The start of Monaco Grand Prix was aborted twice due to engine and computer failures.
After the first initial formation lap, Alexander Wurz stalled his Benetton-Playlife on the starting grid, forcing another warmup lap.
Since Benetton had only one backup car, set for his teammate, he was unable to start and was ready to sit out the race.
On the second start, a computer problem forced the red flag mechanism to start flashing throughout the circuit, effectively halting the race midway through the first lap.
However, well after the red flag was waving, Pedro de la Rosa was bumped in his Arrows at the tight Loews corner, and stopped sideways on the track, blocking a half-dozen cars behind him.
That forced four drivers, to run back to the pits and go to the backup cars. They were Jenson Button in a Willaims-BMW, Marc Gene in the Minardi-Fondmetal, Nick Heidfeld in a Prost-Peugeot and Pedro Diniz in a Sauber-Petronas.
Wurz was able to rejoin the race because of the extra time and the crew was able to get the spare car transformed in time.
The only one to finally not make it to the second start was de la Rosa.
The race finally got under way more than a half-hour after the initial start time. The race went back up to 78 laps because the race due to the accident made essentially led for full re-start.
Michael Schumacher was on the pole position in his Ferrari and Jarno Trulli was next to him on the starting grid – (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)