FEB 26th 2015

Video: 'Flat‑out and Fearless' ‑ Monaco Grand Prix, 1982

Over the years the principality of Monaco has produced some dramatic races. The last two F1 rounds have been pretty good and of course 1984 goes down as an epic, with a young Senna reeling-in Alain Prost at a dramatic rate in the final laps, and Stefan Bellof reeling-in Senna …

But this week we celebrate the 2015 Festival of Speed theme Flat-out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge’ with a look back at the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix. Although rarely mentioned as one of the greats, it must surely rank alongside the most bizarre Grands Prix ever.

The F1 circus descended on this storied part of the Cote D-Azur in sombre mood, having lost Ferrari’s Gilles Villeneuve at the previous round at Zolder in Belgium. Out of respect, Ferrari entered just the one car of Didier Peroni. 

Senna_v_Prost_Promo_10032015

The weirdness started when the field of just 20 cars lined-up on the grid after a staggering 11 of them failed either to qualify or pre-qualify. Once things settled down it was Alain Prost and Riccardo Patrese who looked most likely to prevail. However, then the rain came and Prost ended up in a barrier, race over. Patrese then lead for barely a lap before spinning and stalling the car. This left Didier Peroni in the lead with a lap to go, followed by Andrea de Cesaris and Derek Daly, although incredibly none of those cars actually crossed the finish line …

In the interest of entertainment we have to stop there with the commentary, adding only that most of the cars during the final laps looked like they’d been thrashed across a rally stage – with bits of bodywork missing and generally looking very second hand – and only five of the cars which began the race actually crossed the line.

James Hunt, commentating for the BBC summed it up perfectly: ‘Well we’ve got this ridiculous situation where we’re all sitting by the start-finish line waiting for a winner to come past and we don’t seem to be getting one!’

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