avide Valsecchi was first on the scene, having bogged down at the start with the anti-stall on his DAMS. He had been lucky to get off the grid at all but inevitably lost multiple positions, leaving him running well down in the midfield and vulnerable to getting cauht up in other people's accidents. Sure enough after spinning, Cecotto's powerless Barwa Addax car rolled back across the track right into Valsecchi's path and it ended up impacting the rear left of the DAMS, sending Valsecchi into a race-ending hit with the Armco.
Behind this incident, everyone reacted - and there was a mass of collisions, including the scary sight of Felipe Nasr being launched skywards over the back of Victor Guerin's Ocean Racing car. That left the track completely blocked for the better part of a minute, before the ever-efficient Monaco track workers cleared a way through and get those cars still under their own power under way again.
In all, ten cars were out as a result of the first lap incidents: Richelmi and Coletti from the initial incident at Ste. Devote; and then Cecotto, Valsecchi, Nasr, Guerin, Tom Dillmann, Ricardo Teixeria, Fabio Onidi and Giancarlo Serenelli at Massenet. Serenelli's Venezuela Lazarrus GP team mate Fabrizio Crestani also retired soon after following contact with the barriers. The safety car was inevitably brought out for the clean-up operation as cars were hoisted into the air by the cranes and off to the side of the track.
The race resumed after four laps behind the safety car