Skip to content

F1 Flashback: Rosberg’s stunning Monaco GP win (VIDEO)

May 15, 2013, 10:00 AM EST

Keke Rosberg’s Monaco Grand Prix victory on this day 30 years ago was a classic example of a world champion seizing an opportunity to win in an unfancied car.

Rosberg had lifted the title for Williams in 1982 but the following year a turbo-powered car was the thing to have. Rosberg’s Cosworth-engined Williams was hopelessly out-gunned at most tracks. At Silverstone that year he led the non-turbo qualifiers but was a depressing 4.2 seconds off the pace.

But the tight, twisty confines of Monaco offered Williams a glimmer of hope. Rosberg wrung the neck of his FW08C in qualifying and planted it fifth on the grid behind the turbo Renaults and Ferraris.

On race day the weather tipped matters a little further in his favor: it rained, and the track was still damp and slippery as the start time approached.

While most drivers elected to start the race on wet-weather tires, Rosberg and Williams team mate Jacques Laffite opted for slicks. The call was spot-on: by the first corner Rosberg was already up to second, and as they began the second lap he pulled out from behind Alain Prost and crossed the line two-tenths of a second before the Renault.

The next time they came by Rosberg was a further second and a half up the road. By the fifth tour his lead was over 11 seconds and with the track drying out his rivals needed to pit for slicks.

Two laps later that had been done, leaving Rosberg with a 28 second margin over his team mate and the rest a further 20 seconds in a arrears. And still he continued to pull ahead, drifting the Williams between the barriers on the treacherous surface.

After 76 laps of racing Rosberg’s virtuoso performance was rewarded with his second career win. And anyone who doubted the credentials of a driver who’d won just once on his way to the 1982 championship had been given cause to think again.

Latest Posts
  1. Kyle Busch says Toyota teams are “idiots” by not working close together

    Jan 26, 2015, 8:06 PM EST

    34th Annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona 34th Annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona

    Kyle Busch say that he doesn’t see Toyota partners Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing working closely together and that “we’re idiots” for not doing so.

  2. Kyle Busch has a message for those confusing him with his brother

    Jan 26, 2015, 7:04 PM EST

    Kyle Busch Kyle Busch

    Kyle Busch is not pleased with those who have confused him with his brother in reporting on Kurt Busch’s recent court matter.

  3. NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing prepares for new era as 4-car team (VIDEO)

    Jan 26, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    NASCAR Sprint Media Tour  - Day 1 Getty Images

    Will its expansion help or hurt its hopes of a Sprint Cup title?

  4. Cast your vote: Which Joe Gibbs Racing driver will have the best season in 2015?

    Jan 26, 2015, 4:54 PM EST

    Joe Gibbs Racing's roster for 2015 (from left): Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Xfinity Series driver Daniel Suarez and Kyle Busch. AP

    Which Joe Gibbs Racing driver will have the best season in 2015? Newcomer Carl Edwards, or Matt Kenseth, or JGR stalwarts Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin?

  5. Brian France: State of NASCAR is in a good place and getting better

    Jan 26, 2015, 4:38 PM EST

    bzf media day 2015 Getty Images

    After last year’s exciting Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR chairman Brian France painted a very positive state of the sport Monday. There are still challenges, but NASCAR is working at fixing those.

  6. NASCAR not looking to expand four-car limit for teams

    Jan 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EST

    Brian France News Conference Brian France News Conference

    NASCAR Chairman Brian France says series officials are not looking to eliminate the four-car limit for teams.

  7. NASCAR: No early exit expected for title sponsor Sprint

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:58 PM EST

    Sprint All-Star Race Getty Images

    The wireless communications company already has announced its departure after the end of its contract in 2016

  8. NASCAR: Drive For Diversity class of ’15 announced; update on Daytona Rising

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:30 PM EST

    nascar logo 2014 Getty Images

    Devon Amos, Jay Beasley, Collin Cabre, Natalie Decker, Kenzie Ruston, and Dylan Smith part of this year’s D4D program; an update on Daytona Rising renovation project.

  9. Hendrick Motorsports pit coach leaves sport

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:22 PM EST

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    Greg Morin, a pit coach overseeing the crews of Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr., is leaving his position after January.

  10. NASCAR outlaws the practice of flared fender side skirts

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:08 PM EST

    NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell Getty Images

    NASCAR has outlawed the practice of teams manipulating — or flaring out — of rear side skirts to produce an aerodynamic advantage.

  11. F1: Bottas, then Massa in new Williams FW37 at Jerez test

    Jan 26, 2015, 1:25 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Getty Images

    The Grove gang reveals its lineup for the first F1 preseason test of 2015.

  12. NASCAR: GameStop in for 10 races on Erik Jones’ XFINITY ride with Gibbs

    Jan 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EST

    DAV 200 - Honoring America's Veterans Getty Images

    Video game retail company continues support of Joe Gibbs Racing’s XFINITY Series program.

  13. F1: Ferrari reveals official name for 2015 car – the SF15-T

    Jan 26, 2015, 11:30 AM EST

    Italy F1 Ferrari Vettel AP

    Official launch of the new car is set for Friday.

  14. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett to join NASCAR coverage on NBC, NBCSN

    Jan 26, 2015, 11:09 AM EST

    Dale Jarrett Getty 2014 Getty Images

    NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett will join NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of NASCAR in 2015, it was announced Monday.

  15. National Motorsports Press Association honors Lynda Petty, Kevin Harvick and others for service, achievement

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:31 AM EST

    Richard and Lynda Petty AP

    Richard Petty’s late wife, Lynda, and 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick were among those who were honored during Sunday’s National Motorsports Press Association annual awards banquet.

  16. F1: Lotus releases images of its new Mercedes-powered E23

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:10 AM EST

    Credit: Lotus F1 Team Credit: Lotus F1 Team

    Lotus hopes to put a less-than-competitive 2014 to rest with the help of its new car.

  17. NASCAR Media Tour begins today, but drivers still in idle

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:36 AM EST

    GoDaddy Bowl - Toledo v Arkansas State Getty Images

    A long layoff has drivers such as Danica Patrick ready ‘to take out this aggression somewhere right now.’

  18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ponders a 24-hour NASCAR race

    Jan 25, 2015, 11:33 PM EST

    Dale Jr. TaxSlayer Bowl 2015 Getty Images

    A big fan of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. posed a rather interesting question to his Twitter followers: Could NASCAR ever do — let alone consider — a 24-hour race?

  19. NASCAR: John Hunter Nemechek, XFINITY champ Chase Elliott win at SpeedFest

    Jan 25, 2015, 7:34 PM EST

    Lucas Oil 200 - Practice Getty Images

    Nemechek, Elliott victorious in late model doubleheader Sunday at Cordele, Ga.

  20. Site of previously planned NASCAR track in New York to finally be developed

    Jan 25, 2015, 6:00 PM EST

    nascar logo

    Land once earmarked for a new NASCAR track in New York will instead become a big box and manufacturing complex.

Video from NASCAR America

Gordon hesitant to call it 'retirement'
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Clements (1515)
  2. K. Grala (1480)
  3. M. Waltrip (1470)
  4. B. Vickers (1454)
  5. M. Lira (1360)