MONACO. Monte Carlo: The 78th edition of the Monaco Grand Prix, under the patronage of Monaco’s royal family, will witness three days of classic motor racing starting from today with Friday being a rest day and Sunday, 23rd May the final race day.
The Champions to date
William Grover won the first Grand Prix of Monaco in 1929. He was awarded a trophy of pure gold delivered personally by the then Prince. This tradition has survived to this day. To date, Ayrton Senna was the champion for a record six times followed by other legends like Schumacher, Alain Prost, Juan Manuel Fangio, Graham Hill, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button et al who ruled the circuit to date.
The unique Monaco circuit and its history
The circuit originally devised by Anthony Noghes, the general commissioner of the Automobile Club of Monaco, is a street circuit laid out on the city streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine around the harbor of the principality of Monaco.
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It features the Grand Hotel hairpin as the slowest corner in the entire championship with an average speed of 50 kph/31 mph. In the seventies, the circuit acquired four additional corners to dodge around a newly constructed swimming pool.
A few barriers have been re-positioned to improve sight-lines and increase run-off space. The circuit also passes through a tunnel which is very difficult for drivers. Following the tunnel is a tight left-right chicane.
The Red Bull is aerodynamically different from Mercedes
High-rake of Red Bull gives a greater migration of down-force towards the front at slow speeds and provides valuable advantage at the corners. Mercedes being a low-rake car finds difficulty in maneuvering the same corners.
Its advantage Red Bull
Traditionally, Monaco is a high down-force track and a key strength of Red Bull too. Red Bulls’ Daniel Ricciardo won the trophy for the team in 2018. In 2019, the Grand Prix at Monaco witnessed an epic battle between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in which Verstappen finished half a second later than Hamilton but was classified fourth due to a five-second post-race penalty.
The track at Monaco places more emphasis on qualifying stages since the track is narrow and offers difficulty in overtaking around the tight streets.
New Livery and debutant drivers will be show stoppers
Interestingly, McLaren will run a one-off livery for Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, inspired by iconic Gulf Oil’s color scheme of blue and orange. Historically, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, very strong around the principals’ tight streets, had already won the trophy in 2018.
Moreover, Pirelli announced that the C5 tyre, the softest in Pirelli’s F1 range will be used for the first time in 2021 along with the medium C4 and hard C3. Last but not least, 7,500 strong spectators will cheer from the Grandstands for Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin, Yuki Tsunoda, and Nicholas Latifi who are debuting this time.
With so much variety this time at the Monaco Grand Prix, the qualifying battle and the final race day promises to be spectacular.
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