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F1 : Disaster Strikes Monaco

by on May 22, 2013


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, here 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



From → F1 POEMS, Formula One

One Comment
  1. Classic race; great poetry.

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