During the 2004 F1 Monaco Grand Prix, one of the most bizarre events took place. It was the year that the heist film Ocean’s Twelve released in theatres. To help promoted the movie, the organisers did something unusual. Had it worked, it would have been one of the best marketing gimmicks. However, the powers that be, decided to have some fun.
The organisers installed the diamond on the nose of the Jaguar race cars. It wasn’t just one diamond either, they did this with two different diamonds, one on each car. The diamonds installed on the front of these race cars were reportedly worth $300,000 each. They were on loan from Israeli gem firm Steinmetz. Oddly enough, the firm couldn’t find anyone to insure them.
So the inevitable happened, because it’s Monaco, every F1 fan knows that there will be a crash at some point. Sure enough, it happened, and on the very first lap itself. Jaguar driver Christian Klien crashed his diamond-encrusted F1 car at the Loews Corner. Naturally, it triggered a frenzy in the area around the crash as excited spectators went looking for the diamond. Track safety regulations prohibited Team Jaguar from searching for the diamond until after the race ended two hours later.
To clarify what everyone was thinking during those two hours, here’s an actual quote from Jaguar team spokesman Nav Sidhu about the crash: “At that point, I probably should’ve been worried about the car or the driver. But, I must admit, my immediate thought was for the diamond.”
Of course, by the time the Jaguar crew arrived on the scene, the diamond was long gone. Obviously, some lucky person would have pocketed $300,000 worth of diamonds very sneakily. Luckily for Jaguar, the other car did not suffer any crash at all.