Picking the best Monaco Grand Prix

MoneySupermarket.com is running a competition in which F1 Blogger’s have to pick their favourite Monaco Grand Prix and explain why. You could probably guess that this is an extremely hard task. How can one pick the best race at the best track? It would be easier to walk to the moon!

But yet loving a competition, I sat down and thought about it. I decided that I would not pick the 1951, 1953 or 1954 Grand Prix as my favourite. Why? Because the Monaco Grand Prix wasn’t held this year. Great. 3 down, 59 to go.

Being a Mark Webber fan, I considered the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix. I’m also a Schumacher fan, so a weekend when Michael Schumacher claimed pole position, temporarily, and Mark Webber won, would be a sure thing for me. But, knowing that people who are not Webber fans found it boring, I eventually dismissed this idea.

And so I set into my research. But as I read about each Grand Prix I became even more indecisive, realising how many great Monaco Grand Prix there have been.

I did, However, finally manage to narrow my list down to four Grand Prix.

– 1969
– 1982
– 1984
– 1994

1969 – The 1969 Monaco Grand Prix is notable for being the first pole position for Sir Jackie Stewart and also the last win for ‘Mr. Monaco’, Graham Hill.

1982 – The 1982 Monaco Grand Prix is notable for being “the race nobody wanted to win”.

1984 – The 1984 Monaco Grand Prix is notable for being Ayrton Senna’s first Monaco Grand Prix. He took the lead from Prost but the race was red flagged by Jacky Ickx who deemed the race too dangerous. This gave the race win to Prost. This decision was controversial as the track was starting to dry AND Prost was racing with a Porsche engine, with whom Ickx worked.

1994 – The 1994 Monaco Grand Prix is notable for being the first Grand Prix after the death of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger. The FIA chose to leave the first two grid boxes empty in respect of the two drivers, and painted a Brazilian flag in one box and a Polish flag in the other.

It took a long time, but I finally decided that in my opinion, The 1982 Monaco Grand Prix was the best Monaco Grand Prix in the Formula One calendar.

Here is the report.

1982 Monaco Grand Prix

The mood in the Paddock was sombre. Just two weeks beforehand, Gilles Villeneuve lost his life at the Belgian Grand Prix. Ferrari chose not to use a reserve driver for the Grand Prix and instead only ran one car.

The top five in Qualifying consisted of Rene Arnoux in Pole Position, Riccardo Patrese second, Bruno Giacomelli third, Alain Prost fourth and Keke Rosberg fifth.

Arnoux kept his lead off the line and there was no incidents at the start. Giacomelli jumped Patrese for 2nd place and Patrese dropped to 3rd while Andrea De Cesaris jumped Michele Alboreto and Keke Rosberg to 6th. Prost took advantage of Patrese going wide to take 3rd and Giacomelli who was second, retired on Lap 4 with an axle problem which promoted Prost to 2nd. It was a parade, with no overtaking until Lap 15 when Arnoux spun his car and stalled. Prost took the lead of the race but Patrese was looking menacing and started to close in.

But although Patrese caught Prost, he could do nothing to pass the Frenchman in the tight streets of Monte Carlo.

It was yet another parade for most of the race until on Lap 65, the rain began to fall. Keke Rosberg was the first to retire after hitting a barrier almost straight away when the rain fell. Daly copied Rosberg and hit the barrier at Tabac, but managed to keep going although he was now minus a rear wing and he was loosing oil. Lap 74 of 76 saw Prost who had been leading the race, hitting the barriers hard at the swimming pool chicane. Patrese took lead of the race. For a lap. On lap 75 he spun at the Loews hairpin which let Pironi take the lead.

Pironi began to celebrate his win when he crossed the line for his last lap, waving to the crowd. . . But he was going slowly! He was out of fuel! De Cesaris stormed in to take the lead but then he too ran out of fuel! And so, the win was to be claimed by Irishman Derek Daly. Until, with just corners left, he ran out of oil!

At this stage, baffled officials and commentators had no idea who was winning until Riccardo Patrese who had re-started his car crossed the line.

The amazing final few laps of the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix highlight just why the Monaco Grand Prix is the best track on the calendar. Anything can happen!

This is my entry to the “F1ashback” competition run by MoneySupermarket.com in conjunction with http://www.worldchoicesport.co.uk/ which is open to any F1 Blogger who is passionate about F1, to win two tickets for the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix. If you are a blogger and want to enter, All you have to do is write an article on your favourite Monaco Grand Prix and why it is your favourite including what separates it from the other Monaco Grand Prix. The article must be at least 500 words long and have a 100 word description of the competition on the bottom of the article. You must publish the article by Wednesday 26th of September.

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