The Monaco Grand Prix has been a highlight of the Formula One calendar since the World Championship began in 1950, and the race is one of the most challenging and unpredictable of the year. Anything can happen on the tight city streets of Monte Carlo and the principality has played host to some of the most exciting and bizarre episodes in Formula One history.
Where else but Monaco could a tidal wave or a kitchen fire cause chaos? Where else could a driver crash into the ocean, or a tunnel, or next to his own apartment? Where else could a driver score points despite finishing 30 laps behind the winner?
There is no other Formula One venue like it.
Here is a look at 60 years of madness in Monaco.
1950 : As Juan Manual Fangio approached a blind corner on lap two he noticed the crowd were not looking at him in the lead, but at something on the circuit ahead. He slowed right down and avoided a massive pileup that claimed many of the drivers behind him who were not so observant. The accident occurred after a wave from the harbour splashed onto the circuit.
1955: Alberto Ascari crashed into the harbour after spinning through the protective hay bales in his Lancia. Ascari was not hurt in the accident, but was killed four days later whilst testing a Ferrari sportscar at Monza.
1960: Richie Ginther scored a point for sixth place despite finishing 30 laps behind the winner. Ginther was one of only a handful of drivers still running at the chequered flag, many of whom were trundling around in broken cars simply to score the available points.
1965: Australian, Paul Hawkins, instantly shot to fame when he became the second and last F1 driver to crash into the Monaco harbour. Like Ascari, Hawkins emerged from the bizarre accident at the chicane uninjured.
1968 : A large number of accidents and mechanical retirements meant there were only 5 cars running just 16 laps into the race! Not surprisingly, the remaining 64 laps of the Grand Prix were lacking in action, and Graham Hill took his fourth Monaco win.
1970 : Jack Brabham threw away victory in the most spectacular fashion by crashing into the wall on the very last corner of the race. Brabham had managed to avoid the barriers for almost two hours but made an awful mistake right before the finish line, handing the win to Jochen Rindt.
1981: On wet days in Monaco drivers face the unusual situation of racing through the tunnel where the circuit is bone dry. However, the opposite was true in 1981 when the tunnel was the only wet part of the circuit! Water used to douse a kitchen fire in a hotel above the track seeped through the roof of the tunnel and onto the racing line. The start was delayed whilst the large and potentially dangerous puddle was removed.
1982 : The lead changed six times in the final four laps in one of the most exciting Grands Prix of all time. Alain Prost, Didier Pironi, Andrea de Cesaris, Derek Daly, Elio de Angelis and Nigel Mansell all came close to winning the race after a late shower, but in the end Ricardo Patrese took victory despite having to bump start his car after a spin on the second last lap.
1984 : Ayrton Senna stormed through the field in a Toleman during a wet race in his first season of F1. Senna was robbed of victory when the race was controversially stopped as he passed Alain Prost for the lead.
1988 : Senna qualified on pole position 1.4 seconds clear of his teammate (and Monaco specialist) Alain Prost. Senna described his qualifying lap as an out-of-body experience, but his superhuman performance was to no avail. After building up a huge lead Senna lost concentration and crashed out of the race, ironically very close to his own apartment block.
1992 : Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell staged an epic battle for the lead in the final laps of the race. Mansell was behind Senna after an unexpected tyre stop and had a much faster car, but could not get past despite trying a variety of manoeuvres. Fans around the world over held their breath as Senna won by just two tenths of a second.
1996 : Only three cars finished the Grand Prix making it the smallest field to complete a race in Formula One history. Olivier Panis took the win in miserable rainy conditions, although just about every driver who started the race believes the victory could have been theirs.
1997 : Rain greeted drivers at the start of the race, and whilst some struggled in the tricky conditions, Michael Schumacher pulled out a fifteen second lead in just three laps. He went on to win comfortably.
2004 : Michael Schumacher retired from the race after a bizarre crash in the tunnel behind the Safety Car. Schumacher collided with Juan Pablo Montoya (who was lapped) whilst warming his brakes, and spun into the wall. It was the only race out of the first 13 in the 2004 season that Schumacher did not win. It wasn’t the only strange incident during the Grand Prix race. Both Jaguars ran with Steinmetz diamonds on their nosecones as part of a promotion for the Oceans 12 movie, but when Christian Klien crashed on lap one the diamond, worth $250,000, was lost amongst the trail of debris.
2006 : Michael Schumacher intentionally parked his car across the circuit at La Rascasse during qualifying in an effort to block his rivals. The Ferrari driver claimed his move was an unintentional error but the stewards found likewise and sent him to the back of the grid.