Sunday 7th May 1989
Despite losing first and second gears, Ayrton Senna took a comfortable win at the Monaco Grand Prix as teammate Alain Prost found himself losing time to other people’s incidents. First, he was held up by a collision at the Loews Hairpin between Andrea de Cesaris and Nelson Piquet (who sat in their cars shouting at each other for a bit as they blocked the track) and then by the Ligier of René Arnoux, who he was trying to lap at the time. Arnoux – frequently a tough backmarker – wasn’t having the best of seasons and during commentary, Murray Walker explained that Arnoux felt he was struggling to get on terms with naturally aspirated F1 cars, having driven with turbo power for virtually his whole career. In the process, he set co-commentator James Hunt up for one of his most iconic commentary lines:
“And all I can say to that is bullshit.”
Behind the McLaren duo, it had been a good day for some of the smaller teams. Despite having to come through the pre-qualifying session, Brabham looked like the second fastest team for much of the weekend. Martin Brundle qualified fourth and was on course for a podium until a problem dropped him back to sixth, leaving Stefano Modena to finish third – his first podium, and the last for the Brabham team. Alex Caffi had also come through pre-qualifying for the Scuderia Italia team and he finished a career-best fourth.