This Crash Shows Why Getting It Wrong At The Start Of The Monaco GP Is A Really Bad Thing

Every F1 driver dreams of getting a good launch at the start of the race, but Derek Daly took that a bit too literally

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. There’s even some bonus contact as Riccardo Patrese amusingly reverses his Arrows into Jan Lammers’ ATS as he tried to escape the carnage.

Everyone was OK, but despite the size of the crash organisers decided not to throw the red flag and stop the race. And of course, there were no safety cars back then, so the leaders were just left to navigate the wreckage when they came around on the next lap.