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

Denzil Pinto 25/05/2018
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Iconic track: Monaco Grand Prix is one of the highlights on the F1 calendar

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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Dubai-born racer Ed Jones endures tough qualifying, but is ready for Indianapolis 500 return

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Ed Jones in his IndyCar.

Ed Jones is confident he has “a good race car” underneath him as he prepares to tackle the biggest event on his 2018 calendar, after safely qualifying for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ – the legendary Indianapolis 500.

The talented young UAE-born ace, 23, is currently five races into his sophomore season in the fiercely-disputed IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing, sitting 14th in the standings among the 28 high-calibre contenders, with a brace of top-ten finishes to his credit including a breakthrough maiden podium around the Streets of Long Beach last month.

While that marked Jones’ first visit to the IndyCar rostrum, it was not his first top-three result – that came this time last year on his Indy 500 debut, as he grabbed headlines with a mature, composed and phenomenally impressive performance that belied his comparative lack of experience at the pinnacle of US open-wheel competition.

Fast forward 12 months, and the 2016 Indy Lights Champion and 2017 IndyCar ‘Rookie of the Year’ is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday’s main event.

In second qualifying last Sunday, a small error on his third lap restricted Jones to a frustrated 29th on the grid behind the wheel of his 720bhp Dallara-Honda single-seater. But he remains upbeat about his prospects of moving forward in the 102nd edition of what is the largest single-day sporting event in the world.

“I went into Turn One and just lost the front of the car,” explained the former European F3 Open Champion. “I was heading for the wall on the exit so had to lift, which destroyed my momentum.

“That lap really hurt my average and it was very disappointing to have that happen, especially after having a solid car on Saturday.

“I felt so bad letting the team down, but we have a good race car that drafts up very well to the other cars – maybe even better than the one I had last year.”

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Abu Dhabi Racing driver Mohamed Al Mutawaa looking forward to next Peugeot 208 Rally Cup challenge

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Abu Dhabi Racing driver Mohamed Al Mutawaa is looking forward to his next challenge following the Rallye d’An3bes, round two of the seven-round Peugeot 208 Rally Cup, on tarmac, which was held from May 17-20.

Aaron Johnston was Al Mutawaa’s co-driver who was behind the wheel of a Peugeot 208 R2.

Al Mutawaa made the most of the prevailing difficult conditions at his second outing at the event in France, coming home 83rd overall in the Ivory Coast.

The ADR junior driver was happy to have finished his first tarmac rally behind the wheel of an R2, saying: “The rally was tough but we learnt a lot both as a team and individually.

“There were plenty of variations in the corners with plenty of consecutive corners posing more challenges. We are now looking forward to the next event, Rallye Vosges, from June 9-10 .”

Al Mutawaa thanked Abu Dhabi Racing chairman Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi for his unflinching support for him over the years.

The 2018 Peugeot 208 Rally Cup is Peugeot Sport’s one-make trophy organised within the framework of the FFSA French Rally Championship. Based on the Peugeot 208 R2, the series is open to experienced, new drivers and teams alike.

Drivers aged less than 27 are eligible for the top prize which will be a high-profile programme in a four-wheel drive car if they come first in the overall standings.

2018 CALENDAR – 2018 PEUGEOT RALLY CUP

June 9-10 Rallye Vosges (asphalt)

July 5-7 Rallye du Rouergue (asphalt)

September 6-8 Rallye du Mont Blanc (asphalt)

October 12-14 Rallye Terre des Cardabelles (gravel)

November 22- 25 Rallye du Var (asphalt)

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