On This Day In F1 - Derek Daly Flew In One Of The Most Spectacular Monaco Accidents Ever

On This Day In F1 - Derek Daly Flew In One Of The Most Spectacular Monaco Accidents Ever

A look back at what happened on 18 May in Formula 1 history

1952 Swiss Grand Prix
Piero Taruffi won the only race of his career after his main rival and pole-sitter Giuseppe Farina broke down early on. Farina took over the car of teammate Andre Simon but that too broke down, allowing Rudi Fischer to finish second and Jean Behra to finish third on his debut. Excluding the Indy 500, this would be the only race of the second not won by Alberto Ascari.

1958 Monaco Grand Prix
Maurice Trintignant won his second and final grand prix (his first also came at Monaco) after many of the main protagonists ran into early issues - Jean Behra, Stirling Moss, and Mike Hawthorn all retired from the lead. That left Trintignant running at the front for the second half of the race to give the rear-engined Cooper its second win in a row, ahead of the Ferraris of Luigi Musso and Peter Collins. Future three-time champion Jack Brabham finished fourth to score his first points in F1.

1969 Monaco Grand Prix
Graham Hill’s drove to victory at Monaco for the fifth time - a record only broken by Ayrton Senna - in what also turned out to be his 14th and final F1 win. Piers Courage took his first podium in second, driving a Brabham entered by Frank Williams, with Jo Siffert in third.

On This Day In F1 - Derek Daly Flew In One Of The Most Spectacular Monaco Accidents Ever - Formula 1

1980 Monaco Grand Prix
Ever skipped a stone across a pond? Now, close your eyes and imagine that instead of a pond, it’s a tightly-bunched field of F1 cars, and instead of a stone, it’s a Tyrrell 010 from 1980. That’s a pretty good approximation of what happened at the start of the 1980 Monaco GP.

Daly started 12th on the grid but braked a fraction too late heading into the first corner. Fractions make a huge difference at Monaco and he ended up launching off the back of Bruno Giacomelli’s Alfa Romeo, bouncing off Alain Prost’s McLaren and onto teammate Jean-Pierre Jarier, putting all four cars out instantly in one of the most spectacular accidents to happen in the Principality. Incredibly, all were OK - the rest of the field even had a challenge negotiating the wreckage on the following lap because of course, the race wasn’t stopped.

Didier Pironi led the bulk of the race for Ligier, only to crash out at Casino Square, leaving Carlos Reutemann to claim the win ahead of Jacques Laffite and Nelson Piquet. In sixth place was Emerson Fittipaldi, scoring what would be the last point of his F1 career.

2003 Austrian Grand Prix
Despite a brief fire during a pit stop which dropped him from first to third, Michael Schumacher took his third win in a row after the BMW engine in Juan Pablo Montoya’s Williams blew up while leading. Kimi Raikkonen held off Rubens Barrichello to finish second in what would be the last Austrian GP until 2014.

(c) Ferrari
(c) Ferrari

Birthdays
Emmanuel de Graffenried (born 1914) was a Swiss baron who regularly raced in the early days of the championship, starting 22 races between 1950 and 1956. His best year came in 1953 when he finished in the points three times, with a best result of fourth in the Belgian GP.

Jo Schlesser (born 1928) had a tragic F1 debut. Driving an experimental magnesium-bodied Honda which teammate John Surtees had refused to drive, Schlesser was entered to race it in the 1968 French GP at Rouen. He crashed on the second lap and, full of fuel, the car erupted in flames as Schlesser died in the accident. A good friend of Guy Ligier, all Ligier racing cars since have included the designation ‘JS’ in honour of Schlesser.

Bruce Halford (born 1931) started eight grands prix between 1956 and 1960. His best result came in his final one, when he was classified eighth in the French GP.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (born 1967) moved through the ranks along with Karl Wendlinger and Michael Schumacher but, despite being the oldest of the trio, actually made his F1 debut the latest, when he joined Sauber for 1994. He immediately impressed and found himself on Frank Williams’ radar, though it wouldn’t be until 1997 that he finally joined the team. Things didn’t go particularly well - Frentzen struggled to thrive in the environment and only won a single race as teammate Jacques Villeneuve took the title. After a disappointing 1998 he joined Jordan, where his career really took off.

Frentzen's 1999 season was a solid reminder of his talent after two disappointing years with Williams. (c) Paul Lannuier/Creative Commons
Frentzen's 1999 season was a solid reminder of his talent after two disappointing years with Williams. (c) Paul Lannuier/Creative Commons

The Jordan 199 was an excellent car, if not quite as good as the McLaren or Ferrari, but Frentzen’s driving was so good that he became an unexpected championship contender following Michael Schumacher’s injury and the error-strewn seasons of Mika Hakkinen and Eddie Irvine. He won two races (and was possibly denied a third when his car broke while leading at the Nurburgring) and ended up third in the championship.

There were more strong performances for Jordan until a falling out with the team mid-way through 2001 sent him to Prost, Arrows, and then a final season in 2003 with Sauber, the team where it had all started.