Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1988 Monaco Grand Prix

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Date  May 15, 1988
Course length  3.328 km (2.068 mi)
Course  Street circuit
1988 Monaco Grand Prix
Official name  46e Grand Prix de Monaco
Location  Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Distance  78 laps, 259.584 km (161.298 mi)

The 1988 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on May 15, 1988, at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo. The race, contested over 78 laps, was the third race of the 1988 Formula One season and was won by Alain Prost, driving a McLaren-Honda, after team-mate Ayrton Senna crashed out late on while leading comfortably. Ferrari drivers Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto finished second and third respectively.



The McLaren-Hondas continued their dominant form from the previous race at Imola, as Ayrton Senna took pole by some 1.4 seconds from team-mate Alain Prost, with a further 1.2 seconds back to the Ferrari of Gerhard Berger in third. Berger's team-mate Michele Alboreto was fourth, while Nigel Mansell was fifth in the Williams, the quickest of the naturally-aspirated cars, albeit some 3.6 seconds behind Senna. Completing the top ten were Alessandro Nannini in the Benetton, Derek Warwick in the Arrows, Riccardo Patrese in the second Williams, Eddie Cheever in the second Arrows and Jonathan Palmer in the Tyrrell, while among the non-qualifiers was Satoru Nakajima, whose Lotus was powered by the same Honda turbo engine as the McLaren.


Senna led from the start, with Berger overtaking Prost when the Frenchman momentarily could not engage second gear. The first corner at St Devote saw a variety of accidents: Alex Caffi in his new Dallara-Ford hit the wall, AGS's Philippe Streiff retired from a stunning 12th place on the grid when an accelerator cable broke, and World Champion Nelson Piquet collided with Eddie Cheever's Arrows-Megatron which forced his retirement at the end of the first lap. With Nakajima's failure to qualify and Piquet's race only lasting one lap, Monaco in 1988 was a total disaster for Lotus.

The running order of Senna-Berger-Prost-Mansell-Alboreto-Nannini was maintained until lap 33 when Alboreto took Mansell off at the Swimming Pool with a late passing manoeuvre. Mansell was out on the spot but the Ferrari was not damaged and Alboreto was able to continue. On lap 51, there were some dramatic moments when, at the Mirabeau turn, Philippe Alliot in his Lola-Ford had a violent collision with Riccardo Patrese's Williams (Patrese was in fact trying to lap Alliot who seemed to be ignoring the blue flags).

By lap 54 Prost had finally got a run on Berger down the pit straight and got past on the run to St Devote, taking second place, though he was some 50 seconds behind Senna. In an effort to put at least some pressure on his team mate, he then started trading fastest laps with Senna, who maintained the gap around 50 seconds. Prost then gained six seconds on Senna after the McLaren team boss Ron Dennis radioed the Brazilian to slow down with only 11 laps of the race remaining, to ensure a safe 1-2 finish. Senna then lost his concentration causing him to spin his MP4/4 into the barrier at Portier on lap 65. Immediately after the crash which had damaged the McLaren's front suspension, Senna went to his home at Monaco to contemplate losing a race he had dominated from the first time he took to the track for free practice on Thursday morning. The race was won, for the 4th time in 5 years, by Prost. The McLaren team did not even hear from Senna until that evening when he walked into the pits as they were packing up (in an interview posted on the Formula One website in April 2014, Dennis confirmed that Senna had been so angry with himself that he went back to his flat in Monaco). According to Prost, from the tyre marks on the road it had appeared as though Senna had actually clipped the inside barrier which then forced him into the outside guard rail.

The Ferraris of Berger and Alboreto took 2nd and 3rd, with Derek Warwick in his Arrows-Megatron putting in a fine drive to finish 4th after a race-long battle with the Tyrrell of fellow Englishman Jonathan Palmer. Patrese recovered from his collision with Alliot to gain the final point by passing the other Lola of Yannick Dalmas on the last lap. Patrese's single point was also the first ever World Championship point scored by a Judd powered car and his first points for Williams.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1988 Monaco Grand Prix Wikipedia

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