The charming Monte Carlo street circuit has always been a challenge for Formula 1 drivers. Up to then, in 37 years (as an F1 fixture, since the Grand Prix dated from before the championship was established), no Brazilian had ever won there. Ayrton Senna had come close in his very first year in the category (1984, when he was in second place, with strong chances of winning, until the race was suspended) and wanted very much to celebrate a victory there.
Ayrton began the 1987 season facing more challenges than he had at the end of the previous one. Before getting to Monte Carlo, he had retired from two out of three races (Brazil and Belgium). In San Marino, the only race he had completed, he finished in second. That year, Lotus had a new active suspension system, which could be a big help on the bumpy Monaco track. But the system had never been tested there, a fact that shook the team’s confidence.
During the qualifying rounds, he secured the second position on the starting grid. Nigel Mansell got the pole position, with a lap 0s672 faster than the Brazilian’s. The second row had Nelson Piquet’s Williams and Alain Prost’s McLaren. Michele Alboreto and Eddie Cheever made up the third row.
There was a controversy brewing in Monaco, since FISA (the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile) had allowed 26 cars to take part in the race, which could literally cause a traffic jam in the narrow streets of the principality.
A. de Cesaris
position in championship following the race
championship points accumulated
I must say that it was easier to win today than it was to stay in third last year.