The Monaco Grand Prix of 1984 may not be considered a classic but it highlighted the brilliance of a rising new generation of Formula 1 stars.
Qualifying had seen World Championship leader Alain Prost take pole position in his McLaren-TAG with Nigel Mansell's Lotus-Renault second, ahead of the two Ferraris of Rene Arnoux and Michele Alboreto and the two Renaults of Derek Warwick and Patrick Tambay. The top 10 was completed by Andrea de Cesaris's Ligier-Renault, Niki Lauda's McLaren-TAG, Nelson Piquet's Brabham-BMW and Keke Rosberg's Williams-Honda. Qualifying was marked by a huge crash for Martin Brundle's Tyrrell at Tabac, the car ending up sliding down the road on its side. Brundle was confused but not hurt.
Race morning was marked by steady rain and conditions were so bad that the start of the race was delayed for 45 minutes. At the first corner the two Renaults collided and were out, Tambay suffering a broken leg, but Prost took the lead with Mansell chasing. Niki Lauda made a good start from eighth on the grid and by lap six had overtaken both Ferraris to move into third place.
Mansell fans were overjoyed on lap 11 when Nigel took the lead from Prost but five laps later he crashed heavily and the McLarens were 1-2. The remarkable Ayrton Senna was by then in third place in his Toleman (which was running on Michelin tires for the first time, the team having given up with Pirelli). He had started 13th but had picked his way up through the field.
On lap 19 he overtook Lauda to take second place and began to chase Prost, who was half a minute ahead. Five laps later Lauda crashed in Casino Square. As Senna chased Prost so attention focussed on Stefan Bellof's Tyrrell which was up to fourth place from last on the grid. It was a mighty performance. On lap 27 Bellof blasted past Arnoux's Ferrari to take third place and set off in pursuit of Senna. As Senna closed on Prost so Bellof closed on the pair of them.
And then on lap 31 the race was suddenly stopped. Prost was relieved, Senna was furious and Bellof was disappointed. One can only wonder what might have happened if the red flags had not come out.
Arnoux was fourth with Rosberg fifth and de Angelis sixth.