The F1 world champion who crashed into the Monaco harbour


The most famous track in Formula 1 contains some of the most famous turns in racing, with the Monaco Grand Prix featuring Casino Square, the Lowes hairpin, the seaside chicane, and the swimming pool.

The danger of Monaco is well known with a short break in concentration usually meaning the end of the race for drivers as they cruise the streets of the principality.

Those who collide usually end up in a barrier – or, in Kimi Raikkonen's case after his engine failure in 2006, on his boat moored in the harbour.

But only two drivers have ever hit the port – including the first-ever two-time Formula 1 World Champion.

Formula 1 drivers crash into the port of Monaco

Having won the title in 1952 and 1953 for Ferrari – their first – Alberto Ascari moved to Lancia in 1954 – but the D50 machine was dreadfully unreliable.

At the 1955 Monaco GP, he was leading the race after Stirling Moss retired with engine failure, but a misjudgment on lap 80 of 100 in what would become the chicane ended with the Italian's car sinking into the harbour.

Fortunately, he was able to escape from the car and swim to safety, but just four days later, Ascari was killed in Monza.

While testing a Ferrari sports car, he crashed into the fast left turn – the corner that now bears his name – at the back of the track and was killed.

Alberto's father Antonio was also killed in a race car while driving the 1925 French Grand Prix.

Both men died at the age of 36, on the 26th, four days after surviving an accident.

Alberto was four days older than his father when he died.

The only other driver to crash in Monaco came 10 years after Ascari in the 1965 race.

Lotus racer Paul Hawkins also misjudged the turn, but like Ascari, he managed to escape the car as it sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.

Hawkins would also be killed in a UK race car at Oulton Park in the RAC Cup.

His Lola car crashed and caught fire, and the Australian died of his injuries.

He died on May 26, 1969, 14 years after Askari himself was killed.



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