McLaren ’50 in 50′: History at Monaco

Since their Formula One debut in 1966, McLaren have won more races than any other constructor – a grand total of 182. 15 of these have come around the streets of Monaco, from Alain Prost’s 1984 victory to Lewis Hamilton’s win in 2008. “Monaco is one of the jewels in Formula One’s crown,” said Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh. “It’s an iconic setting and the race has a lot of history. I am proud of McLaren’s peerless record in the Principality”. Of course, McLaren have won there more than any other team with Ferrari getting closest to their total with nine wins.

Ayrton Senna (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 & 1993)

Senna was the most successful driver around the Principality, winning the race on six occasions, five of which were for McLaren. 1989 was a dominant performance from the team as a whole – Senna started on pole, a second clear of Prost. The pair of them ran away with the race with Senna finishing a huge 52 seconds in front. Prost was the only other driver on the lead lap come the end of the 77 laps, with Brabham’s Stefano Modena a distant third. Another pole position in 1990 for Senna saw him go on to win the race again with team-mate Gerhard Berger in third, albeit just two seconds down the road. Senna took another pole position/race victory combination in 1991 but took a late lead in the 1992 race from Mansell. Senna qualified third for the 1993 race and went on to win by a dominating 52 seconds.

Alain Prost (1984, 1985, 1986, 1988)

Prost took McLaren’s first win in Monaco when he was victorious there in 1984. It was a memorable race, due to heavy rain which delayed the start. Prost started on pole position and retained the lead at the start. He lost the lead to Nigel Mansell and had to contend with engine and brake problems. It was a controversial end to the race when, after Prost signalling for a number of laps that he felt the race should be stopped, it was red flagged after 32 laps. Senna, who had started the race down the order passed Prost and crossed the line ahead of him but rules state that positions are taken from the last full lap completed by all drivers. As the race had not reached the 75% mark, half points were also awarded. He started the 1984 and 1986 races from pole position. In 1986 it was a McLaren 1-2, with Keke Rosberg finishing second. Senna out-qualified his team-mate in 1988, by a demanding margin but crashed during the race, allowing Prost to win it for the fourth time in five years.

Mika Hakkinen (1998)

After dominating in the 80s and early 90s, McLaren had a five year wait until their next victory in Monaco. Finnish driver Hakkinen won the race on the way to his first world championship. Hakkinen qualified in pole position ahead of his team-mate David Coulthard. It was an engine failure which brought an end to Coulthard’s race, but Hakkinen maintained his lead and went on to win the race ahead of Benetton’s Giancarlo Fisichella and Ferrari’s Eddie Irvine.

David Coulthard (2002)

Juan Pablo qualified on pole position for Williams but Coulthard, who qualified in second, took the lead at St Devote on the first lap. He led the race from there on in, pulling out an advantage which was eaten away at by Michael Schumacher. He eventually won the race with just a second advantage over Schumacher (M), with Ralf Schumacher completing the podium. The top three were the only drivers on the lead lap.

Kimi Raikkonen (2005)

Raikkonen started the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix from pole position. In the early stages he led from championship leader Fernando Alonso. When Christian Albers spun on lap 23, leading to an incident between Schumacher (M) and Coulthard, the safety car was deployed. A number of teams brought their drivers into the pits to be refuelled during the safety car period, but Raikkonen missed out due to being past the pits when the safety car was sent out. When the race was restarted he worked to re-build the lead he had lost, in order to take a later pit-stop without losing time to Alonso. Raikkonen did just that and went on to win the race. He led again in 2006 but an engine failure put paid to that victory with McLaren going on to have a winless season.

Fernando Alonso (2007)

Following his win there in 2006, Alonso won the Monaco Grand Prix for the second year in a row in 2007, this time while driving for McLaren. It was a McLaren front-row lock-out with Alonso taking pole by nearly two tenths of a second over his rookie team-mate Lewis Hamilton. It proved to be a dominating performance for McLaren when they finished the race with a 1-2, with Alonso four seconds clear of his team-mate. Felipe Massa was over a minute down the road and the only other driver to finish on the lead lap, such was McLaren’s advantage.

Lewis Hamilton (2008)

After finishing second to his team-mate in 2007, Hamilton went one better in 2008 when he won the race. This also proved to be McLaren’s last (to date) victory in Monaco. Massa qualified on pole, ahead of his team-mate Raikkonen, with Hamilton starting in third. Conditions at the start were wet but Hamilton moved up to second at the start. He suffered a puncture early on in the race and had to pit, but was able to continue. He went on to win the race, three seconds clear of Robert Kubica and four seconds ahead of Massa.


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