Written by Staff Writer
25 May, 2015 | 5:40 pm
Formula 1 had its 6th race of the 2015 season on Sunday, 24th May, at the most iconic track on its calendar. Monte Carlo’s famous and unforgiving Circuit de Monaco is one of the most toughest test of speed and control for a Formula 1 driver and to win at Monaco, is a feeling like no other.
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen explained the Grand Prix saying that “it is a circuit like no other, narrow, tight, sinuous, tortuous, bumpy, yumpy”. There is almost no run-off area on the track meaning one wrong move could send you hurtling into the barriers. The Finn noted that to be successful at Monaco, the driver must stay away from the unforgiving guardrails but at the same time use as much of the track as possible, aiming to use all but the last 5 cm before the ‘unyielding steel’, on entry, apex and exit. The double world champion who won at Monaco in 1998 stated that being quick and using as much of the track as possible requires meticulous judgment, unflinching commitment and real courage.
Monaco, by all means, is not an easy track to tame. But, there have been just a handful who have accomplished this feat. Britain’s Graham Hill was known as ‘The King of Monaco’ and ‘Mr. Monaco’ in his time, as the Brit won Monaco not once but five times and three of them consecutively in 1963, 1964, 1965, bagging the other two in 1968 and 1969.
The next great who tamed the mighty track was known as ‘The Professor’ in formula 1, the great Alain Prost who won the race four times in his career, three of them consecutively in 1984, 1985 and 1986 the other came in 1988. But, The driver who tamed the track and raced there as if it was his back-yard was the great Ayrton Senna, who was also known as ‘Magic Senna’. Senna captured everyone’s attention in Monaco during the rain-soaked 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, which was also his first time racing in Monaco in a
Formula 1 car. Alain Prost won the race but it was Senna who shined, as the great drove an un-competitive Toleman car, challenging Alain Prost for the lead before the race came to a premature end, rewarding the race to Prost, leaving Senna 2nd on the podium. Senna won the prestigious race more times than anyone else, a staggering six times. His first victory came in 1987 and the rest consecutively in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993.
So only three drivers had ever won at the glamorous track more than three times consecutively, that was, until Sunday, May 24th. By the checquered flag at the end of the 2015 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix another driver joined the elite league. Germany’s Nico Rosberg, driving for Mercedes AMG Petronas who won the race in 2013 and 2014 clinched his third consecutive win in Monaco on Sunday. Nico’s Monaco win was, sort of, gifted to him by luck as it was his team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was leading the race from the start. But it was a pit-stop strategy blunder at the Mercedes camp that cost Hamilton the victory, as the Brit joined the race and finished in third, while Nico, who was behind Lewis in second place raced to victory.
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