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From the Motor Sport Archive
It was a few seconds before ten minutes to five on Sunday June 3rd that Jacky Ickx, as Clerk of the Course for the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, finally gave the instruction to show the red flag and the chequered flag at the start line, thereby defusing what was quickly becoming an explosive contest between Alain Prost's McLaren MP4/2 and the Hart-engined Toleman TG184 of new boy Ayrton Senna. Taking a personal, and reflective, view of this race rather than providing Motor Sport's readers with only a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings, I have to say that my initial reaction was to think back 12 years to the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix which was run in similar conditions of appalling rain and spray — a race which wasn't stopped and was finally won by Jean-Pierre Beltoise after a magnificent display of car control at the wheel of his BRM P160. One of the most accomplished wet weather "aces" of that time was out-driven by Beltoise on this rare occasion and finished second at the wheel of his Ferrari 312B2. His name, of course, was Jacky lckx...
Memories play tricks on people, of course, but I'm bound to say that I don't feel the weather conditions at Monaco in 1984 were significantly worse than in '72, although whether any conclusions can be drawn from the fact that Beltoise's winning average was 102 kph on the faster "pre-'73" circuit, as opposed to Prost's average of 100.775 kph in this year's event, is difficult for me to say.