1988 Monaco Grand Prix
|Race 3 of 16 in the 1988 Formula One season|
|Date||May 15, 1988|
|Official name||46e Grand Prix de Monaco|
|Location||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco|
|Course length||3.328 km (2.068 mi)|
|Distance||78 laps, 259.584 km (161.298 mi)|
|Weather||Warm and dry|
|Time||1:26.321 on lap 59|
The domination that the McLaren-Hondas had showed in qualifying at Imola continued in Monaco. Ayrton Senna was in a class of his own being the only driver to get under 1:24.0 and finishing an astonishing 1.4 seconds quicker than team mate and Monaco specialist Alain Prost and 2.7 seconds faster than third placed Gerhard Berger in his Ferrari. The quickest atmo car was the Williams-Judd of Nigel Mansell in 5th place, 3.7 seconds off the pace set by Senna.
Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima failed to qualify his Lotus-Honda for the 26 car grid (until 1987, Monaco only had a 20 car grid due to the narrow nature of the Monaco circuit). Also failing to qualify on the tight circuit were the Zakspeed of Bernd Schneider, the Minardi-Ford of Adrián Campos and the Tyrrell-Ford of Julian Bailey.
Nakajima's failure to qualify was the first time since the engines introduction to Formula One in 1983 that a car powered by a turbocharged Honda V6 engine would fail to qualify for a race. He also became only the 7th Lotus driver since the team first competed in F1 in 1958 not to qualify for a race, and the first Lotus DNQ since Johnny Dumfries failed to do so at Monaco in 1986 when there were only 20 qualifiers.
Senna led from the start, with Berger overtaking Prost when the Frenchman momentarily could not engage second gear. The first corner at St Devote saw a variety of accidents: Alex Caffi in his new Dallara-Ford hit the wall, AGS's Philippe Streiff retired from a stunning 12th place on the grid when an accelerator cable broke, and World Champion Nelson Piquet collided with Eddie Cheever's Arrows-Megatron which forced his retirement at the end of the first lap. With Nakajima's failure to qualify and Piquet's race only lasting one lap, Monaco in 1988 was a total disaster for Lotus.
The running order of Senna-Berger-Prost-Mansell-Alboreto-Nannini was maintained until lap 33 when Alboreto took Mansell off at the Swimming Pool with a late passing manoeuvre. Mansell was out on the spot but the Ferrari was not damaged and Alboreto was able to continue. On lap 51, there were some dramatic moments when, at the Mirabeau turn, Philippe Alliot in his Lola-Ford had a violent collision with Riccardo Patrese's Williams (Patrese was in fact trying to lap Alliot who seemed to be ignoring the blue flags).
By lap 54 Prost had finally got a run on Berger down the pit straight and got past on the run to St Devote, taking second place, though he was some 50 seconds behind Senna. In an effort to put at least some pressure on his team mate, he then started trading fastest laps with Senna, who maintained the gap around 50 seconds. Prost then gained six seconds on Senna after the McLaren team boss Ron Dennis radioed the Brazilian to slow down with only 11 laps of the race remaining, to ensure a safe 1-2 finish. Senna then lost his concentration causing him to spin his MP4/4 into the barrier at Portier on lap 65. Immediately after the crash which deranged the McLarens front suspension, Senna went to his home at Monaco to contemplate losing a race he had dominated from the first time he took to the track for free practice on Thursday morning. The race was won, for the 4th time in 5 years, by Prost. The McLaren team did not even hear from Senna until that evening when he walked into the pits as they were packing up (in an interview posted on the Formula One website in April 2014, Dennis confirmed that Senna had been so angry with himself that he went back to his flat in Monaco). According to Prost, from the tyre marks on the road it had appeared as though Senna had actually clipped the inside barrier which then forced him into the outside guard rail.
The Ferraris of Berger and Alboreto took 2nd and 3rd, with Derek Warwick in his Arrows-Megatron putting in a fine drive to finish 4th after a race-long battle with the Tyrrell of fellow Englishman Jonathan Palmer. Patrese recovered from his collision with Alliot to gain the final point by passing the other Lola of Yannick Dalmas on the last lap. Patrese's single point was also the first ever World Championship point scored by a Judd powered car and his first points for Williams.
|19||22||Andrea de Cesaris||Rial-Ford||1:33.183||1:29.298||+5.300|
- Stefano Modena was excluded for missing a weight check.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Unless otherwise indicated, all race results are taken from "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2007-07-12.
1988 San Marino Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1988 Mexican Grand Prix
1987 Monaco Grand Prix
|Monaco Grand Prix||Next race:
1989 Monaco Grand Prix