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Monaco Memories

Caught on camera: a trip down memory lane around Monte Carlo

There’s no denying McLaren’s affinity with Monaco, and it’s about so much more than just style and sophistication. The streets of Monte Carlo were the scene of the team’s Formula 1 debut in 1966 and McLaren has won the prestigious race no fewer than 15 times since – more than any other constructor.

The jewel in the crown of the sport’s globe-trotting calendar, Formula 1’s original street track is home to some of the most famous corners in the world. And with all eyes firmly on the Principality once again this weekend, we decided to dig out the old photo album to take you on a trip down memory lane around the iconic circuit.

Start-finish straight, 1966

Where it all began for McLaren in Formula 1, as Bruce wrote the opening chapter of the team’s grand prix racing story. Behind the wheel of the M2B, he qualified 10th and quickly climbed his way up the order to sixth. However, the debut was cut short as on oil leak forced Bruce to retire the car on lap 10.

Beau Rivage, 1989

The formidable pairing of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost make the steep climb between Sainte Devote and Massenet. Ayrton went on to win the race in 1989 despite losing first and second gears, kick-starting a five-year winning streak with McLaren at the Principality.

Loews hairpin, 1968

The most famous hairpin in the world. It’s had many names over the years as the hotel which overlooks the corner has changed hands. Some will know it as Fairmont, others Grand Hotel, but when Bruce tackled it in 1968 in the M7A it was called Loews. Taken at about 30 mph, it’s been the scene of some daring overtaking moves and almighty tangles over the years.

Tabac, 1992

A street fight to savour: Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell full throttle on the way out of Tabac in the midst of a titanic tussle for the lead. The Brazilian was promoted to first after leader Mansell stopped for fresh rubber eight laps from the end and then tried every trick in the book to get past. Ayrton remained cool, calm and collected under immense pressure to win by just 0.215s – the smallest winning margin in the history of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Piscine, 2008

Lewis puts the hammer down through the Swimming Pool complex – the fast left-right followed by a slower right-left chicane which takes the cars past the Rainier III Nautical Stadium. The Brit would go on to take his first Monaco win, but it could have been a very different story when he punctured a tyre having hit the wall on lap six. A quick pit-stop, and an inspired roll of the strategic dice from the team put him right back in contention.

Rascasse, 1976

James Hunt skirts his way around the corner in his title-winning season with McLaren. Unsurprisingly, the right-hander gets its name from La Rascasse which sits on the inside of the corner. The legendary bar is a hotspot for nightlife and renowned for its parties. Much like James come to think of it…

Start-finish straight, 1998

Mika Häkkinen celebrates following a dominant win. Having stormed to pole position, the Finn was faultless, leading every lap of the race on the way to victory and picked up fastest lap for good measure. It was an imperious display that contributed to his maiden title triumph.