Prixview – Monaco Grand Prix

Features

Round six of the season sees Formula One return to the principality of Monaco. Since the 1920’s this narrow twisting circuit has seen the stars, drama and excitement as drivers race around the harbour. Monaco has always been a challenge for all drivers, as they know overtaking is very difficult and there is little opportunities for overtaking.

Monaco has always been F1’s showcase race, as it considered one of the most prestigious and glamorous races in motorsport. The drivers all want to win because of the history and having it on your CV is like gold dust, the race also is one of the triple crown which only Graham Hill has achieved.

In its eighty nine-year history, the circuit has been largely unchanged, with eyeconic corners like Tabac, Sainte Devote, Casino Square and Rascasse. Sainte Devote is also the patron saint of the city-state. The circuit has always thrown up drama, as overtaking is very hard and if your good in the third sector in Barcelona you should be good around the streets of Monte Carlo.

The Portier corner is key to achieving a good lap time around Monaco. It is preceded by the Loews hairpin, the slowest corner in Formula One, and followed by the tunnel, one of the few flat-out sections of the track. But this has seen drama as drivers break for the Nouvelle Chicane.

All the greats, Micheal Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alian Prost and all the champions on the grid have won around the streets of Monaco. Of the current drivers, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are tied on two wins each. Vettel and Hamilton are the most recent winners in Monaco. McLaren has the most wins for a constructor.

Monaco is a low speed circuit, which means drivers need good mechanical grip and a good aero package. Monaco is a circuit which rewards greatly for those who try, but the tinest error can be hugely punished. This means that from the very start being on track and strategy is very important, as drivers can and will make mistakes meaning a safety car is highly possible.

Charles Leclerc will race for the first time at his home race, the only driver who officially is racing at home. The last Monacan to win his home race was Louis Chiron in 1931. However, many current and former drivers live in Monaco, making it the home race for many of the drivers.

Facts and figures

Race Formula One Grand Prix De Monaco 2018
Venue Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Circuit Length 3.337km (2.074 mi)
Laps 78
Race Distance 260.286km (161.734 mi)
Lap Record 1:14.820 (Sergio Pérez, Force India-Mercedes, 2017)
Most wins drivers Ayrton Senna (6)
Most wins manufacture McLaren (15)

Fast facts

  • The flag of Monaco is one of the world’s oldest national flag designs. The flag of Monaco is almost identical to the Indonesian, except for the ratio of height to width.
  • Monaco is the shortest circuit and race on the calendar. Instead of the 190 miles the race is just 160 miles however the race has the most laps with 76.
  • Thirty three kilometres of safety rails are erected. This is on top of three thousand six hundred tyres for tyre barriers and twenty thousand square metres of wire catch fencing.
  • The chances of az safety car is eighty percent as drivers make mistakes and the narrow circuit means that drivers are likely to crash out.
  • 1996 to find the last time the winner came from outside the top three on the grid, so qualifying and the race are both vital.

Event timetable

Session Local BST
Thursday
P1 11:00-12:30 10:00-11:30
P2 15:00-16:30 14:00-15:30
Saturday
P3 12:00-13:00 11:00-12:00
Qualifying 15:00-16:00 14:00-15:00
Sunday
Race 15:10 14:10

What happened in 2017?

Sebastian Vettel took victory to extend his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton in a rather uneventful afternoon. Apart from Jenson Button’s collision in the later part of the race, sparking a late safety car. The safety car caused the field to close up, sparking a series of crashes and collisions behind.

It was a difficult weekend for Lewis Hamilton, he failed to get out of Q2 and recovered from thirteenth to seventh. Hamilton ran until lap 46 before stopping, by which time he was sixth. He lost only one place, to Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, and ran seventh to the end, closing on the Spaniard but unable to pass him.

On the restart, yet more drama as Daniel Ricciardo crashed into the wall at Sainte Devote.

What to watch for?

Monaco is one of the most difficult races of the year as overtaking can be impossible that means that drivers need constration as any mistake could be the end of their race. The race is one where anything can happen and the nature means being on track at the right time both in quaiflying and the race is very important as it can be hugely costly if you get it wrong.

Ferrari is believed to be the favourites, Monaco’s nature means that you need downforce rather than outright speed. Monaco needs aero and we saw in the final sector in Barcelona Red Bull and Ferrari stronger than Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc will be a one to watch Sauber could again be in a positon for a good result as this circuit rewards risks. Last season, Leclerc took pole for the Formula Two race and he will know the circuit well. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel know how to win and unlock the best laps in Monaco, however they have also got it wrong here.

2016 vs 2017 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2017 01:13.425 01:12.720 01:12.395 01:13.090 01:12.231 01:12.178 01:44:44.340 01:14.820
Diff -2.112 -1.887 -2.2525 -18.235 -17.808 -17.315 -14:85.270 -0.717
2016 01:15.537 01:14.607 01:14.650 01:31.325 01:30.039 01:29.493 01:59:29.133 01:15.537

A lap of Monte Carlo

Daniel Riccardo set himself up nicely taking the perfect line through Saint Devote drivers perfectly up the hill through the kink at two and up perfectly to the outside to enter Casino Square. Where he takes the corner beautifully running down the hill.

Into the Mirabeau corners to the inside the first one before crossing the track for the second part of the corner down to the Hotel Hairpin turns in perfectly for the exit. Nicely thought turns six and seven and eight before setting himself for the run through the tunnel and down to the chicane.

Neatly done, before the flat out run through Tabac before the short run to the Swimming Pool section takes kerb on both entry and exit of the chicane on the entry and exit. Heads to Rascasse where he takes a good line heading to the last two corners good turn through both and on the last one gets a good run to cross the line taking pole.

Tyres

Driver

Team Hypersoft Ultrasoft Supersoft

L. Hamilton

Mercedes 9 2

2

V. Bottas 9 3

1

S. Vettel

Ferrari 10 2 1
K. Raikkonen 10 2

1

D. Ricciardo

Red Bull – Tag Heuer 11 1 1
M. Verstappen 11 1

1

S. Perez

Force India – Mercedes 10 2 1
E. Ocon 10 2

1

S. Sirotkin

Williams – Mercedes 11 1 1
L. Stroll 11 1

1

F. Alonso

McLaren – Renault 9 2 2
S. Vandoorne 9 2

2

P. Gasly

Toro Rosso –Honda

10

2 1
B. Hartley 10

2

1

R. Grosjean Haas – Ferrari 9 3

1

K. Magnussen 9 2

2

N. Hulkenberg

Renault 11 1 1
C. Sainz 11 1

1

M. Ericsson

Sauber – Alfa Romeo 10 1 2
C. Leclerc 10 2

1

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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