Monaco is known for a few things: casinos, rich people, yachts. But it’s known among car people for its famed Formula 1 street circuit. If you visit, you can retrace that circuit, right down to its astoundingly tight Casino Square hairpin. But think twice, or thrice, about what car you take on your tribute “lap,” or you may end up like the overambitious driver of this Citroen Ami.
Multiple people were recording when this Citroen Ami was ripping around the Casino Square corner, and a couple of those angles were shared on Twitter by user World Bollard Association. When the driver decided to come down the hill to the corner at what was likely the top speed or more of the tiny Citroen, it winds up on its side, sailing into one of the bollards on the sidewalk, preventing pedestrians from becoming bowling pins.
— World Bollard Association™ (@WorldBollard)
March 12, 2023
There are a number of factors that came together for this dramatic wreck. One of the foremost is the fact that the Ami was being pushed well beyond its limits. The electric car tops out at 28 mph from the factory, as it’s meant to be a low-speed city car. It actually has a special classification in France that allows people to drive it without a license, making it more like a golf cart or scooter. It’s designed around that idea of a slow commuter for tight city streets, too, being extremely narrow, but still fairly tall. It’s not exactly meant to be taking corners quickly. As some have pointed out, British automotive TV show Fifth Gear demonstrated the car’s lack of cornering stability, nearly rolling the car on a level turn.
Then there’s the corner itself. The Ami was being driven in the same direction as the Formula 1 race, which heads downhill into the hairpin. It’s quite possible it was at or even beyond that 28-mph speed limit thanks to gravity. This also means that as the tipsy little car started turning in, it was already going to be leaning even a little further over than in most city corners. So with extra speed and an off-camber turn, the results were practically inevitable.
If you find yourself looking to cruise around Monaco, remember that a glorified golf cart can’t perform like a proper car.