1992 Monaco Grand Prix
- Sunday, May 31, 1992
- Grand Prix de Monaco
- F1 World Championship
If Imola confirmed that Williams-Renault is still the dominant force in Grand Prix racing, Monaco served as a reminder of Ayrton Senna's sheer class and the old adage 'It's not over until the Fat Lady sings'.
As usual his McLaren was no match for the Williams-Renaults in qualifying, yet in a manner rendered unobtrusive by their sheer pace he was quick enough to carry the fight within reach of Patrese's to line up third on the grid he has dominated since 1987. And he was clever enough to pounce on the Italian right at the start. "I didn't want to pinch Nigel, so I was a little cautious,” admitted Riccardo. Senna expected that, in a nice piece of psychological warfare. He edged alongside, left his braking as late as he dared, and just managed to beat the second Williams without running into the back of the first as they filed through Ste Devote. That, in its way, won him the race. For while Mansell piled it on to pull out a 22s lead by half distance, Senna was ahead of the other major threat. Mansell had no buffer.
As the race went on, in fact, Patrese's handling got worse as he coped with fairly violent oversteer and a steadfast challenge from Michael Schumacher that began building from lap 22. But had he been ahead of Senna, the Brazilian would have been stymied just as the Benetton driver was. Senna knew this, of course, hence that big effort at the start.