The Monaco Historic was on this weekend, and the star of the vintage F1 race was 1990s Ferrari F1 driver Jean Alesi driving the 1970s Ferrari 312T raced by Niki Lauda. Everyone was enamored with its period-appropriate tight action on-track, and slightly less enamored with its even more period-appropriate crash.
First, let’s get acquainted with this 312T howling around the Monaco pinball machine with Alesi at the wheel. This car is from when Ferrari was running flat-12 engines, which Ferrari claimed made 500 horsepower at a bit over 12,000 RPM, as F1Technical recounts. It was more powerful than the typical Cosworth DFVs running around at the time, and it made Ferrari competitive again.
How much any of that matters anymore is questionable. Unquestionable, of course, is that is still sounds amazing.
And some more:
The big drama of the weekend was Alesi was dicing on track with a Lotus 77 driven by three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Marco Werner. It was somewhat ironic that Lauda in the 312 was Werner’s childhood hero, because he got tied up in the car crashing into the wall.
Alesi went into the wall, Werner went ahead and won the race, though the organizers stripped him of the win.
SkySports F1 went so far as to say that Werner took out Alesi in the crash, as you can see in this race footage:
It was a weird crash, in that it didn’t really look like Werner tried to crash Alesi out, as Axis of Oversteer, a friend of Jalopnik, pointed out on Twitter:
Even those participating in the race didn’t quite buy that Werner deserved all the blame, with the new winner placing his trophy on Werner’s demoted car:
As it is, it’s kind of pointless to look for blame. These are old F1 cars. When they race, they race close. They also crash. As they did then, so do they do now. They also also sometimes blew up with no provocation whatsoever, so maybe everyone came out kind of lucky.