If the road to a Monaco win in 1992 seemed difficult, with two powerful Williams in the way, the task in 1993 would be just as hard for Ayrton Senna, if not more so. At the starting grid, he had Alain Prost (Williams) and Michael Schumacher (Benetton) ahead of him, on the first row.
The Brazilian had once again done well at the qualifying session, but the Best He could with his McLaren was a third place, Just like in the previous year.
Statistics also played a part in the duel with Prost: they were the only two drivers who had won in Monaco over the last nine years: Senna had five wins (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992) and the Frenchman had four (1984, 1985, 1986, 1988).
And Senna had another problem: his left thumb. During the free practice sessions, which, in the Principality, take place on Thursday (it’s the only race in the world F1 championship in which that happens), the Brazilian crashed his McLaren against the guard-rail going at almost 270 km/h, and the impact hurt his hand.
Take a look at Senna’s crash during the practice sessions:
With the help of Josef Leberer, McLaren’s physical therapist, Senna had a good recovery and was able to keep his position at the start of the race. Prost, who was in second, suffered a penalty for jumping the gun and had to drive through the pit-lane, which took him out of contention for the win.
Now, Senna’s problem was overtaking Schumacher, who had distanced himself from the Brazilian. On lap 33, the German’s engine gave out, clearing the way for another win by Senna, who set the incredible record of six wins in Monaco.
Way ahead of Damon Hill, who was in second place, Senna took the time to make a pit stop, in order to avoid any surprises at the end. Still, he crossed the finish line 52 seconds ahead of the Britton.
On the podium, Ayrton Senna was delighted by Damon Hill’s class, who greeted him by saying: “Congratulations, King of Monaco. If my father was alive, I’m sure he would come shake your hand”, said Hill, who is the son of Graham Hill, the previous holder of the record for most wins in Monaco that was broken by Ayrton, with his sixth victory.
It was Senna’s 39th win in his career, and his third in the 1993 season. In that year, the McLaren driver had won heroically in Brazil and Donington Park.
On the day after the win, Senna took a slow drive through the circuit, recalling a few moments from the race, in a story for TV Globo (only in portuguese).