What Happened On This Day May 23 In F1 History?

From Jackie Stewar's masterful performance at the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix to Ayrton Senna's final Monaco Grand Prix win in 1993.

Ben

By Ben Bush
Updated on June 10, 2024

Ayrton Senna 1993 Monaco Grand Prix Win
Ayrton Senna 1993 Monaco Grand Prix Win | © Norio Koike @ ASE

What happened on this day, May 23 in Formula 1 history? Find out interesting facts and stories about Formula 1 on this day.

1971

Jackie Stewart delivered a masterful performance at the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix on May 23, securing pole position by over a second and winning the race by a comfortable 25-second margin. While Stewart dominated, young Ronnie Peterson provided the excitement further back. In his second season, Peterson raced from eighth on the grid to finish second, overtaking Jacky Ickx and Jo Siffert on the narrow principality circuit.

1972

Rubens Barrichello, one of Formula One’s most experienced drivers, was born in Sao Paulo on this day, May 23, 1972. With 326 entries and 322 starts, 11 victories, 68 podiums, and 14 pole positions, his career spanned 18 seasons with six teams. His most successful year was with Ferrari in 2002, but as Michael Schumacher‘s number two, he was never a title contender. In 2009, driving for Brawn, Barrichello had the car and team to challenge for the championship but ended the season third, with two wins compared to teammate Jenson Button‘s six. His career in F1 ended at the last race of the 2011 season, when he transitioned to the IndyCar Series in 2012 with KV Racing Technology.

1982

Riccardo Patrese secured the win at a chaotic 1982 Monaco Grand Prix that seemed cursed for the leading contenders. Four potential winners crashed or ran out of fuel in the final two laps. As light rain made the track slippery, Keke Rosberg was the first to crash on lap 65. Then, Alain Prost spun into the barriers near Tabac, handing the lead to Patrese. However, as Patrese reached the Loews hairpin, he spun and had to give up positions to Didier Pironi and Andrea de Cesaris. A few corners later, Pironi’s Ferrari stopped due to fuel issues, followed by de Cesaris’s Alfa Romeo on the final lap. Patrese regained the lead, but the drama continued as Derek Daly, running in second, crashed at the Swimming Pool complex. Patrese navigated through the debris and cautiously crossed the finish line to claim his first Formula 1 win.

1993

Ayrton Senna won his sixth and final Monaco Grand Prix on May 23, 1993, setting a new record for victories at the iconic race. Incredibly, it was also his fifth consecutive win at the principality, breaking the record of the legendary Graham Hill.

The weekend began poorly with a heavy crash at Saint Devote during practice, leaving Senna with a bruised thumb. Admitting he couldn’t drive at 100%, he still qualified third behind Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost. Prost’s jump-start led to a stop-go penalty, removing him from contention. Schumacher then took the lead but suffered a hydraulic failure on lap 32, ending his race. Senna took over and won, later expressing his astonishment: “I simply don’t have words,” he said. “It is not just the six victories, but the results achieved here, throughout the years, with different cars and different engines, under different conditions.”

Damon Hill finished second in a Williams-Renault, with Frenchman Jean Alesi third in a Ferrari.

2004

Jarno Trulli ended Michael Schumacher’s dominant season start by winning the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix on May 23 in the Renault. Trulli excelled all weekend, securing pole position and leading the race from start to finish. His teammate Fernando Alonso was his closest rival early on but crashed while attempting to lap Ralf Schumacher in the tunnel. During the subsequent safety car period, Michael Schumacher collided with the barriers at the same spot, later accusing Juan Pablo Montoya of brake testing him. The race concluded with Jenson Button in the BAR closing in on Trulli but unable to overtake. This victory remains Trulli’s only win.

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush
Ben

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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