau curve. In 1987, Michele Alboreto's Ferrari became an airplane when it collided with Christian Danner's Zakspeed on the slope up to the casino. And in 2010 Jarno Trulli's Caterham landed on Karun Chandhok's HRT.

Everyone is talking about Michael Schumacher's 2006 parking maneuver, which earned the four-time Monaco winner the last starting place as a penalty, because it gave Fernando Alonso the possible Pole position stolen. But the most incredible parking maneuver was performed by Ivan Capelli in the Rascasse corner in 1992. The Italian put his Ferrari upright against the guardrail during the race. Involuntarily, of course.

Traffic jams are not uncommon in the narrow streets of Monte Carlo. In 1990, after a crash between Alain Prost and Jean Alesi, it jammed in the Mirabeau curve. In 2000, after a collision on the opening lap, eight cars got stuck in front of the Loews corner. In both cases there was a restart. The bottleneck was also the scene of a traffic jam in 2008.

Nine Monaco Grand Prix were prematurely canceled or restarted. 1975, 1984, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2008, 2011 and 2013. Four of them because the two-hour rule was exceeded (1975, 1996, 1997, 2008).

In 1981 the start was one hour postponed. A fire in the Loews Hotel was to blame. The extinguishing water penetrated through the tunnel roof and flooded the racetrack. Outside it was beautiful summer weather.

In 1982 there was a Grand Prix that nobody wanted to win: First Alan Prost crashed while in the lead. Three laps to go. Then the new leader Riccardo Patrese turned in the Loews hairpin, was pushed and drove on in third place. The next front runners did not finish either. Andrea de Cesaris ran out of fuel. In Didier Pironi's Ferrari, the injection failed. So Patrese won again. Without team boss Bernie Ecclestone. The Brabham boss left the route prematurely out of anger at Father's lathe.

Photo finishes are not uncommon in Monaco. In 2003, the first three Juan-Pablo Montoya were separated by 1.72 seconds. Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher. In 2012, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel crossed the finish line within 1.343 seconds. In 1992 Ayrton Senna saved 0.215 seconds from Nigel Mansell over the finish line. In 1979 Clay Regazzoni caught up 0.44 seconds behind winner Jody Scheckter. The most electrifying finish, however, was in 1970. Jochen Rindt caught the leading Jack Brabham in the last corner of the last lap. Brabham let himself be irritated by the approaching Lotus andSlipped understeer in the gasometer curve into the straw bales. He finished second with a damaged car.

In our gallery we show you some highlights from Monaco history.


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