Formula One: All you need to about the Monaco Grand Prix




The next Formula One race in the 2015 calendar is the Monaco Grand Prix to be held on the 24th of May. Known as the jewel of the Formula One calendar, this race at Monte Carlo is perhaps the most anticipated and exciting race each season for the drivers and the spectators alike. The Monaco Grand Prix is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world.

Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Monaco is a sovereign city-state and microstate located in the French Riviera bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The place is considered a tax haven with no tax laws and low business taxes. Hence, with the high economic liberty, great climate and amazing surrounding scenery, Monaco has become the playground of the super-rich. This is the reason why Formula One has been so popular in the region.

In terms of the circuit, Monaco is a narrow, twisty street circuit with many elevation changes all through the track. There are many tight corners in this race; in fact the Turn 6 of the track called the Grand Hotel Hairpin is the tightest and the slowest corner in the whole Formula One calendar. The course also goes through an underground tunnel that is a fast right hand bend. Barriers and heavy duty fencing is done throughout due to the street circuit nature of the track. The drivers constantly drive at high speeds very close and many a times skimming the walls. There are no run-off areas on this circuit and the tolerance of error for drivers is very low on this circuit. All this makes the Monaco Grand Prix one of the most difficult and demanding circuits for the drivers at the same time thrilling for the spectators.

The first ever race was held in 1929 which was organised by the local automobile club of Monaco. It was won by William Grover in a Bugatti. The 3.3Km Monte Carlo street circuit hosted a Formula One the race for the first time in 1950. The next race took place in 1955 and has since then been a constant feature every season being one of the most popular races amongst fans. It has hosted the second highest number of 61 Formula One races for any venue; the only track to host more races is Monza.

It is not a fast circuit but it is a dangerous one driving so close to the barriers. The cars usually run on maximum down force configuration. This is also a circuit where the brakes play a crucial role and also get used up the most. The best way to achieve fast lap time is to drive smooth and be precise while attacking corners. Drifting away from the racing line will cause a lot of loss in terms of time and position. Overtaking is also difficult on this track as it is narrow and twisty.

Nico Rosberg will be looking for his second win to continue his momentum of winning after Spain Grand Prix. If he does so, he will be the fourth driver to win three successive wins at Monte Carlo. His team mate Lewis Hamilton is however determined to go back to winning ways by winning at Monaco this weekend. In terms of manufacturers McLaren has won the most number of races (15) followed by Ferrari who have won 8 races. However in terms of podium finishes, Ferrari scores more at 48 podium finishes compared to McLaren’s 26.

Due to the slow nature of the track, Ferrari’s team engineer and drivers are looking at a real chance this weekend to overtake Mercedes who have been dominating all the races this season. Williams too have a competitive package and are looking at a podium finish at Monaco.

We need to wait for the qualifying session on Saturday to see how competitive the teams really are and if they have been able to develop their cars further from what we saw in the last race. This will set the tone for the race on Sunday.

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Anjan K Merkap

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