The famous race of Monaco is taking place this weekend in Monte Carlo, a race which almost every motorsport driver wants to participate and win it, it is like Indy 500 and Le Mans. It is not a very demanding circuit for the cars, but requires high concentration from the drivers. There is no space for overtaking and any mistake might be crucial for the driver and the car.
The king of Monaco is Ayrton Senna with six victories, followed by the Mr.Monaco and Michael Schumacher who have won the race five times.
Monaco Grand Prix is one of the oldest circuit on Formula One’s calendar, the first race held in 1950 and traditionally the first two free practice sessions held on Thursday instead of Friday.
Lewis Hamilton holds the lap record with 1:17.939. Last year, Lewis stopped Rosberg’s domination in Monaco, the German have won the Monaco Grand Prix for three consecutive times, but the Brit despite that he started the race third, behind Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg, managed to take the chequered flag and celebrate a victory in Monte Carlo. The race started behind the safety car due to a rain which occurred before the race.
Daniel Ricciardo finished second behind Lewis Hamilton, followed by the Mexican driver, Sergio Perez, who secured a podium finish for Force India.
Circuit De Monaco
Number of Laps: 78
Circuit Length: 3.337 km
Race Distance: 260.286 km
Lap Record: 1:17.939 (Lewis Hamilton – 2016)
Tyre allocations: Ultrasoft (Purple), Supersoft (Red), Soft (Yellow)
Jenson Button will cover Fernando Alonso’s absence, who decided to take part in the Indy 500 and qualified 5th. The British driver will return to Formula 1 after a few months of absence and he will be able to complete some laps with the MCL32 during the free practice sessions before the race on Sunday.
“It feels slightly surreal to be back in the cockpit for the Monaco Grand Prix, when the call came from Eric, there was no hesitation. It’s a totally unique situation and a great opportunity. I’m looking forward to stepping back behind the wheel for one of the most crazy, unpredictable and exciting races of the year.”
Button promised to Alonso that he will do his best to look after his car. Alonso misses the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time since 2001.
Monaco is a good opportunity for McLaren to score their first points of 2017, it will be interesting to see if Button will manage to do that in his 2017 debut with McLaren-Honda.
Monte Carlo will also give the chance to Red Bull to try to secure their first victory of the season, as it is a track which is not suitable for overtaking, so the qualifications plays a critical role every year.
Max Verstappen – “There is no such thing as a low risk lap in Monaco, it doesn’t exist if you want to be fast because you have to be on the limit. Last year’s crash was very unfortunate but it doesn’t affect my confidence heading back there, it just makes me want to do better this year and learn from my mistakes. We still have a lot to learn from the car in terms of setup as it is always developing and we haven’t driven it on a tight street circuit yet. Preparation for Monaco is a little different, you definitely build up a little bit slower throughout the weekend and pace yourself. It’s important to find the limit carefully. With the new cars I think the chicane around the swimming pool will be the most challenging corner this year.”
Daniel Ricciardo – “In theory I could walk to work while we are in Monaco, it is still a bit of a way but it could be done. Luckily for me though we get boats to the Energy Station which is a nice change. Being able to sleep in your own bed and complain about the noise is also a treat. Monaco is definitely my favourite track to drive, it is so tight and intimidating. From the outside some of the sequences look impossible to go through at the speeds we do. Once you are in the car it’s an amazing feeling. If you kiss the wall it actually makes you want to do it again as opposed to scaring you. The whole spectacle of the weekend just makes it something unique and special.”
Victor Archakis- @FP_Passion
Images Courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media