N after the death of Niki Lauda, a shadow hangs over this week the Monaco paddock. The Glamor Grand Prix bears sadness. One of the longstanding leading actors in the Formula 1 circus has passed away. But as is so often the case in this case, too, at the end of the day: The show must go on! Lauda would not have wanted it any other way.
In terms of sport, the Austrian should have liked the way his Silver Arrows stood out in the first five races of the year. After the five double victories, world championship leader Lewis Hamilton and his rival Valtteri Bottas travel as clear favorites to the classic in Monaco. The strength of the car in the angular last sector of Barcelona speaks for another Mercedes victory. After many years of weakness in tight corners, the W10 is suddenly in a league of its own in this discipline.
The competition from Ferrari and Red Bull shouldn't throw the gun in the grain yet. After all, Monaco cannot be compared with any other racetrack. For the fast harbor tour, all teams have to choose a special setup. Pirelli has the three softest types of tires in its range. And then of course the weather could also mess up the usual order. The whole week of the race is supposed to cover the principality with clouds, from which a few drops can fall at any time.
The track: Circuit de Monaco
The Monaco GP is a special case on the Grand Prix calendar . The veteran among the races is dangerous and tight. Overtaking is almost impossible. Every slip is severely punished. When it comes to safety, the FIA has to turn a blind eye every year. Run-off zones are in short supply. In the event of a collision, there is regularly a spectacular ping pong between the guardrails.
Because it is too dangerous on the fast tunnel passage, the DRS folding wing is only used on the home straight. However, the artificial overtaking aid has proven to be quite ineffective in recent years. Changes in position in the race are almost only possible through strategy. That's why a good lap in qualifying is more important here than anywhere else on the calendar.
- Lap length: 3.3337 km
- Number of laps: 78
- Race distance: 260.286 km
- Lap record: Max Verstappen - 1: 14,260 min (2018)
- Number of corners: 19 (8 left /11 right)
- Distance from pole position to turn 1: 111m
- Pit lane time loss: 22 seconds (308 m)
- Top speed: 296km /h
- Downforce level: high
- Tire wear: low
- Braking load: medium
- Fuel consumption: low
- Tire types: C3 /C4 /C5
- DRS zones: 1 - home straight
- Safety car probability: 50 percent
Monaco is the track with the lowest average speeds, the tightest corners and the most steering movements. Top speed doesn't count here. If you have the most downforce and the best traction, the fastest route is the 3.337-kilometer lap. When braking, the cars traditionally show a tendency to understeer, which the engineers try to compensate with a lot of downforce at the front.
The many bumps on public roads also demand everything from the chassis. More ground clearance and a softer set-up not only help cushion the impact, it is also useful for good traction from the many slow corners. The steering ratio must be specially adapted for the tight Loews curve. The engineers also have to deal with the engine mappings: Good drivability and a lot of power at low speeds are required. Because of the low wear factor, all tires in Monaco last a complete race distance. This will ensure that the drivers will do as many laps as possible on the C5 tires on Sunday. There is no more than one stop.
After the Update Festival in Spain, you shouldn't expect much new in Monaco. Because the cars are always on the road with maximum downforce on the street circuit, you can see interesting additional wings for extra downforce here. Especially when it comes to the T-wing in the rear, the engineers regularly come up with something special for the races in the Principality.
Most of the teams presented their engines in Barcelona. In Monaco the Ferrari customers of Haas and Alfa Romeo are now supposed to come to theEnjoy the new drive units. The drivers shouldn't expect a lot from it. Engine power only plays a minor role in the narrow streets.
Monaco was Not the preferred hunting ground for Mercedes in recent years. With Daniel Ricciardo (2018) and Sebastian Vettel (2017), the competition recently celebrated twice in a row. But this year the chances are good that the biggest party after the race will again take place in the motorhome with the star on the facade. Red Bull and Ferrari have to hope for bad weather or miracle laps of their drivers in qualifying.
In the midfield, on the other hand, we expect a bigger shift in the balance of power. Because tires are coming to the fore again in Monaco, we fear problems for Haas. Cars that produce a lot of downforce, such as the Toro Rosso or Renault, should be able to perform a little more strongly again. In the narrow midfield, however, the driving performance will also make the difference in the end.
This is how the race went last year - GP Monaco 2018
After his pole position, many experts expected Daniel Ricciardo would win the Monaco race 2018 by left. But then the Australian worked up a little more sweat than planned on Sunday. A defective MGU-K caused a power loss of 160 hp. So it turned into a defensive battle over 78 laps for Ricciardo, which the man brought over the distance with flying colors.
Sebastian Vettel always stuck in the rear of his former Red Bull team-mate, but could not start an attack. Lewis Hamilton tried to gain positions with an early pit stop, but did not succeed. The future world champion had to be content with third place. Max Verstappen only ended up in 9th place after he had an accident in qualifying and started from last place.
To get you in the mood, we show you the pictures of the GP Monaco 2018 again in the gallery.