Back on track with Monaco GP

Today I re-started my writing again with the first paragraphs for the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s my first writing since my wife gave birth to a baby boy: Nathan.

I started work by interpreting the goings-on since the San Marino race, with the FIA’s press statements, the Italian magistrates’ actions regarding the Imola circuit’s managing director et cetera.

The result for my alternate 1994 Monte Carlo race is already set, of course, but my task, now, is to write a good story for the race leading to this result. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

5 thoughts on “Back on track with Monaco GP

  1. This sounds like a very interesting project. I look forward to reading how it unfolds. However, I would like to point out that what Schumacher did to Hill at the British GP (overtaking him on the formation lap, in an attempt at intimidation), he would never have done to Senna. Schumacher would have had too much respect for Senna, and wouldn’t have attempted to bully him like this. I hope you take this into consideration when you come to write this section of the book.

  2. Hi Christian,

    This is where the book will really get exciting and I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun writing it! I just felt I’d give my views on some of the events that could’ve happened at Monaco.

    Karl Wendlinger had a big accident on the Friday of the Monaco weekend and this would surely have impacted Senna in some way, given that Senna was very upset about Barrichello’s and Ratzenger’s accidents at Imola. Senna would’ve been head of the GPDA and it is likely he would’ve pushed for improved safety in the sport.

    The front row of the grid was left empty for the race, with the Austrian and Brazilian flag printed on the tarmac. There was minutes silence for the 2 drivers aswell. I wonder if this would’ve been the same had only Ratzenberger died. I’m sure Senna would’ve organised something though given how he had the Austrian flag in his car at Imola.

    As for the race, we all know how Senna was so dominant at Monaco and that it’s likely he would’ve got his 4th pole position of the season. However, the track was very much suited to the Benetton, more so than the Williams. I think Schumacher would’ve certainly given Senna a run for his money and then it is up to you to decide who comes out on top!

  3. Matthew, Schumi DID overtake Senna at Interlagos that same year, during the formation lap. Go watch a video of the race and you will see it clearly. He overtakes him at the end of the “Reta Oposta” (back straight).

    There were several reasons he was punished at Silverstone but wasn’t at Interlagos. I guess one of them was that he did not once but twice, because there was an aborted start. Another one, the psychosis that dominated Formula One at that moment, where everything was deemed “dangerous” after the events of Imola (remember several one race bans, like Hakkinen’s, because the multiple collision at the start of the German GP).

    And yet another reason (although this is a subjective thought) might be that Formula One was in a very bad situation at that moment, and Schumacher was leading 66 to 29 points and looking set to run away with the title very soon, so a bit of spicing up the championship was very convenient.

    Had Senna not been killed at Imola, the situation would have been different. Of course Schumacher could have made the same move he did on Hill (as he had already done to Senna before). But Senna would have won the Spanish GP with Hill in 2nd, and let’s say he had also won either the Monaco, the Canada or the France race (just one of the three). This way Schumacher would be leading 62 to 32, and people would be expecting a Senna comeback in the second part of the season.

    But even if Schumacher would have had too much respect for Senna and would not overtake him during a formation lap, we shouldn’t take these kind of things as unchangeable truths when writing alternate history. I’ll try to explain what I mean with an example.

    Let’s say Schumi had been killed when he crashed at Silverstone, in 1999. Let’s also say Christiaan is planning to write an alternate history book on the subject: “what if Schumi had survived his 1999 accident?”, and let’s also say he goes on and writes a book on which:

    -Schumi brakes his legs and rests out several races, until he is forced to come back to race the last couple of GPs and help Eddie Irvine to win the WC;
    -Eddie fails and then Schumi goes on to win the next five driver’s championships in a row;
    -Schumi retires as a seven time champion at the end of 2006, with all the records on race wins, fastest laps, points, pole positions and of course world championship titles (neither of which he was even close in 1999).

    What would people say at this?

    “WTF, Schumi would have never accepted to play second fiddle to anyone, let alone Irvine!”

    “Five titles in a row? You must be dreaming! Apart from Fangio, no one has ever won more than two titles in a row”

    “Fangio and Senna’s records can never be beaten”

    “What a stupid book, these things could have never happened”

    And so on. And most of us would probably agree with those opinions! So, it’s necessary to open your mind when you are writing on this kind of subjects and forget a lot of things which happened IRL. And the other way around, you have to think about possible outcomes which didn’t happened IRL.

    Just my two cents 😉

  4. Well, if you went with the supposition that Schumi would come back healthy in 2000, that McLaren would fall of the pace and Hakkinen would retire young, and no one with the talent to seriously challenge Schumacher would come along for more than five years, then yes, I would believe that he could win five WDCs in succession. The day Senna died, I said Schumacher would dominate F1 for a long time. The only things that really broke his dominance were the transition to Ferrari, and his 1999 injury.

    If Schumi had never existed, and Senna hadn’t died, how many championships do you think Senna would have won at Williams? Answer: four in a row, assuming Renault still pulled out after ’97. And then he might have gone to Ferrari and won a few more.

    It’s not that hard to envision a scenario like what really happened when you have a superstar driver in a weak era.

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