May, 2004. Following a torrid Monaco Grand Prix during which neither of its cars finished, Jaguar Racing has just discovered that the £140,000 diamond it had stuck onto the nose of Christian Klien’s ill-fated R5 to promote the film Ocean’s Twelve has vanished…
As though Monaco needed any more sparkle this weekend, Jaguar Racing encrusted the nosecones of its drivers Mark Webber and Christian Klien’s cars with £140,000 flawless diamonds. It was all part of a PR stunt to promote the upcoming film Ocean’s Twelve, which is all about the heist of a dia… no wait, a Fabergé egg. We’re not quite sure either, but nonetheless. What could possibly go wrong?
Several of the film’s A-list cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon were flown to the principality to smile and wave for the paparazzi and Jaguar changed the livery of its R5s for the occasion. It even gave its drivers special black racing suits in black instead of the usual green.
“Once Klien’s stricken R5 was recovered and returned back to the Jaguar pit, the diamond in the nose was nowhere to be found.”
If only the team’s Sunday afternoon lived up to the paddock media hype it had whipped up with its diamonds and Hollywood megastars. Mark Webber retired his car on lap 11 with gearbox troubles. And Christian Klien’s maiden Monaco Grand Prix was even more short-lived. On the very first lap, the Austrian’s steering failed and he ploughed nose-first into the barrier at Mirabeau. Miraculously, the Jaguar’s most valuable component remained in situ. And, naturally for a jewel so hard, unscathed.
This is when things got weird. Once Klien’s stricken R5 was recovered and returned back to the Jaguar pit, the diamond in the nose was nowhere to be found. Which means that in the two hours the car spent beside the live track, an opportunist marshal, official or member of the public relieved the car of its treasure. More remarkable still is that said diamond will never surface again.The photos in this feature are from the Girardo & Co. Archive, which is our new treasure trove of three-million motorsport images from the 1970s to the present day, all of which are available to purchase directly from the website. Click here to search the archive and buy photos online.