Keeping off the barriers will be challenge enough as new F1 cars hit Monaco streets
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 May 2014   |  6:51 pm GMT  |  296 comments

Monaco is unique and it’s not and easy race to win, even with the fastest car. And this year could be very eventful.

There is a very high (80%) chance of a safety car, which can turn a race on its head and hand the advantage to a rival. This year’s cars are very loose at the rear-end and we may well see several safety cars coming out as drivers hit the barriers, like Bottas did in Australia.

For a team like Red Bull, this race presents a rare opportunity to challenge Mercedes for victory but this has to be done with perfect execution in qualifying, getting at least one car on the front row and preventing Mercedes from controlling the race with two cars at the front.

The supersoft tyre makes its 2014 debut and looks like the tyre most runners will prefer. It goes without saying that perfect execution in qualifying is critical for a strong race performance.

There is scope for teams that are kinder on their tyres than rivals, to pit early and attempt the undercut, at an early point in the race, knowing that their rivals will not be able to react and bring their car in because it will not make it to the finish from there on a single set of tyres.

Last year Mercedes were vulnerable to this, as they had high tyre wear. So they played a strategy of running at low speed, bunching the field up and protecting their tyres at the same time.

This year Mercedes has no such worries and if they get the front row of the grid, as they should with their current advantage, they will race off.

The track layout is tight, with no high speed corners, two short straights and the lowest average lap speed of the season at 157 km/h (99mph).

The only possible overtaking place is on the run between the exit of the tunnel and the chicane, but drivers must be careful as it is very dirty off line in the tunnel and they can lose grip by picking up dust and discarded rubber from the tyres.

Track characteristics – click on map to enlarge

Monte Carlo – 3.34 kilometres; Race distance – 78 laps = 260.52 kilometres. 19 corners in total. The slowest lap of the season at an average lap speed of 157km/h.

Aerodynamic setup – High downforce; Top speed 295km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 285km/h without.

Full throttle – 45% of the lap (lowest of year)

Time spent braking: 21% of the lap (high); 13 braking zones. Brake wear – Medium; 48 gear changes per lap.

Total time needed for pit stop: 25 seconds.

Form Guide

The Monaco Grand Prix is the sixth round of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship.

Cars that go well in Monaco have plenty of low speed downforce but above all mechanical grip and traction, for good corner exit performance.

The Mercedes was the fastest car in Monaco last year and this year it has been unbeaten in the first five races.

However the Red Bull will be closer on pace here as the power deficit from the engine will be less significant. The Red Bull chassis is very nimble. Red Bull has won the race for the three of the past four seasons

Ferrari will have a few problems unless they can sort out their issues with traction. Ferrari hasn’t won at Monaco since 2001, a drought of 14 years.

Monaco requires a particular technique of driving close to the barriers and this is a venue where a driver can make a real difference. But the challenge will be even greater this year as the power delivery from the new hybrid turbo engines makes handling these cars a real challenge.

As far as drivers’ form is concerned at Monaco, all the world champions have won Monaco; Sebastian Vettel won in 2011, while other previous Monaco winners in the field are Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Nico Rosberg won last year from pole.

Weather Forecast

The forecast looks good with temperatures around 20 degrees and a low chance of rain. Being coastal however rain can arrive quite suddenly.

Likely tyre performance and other considerations

Pirelli tyre choice for Monaco: Supersoft and Soft.

Monaco is gentle on tyres, the track surface is smooth and there are no high energy corners.

This race sees the first appearance of the supersoft tyre, as Pirelli has been very cautious and conservative so far in its tyre choices. Last year, for example, it used the supersoft in Australia, but this year it has held it back until now.

The teams have done some testing on it, however, in Bahrain pre-season test and also in the two day test in Spain last week. Indications are that the supersoft will be a good tyre so one stop should be quite manageable.

Although it is usually faster on paper to do two stops, in reality many teams shy away from it for fear of losing out in traffic or with a safety car.

Number and likely timing of pit stops

For the last two years we have seen the majority of the top ten finishers all doing a similar one stop strategy. The benchmark time to stop is usually around laps 27 to 30. A car trying an undercut may come in a lap or two earlier than that.

The pit lane at Monaco is long and slow at 60km/h speed limit so the time needed to make a stop is quite long at around 25/26 seconds. This, and the risk of losing time on slower traffic, encourages teams to make less rather than more stops.

Teams will do whatever strategy they believe is the quickest and will allow them to run in as much clear air as possible.

The first lap is always very costly for the midfield and back of the field. With having to follow through the tight corners, it’s common for the cars in the bottom third of the grid to do a first lap which is 20 seconds slower than the leader, who is running in clear air.

This was not the case last year, when Mercedes deliberately slowed the field up in the opening stint.

Chance of a safety car

Very high; there is an 80% chance of a safety car and if it falls at the right time it can make your race. But if it falls at the wrong time, your victory plans fall apart – as they did for Jenson Button in 2011, who was trying to drive flat out uninterrupted on three stops, a risky plan given the likelihood of the safety car.

Recent start performance

The run from the start to the first corner at Monaco is very short and always chaotic. The first turn, St Devote, is tight and slow and cars go through it in single file.

In 2012 now fewer than 13 cars ended the opening lap in a different position from their grid slot.

As far as 2014 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season, on aggregate (places lost over year offset against places gained), as follows –

Gained places

11- Maldonado

9 – Massa
8- Ericsson, Bottas, Hulkenberg
7 Kobayashi, Gutierrez

4 – Sutil [See notes], Bianchi, Perez [See notes]
2 – Alonso
1 – Grosjean

Net Held position
Ricciardo,Chilton, Rosberg, Raikkonen

Lost places

11 – Vergne
5 Button
3 Magnussen
2 – Vettel, Kvyat, Hamilton

Melbourne Notes: Kobayashi, Massa eliminated in a first corner accident; Perez, Gutierrez pitted at the end of Lap 1; Bianchi, Grosjean started from pit lane.
Malaysia Notes: Perez started from pit lane, Bianchi pitted at the end of lap 1
Bahrain notes: Vergne pitted at the end of lap 1 after contact
China Notes: Sutil lost power at start and dropped 8 places, retiring soon after.

Pit Stop League Table
Of course good strategy planning also requires good pit stop execution by the mechanics and we have seen tyre stops carried out in less than two seconds by F1 teams.

However with tighter rules on unsafe release and on wheels coming loose, teams prefer to go for a target time, which is error-free and thus slower than in 2013. Nevertheless we have seen occasional stops of 2.3 seconds this year.

The league table below shows the order of the pit crews based on their fastest time in the Spanish Grand Prix, from the car entering the pit lane to leaving it.

1. Red Bull 21.599s
2. Ferrari 21.664
3. McLaren 21.768
4. Lotus 22.024
5. Mercedes 22.254
6. Force India 22.282
7. Williams 22.304
8. Marussia 22.568
9. Toro Rosso 22.703
10. Caterham 22.789
11. Sauber 23.063

The UBS Race Strategy Briefing is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists, from Pirelli and from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan.

For a cool, at-a-glance guide to all the strategy considerations in Monaco click here

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Formula 1, please bring these visor cameras! That would be epic in Monaco!


Kimi whats your favorite breaking zone in monaco?

KR: No, I don’t really have one favourite one. Any of them. You can choose.

Lol ice man is awesome


The Adrian Newey cars are always as they say “Subtle” around Monaco! Who’s willing to bet on a Daniel Ricciardo win?

Ferrari weaknesses are gonna be exposed again I am guessing. Hopefully that won’t be the case. Kimi’s been improving, let’s see what he can so here!

With regards to Mercedes, I want Rosberg to stop Lewis’s winning streak here! However you look at it, there’s no stopping Lewis to take another win at Montreal next month!


The key to Kimi doing well here is a good friday. If he can have a trouble free FP1 and FP2 he will do at least as well as Alonso …. who as we all know has been delivering miracles.

If Kimi’s track time is lost on friday for whatever reason there is often a mountain to climb.

Sorry that should read thursday, not friday!


Aaaaand we do have a disrupted Thursday for Kimi! But has he lost that much to be honest? Yep a Qualifying trim run on SuperSofts! But he’s not that much in the backfoot as Ferrari confirmed the GearBox that failed was not a race one so no grid penalties!


Looking forward to see how Daniel goes.

He has had form at this track winning in 2010 in Formula Renault (think it was the 1st time that 2 Aussies one at the track in the same year)

If I remember correctly, in regards to his F1 career there, he did not race it with HRT and had 2 attempts with Torro Rosso.

2012. I am pretty sure that the team got the strategy call wrong in regards to predicted rain and he ended up behind Button for most of the race

2013 was the year that Romain punted him off the circuit.

Anyway, 3rd time lucky and he certainly has been a breath of fresh air by way of his serious race pace (Mercedes obviously have much quicker package) and his demeanor with the public.

I would love to see him on the top step this year.


While I agree it will be closer initially at at least, and the safety car will no doubt have at least one go at bunching up the grid. Despite all that I still think the Mercs package will reign supreme, yes it’s quite likely Red Bull have very good downforce, but I think the the Mercs driveability particularly torque control and delivery will tell.


this is an insane car! check it out.


James,did you hear what the Venezuelan Minister of Sports has declared?

. That very soon,there will not be, even a dollar more for Pastor’s support?


They probably have just received the latest repair bills..

David in Sydney

Link to source please – this would be interesting and, perhaps, sad.

Any driver who loses a drive over money I feel sorry for.

(And every driver who wins a drive over money I feel envious of.)


I think there are many ppl tht are glad to hear tht


Monaco is funny. Senna won 6 times; Clark, none. Graham hill, who was good but not the best of his time, won 5 times…. I would say that Monaco has enough unpredictability to be a fun race regardless of the low speed and low overtaking options.


Didn’t Sutil and Kimi pull off passes in turn 6 last year? Seems to be safer than the chicane, which is generally mentioned as the only passing point.


Rosberg has been decent here even in his Williams days but does Lewis have another gear that he has yet to use?

Interesting battle for pole but I’m going to say Nico will get the upper hand on quali.


Q for wine buffs….

What do they put in cheap import Montepulciano wine these days?

Two glass and a short nap. I watched a whole GP on the new Free To Air “James Allen F1 Channel” presented by James Allen and Martin Brundle {with some help from Kravitz and Jenny Gow}.

Nobody else, no DC no Herbert no buffoons and no endless fast cuts and music. It was great.

Race was good too.


we are all wine buffs, but nobody ever heard of “Montepulciano” 🙂

kenneth chapman

montepulciano is montezemolos cousin!


I’m a little confused, can someone clear ths up for me… We know tht monaco demands high aero and doesn’t ask much of th engine but buttons latest interview suggests that ths year th superior merc PU gives them an advantage. What is he referring to? Thanks


how the energy is transferred to the rear wheels. not torque at all because all the engines have a lot of torque that’s is why they all suffer from oversteer. mercedes transfers the energy more progressively to the rear wheels than the renault and ferrari but that lotus is quick out of slow corners. i can’t wait to see how they go on the streets of monaco. in fact am so keen, i might just fly out there to watch it.


Driveability. The way the power kicks in and it how the harvesting affects the brakes (stability in the braking zones) should be vital. The Renaults are said to suffer from a less smooth electronic braking/harvesting system, making the rear a little more unrealiable under braking.

The Mercs seem to have a very efficient MGU-H, so they could probably live with a little less harvesting on the MGU-K (which gets charged under braking), that could give them a slight advantage in the braking zones.

David in Sydney



Opportunity for Maldonado.


To do what? Hit a wall?

That ship has sailed my friend 🙂


Hi James,

I would recommend you start ranking team on pitstops by average time throughout the season thus far rather than just at the last race.

This would be a better indicator of performance IMO.


The right strategy will be hard to chose. If you go for the super softs in the start to get rid of them early, in case of a safety car and drive it to the end then you’ll be fine, but if it comes too late (after your scheduled stop), you’ll chances are you get undercut by those who started on primes.

But if you chose the primes on the start, hoping to get a good undercut in the end and a SC comes out too early, you’ll run out of tires in the end.

Or what’s about the very high risk strategy of not stopping in case of an early SC to get in front, hoping for a second SC or on being able to build a gap (against peeps with fresh tires? Good luck!) for a proper scheduled stop?


They all have to start on their tires from Q2, so I’d say most of the top 10 will be starting on the supersoft.

Kenneth M'Boy

I’d love to see Grojean surprise everyone this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Dan pole and win but something tells me to keep an eye on the Frenchman in the worlds fastest forklift.

Also hoping both Mercs blow up or take each other out or just pull over or something…..anything, please!!!!!


There shall be carbon fibre fragments!

We could have big surprises in this race due to the torque/power delivery unstability.

With these risk factors, I expect at least one Mercedes to NOT finish in the top two; that will be refreshing.


And nothing against Hamilton, but if it’s him it will be even more refreshing.


Huh? How is that not against Hamilton?! Rosberg’s yet to DNF, right? So let’s share the, uh, “wealth”, ok?

Would be a little much to have to spot someone 50 pts, don’t you think?


No worries Dr Lewis 🙂


Its ok Random 79 – no harm done – I appreciate you have been usually positive hence my reaction. All good.


Arrrgh that was meant to be “he has *done* an amazing job this season”.

PS while I’m still here, I agree with what you say about Mercedes having done the best job also.

In fact if you go back and read some of my comments you’ll see that I’ve been saying that for the last few weeks or so.


@Dr Lewis

Read my reply to KRB.

I wasn’t running down Hamilton and you’re right, he has an amazing job so far this season.


No, I don;t think it would be too much for Lewis to spot Nico 50 points, based on what we’ve seen so far, he’ll need it to keep the show interesting (if you can call one team’s total dominance the least bit interesting).


Absolutely – well said!

I find it incredible that people are still ‘running down’ the achievements of LH this season. He has provided an astonishing level of performance to claw back a 25 point deficit in so few races along with some great racing. Nico has had everything on his side and is still moaning!

Equally all we hear is how the Mercedes is dominating and that the engine/PU whatever its called this week is the sole factor in this.

First off – 20% of the season is not even close to say just one example of RB domination like last year once the tyres were more durable, let alone three or four other years

There are also a multitude of cars using the exact same Mercedes engine including MacL! Where are they?

The fact is Merc have produced a better car as a total and for a few races are giving us the fans the benefits instead of implementing team orders and making a mockery of the term ‘race’

This is nothing like other years and it is not a domination yet by any shot.

It is however one of the best F1 seasons I have seen in 35 years.

Stop moaning and fussing because just perhaps your fav team/person is not the one ‘dominating’

Renault pushed for these changes. I for one am glad someone in Mercedes said ‘ok if that’s what you want because it suits you and your requirements, we will show you we can beat you there as well’ instead of throwing their toys out the pram and stomping of like so many others did a few years ago.

They deserve some success in this.


Maybe I could have worded it better.

When I said “nothing against Hamilton”, first of all I was saying that I have nothing against him winning and if he does win then well done to him and he will have deserved it.

But Hamilton has won the last four races in a row and has just taken over the championship lead from Rosberg, so if he does win in Monaco he will just extend his lead – and again it will be well deserved – so when I said if one of the Mercedes drivers retires it would be refreshing if it was Hamilton all I was saying is that would keep them closer on points, Rosberg would lead the championship again and that would make things more interesting in the long run.

Generally I don’t like seeing any driver retire – I’d rather see them stay out and fight on track.


yeah, I guess you’re right.

the brit-O-centric media carpet-bombing praise upon their blink champion-in-waiting, does make it a bit tougher to get with it.

But despite all that… whatever, it’s kind of special seeing a racer with all his mojo on; he is undoubtedly better than he has ever been before, and compares favourably with past champions and all current F1 drivers.

So right now is the golden age for Lewis Hamilton; people will refer back to it with awe.

But the machinery advantage is a bit scandalous.

I couldn’t help but notice that Niki won the first five of six one year, and ended up not winning the championship. He’s one of my all time favourites, and I expect him to be sharing the learnings with the team, right now.

To get points in Monaco this weekend, a driver needs to finish the race, and I expect the highest DNF figure so far this year because of the power delivery of the torque.

Expecting multiple safety cars as a base assumption could give some of the closer teams a reward to risking a race based on changing tires at the ideal safety car episode.

If I were principal of McL, Lotus, Force I, or even Ferrari, I would have one driver working this strategy.

Expect Vettel to show, at least and potentially Ricciardo, as well.

But I think we’ll be getting our first full look at the new Vettel, adapted to the new power delivery nuances and Renault-Red Bull having refined their power delivery specifically for this race.

Red Bull have to launch their attack, now or in Montreal, at the latest, to still have a hope to win either championships.

Rosberg simply must beat Lewis by Canada or be used to being second or lower.

It should be good.


Well, that year you’re referencing for Lauda was 1976, when he won 4 of the first 6 races. But of course he only lost the title b/c of his fiery crash at the Nurburgring.

I don’t think Hamilton’s better this year, compared to previous years. It’s just the car is there for him this year. When you have a great car, everything becomes easier for you. You don’t have to drive on the ragged edge. That was the case for Vettel the past four years, and now it’s the case for Lewis.

I don’t think Nico has to beat Lewis here or in Canada, as long as he’s coming 2nd. He can just hang close, and benefit whenever Hamilton has a problem. Of course, if Nico DNF’d, and Hamilton won, that could be a sizeable body blow for Nico to absorb. It was a big blow for Lewis to take, in the first race, but I think it’d be relatively worse for Nico if it happened.

I for one hope they crack down on people cutting Ste Devote on the race start. I’ve seen far too many people benefit greatly by cutting it at the start. Ok yes, one must avoid any accident, but some have cut it a little too easily, let’s say.


Yep – I saw it but still you think it would be good if LH retires? Again? Come on the guy at least deserves a level playing field with his team mate who it has to be said has had the good reliability, pit stop times and strategy on his side and still is coming second.

Further at least the front battle is interesting this year – nothing like previous years plus there is much racing back through the grid and its refreshing to see skill count amongst the racers again – not just who can drive slowly to delta times and make the tyres last or fanciful race wins due to a host of falsely engineered factors.

Its good to see F1 back to racing.

Preferably without wishing ill on those that are providing the show.


Agree with all that.

And when you say “If I were principal of McL, Lotus, Force I, or even Ferrari, I would have one driver working this strategy” I say they’d be fools not to – it’s probably their only (long) shot at beating the Mercs 😉


I think Mercedes will continue their winning domination this weekend, with Hamilton ahead of Rosberg. However, if anyone is going to beat them, they must out-qualify them, lead into Turn 1, and then use the track characteristics to keep them behind. Tough ask.


I was thinking back a few years to when Mansell lost the car into the barriers going into casino square I think. With the new tricky to drive cars i think that a repeat of that error is the most likely cause of a saftey car deployment though there is plenty of scope elsewhere. It would be great if after through incident-strewn race Maldonado were to come through to silence a few critics !

kenneth chapman

hahaha…now that i would like to see james. why not post a pic?


Tempus fugit! Had forgotten it was during his lotus days and that it was wet. Sorry Nige!


A few years? Try 30 !!


That’s scary….. 30….


dont show your age James ! 🙂


Weren’t you 17 James? Did you still have to wear children’s clothes then? 😉


Mmm. Yes probably was!


I was in shorts…


I’m praying for rain and slidey mayhem.


no rain so far.


The exit of the tunnel isn’t the only place to overtake. I remember Alonso being passed at the hairpin. Hulkenberg I think?


Raikkonen – everywhere last 3 laps on fresh rubbet last year!


Schumacher overtook Hamilton and Rosberg there 2011 if i remember correctly


Alonso was passed by Sutil and somebody else at the hairpin last year.


Anywhere else other than the tunnel exit though requires the other driver to make a mistake.


Sutil it was last year.


As well as offering an insurmountably superior moral backdrop Vatican City could probably offer a better racetrack than Monaco. 1996 was the last time Monaco delivered anything other than a tragically boring race.

Drivers, teams and punters all know Monaco is not the bedrock-scraping examination of man and machine an F1 race is supposed to be. Instead it is a showground for an exhibition and normally a mindless procession.

Unsurprisingly nine of the last ten pole starters have won here because on-track overtaking is more impossible than unlikely. Bookmakers are all too aware of the correlation between pole-setting and the likelihood of winning and naturally they are not offering get-rich-quick prices about the pole-setter making a penalty-kick style conversion. As for a ‘safety car’, they are generally offering odds of 1/5 (equates to 83.3%) about it being deployed.

Six of the last seven Monaco F1 Grand Prix have been won by four seconds or less but, with the line hovering around three seconds the men with satchels – based in Gibraltar this modern low-tax online offshore day and age – have clearly done their homework.

Ah, Gibraltar. Another workable F1 venue? Population: 29,750. Area: 2.6sq-miles. Sounds so ridiculous it fits in nicely alongside Monaco as a sensible street circuit for my two-penneth.


Agreed, but only if the pope-mobile acts as the safety car 🙂


Yeah, 2008 was a total snooze-fest.


I’m not sure the Vatican City is morally superior to Monaco – on QI, Stephen Fry mentioned that the Vatican has the highest rate of crime per head/capita than any other western country in the world……..

Also, during the 1988 season the Pope visited the Ferrari factory and blessed the cars. That’s 1988, the same year Ferrari were smashed in the face race after race by Macca: the McLaren’s won 15 out of 16 races, Ferrari 1. Doesn’t say much for divine intervention………



I’m not sure the Vatican City is morally superior to Monaco…

There really is no stopping you! Religion, ethnicity, politics – nothing is out of bounds it would seem 😉


REC63: I was startled when Stephen Fry and the QI boffins revealed that fact – but it’s true -just type it into google.

Mind you, F1 is a bit dubious when it comes to morale superiority…….um, Mr E and his Munich court case for bribery, embezzlement and corruption?

Morals are a murky world…………


Yeah, but he quoted Stephen Fry so he’s covered 😉


Nobody told Sutil or Perez that overtaking was impossible last year.

Who are the “men with satchels based in Gibraltar”? I’m intruiged.


Gibraltar is the home of most of the EU’s online gambling and betting operations, put there to escape the tax man. William Hill, etc. all operate large operations on this tiny precipice to avoid paying any UK taxes on the massive amounts of money that take in via online gaming. They have cleverly sequestered the income streams from online from their storefront operations via various legal loopholes and contorted organisational alignments.

Hence, the “men with satchels”…full of money because I pay my taxes on what I earn, but they do not.


Last year’s race was the worst Monaco GP I’ve seen. Slowing the field down, argh!

The best was the 1982 event, even if I am a Prost fan 😛


Last years race was like driving miss daisy behind the mercs which eat the rear tyres, to be fair monaco race is never that thrilling, i actually look more forward to qually thats the real challenge


Monaco baby! Yeah!

I cannot see this race passing without a safety car or two. Maldonado is worth one and I can’t see everyone else making the chequered flag or being able to get to the pits in the event of a car failure.


The Maldozer is 11/1 first retirement with only Ericsson on shorter odds. Bookies have got it about right I think.


If Nico comes in second place behind Lewis again here then it’s pretty much game over for him bar Lewis getting DNFs


10 pts behind and it’s game over?! 40% of a race win?!!

4 races is only 20% of the season; it isn’t conclusive proof that the season will carry on as it has.

Because of the stupid double-points rule, I won’t feel that any lead is safe until it’s well over 50 pts.


Hardly, he’ll be 10 points behind…


it’s all possible.


Excited for this race! Hopefully, it will set up some drama for Canada which will be my first Formula 1 race!

James Allen,

I enjoyed your podcasts last year. Do you plan on releasing more this year?

Thank You,

Peter Rogers


Thanks – No plans at the moment, we’ll see


I enjoyed my listens, and can only assume there were not enough others to justify it continuing.


Please do, they were great.

I listen to the BBC podcasts with Jenny, Alan and yourself. These are good but nowhere near as enjoyable as last years JAONF1 podcasts.

Loved the season closer for 2012, when Sam M was told he’d chosen the wrong driver (Sergio) by someone else on the panel.


Thanks for the feedback.


Monaco always throws up the wild card. On form , driveability, you would say that the Mercedes is still an easy favourite to win. But as we’ve seen with Mark Webber in the past Red Bull chassis and a courageous drive can turn the tide on Sunday. If Renault have found some more power they can deliver a good result. Mercedes will be too quick on Sat but if Red Bull can stay close in the first stops – the undercut can be used and that might be enough. The good thing here is I havent used any drivers names because this weekend is definitely a case of either driver in both teams!. Nico can / must win this one – if not Lewis is well & truly gone because Canada and the races there after are his kinda tracks.. It will be shut the gates turn the lights off & go to sleep but Nico is very strong here and it will be special if he hooks it up properly.

On supersoft tyres Im guessing Kimi can be the stronger Ferrari driver here again but Both Ferraris need to work on power delivery because both Renault & Mercedes have been fantastic in this aspect- they are so progresive whereas you can see the Ferrari all or nothing power transfer to the road. Either way its still disappointing knowing arguably the 2 best Sunday drivers will be struggling to even see a podium.


Daniel is doing well, but Sebastian is on a steep upward trajectory, enabled by his horrid start to the year.

I expect Vettel will be very strong this weekend with the best aero and best overall downforce, but especially the back end down force.

There definitely will be Renault power unit upgrades, probably every race for Red Bull.

Grosjean could also surprise here.

Yet hoping for 7 on podium.


5 engines so a maximum of 4 engine upgrades (and aren’t some already on their 3rd engine, so only 2 upgrades available?), and they still have to use the old ones to try and get to the end of the year without penalties, and they probably won’t.

RB aero doesn’t really work in low speed corners


does the best aero and best over all downforce not work on other circuits then?

kenneth chapman

yes, i tend to sgree. vettel is now coming back hard at ricci. this was always to be expected however i think that ricci will be fully aware of just what he needs to do and he will do it.

the honey badger, when cornered, can be frightfully vicious.


interesting that the recent learning curve for both Vittel and Kimi kind of matches.

Both their mates found the cars easier to handle to start with, but if progress continues for Seb and Kimi, there will be some exciting racing ahead.

Ricci has been brilliant so far.


Talking of wildcards – Panis, Ligier, winning Monaco 1996? From 14th on the grid? Magnifique!

Also the Trulli Train taking his one and only victory in 2004…………is it really 10 years that happened? It is……….the 2004 Monaco event was a great race, Jenson harrying the Trulli Train for all he was worth, as well as the surreal sight of Fernando stuffing his Renault into the barriers after trying to overtake Ralfie on the outside – outside! – of the tunnel (on the marbles? Really Fernando??) as well as Wide Boy Montoya rammming Michael out of the way – under the safety car! Monaco, ah monaco…………you may most times put up a dullard of a race, but sometimes through weird circumstances you host a total classic too………..


Nico is very strong here? What happened in 2006 then? when Webber trounced him in quali and also the race before Webber’s technical issue? Also what happened in 2012 then? OLD Schumacher puts the car on pole and Nico nowhere near? Na I don’t buy it I can see Hamilton destroying Nico this weekend, also I can see Nico maybe in trouble and get stuck in the pack at some point in the race, good luck with overtaking.


Lewis’ biggest problem in Monaco recently has been overdoing it in qualifying – I think that was mainly frustration though and he seems to be happier this year (you can see why if you keep winning everything!) so I doubt he’ll blow it this time.


Im no Nico fan & dont think hes in Lewis league but he did stick it on pole last year.. Just sayin..

Liam in Sydney

James Allen: what can you say about brake harvesting? Are the stops at Monaco big enough to charge ERS? And could a PU manufacturer have an advantage here?


Yes it’s a good track for harvesting brake energy, according to engineers and with emphasis on torque delivery rather than outright power from engine, ERS will play a part in fuel consumption being v low


Will be an interesting weekend with cars slip sliding away. I suspect there will be quite a few casualties and a few safety car periods during raceday.

Matthew Cheshire

Interseting to see that the new rules have made Monaco more interesting. By accident or design, that is an excellent step for F1.

Real excitement- will red bulls on supersofts get a good start, will the pressure on Vettel cause a giant pile-up on turn 1? How will the Mercs race each other with one place to pass. Rosberg has won before and had a 78 lap master class on blocking from Webber the year before.

Monaco is a welcome challenge to the order, and it must be an excellent constraint for car design. If a chassis can work at Monaco and Spa it can race anywhere.

And don’t hybrids belong in cities?


Good point about Hybrids. As for Mercs, I think they can only loose monaco only if they get affected by an accident.

Matthew Cheshire

So if Maldonardo finishes the race in one piece, the Mercedes will have won…..

I’m not putting money on that happening!

kenneth chapman

errrrm ‘loose’ is the opposite of tight

‘lose’ is the opposite of win.


I share that problem also, but I just add the correct spelling as well as other words to the dictionary as I see fit.

Depending on what you’re using you might be able to do the same 🙂

kenneth chapman

@ random 79…we share the same problems however i have another problem insofar as my auto spell check is american based and they never ever learned the correct usage/spelling of the language in the first place!!!


Fair enough 🙂

You can do the same with no hard feelings but trust me, I spend enough time kicking myself every time I notice a typo or word missing.

For some reason they always hide until I hit submit, and then they jump out and say “surprise!” 🙁

kenneth chapman

@ random79…how true eh? however it does no harm to remind people of incorrect usage. if i slip up then please correct me. i won’t be offended.haha


Got to agree with you on this. It seems to be the most common spelling mistake on forums.

A sad indictment on our education system.

Apologies for being a pedant!


“Errrrm” – no dictionary results 🙂

You’re quibbling Kenneth – Kay-gee isn’t the first to do that and they won’t be the last 😉


Last race of the season for me before i switch from sky sport to sky movies. F1 is simply ruined & terrible these last 2 years.


Just watch Rush again – best of both worlds 🙂


Better still, watch Rush on DVD and keep Sky Sports. I have been a Sky subscriber for getting on for 25 years – the reason I got it was because the BBC weren’t covering all the races and Eurosport was – nothing really changes does it – and the monthly subscription was about £7.00, a figure which has increased more than tenfold to the current level of nearly £80.00!



Lol, what can I say – I am a committed kind of guy!

Seriously though, it’s not just F1 , there are a lot of other ‘exclusives’ on Sky that I enjoy , eg there is a lot of Rugby (union and league)and all manner of American stuff that my daughter devours – gotta keep my daughter happy 😉


Better still, watch Rush on Blu-ray and keep Sky Sports 😉

So let me get this straight: You spend £80 a month (which I think is around $160 AUS) just to watch F1?

Full points for commitment C63 🙂




Lol – if you think there is nothing worth watching on Sky Sports – I fear you are in for a bit of a disappointment with the movies 😉


What does that say about F1 then. I used to live & breathe this sport for 20yrs


All joking aside, and I apologise if my remark appeared flippant – which it probably did, as it was – what is it specifically that you don’t like about F1 currently? Also what is worse about Mercedes domination compared to the Bulls? At least with the Merc’s there is the fight between the two drivers – you can’t tell me Bahrain and Spain weren’t tense.


Enjoy their quality offerings like “The Internship” and “Battle of the Damned”.


I shall enjoy the Evil Dead very much thank you


If nothing else we can’t fault your taste in movies 🙂


You enjoy Mercedes winning every race this season on my behalf. No different (infact worse!) than Vettel dominating in 2013.


Why are you still watching then?


Well Monaco has significance even if the rest of the sport is losing it. DRS means nothing there for starters.


Surely to moan.

Just like everyone else has for the last 4 years?


I shall continue reading the mixed opinions on F1. I look forward to Nico pinching the title in The Double Points Grande Super Arabian Finale (well, the fallout)


Well he did say he’s switching… and I agree with him about the state of F1, as soon as Hamiko


As soon as Hamilton statts losing again the fans will agree this F1 is a farce as well.

kenneth chapman

precision precision precision. one slip and it’s history. given that this year the cars have a tendency to step out, it will take an immense amount of concentration and expertise to stay off the walls for two hours.


Especially if you drive a prancing horse


Prancing Pony is better suitable this year 🙂


No actually I’d say more like a bucking mule. A pony is controllable. But the way that F14T has found the gravel and the wall its more like a donkey- even if it looks like a duck..quack , quack!


Lets hope theres no safety car issues or safety car after Maldando decides to do an impression of Scud missile.

Hope it doesn’t rain or become overcast. Need the sun to be out at Monaco.


That’s “a” Scud missile . I think my spellings going the of a Scud 😀


A Maldonado inspired safery car will be a double edged sword – one the one hand it would interrupt and interfere with the race, but on the other hand it should make things more interesting 🙂

David in Sydney

One of my favourite races of the year. Can’t wait. Been boring my family silly in the lead up.

This season is pure F1, silly noise complaints aside – enthralling to see whether anyone can catch Mercedes and enthralling to see whether ROS can catch HAM.

I’l loving it.


I’l loving it??? Ok…

Anyway I doubt Rosberg can catch Hamilton.

David in Sydney

An obvious typo that one can’t go back and edit doesn’t really require a comment, does it?

Yes, I’m loving this F1 season!

I too doubt ROS will end up on top in a duel with HAM. It’s a WEB versus VET situation.



Oops I meant +1 – sorry…


“The only possible overtaking place is on the run between the exit of the tunnel and the chicane”

And that’s for me why I consider it a Mickey Mouse track not suitable for modern F1.

Lets be honest, if Monaco wasn’t on the calendar and someone proposed a race on this track, it wouldn’t have a cat in hells chance of being added.


To be fair – there’s about 40% or more tracks nowadays that are glorified scaletrix tracks that don’t allow any overtaking either and at least Monaco is a ‘real’ street circuit. Someone once described it as like the Death Star channels from Star Wars – it’s less the opposition that’s the thrill and more man versus walls. 🙂


“Lets be honest, if Monaco wasn’t on the calendar and someone proposed a race on this track, it wouldn’t have a cat in hells chance of being added.”

100% correct.

Some day it might be dropped but hopefully not for a long time yet – it might be a bit boring nine races out of ten but at least it’s different 🙂


is that why ecclestone wants more f1 races in city streets? london, paris, rome, la, newyork?


Not sure if that’s supposed to be sarcastic or not, but either way while they keep talking about these city circuits we mostly end up with newly constructed Tilke designed circuits…at least while their contracts are still fresh and then it’s out the door with them.

The obvious exception there is Sochi, so we’ll see how long that one lasts.


There’s been some overtaking into turn 1 and at the chicane but I hear you mate. Total WOFTAM.


oops, meant ‘hairpin’, not chicane…


The hairpin just before the tunnel always popular.


Especially because they don’t pay Bernie any money for the race!!!


But it is on the calendar. It’s unique and it is a track where the drivers are truly tested. Believe it or not F1 is not only about overtaking – the spectacle of drivers pushing their cars to the limit with actual consequence to overconfidence or incompetence is as much if not greater reason to watch.


Everything you say is true. It’s also true that money talks. Monaco, I am pretty sure, is the only track that doesn’t pay Bernie a hosting fee, which is a pretty good measure of how the teams, Bernie et al rate it’s importance.

Don’t hold you breath waiting for this race to be dropped from the calendar.


Once again the race will not be covered live on the BBC. I think they have made a mistake in not selecting Monaco in their top 3 for live coverage. What did they choose instead — Canada?

Monaco is the ultimate challenge for the drivers and a great spectacle for purists. The absence of frequent DRS overtaking is not a problem as far as I’m concerned.


Could try watching it on VIPBOX. I have managed to watch the non BBC races on this so far. For free. Picture is not high quality, but good enough.


I don’t think the BBC get free choice, Sky get to choose a certain amount of races with guaranteed exclusivity (the opener definitely and a few others they pick). I seem to remember the BBC saying they were guaranteed the British grand prix and the final race, but not sure about that.


To be fair Monaco is a dull race, Canada provides much more overtaking and a better race.

However I do think that BBC (TV not 5Live) gave up on F1 a long time ago, very little technical analysis now (apart from Andrew Benson on the website) Eddie hardly ever there (he should do the podium interviews at every race!!!) And I wont even mention the hopeless presenter.


It feels like Aunty Beeb has all but given up on F1… A host who knows next to nothing about the sport, no season opener, no Monaco. I know the BBC are a bit strapped for cash and I can only see it getting worse. It may be that within the next few years there will only be highlights and you’ll have to go to Sky for live. That’ll be really sad and the popularity of F1 will slip away, just look at Moto GP.


Blame the greed and short sightedness of those at the top in these sports.

Makes me laugh when I read folk blaming Hamilton and Mercedes for the falling figures for F1 viewing.


“just look at Moto GP.”

Never mind that, just look at F1.


This is ridiculous if you ask me. F1 should remain Free to Air in this country. Why? Because so much of the industry is based here – how many jobs and money does this global spectacle generate for our country? How many kids are inspired by people like Newey to go into engineering in other fields – aeronautics etc. This is such a short term view -the effects will be felt in 20 years but it will take another 50 to repair the damage – meaning it will never happen. Sad.


Your sentiments make sense, but it’s not just the UK: most of Europe and the English speaking world (apart from Australia, Channel 10 with Jonsey and Rusty) doesn’t get free to air live F1.

And we all know the culprit – he’s a small chap with an adenoidal voice and a curious pudding basin haircut………..

Blame Mr E for the lack of free to air TV in Europe and the English speaking countries! I do………..


RE Dr Lewis: Well said sir!



I understand your sentiment but in all honesty the BBC has never been ‘free’ in that we have always paid a mandatory license fee.

On that basis it is a crime that we no longer have Moto GP and a couple of the worst highlight shows for F1 they have ever produced.

Meanwhile every other pathetic sport from tennis to snooker (I like both but not at the expense of Motorsport) along with some truly awful series and reality shows get full and absolute coverage sometimes to the point of embarrassment. Incredible when you think of the importance of the sport to the UK economy and where most of the teams are based.

Sort of reflects the mess the country is in really..


The BBC might be able to afford Monaco if they did not throw millions at the Eurovision song contest !


Love monaco, all about qually, who dares to get closest to the barriers

On board with senna around monaco awesome!!!


Ps by closest i mean closest to barriers and not touch not aka maldonado who will be in the barriers lol!!!



What effect will the shorter race distance (~260km, compared to the usual 305km minimum) have on race strategy and engine/power-unit use?

Assuming that drivers still have the usual 100kg of fuel, this means that they will be covering 45km (about 15%) less distance than normal, for this amount of fuel… all in the track with the lowest % of throttle use throughout the lap!

Could this mean that the lower efficiency of some engines be effectively pushed aside? Could this be a [not so] hidden ace in the sleeve of those powered by someone other than Mercedes?

I do realize that the fuel-flow restrictors are still in place and will curtail anyone’s urgency in spending too much fuel, but I wonder if, for example, higher revs down the (few) straights might be possible..?



Agreed, and I think that might be a big part of the strategy on Sunday.

It’s a long shot, but hopefully it helps RBR stay with or even beat Mercedes.


They still need to abide by the Kg/hr flow limit. That’s the limiting factor. Just ask Dan 😉


Unfortunately, higher revs doesn’t necessarily mean more power, with fuel flow constant after 10,500 revs. We are mostly seeing 12,500 rpm as maximums.


Less fuel allows more and better ballast placement for the more efficient teams.


Hmm, why? They get weighed AFTER the race, when there should only be just over a litre of fuel in the tank.


Fuel has so far not been an issue this year.I think at Monaco we’ll see them running substantially less, maybe 60Kg is possible. There must be more to be gained from lower weight than more power.

Guybrush Threepwopd

I always thought they should get rid of the chicane after the tunnel and have a long straight and tighten up turn 12. Would create a lot more passing opportunities. Possibly a bit more dangerous but thems the breaks.


Considering the track used to be like that, but they put the chicane in to stop drivers dying – won’t ever happen.


You’d want good brakes 🙂

PS. My sword is famous all over the Caribbean!


Lol. They’d be doing about 1000 mph braking into the 100mph turn 12 (which would then be turn 9).

Yeah, I’d like to see that 😉


No, you’re correct Glenn but that’s only when you’re in a spaceship out in space and you suddenly really need to find a whale pronto.

However when you’re on the ground the threshold is definitely 880mph.

It’s to do with gravity and magnetic fields and kryptonite deposits and other technical stuff 🙂


That’s why it’s so cool to end a post with “as usual, I stand corrected”.

I concede to you with all things regarding physics sir.

Go RIC!!!!

Shalbut, Nanu, Nanu 😉


It’s okay as I’m pretty sure that once they hit 880mph they start travelling back in time.


Could have sworn that was warp 10 around the sun 😉 but as usual, I stand corrected.


Can’t wait for this race every year, it’ll be interesting to see how the new sound is received, with much disapproval no doubt! For some reason my money’s on Ricciardo for his first win


Unless rhe Mercs retire or run into some sort of trouble I doubt Ricciardo will be anywhere near a win.


We’ll see!!


Massive LH fan, but I would LOVE Daniel to win Monaco, that would be amazing!


Obviously not massive enough eh?


Lol !- brilliant reply


I gave up going to monaco because the noise level was frightful

now the noise level will be better it’s the ticket prices that are frightful , so the effect will be the same


general entry ticket prices at monaco are lower than those at silverstone.


you mean that silverstone prices are even MORE frightful than monaco

not important for me , monaco is much closer



+ Magnussen + Massa + Maldonado =

More Than One Safety Car


maldonado enjoyed a commanding won in monaco in the gp2 series so he may just dream of repeating that in f1 this season.


Yes but:

(Magnussen + Massa) / Maldonado = Just the one safety car 🙂

Matthew Cheshire

Maldonado and concrete. Like a moth to a flame…


Some Monaco stats

1) Senna 6 wins, Graham + Schumi = 5 wins, Prost 4 wins, Moss + Stewart = 3 wins

2) Mclaren 15 wins, Ferrari 8 wins, Lotus 7 wins, BRM 5 wins

3) In the last 18 years, Alonso is the only back to back winner + Alonso is the only driver ever to win the race back to back in different teams

4) Monaco has the most 1 time winners >>> 20 in total.

5) No driver has gone more than 4 years between wins >>> Stewart (1967-1970)

6) For a decade between 1984 to 1993, the race was won by 2 drivers >>> Prost and Senna

7) Senna has the record of 5 back to back wins with 8 podiums from 10 starts

8) Ferrari have won the race 5 times in the last 37 years >>> Schumi 3 wins, Gilles + Scheckter = 1 win

9) Senna is the only pilot with 3 wins from pole

10) In the last 10 years (2004-2013), only once has a none pole sitter won it >>> wet race in 2008.

11) Of the current world champions, Lewis is the only one never to have poled it.

Fun fact:

a) In 1992, Mansell’s 5 back to back winning run ended at Monaco

b) In 2002, Schumi’s 4 back to back winning run ended at Monaco

c) In 2004, Schumi’s 5 back to back winning run ended at Monaco.

d) Jenson is the only driver whose winning run didn’t end at Monaco >>> 3 back to back wins at the time.


“4) Monaco has the most 1 time winners >>> 20 in total.”

Of which 3 recorded their only win: Trulli, Panis and of course the Jean-Pierre Beltoise!


Stewart won in 1966, then again in 1971, 5 seasons later.



When calculating dry spells, I think you are not supposed to include the year a driver last won it and the year they won a new race.


Hmm, that would be double book-ending it.

You had: Stewart (1967-1970)

If he won the 1966 race, but didn’t win the 1970 race, that’s 4 years (assuming the race happened around the same time in the calendar), and 4 seasons.

Stewart won the race again 5 seasons later (’67, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71). You don’t count ’66, just as you don’t start with ‘zero’ when counting to ten.


Only driver to use Monaco as a parking lot? Schumacher (Rascasse Corner, 2006).


Goferet, have you noticed that Macca have a very poor Monaco record in the last five years, with just one front row start and one podium, both achieved by Jenson in 2011? Apart from that 3rd place in 2011, Monaco has been for McLaren a graveyard of success. Curious……….

Also, another stat attack: there have been 3 drivers in recent years whose Monaco success was their sole victory in a championship grand prix: Jean-Pierre Beltoise (BRM) in 1972, Olivier Panis (Ligier-Migen) in 1996 and Jarno the Trulli Train (Renault) in 2004.

Also, I think I’m correct in saying Jochen Rindt’s victory at Monaco 1970 was the only time at Monte Carlo in modern F1 that a driver won at Monaco by not leading a single full lap and also by snatching the lead at the very last corner (the old Gasworks hairpin, now Rascasse).


@ Gaz Boy

To be fair, the last 5 years haven’t been kind to anybody that wasn’t seated in the Red Bull plus Whitmarsh has been in charge at Mclaren.

As for the one time winners such as Trulli just goes to show how unpredictable the race is.


1972 is recent now?!?


You’re right, those flares, mullets and massive sideburns sported in the early to mid 70s do look a bit silly………..


PS Have you noticed even as recently as the mid 80s that the old chicane was basically a fast flick hardly slowing the cars down at all – and with very limited run off – and also the barriers were only waist high and with no fencing or netting to step debris going into the crowd or the drivers from taking a dip into the harbour????????

Blimey, being a spectator, marshall and camera-man at Monaco was more dangerous that being a driver!


gaz boy, the cars all have hybrid engines which are different from previous cars so we are in a new era of f1 and the results pattern of the past will have little bearing on this weekend’s race, i hope.


That’s actually true for F1 today, with marshals getting killed in Aus and Canada.


Only driver to park just off the track and run to the podium – Jensen Button


@ Dren

Hahaha that was epic from JB.



How did I not see that coming? 😉


What about Jenson wearing Jessica’s spandex mini dress?

Or wearing his good friend DC’s tight white jeans??????


On second thought, the new trim Jenson could probably fit into it now, but I’m not sure if that’s funny or just sad…


Would have been more epic if he’d tried to do it while wearing his girlfriend’s wetsuit 😉


For sure this year’s Monaco race will be that much nerve wreaking for I try to imagine driving a car that handle’s poorly as cars from yester-year add to that, cars that carry way more speed and so I envision a very unpredictable race probably one littered with many safety cars.

As usual Monaco is the crown jewel of the sport as not only do the drivers get to meet royalty but with Monaco being most drivers second home, the race holds that much more importance.

On the strategy end of things, I think the race is pretty straight forward for track position is everything and with more durable tyres, the drivers can risk running them to the bone with no worries of getting overtaken.

Overall, Monaco presents the best chance for the smaller teams to get a good result also this year, the race will provide the best chance for other teams to get the better of the Mercedes team but if they can’t do it here, they may not be able to make it anywhere else.


Goferet and to everyone else, slightly off topic, but I’ve just read that the twitter flash from Daniel Johnson of the Daily/Sunday Telegraph (he’s the F1 reporter) and it looks like the new sports minister for Venezuela has said “there will not be another dollar for motor sport [from the state].”

Mr Maldonado is apparently sweating profusely……….


is maldonado not sponsored by the oil company pdvsa rather than the nation? his sponsorship is safe!


PDVSA is state owned so if the state says no more money for motor racing that’s it.

However who knows if they might find a way to back door it through “advertising.”


I suspect you’re right, at least for now.


Aveli, I may be wrong, but I think PDVSA is state owned.

I just seen in the news (21/05/2014) it is selling around UK £4 billion in bonds!

I dunno, UK £30 million seems like a (pardon the pun) drop in the oil well!


Yes, they said this for the past few years and PDVSA has continued to sponsor Maldonado directly. They’re still funding Williams because of the contract negotiations even though Pastor has moved on to pastures…er…on fire…


@ Gaz Boy

Yikes poor Maldonado.

I guess the authorities haven’t been impressed with his recent excavations.


Pastor’s Devoted Venezuelans Say Adiós?


I don’t know if you’re UK based on can get BBC Classic F1, but if not, try YouTube or DailyMotion or Vimeo:

Anycase, check out the 1982 Monaco GP, the most surreal Monaco grand prix of all time. Basically the race started bone dry with Prost leading in his Renault, but then just a few laps from the end the track was doused by some light drizzle…………..ah Monaco moisture!

All the drivers were on slicks, and stayed out on them because in those days there was no itermediate tyres and the track was not wet enough for the full-cut wets: on lap 74 out of 76 Prost exiting the (old) chicane stuffed his Renault into the barrier after loosing the rear of his car, allowing Patrese (Brabham-Ford) into the lead. Mr Patrese then unbelievably spun off at Loews hairpin and stalled: that let Pironi in his turbo Ferrari in the lead……..but also unbelievably he ran out of fuel in the tunnel on the very last lap!

De Cesaris (Alfa) was posied to take the lead but his thirsty V12 engine also ran out of fuel also on the last lap…..Daly (Williams) was a lap down and would have taken the lead but he had knocked his rear wing off which caused the Williams gearbox to seize up………… James Hunt, commentating on the BBC with dear Murray Walker said: “We’ve got this ridiculous situation where we all sat here on the start-finish straight waiting for a winner and we haven’t got one!”

After Patrese had spun and stalled, the Monaco marshalls push started his Brabham as it was in a legally dangerous area, bump started the car down the hill………….and with most of the cars out of fuel or having being stuffed in the barrier………….Ricciardo won the race!

Yes, that sounds absolutely ridiculous and bizarre, surreal……….only Monaco baby!

Actually, yes the race is on Youtube. Well worth watching!


@ Gaz Boy

Lol… Now that was you call a thriller on track.

If only the light drizzle in the closing stages of Monaco 2012 had thrown up this sort of drama.


i cannot wait for this race because the predatory barriers bring out the safety car and the cranes for a different sort of action. the monaco marshals must be the best in the business.

i hope the drivers put on a good show this weekend. hamilton, the most marketable sportsman on the planet, gave his software engineers an idea on how to write better software for his brakes so he should be able to put on a good show. rosberg also loves to drive that circuit rapidly so i cant wait to see them at each others necks. the redbulls seemed to struggle on take off and must watch out for the renaults and williams if they are within sniffing distance, especially the renault, it has amazing traction from through slow corners.


You might disagree, but I think the formula for a great Monaco this year is:

Ricciardo starting from pole because I’m still biased.

Rosberg chasing Ricciardo in the (probably) faster Merc to provide some good racing.

Hamilton chasing Rosberg to prove once and for all that he’s the better driver to provide some more good and arguably more aggressive racing.

Vettel following them all…maybe even falling behind a little bit 😉

Regardless, here’s hoping for a good race 🙂


Merc will lock out the front row unless there is mistakes


You never know, in Q3 Hamilton and Rosberg might both have to swerve to avoid a squirrel adding three seconds each to their respective lap times 🙂

kenneth chapman

@ random 79…your dreaming but i do like the idea immensely.


I’m a fan of Dan too but I just see Seb out qualifying this time out. I think Seb’s experience will get him over the line on this tricky track. Having said that, one of the midfielders might just get up there and shock everyone. Kimi maybe.

As for the race, if I was forced to bet my house it would be on Rosberg.


@ aveli

I have no idea what you are on about mate. I tipped VET to outqualify RIC. Hope I’m wrong.

You asked me about VET & WEB’s head to head at Monaco in regards quali.I looked it up and fed it back to you. As a RBR fan I am well aware of VET’s 2013 results and admire him as a driver and believe his Monaco experience will put him in front of RIC in quali, regardless of how many times VET beat WEB last year.


@ glennb, if you consider the fact that vettel won 13 races last season while webber won none, you will see the picture a lot clearer.



A quick check on Wikipedia undicates that Webber and Vettel have been on the same grid in Monaco 6 times. They have out qualified each other 3 times a piece. If you exclude VETs race in the Toro Rosso in 2008 then VET leads WEB in quali 3-2.


how often did webber not out qualify vettel at monaco?


Vettel’s had experience on all the circuits so far but that hasn’t stopped Ricciardo beating him. Don’t forget that Ricciardo isn’t exactly a rookie himself – even if he was previously only driving for HRT and Toro Rosso he still knows the layout so while it might be a hell of a stretch for him to beat the Mercs I still think he’ll beat Vettel, but we’ll see.

It should be close between Hamilton and Rosberg but if it has to be a Merc victory then I’d like to see Rosberg win it, if only to keep the championship alive a little longer.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

And Ferrari???

Well… Ferrari…..



Nice dream but I doubt it somehow, the Mercs will be 1-2 in quali and probably into turn 1 as well then it’ll be the Merc show once again. As for Ricciardo hahahahabahaha I can say for sure he wouldn’t be anywhere near the Mercs and Vettel? Nor will he if there’s more issues expect another midfield race for him.


Honestly it’s probable that no-one will be near the Mercs, but as you said I can dream 🙂


Yeah, running 2nd (before DQ), 4th (before pitstop blunder/retirement), 4th, 4th and 3rd really screams “midfield racer” to me.


Sorry Random, but if the qualifying session is bone dry Daniel or any non Mercedes powered car won’t be on the front row.

The Mercedes torque advantage (by over 80 lb ft over the Renault) and meaty torque curve (which allows for smoother traction application) could give a massive slow corner advantage at Monaco, but I may be wrong.

Having said that, if it’s a wet qualifying………well that is a complete lottery, but in the dry I doubt Renault have suddenly found more power, more torque and reduced their thermal discharge (less heat around the middle of the chassis means the airflow around the Coke Bottle area can generate more downforce) to compete with the mighty Brixworth V6.

Prove me wrong Renault, prove me wrong…….

As for Ferrari there poor traction, lack of suspension compliance and a torque deficit means they need divine intervention to be competitive………..


@gaz boy, i doubt any of the engines will be wrung to the limit around the streets of monaco. the other drivers have said that the other cars may have a chance here because the engine is not so important around monaco. traction out of slow corners will be the battle ground as there are so many slow corners. there aren’t many hills to climb either so i can’t see where any more torque than the renault engine has would be advantageous. traction or mechanical grip is king around the streets of monaco.


RE SteveH: Gary Anderson and Mark Hughes analysis. Gary has speculated that possibly the Merc may have as much 90 lb of torque advantage at the start of the season.

RE Aveli: I disagree, I certainly think the Brixworth V6 has a superior torque curve to the Renault at this moment. Also, Mercedes-Brackley are probably using “torque control” (i.e manipulating the engine mapping and electrics) to control wheelspin. If an engine have more torque in the lower and middle gears a driver doesn’t have to thrash his engine to within an inch of its life – i.e change gear earlier, smoother throttle application, all which helps with better traction application from the throttle.

However, you are correct in saying the twisting force of these new V6 turbo is certainly giving drivers an interesting experience!


mercedes don’t have a torque advantage. we have seen numerous non mercedes cars struggle with oversteer out of corners. a clear indication that they have too much torque. it’s all about how the energy is passed on to the tyres smoothly enough to ease that over steering problem. all the cars have too much torque so any more torque is not advantageous.


Out of curiosity, where do you get that 80 lb-ft torque figure from? I haven’t seen any published data from the engine manufacturers.


No need to apologise for honesty Gaz 🙂

Still, let’s see what Saturday / Sunday brings us.


I thought divine intervention was Alonsos job at Ferrari


What we need is Maldanado to crash and bring out the safety car 3/4 of the way through to liven things up. I know, 3/4 distance may be asking a bit much of him.


Err – I suspect that’s a given!


What would be best is if he could mix it up in the first quarter, and if it’s still a bit boring he can be given a spare car to mix up the last quarter too 🙂


a mouth watering prospect but we’ll just have to wait to find out how it all pans out.


Second sector seems to be very short this year. Is there some particular reason for that?


I think Sami’s right – i recall sector two normally ends just after swimming pool


That would make sector 3 incredibly short.


It’s been that way for a loong time. Don’t forget it’s a very slow sector.


It’s always been that size 🙂


Between 2009-2013 (didn’t look further back), second sector has been about 34 seconds.


I like the Monaco GP. I don’t know why people complain, isn’t it very challenging to drive there?

By the way, Lewis Hamilton is named the world’s most marketable sportsperson by “SportsPro” magazine. Sebastian Vettel is ranked 27th


that does not seem like a compliment…


Perfect balance there by Lewis!

Being a WDC and marketable at the same time are not mutually exclusive.

Matthew Cheshire

Nice work for Lewis, but I dread the day that F1 drivers strive for marketability as a real measure of success. And Kvyat was the other F1 driver on the list? Clearly, good hair and a large home market were big considerations.

Its a good sign for Vettel that he’s won 4 WDCs and isn’t sporting a superstar girlfriend and tweeting to millions about his dog.

On that note- what happened to driver of the day for Spain? It would have been interesting to see if we could admit Vettel was the obvious choice.


From what I saw Vettel would have been my driver of the day. He was frequently faster than Ricciardo, including when Ricciardo was on the option tyre.


He was on a 3-stop, so of course he would be posting faster lap times.

After 10 laps in Spain, RIC was 16.237s behind HAM, and 15.261s ahead of VET. This was after VET had spent all those laps behind BUT, which caused him to switch to a 3-stop on lap 12.

At the end of the race, RIC was 27.688s ahead.


@Matthew Cheshire

and tweeting to millions about his dog…

To be fair, I have read your other replies and you make some reasonable points. However, I fail to see how you take exception to what a person tweets. You have to make a specific, conscious effort to receive tweets and if you choose to do this, I don’t see how you can then complain about that person – simple, stop following LH and you will no longer be offended by his pictures.


fantastic post! i think you noticed the genetic defect there!

Matthew Cheshire

Indeed I have given up with Ham’s twitter- but my point was that the marketability of a driver is no great accolade. Lewis has a big fanbase bolstered with teens excited by dogs and star girlfriends. Its no bad sign for vettel being ranked at 27 – he just drives fast.

Marketability is really a gauge of how much they can earn. And do we care? Lewis has, and always will, earn more than Vettel.

I know the point was lost with all the resulting noise about favoring Vettel or Hamilton.

Look at Lauda. No darling of the media, and a bit of an “arseh*le” by his own admission. But one of the real greats, who now has the respect he earned.


@Mathew Cheshire Is that a lemon you sucking on or a plate of sour grapes.

Sooner or later all these young men will grow old and this glamorous lifestyle will come to an end.

How sad it will be if all you have to show for it are trophies – yes it’ll be great when they wheel you out to do the odd interview but …….. C’mon, the money, the women, the ‘shut my mouth’ is what it’s all really about.

Vettel drove well last race but Hamilton’s multi tasking while maintaining his advantage to a closing teammate on faster tyres pips him.


@gonerf1, I find your orbital theories interesting. What is the correlation between the change in shape of the earth’s orbit and change in climatic conditions? how about the rate of change of shape of the orbit?


I enjoyed reading this conversation 🙂 so I’m going to wade in with my 2 pennies worth if no-one minds :).

On the global warming front, yes the planet is warming up, no we are not as much to blame for it as governments etc would have us believe, and it is for the following reason.

The orbit of the earth does not maintain a constant distance away from the sun. Over a period of a few hundred years, the orbit of the earth is actually more elliptical, due to the influence of gravity from mainly the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, but also, obviously, the Sun. And to a lesser extent, our closer planets.

To explain this in a real world scenario, to those of you who have ever played swingball and felt the ball pass within an inch of you face, you would have felt the wind/force that generates. Now imagine that blown up to the size of a planet the size of Jupiter, or a star the size of the Sun.

This change in gravity creates the ellipse in the earths orbit, and obviously, the closer the earth is to the sun the warmer the earth gets, the further away it is the colder it gets. Thats why we have ice ages.

It just so happens we are living through a phase of the earth warming up. Its happened before, it will happen again.

Yes humans are warming the planet. But it is nothing compared to the earth orbiting closer to the sun.

And lest we forget, the earth was here long before we were, and itll be here long after we’re gone. The planet warming up is nothing new for the earth, it is new for us as human beings.

Science lesson over and back to the f1 :).

How about, to do away with all of these arguments, we put all the drivers in GP2 cars, just with more power, and leave them to it.

If all the drivers have equal opportunity and equal machinery, the world champion at the end of the season, it cannot be argued, is the best driver :).


There’s no admitting to anything good for Vettel, even if he wins 10 championships the Lulu fan brigade wouldn’t say a good thing for Seb. Just the way it is, its like the group of people still not admitting global warming is melting the ice cap, apparently its all a hoax and fraud even when its happening right in front of their eyes, quite funny really.


Well Hamilton fans will fire this down but imho I believe Vettel is a excellent driver and when he’s at one with a car its almost perfection. I however do believe with the new regulations in place he should have tried to make more of an effort in getting more time in the car by requesting Ricciardo’s testing times when the car broke down on Vettel’s days. Instead he took the first plane out of test sessions and then was struck with PU issues which I think are the culprit to lack of straight line speed of his car at Melbourne, Bahrain and China. With a new unit and chassis things are looking better.

As goes for global warming well there are people with their head in the sand pretending its nothing no big deal ot even its not happening but there are people who do believe in it and won’t use “natural phenomenon” as an excuse to do nothing or do more damage. I don’t believe its natural certainly not consistent with climate change in long term history of the planet. I mean its only got really bad in the last 30-40 years which is a blink of an eye in earth evolution. Is it too late to reverse the damage or fix it for us? Probably BUT efforts into reducing c02 like F1 this year might pave the way for the next generation to have a fighting chance to go forward and that is a positive for the new Formula 1.


@tealeaf -Same answers here for both cases :-

Is he good – Yes. Is he top 4 yes , is he that good hes causing global warming– I think not 🙂 like the analogy?

Gloabl Warming- Yes of course its happening. Are we contributing yes of course we are. Do we know how much – no- modern science dates 200 years and the earth is how many millions of years ?. How many ice ages and heating phases have we been through already?.: can we do our little bit- yes we can- Will it stop it – no it wont


vettel did win 4 championships, fact. redbull do not pay him more than alonso and hamilton, fact. red bull gave newey red bull shares, fact. the planet earth and it’s atmosphere have always evolved and will continue to evolve, fact. there is no person or group of persons on this planet who can stop the earth from evolving, fact.


Tealeaf, I don’t mean to be flippant, but the irony is F1, Europe, Japan and Australasia is doing its bit to reduce its carbon output – its the likes of “big boys” of the United States, China, Russia and India who are doing the most polluting, but what goes around comes around and those aforementioned counties also have the most amount of natural disasters caused in some ways by an alteration of weather patterns……..hurricanes, droughts, deadly flooding that sort of thing.

Also, in Europe, Japan and Australasia small cars with small engines are popular in the big cities (and somewhat encouraged by government policy), so F1 downsizing with its engine capacity is actually following society in its heartlands to a certain extent!


And your making appropriate comments because your not in any way biased and are completely non judgmental in any of your evaluations?

Actually it was a good drive by SV but hardly earth shattering given the obvious speed of the car at a track very much suited to its strengths. That plus a three stop allowing him to have fresh tyres during the latter half would always allow him to actually race rather than strategically dawdle and good on him.

To constantly comment on a rather childish perspective of a very gifted British racer is very sad. His achievements in the SV/RB years along with a couple of untouchable records suggest he deserves better from F1 so called fans.


I am a Hamilton fan. I think he is a great driver but has been a long time coming in maturity stakes. Whilst not a ‘fan’ per se I do admire Vettel’s ability – he can be absolutely peerless at times. Just because a person is not a fan, doesn’t mean they instantly become a hater. Alonso is another driver who I think is a brilliant driver, but I just don’t count myself among his fans.



There’s no admitting to anything good for Vettel…

A bit like you admitting anything good about Hamilton – ain’t gonna happen!


Actually @Tealeaf you’ve got it wrong, most people undersatnd that the icecaps are melting, the debate is about whether its being caused by us or natural climate change.

Same for Seb, now he seems to be struggling against Dan some wonder if he was quite as good as we thought.

In both cases time will tell.


I don’t think Vettel’s a hoax. Fraud on the other hand…


Judging by your comment it is obvious that your are no fan of Hamilton and obviously favor the 4 time worldchampioncar passenger.

To me it isn’t so obvious that Seb would be the driver of the day. He had nothing to loose and all to win by giving it his best effort. To be honest, he did well. But driving from 15th to 4th doesn’t make you driver of the day. The redbull is still the 2nd fastest car. If he did less that 4th he should have been ashamed.


Funny i bet when hamilton or alonso would have done it you wouldn’t say that. You probably would tell the world how great they can overtake and that they only finished one place behind their teammate,even after starting way back behind their teammates. Its funny when alonso finshes 4th or 5th its always magic for some reason but when another driver like vettel does something similar its oh but he has the best/2nd best car. [mod].



Vettel’s acolytes will never admit what you are saying is true. But it’s a fact – Vettel had nothing to lose after being demoted due to a gearbox failure. Having said that ,I thought he drove well and pulled off some very good overtaking manoeuvres.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)


Matthew Cheshire

Not quite. I’m excited to see what Ricciardo can do with his brilliant start to the season, but other than that I’m just a keen spectator. I’d probably support Lewis ahead of Vettel but it depends on who is doing a better job on the day. Weird concept, I know, but why not look at who is trying the hardest and support them? Why not be positive about drivers performing well?

Hamilton is a great driver. I like his driving style. But I don’t care about his dog. And he is driving very well now. But wasn’t so great when his MacLaren was poor and his girlfriend affected his racing.

We can even go a step further. It’s easy to find fault with a driver,but when they go on and tackle that fault, we should make an effort to acknowledge that. Vettel can’t overtake, can’t compete without the best car, can’t drive back in the pack. I’m sure I’ve spouted a couple of those. But if he couldn’t then, he can now. Isn’t that just honesty?


@ Matthew Cheshire I agree Vettel was the driver of the day. But, he still finished behind his teammate. We’ll see how he gets on from here.


Ricciardo was my driver of the day in Spain. Measured, controlled, he had it all covered.

Vettel looked spectacular because he needed to overtake. Ricciardo waa protecting the third place from the start.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them winning in Monaco, with Seb leading Dan, courtesy of his good stars this year,


Monaco is very challenging, just not a great spectacle. Qualify on pole and you only have yourself to blame if you don’t win.

It’s the top challenge for the drivers, not so much for spectators and viewers.


I think it is a great spectacle! It’s just that it isn’t an overtaking festival, it is a bunch of drivers fighting the walls, trying not to hit each other. And of course you can see a successful overtaking attempt at Sainte Devote, Mirabeau, Grand Hotel and the run down to the harbour chicane from time to time.

Since the new engines have so much torque, small mishaps exiting Mirabeau, Portier, 18/19, maybe even 16 may open a oportunity for a successful move.

Granted, overtaking in Monaco is hard, but when it’s attempted, it’s always a hair raising moment.


Completely agree. I love Monaco. Quite right its not an overtaking fest. But I don’t watch this race for that. I watch it because it is the ultimate test in a drivers concentration, and to be honest, you know there is going to be the odd crash or 5 :).

It’s also exciting when someone does try to attempt a pass. I’ve always maintained its not the overtaking that delivers the thrills, its the build up to the overtake, or the potential of an overtake. Watching the drivers trying to engineer an opportunity. Not just driving past with the DRS flap wide open. BORING!!!

I happen to think we will see quite a few left rear tyres hitting the barriers this weekend, and as a consequence, suspension breakages and failures, as cars get on the power. Not so much out of the chicane, more out of Portier into the tunnel, Anthony Nogues onto the pit straight, and St Devote up the hill.

Whoever qualifies on pole should win. And whoever qualifies on pole will know that. But, can they handle and deliver upon that expectation after 78 laps? We shall find out…


overtaking is a small part of the spectacle which is diminished in monaco but the rest are still available to be enjoyed including the echo from the buildings.


It is a great spectacle and a great test for the drivers. The new power units will offer an opportunity, but for this year only. Realisticaly speaking though, unless a driver makes a mistake, there’s no overtaking. Unless it rains, it’s the most boring race on the calendar.


massa was on pole in 2008 and didn’t win through no fault of his. hamilton swapped from a 3 stint strategy to a 2 stint strategy and won as a result.


yeah! and that too.


Apart from locking his front axle at Saint Devote and going down the escape road!


James and Mark excellent post, but as well as mechanical grip and traction, I would say good suspension compliance and suppleness together with a consistent ride height is paramount for Monaco.

I know I can droning on about the importance of good suspension/axle/wheel design on an F1 car, but there is a reason: if a chassis ability to generate downforce is king of the hill in F1, then good suspension compliance and suppleness is the crown prince: also add on a chassis with an ability to run a decent amount of “rake” via a clever ride-height parameter and you have the basis of a decent F1 car.

It’ll be interesting to see just how high with these new engines/aero regulations the teams run their cars – possibly, just possibly, with 60 Kg less fuel on board for race day they might run the ride height a bit lower than they did during the V8 era.


“with 60 Kg less fuel on board for race day”

Yes, but the cars themselves are 40kg heavier and I doubt Monaco ever used 160 kg’s of fuel during the V8 era, so there wont be any change.


60kg less fuel assumes cars that are filled up to the max. Most certainly that is not the case, nor has it been in the past. The difference will be much less and one may even assume that the cars will have a comparable weight at the start of the grand prix.


Yes, that is entirely possible – the high chance of a safety car/cars means teams will take the chance of “under-fuelling” the cars for less weight.

I’d forgot that at Monaco the race distance is 160 odd miles, not the bog standard 190 odd miles, and 30 odd miles difference would mean fuel tanks don’t have to be brimmed, so yes you are right.


It may be interesting to see how many drivers get caught out be torque over steer out of some corners.


Couldn’t agree more – I’m thinking of the exit of the chicane – things could very interesting at Tabac corner!

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