The tortuous 3.337km circuit has many elevation changes, tight corners and limited overtaking opportunities. As Nelson Piquet said “a win here is worth two anywhere else.” So, in F1’s long history, which drivers have truly conquered the Circuit de Monaco? Amazingly there have only been 33 different victors at Monaco since the start of the World Championship.
The first son of an F1 champion to win at Monaco. More importantly Rosberg had the mercurial talent of delivering the all-important qualifying lap to secure secure pole position. In a race where overtaking is often the exception rather than the rule pole is vital.
Two wins from four starts is impressive. Four pole positions from four appearances testifies to the truly remarkable capacity of El Maestro. Even more impressive is that Fangio’s first Grand Prix victory came at his debut in the Principality, leading all 100 laps of the race.
One of the rare occasions where Moss bettered Fangio in their long and friendly rivalry: He won three Monaco Grands Prix to Fangio’s two. His second victory was the first - and remains the only as of 2020 - win for a non-constructor privateer team. He was driving the Rob Walker Lotus 18.
The subject of Roman Polanski’s Weekend of a Champion, Jackie Stewart took four pole positions at Monaco and made three wins. If his cars had been more up to the rigours of competing on the hard streets he may have had even more success: he started eight Monaco GPs and led six.
At the height of his powers Prost won three Monaco titles in a row, before Senna interrupted his streak in 1987. A fourth win came in 1988 before he permanently had to hand the torch to the Brazilian.
Schumacher started 18 F1 Grands Prix at Monaco and won five. Hill started 17 and won five. His most fruitful period at Monaco in the 1990s bagged him four wins and it seems strange looking back now that when he was at his best in F1 in the 2000s he only secured one more - in 2001. His run of bad luck - not all of his own making - saw some great opportunities snatched out his hand. But five wins is certainly nothing to lose sleep over.
Mr Monaco. The nickname says it all. Five wins and only two from pole. His overall record at Monaco is blurred by the six appearances in uncompetitive machinery after his last win in 1969. However, at his peak Hill dominated the Monaco GP and also became the only driver to win Monaco, F1 World Championship, Le Mans and the Indy 500. A fair record for a guy who started out as trainee mechanic at Lotus.
His record will almost certainly be eclipsed one day, after all records are made to be broken in F1. But even thirty years later Senna’s five in a row from 1989 to 1993 (and one more in 1987) still seem phenomenal. . Looking back from 2020, Senna deserves his title of of “Master of Monaco”.
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