Jean Alesi was deprived on Sunday of an opportunity to win a second F1 race with Ferrari, the Frenchman ending his Historic Monaco Grand Prix in the wall while leading the thrilling event.
Alesi - driving Niki Lauda’s 1974 race winning 312 B3 in the event for cars built between 1973 and 1976 - stormed off the grid from P2 and outpaced the Lotus 77 of Marco Werner into Ste Dévote.
Replay 🔙 Départ Série F
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Alesi and the former Audi works driver ran nose to tail and engaged in a massive battle, with neither driver holding back onboard their period machinery.
The 1995 Canadian Grand Prix winner pulled out his most defensive driving tactics to keep his rival behind, à la Senna versus Mansell in 1992.
Alas, it all ended in tears just three laps from the checkered flag for the man from Avignon when Werner hit the back of the Ferrari on the main straight, pitching the priceless 312 B3 into the wall!
Werner inherited the win on the road but was demoted to third by the stewards who were unhappy with the German’s maneuver, while the 50-second penalty handed the top spot to the McLaren M26 of Michael Lyons.
A disgruntled Werner reluctantly collected his trophy on the podium, having suggested moments earlier that a clumsy Alesi had missed a gear on the main straight and suddenly slowed, implying that his punt up the rear had been anything but intentional.
Even in retirement, racers will be racers!
As for Alesi, the disappointed Ferrari charger vowed to return to the Principality next year for another bout of historic racing.