Watch coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix throughout the weekend on NBC (Sunday, 7:30 a.m. ET), NBC Sports Network and live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Two historic Monaco Grands Prix occurred on May 23. In 1993, Ayrton Senna took his record sixth and last Monaco victory, while in 2004, Jarno Trulli ended Michael Schumacher’s quest for a perfect season.
Senna scored his record sixth Monaco win, and fifth consecutive, this day 20 years ago. Senna’s 1993 McLaren was down on power with a customer Ford engine compared to the works engines provided to Benetton, and the all-conquering Williams-Renault that Alain Prost took to the championship.
But, as is often the case in Monaco, horsepower was not the determining factor. Despite only qualifying third, Senna capitalized on Prost’s jump start and a hydraulic issue for Schumacher’s Benetton to take the win. Damon Hill and Jean Alesi completed the podium.
In 2004, Italian Trulli scored his first and only Grand Prix victory from pole for Renault.
Trulli was peerless on the day, avoiding the pitfalls that plagued his rivals. Contact between Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya took Schumacher out of the running, and ruined his chances at a perfect season – the Ferrari driver had won the first five races.
Trulli led Jenson Button, who at the time was equally winless, with Schumacher’s teammate Rubens Barrichello completing the podium.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”