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Ayrton Senna’s sensational qualifying lap and other dramatic Monaco Grand Prix moments

There has been no shortage of Formula One drama in Monte Carlo

Denzil Pinto 2018/05/25

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and the rest of Formula One’s elite drivers have descended on France and the picturesque settings of Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

Since it was first held in 1929, the race has gone from strength to strength and as well as its glitz and glamour, the street circuit usually provides plenty of drama on the track.

Ahead of Sunday’s race, we look back at five dramatic moments of the Monaco Grand Prix.

1988 – AYRTON SENNA’S SENSATIONAL QUALIFYING LAP

The Brazilian legend had already topped the same session three years earlier but this time, he proved his class with a mesmerising drive. The McLaren superstar drove around the circuit with such precision and speed that he claimed pole position by a staggering 1.427 seconds ahead of his team-mate and rival Alain Prost. It’s really no surprise considering he won in the streets of the principality six times.

1992 – ENTHRALLING BATTLE BETWEEN AYRTON SENNA AND NIGEL MANSELL

It was wheel-to-wheel stuff from two exceptional drivers. Mansell pitted on lap 71 thinking he had a punctured tyre but Senna surged ahead and took a huge step to claiming his fourth title in the south of France. But Mansell cancelled the seven-second deficit to put him on the tail of the McLaren driver.

The pair then produced an enthralling final three laps as Mansell did his best to pressurise the Brazilian, who just about kept his cool to cross the line in first place.

1996 – 22 STARTERS BUT JUST FOUR FINISHERS

The drivers’ preparations were  hit before the race had even begun when rain washed out the track and made conditions extremely difficult to drive in. In the first three laps, seven cars crashed out while four left the race for mechanical reasons. Olivier Panis won the race but you have to feel for Heinz-Harald Frentzen who was the only driver to finish and not get on the podium.

2006 – MICHAEL SCHUMACHER PARKS HIS CAR

There was controversy 12 years ago with all eyes on Michael Schumacher.  The Ferrari man parked his car in the middle of Rascasse, which caused officials to bring out the yellow flags so nobody could steal his pole position. He later paid the price as the German was penalised for his actions and forced to start from the back of the grid. He went on to finish fifth.

2015 – MERCEDES AND HAMILTON PAY THE PRICE FOR STRATEGIC ERROR

On a circuit in which it is hard to overtake, making the right decisions of when to pit is key for any driver to taste success. Unfortunately, Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team learnt the hard way in 2015. Leading the race by 24 seconds, a Mercedes strategic error under a Virtual and then Safety car led to the Briton pitting late and subsequently dropping to third, behind rivals Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, neither of whom opted to stop.

 

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