Formula 1

Monaco Grand Prix Winners: Ranking Formula 1's Top 10 Drivers in Monte Carlo

Neil JamesFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2014

Monaco Grand Prix Winners: Ranking Formula 1's Top 10 Drivers in Monte Carlo

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    A victory at the Monaco Grand Prix is the dream of thousands of aspiring young racing drivers the world over.

    But since the race first became a part of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, only 32 men have tasted the winner's champagne.

    Of them, only 13 have won the race on two or more occasions.

    With accompanying video, here are the 10 most successful drivers in the race's history, ranked in order of wins.

    Where win totals are equal, pole positions are used as a tie-breaker.

10. Mark Webber

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    Wins: Two. Pole Positions: Two.

    Mark Webber was something of a Monaco specialist.

    He scored his first F1 podium here in 2005 after qualifying third, and the following year produced one of the best weekends of his career. Starting second in the less-than-competitive Williams-Cosworth, Webber ran with the leaders all race before retiring from third with a mechanical failure.

    The Australian's first win came in 2010, leading home a Red Bull one-two after qualifying on pole.

    In 2012, he inherited pole from Michael Schumacher when the German was given a penalty and won his second Monaco Grand Prix.

    Webber recorded a fourth podium here in 2013 and retired at the end of the season.

9. Fernando Alonso

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    Wins: Two. Pole Positions: Two.

    Fernando Alonso is the only current driver with more than one Monaco win to his name, and there's a reasonable chance he'll get the opportunity to add a third.

    But not in 2014.

    His first Monaco win came in the year of his second world championship, 2006. He started from pole and led most of the race; it was the first time he'd been on the podium in the Principality.

    The following year he won again, also from pole. Lewis Hamilton later told a BBC TV interview, "He has No. 1 on his car and I have No. 2," suggesting the team aided Alonso, but the Spaniard appeared to have sufficient pace to win regardless.

    A combination of uncompetitive machinery and quality drives by his opponents has limited Alonso to just two Monaco podiums in the six years since.

     

    Alonso edges ahead of Webber because he had one second place to the Australian's none.

8. Niki Lauda

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    Wins: Two. Pole Positions: Three.

    Niki Lauda's first real shot at Monaco success came in 1974. He qualified on pole but was forced out of the lead on his 33rd lap with an ignition problem.

    He returned the following year to win from pole despite a late oil pressure drama, and he repeated the feat in 1976.

    He was joined on the podium this year by two six-wheeled Tyrrellsthe P34's first Top Three finishes.

    Lauda was second to Jody Scheckter in 1977 and to Patrick Depailler in 1978, before a miserable run of Monaco form began.

    Despite five more visits to the Principality, he never finished the race again.

7. Juan Manuel Fangio

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    Wins: Two. Pole Positions: Four.

    Juan Manuel Fangio only raced four times at Monaco, but his record is still enough to put him in seventh.

    The world championship era began in 1950, and Fangio recorded the first win of his F1 career at that year's Monaco Grand Prix. He qualified on pole by a margin of 2.6 seconds and lapped the entire field, leading all 100 laps to record his and F1's first Grand Slam.

    Monaco wasn't on the calendar again until 1955. Though he again got pole and set the fastest lap, a transmission failure took Fangio out and cost him a likely win.

    He was runner-up to Moss in 1956, before returning in 1957 with another dominant display to record his second Monte Carlo win.

    El Maestro retired the following season and never drove at Monaco again.

    So just the two victoriesbut Fangio is, and probably always will be, the only driver with a 100 percent record of poles and fastest laps in the Principality.

6. Stirling Moss

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    Wins: Three. Pole Positions: Three.

    Barring a minor miracle, Stirling Moss will forever be known as the best driver to never win the F1 world championship.

    But he did win the sport's most prestigious race, on three occasions.

    Moss almost won on his Monaco debut in 1955. Teammate Juan Manuel Fangio retired with a transmission problem, handing Moss the lead, but his Mercedes also broke down and Maurice Trintignant took the win.

    The following year, Moss nursed home his damaged Maserati to win ahead of Fangio but crashed out of the lead early in the 1957 race.

    In 1959 a probable win was taken away by a mechanical failurethe second time he had retired from the lead 19 laps from home (he also reached 81 of 100 laps in 1955).

    Moss won the 1960 race from pole, making Rob Walker the first (and to date only) privateer entrant to win an F1 race. It was also the first F1 victory for a Lotus, and the following year he won again.

    Three wins makes the Brit the most successful Monaco driver of his erabut as with most of the men on this list, it could have been more.

5. Jackie Stewart

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    Wins: Three. Pole Positions: Four.

    Jackie Stewart scored points on his debut in 1965, and in his second raceat Monacohe was on the podium. He started the Monaco Grand Prix eight times, and but for reliability issues, he would almost certainly have won six of them.

    The Scot achieved his first Monaco win the following year and retired from the lead in 1967 with a differential failure.

    After missing the 1968 race with an injury, he returned in 1969 with polebut again was forced out of the lead by a mechanical failure, this time his driveshaft giving up. It was a misfire which ended his hopes in 1970.

    A second win arrived in 1971, with Stewart recording his second Grand Slam.

    An undiagnosed stomach ulcer left him struggling in 1972, but Stewart added his third win in 1973 before retiring.

4. Alain Prost

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    Wins: Four. Pole Positions: Four.

    In a 10-year period between 1984 and 1993, only two drivers won the Monaco Grand Prix. Alain Prost was one of them.

    The Frenchman's first Monaco pole was in 1983, but Keke Rosberg won. Prost was third.

    His first win was at the controversial 1984 race. In torrential rain, the race was stopped after 31 laps because clerk of the course Jacky Ickx deemed it too dangerous to continue. At the time, youngsters Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof were closing in on Prost and would probably have got past him.

    Prost took victory again in 1985 and in 1986 he recorded his only Monaco hat-trick (pole, fastest lap and the race win).

    His fourth win came when he inherited the lead after Senna crashed in 1988.

    In his final year, 1993, Prost had a chance to add a fifth victory but got a jump-start from pole and the resulting stop-go penalty dropped him out of contention.

3. Graham Hill

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    Wins: Five. Pole Positions: Two.

    Graham Hill doesn't appear toward the top of many all-time lists, but his Monaco record is exceptional.

    The former Royal Navy serviceman and Lotus mechanic made his F1 debut at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. He led briefly and retired from fourth place at around two-thirds race distance.

    His first Monaco win came in 1963, and he lapped the field to win again in 1964. The 1965 race saw the first hat-trick of Hill's career.

    After podiums in 1966 and 1967, he won again from pole in 1968.

    Hill's final Monaco victory, in 1969, would be his final F1 win as well. Though he raced on until 1975, he never again had competitive machinery and even a podium was out of reach.

    But Hill's legacy as "Mr. Monaco" was secure.

2. Michael Schumacher

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    Wins: Five. Pole Positions: Three.

    That Michael Schumacher "only" has five wins at Monaco from 18 attempts is testament to the often unpredictable nature of racing around the city streets.

    He first won here in 1994 and in the process recorded his first-ever Glam Slam.

    Schumacher also won in 1995, 1997 and 1999. At this stage of his career it seemed certain he would go on to claim more Monte Carlo victories than anyone else, but a string of problemssome of his own makinglimited the German to just one more win, in 2001.

    In 2000 he was forced out of a commanding lead by a cracked exhaust, and in 2002 eye irritation during qualifying may have contributed to him only qualifying third. He was on race-winner David Coulthard's tail all race, coming home just a second behind.

    While leading the 2004 race during a safety car period, Schumacher was bizarrely pitched into the wall by Juan Pablo Montoya and lost a probable win. In 2006, he was sent to the back of the grid from pole after deliberately impeding other cars in qualifying.

    And in 2012 he qualified on pole, only to be demoted five places due to a penalty acquired at the previous race.

    Five wins is still an incredible achievement, but it could have been many more.

1. Ayrton Senna

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    Wins: Six. Pole Positions: Five.

    Ayrton Senna stands alone on six Monaco wins, achieved from just 10 attempts.

    He came close to winning in his first ever season (1984) and got his first pole in the Principality the following year. Engine failure robbed him of a probable second career victory.

    His bad luck balanced itself out in 1987. Running second, Senna inherited the lead from Nigel Mansell after the Brit suffered an engine failure.

    A crash in 1988 while leading comfortably was one of the low points of his career.

    But it also marked the last time he failed to win the Monaco Grand Prix. Five victories in a row from 1989 to 1993 made the Brazilian the most successful Monaco driver in the history of Formula One.

    It will take a very special team and driver combination to ever match that figure.

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