For all its vitality and razzamatazz, Monaco can seem a solitary and hostile place. Particularly at around 8.30am on the first day of practice in 1983. As prequalifying got under way, I joined a handful of spectators by the wall overlooking Tabac. I was a motor sport reporter for a British newspaper and I needed to check the progress of Derek Warwick as he hefted the Toleman-Hart around the streets in an attempt to earn a place among the 26 cars allowed into official practice.
With only five cars running, there was not much action, either on or off the track. During one of the many periods of comparative quiet, I heard a distant karrumpff! With no mention of anything untoward from the track commentator, who would have been desperately searching for any incident of consequence, I thought no more about it.
Not long after, I happened to look round and saw Johnny Cecotto making his lonely way up Avenue JF Kennedy. It was the work of a moment to quickly raise the Sureshot and press the button.