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Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2024

The F1 world champion who crashed into the Monaco harbour

Only two drivers have ever crashed into the Monaco harbour - but a World Champion was one of them.

Monaco clouds
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Formula 1's most iconic track has some of the most famous corners in racing with the Monaco Grand Prix home to Casino Square, the Lowes hairpin, the sea-front chicane and the swimming pool.

The danger of Monaco is well known with a brief lapse of concentration usually spelling the end of a driver's race as they thread themselves around the streets of the Principality.

Those who crash usually end up in a barrier - or in the case of Kimi Raikkonen after his 2006 engine failure, on his boat moored in the harbour.

But only two drivers have ever actually crashed into the harbour - including F1's first-ever two-time World Champion.

F1 drivers to crash into Monaco harbour

Having won the title in 1952 and 1953 for Ferrari - their first titles - Alberto Ascari moved to Lancia for 1954 - but the D50 machine was dreadfully unreliable.

Come the 1955 Monaco GP, he was leading after Stirling Moss had retired with engine failure, but a misjudgment on Lap 80 of 100 at what would become the chicane, ended with the Italian's car sinking into the harbour.

Fortunately, he was able to escape the car and swim to safety, but just four days later, Ascari would be killed at Monza.

Testing a Ferrari sportscar, he crashed at the fast left-hander - the corner which now carries his name - at the back of the circuit and was killed.

Alberto's father Antonio had also been killed in a race car, while leading the 1925 French Grand Prix.

Both men died at 36 years of age, on the 26th of the month, four days after surviving an accident.

Alberto was four days older than his father when he died.

The only other driver to ever crash into the Monaco harbour came 10 years after Ascari in the 1965 race.

Lotus racer Paul Hawkins also misjudged the chicane, but like Ascari, was able to escape the car as it sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean.

Hawkins would also be killed in a racing car in the UK at Oulton Park in the RAC Trophy.

His Lola entry crashed and caught fire, with the Australian succumbing to his injuries.

He died on May 26th, 1969, 14 years to the day since Ascari himself was killed.

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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