The glitz and the glamour can only mean one thing, this weekend it’s Monaco. Whilst being the shortest circuit on the F1 calendar, Monaco is by far the most famous track that the F1 circus visits year in year out. One mistake around the streets of the principality and it’s game over. The risks are high but so too are the rewards.
It’s a circuit that the sports greats have all claimed victory at; if you were to ask any driver if they were to only win one race in their career, what would it be? It would be around the streets of Monte Carlo.
Nico Rosberg won last time out in Barcelona and is now just 20 points behind the championship leader. You could say that Rosberg’s win couldn’t have came at a better time for the German. Lewis Hamilton was looking invincible up until the last round, you could be forgiven for believing that Hamilton could take the spoils at every round in 2015 but Rosberg has over ideas and has the momentum.
Nico has won around the streets that he calls “home” for the last two years, and in convincing fashion. Whilst the German comfortably took the plaudits last time out, the way in which he done the job on Sunday came in for criticism due to his antics the previous day in qualifying. Rosberg had provisional pole as Hamilton started his final effort. Rosberg who was further around the lap made a mistake which led to the yellow flags being waved at Hamilton thus ending his charge for pole. Was it a mistake? We will never know, all we know for certain is that if we see an incident of a similar nature again then people will be suspicious.
He hasn’t won here since 2008 and surely this has to be his best chance yet to take his second win around the famous streets? It is a track that plays to the strengths of the Mercedes man who this week put pen to paper on a new three year deal estimated to be worth £100 million, not bad. With overtaking so difficult, the race could be won in qualifying on Saturday.
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) May 20, 2015
The 2 mile circuit on the French coast thrills and scares drivers in equal measure. The first corner is a tricky right hander usually taken in third gear that catapults the drivers up to Beau Rivage followed by the left hander of Massenet that has claimed many victims over the years, most notably Fernando Alonso in FP3 for Ferrari in 2010.
Massenet is closely followed by the right hander of Casino. Avoiding the man hole cover the drivers head right on the exit then back to the left hand side of the circuit to prepare themselves for Mirabeau, or the scene of the crime as Hamilton may call it. Then it is onto perhaps the most iconic corner on the track, The Grand Hotel Hairpin, perhaps the best overtaking spot if the drivers are feeling brave. The famous tunnel proceeds and leads the drivers to another potential overtaking spot, the chicane. The left handed Turn 12 of Tabac is taken at 100 mph and is almost instantly followed by the Swimming Pool Chincane. Rascasse is another corner where qualifying has came to a dramatic conclusion when the great Michael Schumacher parked his Ferrari to stop Alonso from taking pole position.
I’ll say it every year. This place is ridiculous! As a racer or a fan it really is something special pic.twitter.com/XpvOTi9545
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) May 20, 2015
It is a circuit that a driver can make a difference at, perhaps news to the ears of both Red Bull’s? With engine power not playing such a role here the Renault powered teams will at be much less of a disadvantage. Although Ferrari are in better shape in terms of engine performance in comparison to the Renault teams they are still not quite on the level that Mercedes are on.
For Ferrari they could be in good shape this weekend, surprisingly a prancing horse hasn’t won this event since 2001, something that the team will be eager to put right. Both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have won around the streets and know what is takes to master Monaco. If there is a chance for a win, you can bet that Ferrari will be doing their upmost to take it.
McLaren have won this event 15 times and are by far the most successful constructor, so far points have evaded the grasp of the Woking based outfit but they could spring a surprise this weekend. After a positive couple of days testing in Barcelona McLaren could be feeling lucky this weekend. If the brake problems that were persistant in Spain stay away, McLaren could be leaving the south of France in high sprits. Stranger things have happend in the past in Monaco, just ask Marussia who famously scored their first ever points at last years race.
Two wins in the last two years around the streets and victory in Spain mean we could have a new championship leader come Sunday afternoon in the form of Rosberg.
How do you think will win this year? Get your predictions in below.