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Monaco Grand Prix 2021

Five memorable Monaco moments since 2000

Despite the lack of overtaking opportunities, Monaco has a habit of throwing up some pretty crazy dramas. Here's a look back at some truly remarkable moments over the past 20 years..

Article
To news overview © Red Bull

Sure, we all remember the big storylines from Monaco in recent years. Daniel Ricciardo's dashed hopes in 2016, and that great redemption arc that was completed when he won in stunning style in 2018, and who can forget Michael Schumacher's controversial 2006 qualifying parking job?

And, ten years later, Nico Rosberg's rather poor attempt at taking the Mirabeau corner during qualifying, adding fuel to the war between himself and Lewis Hamilton?

All brilliant stuff, but let's look back at some other remarkable moments from the last two decades of racing on the streets of Monte Carlo that you might have forgotten..

Christian Horner jumps naked into the Red Bull swimming pool

Before the heady days of Red Bull's multiple World Championships, the former Jaguar team had to learn how to handle smaller successes.

In 2006, Red Bull's second Monaco GP, a then inexperienced Christian Horner made a bet with driver David Coulthard that a podium wasn't on the cards. The bet was that, if DC could finish on the podium, Horner would jump naked into the swimming pool on the Red Bull Energy Station.

On any other day, Coulthard was set for an average points finish. But, with Michael Schumacher starting from the back due to the aforementioned bad parking, as well as the retirements of Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber and Jarno Trulli, Coulthard was able to come home in third place.

A man of his word, Horner stripped off and headed to the pool, surrounded by photographers. Fortunately for him, the team were promoting the Superman Returns movie that weekend, and he was able to borrow a cape from DC to protect his modesty.

Lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view!) for us!

Coulthard goes crazy behind an Arrows

Five years prior to his Red Bull Monaco heroics, Coulthard qualified his McLaren on pole position for the 2001. Challenging Schumacher for the title that year as Mika Hakkinen had a slump in form, DC's pole meant he was in great shape to fight for the win.

But, a clutch issue on the formation lap meant the Scot was relegated to start right at the back. A nightmare situation for any race, let alone Monaco.

Coulthard would make decent initial progress but came up behind the Arrows of Enrique Bernoldi and was simply unable to get past. The Brazilian ran deep into the race before pitting, meaning Coulthard had the image of the back of the Arrows burned into his eyeballs for some 35 laps.

Having had his race stymied by Bernoldi, Coulthard's team boss Ron Dennis and Mercedes chief Norbert Haug accused Arrows of being unsporting, with Bernoldi retorting that he had done nothing wrong.

McLaren and Coulthard didn't emerge from the situation in good light, with many feeling their approach was arrogant considering that Bernoldi was under no obligation to move aside. Coulthard explained later that he felt Bernoldi had defended aggressively, explaining why he had called the Arrows driver 'an idiot'.

Vettel gets away with murder

The 2011 Monaco Grand Prix was set for a barnstorming finish, thanks to a strategy call from Red Bull that saw Sebastian Vettel leading the race on ancient tyres.

Vettel, leading from the front, pitted on Lap 18 for fresh tyres and didn't come in again. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Jenson Button, on considerably fresher tyres, caught up on Vettel with twenty laps to go and forced the German driver to drive defensively as the trio ran nose to tail.

Vettel's struggles were getting worse and worse as the race built towards the closing stages but, just as the leaders caught a pack of backmarkers including Lewis Hamilton, there was a crash involving the McLaren driver, Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari, Force India's Adrian Sutil, and Lotus' Vitaly Petrov.

With the race red-flagged, the usual rules regarding tyre changes kicked in. This allowed Vettel, as well as everyone else, to fit fresh tyres for the eight lap sprint to the end. Unsurprisingly, the general feeling was that Vettel had gotten away with a win that looked highly in doubt at the time of the crash.

Raikkonen goes for some mid-race refreshments

One of Kimi Raikkonen's most infamous moments happened at Monaco in 2006.

The Finn was producing a stellar weekend for McLaren, after the team's new MP4-21 had proven somewhat uncompetitive compared to the 2005 season.

Raikkonen looked quick throughout the entire weekend, and lined up third on the grid after Schumacher's disqualification. This became second shortly into the race, as Kimi pounced on Mark Webber going up the hill.

Sniffing at the back of Fernando Alonso's Renault for the lead, Raikkonen looked in imperious form. But, on Lap 50, Raikkonen slowed and it became obvious a technical issue had struck. Freewheeling down the hill from the hairpin, the rear of the McLaren caught fire as the heat shield ignited.

A disconsolate Raikkonen clambered out, thoroughly fed up after five years of McLaren failures. Rather than returning to the pits, Kimi was broadcast walking onto a yacht in the harbour while still dressed in his McLaren race suit and helmet. There, he stripped off, got into a hot tub, and spent the rest of his afternoon enjoying himself with friends and having some drinks..

Schumacher and Montoya collide...under the Safety Car

A collision between Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya doesn't sound particularly unusual, given their history, but the odd thing about their 2004 Monaco clash is that Montoya was a lap down, and blameless.

Schumacher was fighting for the win with Renault's Jarno Trulli when the Safety Car came out on 46. Leading but yet to pit, Schumacher was warming his brakes and tyres when he slammed on the brakes in the darkness of the tunnel. Montoya, immediately behind, tried to avoid the Ferrari but, with barriers all around, slammed into the right rear of Schumacher.

The German driver lost control and hit the wall on the tunnel exit, and was forced to retire. There weren't many low points for Ferrari during 2004, but this error of judgement from Schumacher, particularly with a contentious rival in Montoya, was certainly one of them!

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Monaco Grand Prix

The latest news about the Monaco Grand Prix straight from the Circuit de Monaco.

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