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Rear View Mirror – Monaco 1996 #MonacoF1ashback

by on September 25, 2012

If one looks back to the Monaco Grand Prix over time, there are several that stand out.  None however, more exceptional or memorable, arguably, than the 1996 Grand Prix which was history making.  The track surface was wet and incredibly slick which caused several retirements.  In fact, only three cars finished the race on the lead lap.   Spectators were treated to one of the most tense and unpredictable races our generation has ever witnessed.

Olivier Panis drove an outstanding race by virtue of skill and fortune, he secured his first and last career Formula One victory and the last ever victory for his Ligier team.  To have a French driver in a French car  win in Monaco was an epic “Cinderella” tale.

It unfolded as though scripted for the young Frenchmen as rivals and favorites around him were claimed by the conditions or reliability gremlins.  The tiny Principality of Monaco is referred to as F1’s crown jewel for it’s high profile, glamorous, jet setting social status to the rest of the world.  To Formula One drivers however, it is one of the most challenging circuits where the slightest error can prove devastating and race ending.

Now that I have set the stage, I invite you to read the following poem that offers a creative review of the race and it’s highlights.  Enjoy…

There is one Grand Prix
To which one must go
Without question or doubt
It’s Monaco

Where commitments are final
And often misgiving
It’s tight and twisty
And unforgiving

I take a look back
In my rear-view mirror
To 1996
Where this couldn’t be clearer

A race of attrition
With no immunity
But for a small few
T’was pure opportunity

Join me now
For a quick recap
Of an epic race
Lap after lap

On a slippery track
With Schumi on pole
Damon Hill snagged the lead
With commanding control

He scampered away
As many were claimed
By the walls and conditions
That couldn’t be tamed

Thirteen cars remained
By end of lap five
Far fewer still
By the end, would survive

Irvine and Frentzen
Had a fantastic battle
Causing cars to queue up
Like a large herd of cattle

They inevitably clashed
Causing Frentzen to pit
For a new front wing
His crew had to fit

Olivier Panis
Found incredible pace
He charged through the field
And to Hill gave chase

He tangled with Irvine
Who’s Ferrari did stall
And somehow was able
To keep off of the wall

A few laps later
Hill’s engine gave way
In a plume of smoke
It was the end of his day

Alesi then led
With Panis pursuing
But lightning would strike
As trouble was brewing

Alesi pulled in
To the Benetton pits
He would not return
As his car called it quits

A little French rookie
In his French Ligier
Led in Monte Carlo
On this historic day

With eight cars left running
In the final laps
The rain returned
Causing further collapse

Both Mika’s collected
By a spinning Irvine
Only four cars remained
In this race against time

As tensions rose higher
With time winding down
Panis crossed the line first
In this enchanted town

This race would make history
And what better place
Than F1’s crown jewel
And most coveted race

The glitz and glamour
The danger and fame
It’s one of a kind
Monaco is its name

I wrote this poem of the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix in an effort to win a competition offered by World Choice Sports and partners The competition allows a fortunate blogger to win two free tickets to Monte Carlo for the 2013 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix along with return flights.  To win, the blogger must post a review with highlights of what they believe to be one of the best Monaco Grand Prix before Wednesday 26th September 2012.

This is my entry, wish me luck!

Author: Ernie Black
Twitter: @TheF1Poet


From → F1 POEMS, Features

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