2010 Monaco Grand Prix Preview


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Round 6 - Circuit de Monaco

Ah, Monte Carlo! The jewel in the crown of Formula One. Playground of the rich and famous. The race that they all want to win - one of the holy trinity of motor races in the world. As the beautiful people laze on their yachts in the harbour, the cream of today's racing drivers do battle over the same twisting tarmac as their daredevil forefathers - the stage upon which true legends and heroes of our sport are born.

Oh, Monte Carlo! The beauty of the inter-war years now disfigured by vulgar concrete tower blocks. Where once Grace Kelly was the epitome of style and elegance, now superannuated widows totter clumsily, expensively coiffed and with obligatory minature poodle close behind. The circuit a ridiculous anachronism, too narrow, too tight for anything other than a lengthy procession, the cars awkward and unable to stretch their legs.

More than any other, perhaps, this event divides opinion. Present on the calendar continuously since 1955, the Circuit de Monaco is the least changed of any venue F1 will visit this year. The whole circuit is steeped in racing folklore and pages of history are written on every inch of sinuous asphalt. Whoever claims the trophy on Sunday, and adds his name to the long list of famous champions, will have achieved something extraordinary - for Monaco is undoubtedly different to all the other events. Whether he will have been involved in a race, though - that's another question entirely.

The race is, of course, a triumph of contradictions - the shortest in terms of distance, it typically lasts for the longest time. The tightest circuit on the calendar, where aerodynamic efficiency goes out of the window as teams seek to bring every possible gram of downforce onto their cars. The ultimate driving challenge, yet a circuit where circumstance may mean an inferior car or driver can often do well - and even win. Lest we forget, it rains far more on the Riviera in general - and in Monte Carlo particularly - than the local hoteliers would have you believe.

The overall finishing rate at Monaco is very slightly lower than the average for most circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is higher than average.
Mechnical failures in the Monaco GP are less common than at most other current tracks.
Finally, there has (incredibly) not been a single first-lap retirement recorded in Monte Carlo in the last five years.

The Last Five Years
2005181413012 - Ralf Schumacher (Toyota)
2006221751017 - Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
200722192209 - Scott Speed (Toro Rosso)
2008201415014 - Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso)
200920151409 - Timo Glock (Toyota)
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
11th Hungaroring 78%
12th Monte Carlo 77%
13th Sepang 75%

Mechanical Failures
12th Yas Marina 10%
13th Monte Carlo 10%
14th Istanbul 10%

Driver-related Retirements
1st Melbourne 34%
2nd Montreal 20%
3rd Monte Carlo 15%
4th Spa 15%

First lap Retirements
15th= Monte Carlo 0.0%
15th= Shanghai 0.0%
15th= Singapore 0.0%
15th= Yas Marina 0.0%

Michael Schumacher will get another crack at Ayrton Senna's record six Monaco victories this weekend. His fifth success was as long ago as 2001, however, and Monaco was the only race the Ferrari team failed in win in their dominant seasons of 2002 (McLaren's David Coulthard winning) and 2004 (when Jarno Trulli took his only victory for Renault). McLaren's current driver pairing can boast a victory each in the last two races there, and an identical points total, though achieved by Lewis Hamilton in less than half time taken by Jenson Button. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso claimed wins with Renault in 2006 and McLaren in 2007. Conversely Felipe Massa's best finish in seven races is third, though he took pole position in 2008.

Monaco is one of the few races where Ferrari does not have the best record over the past decade - indeed Michael Schumacher's 2001 success is, incredibly, their only victory over the period, and they have won 3 Monaco Grands Prix since Gilles Villeneuve wrestled a monstrously-handling 126C to the chequered flag first in 1981. Conversely McLaren can claim five wins in ten years, though only three poles. The circuit offers great rewards for cars with good traction, direction change and mechanical grip, and was well-suited to the cars produced by Renault in the early years of this decade. Red Bull's high-downforce, aero-efficient package did not work particularly well at Monaco last season, though the team scored their first podium there in 2006.

Current Drivers' Records at Monaco
Michael Schumacher15111st (5)71224.33
Rubens Barrichello17132nd (4)42418.59
Fernando Alonso861st (2)31116.13
Felipe Massa763rd (2)210110
Lewis Hamilton331st (1)18008
Jenson Button861st (1)18119.5
Jarno Trulli1391st (1)16418.31
Mark Webber843rd (1)15408.38
Robert Kubica322nd (1)121010
Sebastian Vettel215th (1)40111.5
Nico Rosberg426th (1)3116.25
Heikki Kovalainen328th (1)1018.67
Timo Glock2210th (1)00015
Vitantonio Liuzzi3110th (1)00212
Pedro de la Rosa3110th (1)02017.75
Adrian Sutil3114th (1)00217.33
Sebastien Buemi10Ret00111
Jaime Alguersuari0------
Karun Chandhok0------
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Bruno Senna0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Monaco (since 2000)
McLaren20141st (5)84335.05
Ferrari20181st (1)72116.65
Renault20141st (2)49157.9
Williams20121st (1)45646.75
Mercedes GP17111st (1)374210.35
BMW Sauber20142nd (1)231513.1
Red Bull2093rd (2)226511.05
Toro Rosso2085th (1)56617.35
Force India20115th (1)44614.45
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Renault include Benetton
Results for Mercedes GP include BAR, Honda and Brawn
Results for BMW Sauber include Sauber
Results for Red Bull include Jaguar
Results for Force India include Jordan, Midland and Spyker
Results for Toro Rosso include Minardi

Engine Records at Monaco (since 2000)
Mercedes-Benz24181st (6)102335.54
Ferrari46311st (1)9041111.3
Renault24161st (2)54268.04
Cosworth28143rd (1)1010413.61
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Ferrari include Petronas and Acer
Results for Cosworth include Ford

All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
Excellent stat's and information as always.
I particularly enjoyed the first 2 paragraphs :D

Of the 6 circuits so far this year, this is the first time that McLaren have a better record than Ferrari.
If they can deal with Red Bull then it could be a good weekend for the 2 Brit's.
Great review Mr. G. Very poetic! :cheer: :thumbsup:

I can't wait for FP1 tomorrow morning, now! But what am I gonna do on Friday... :unsure:
Galahad said:
Driver-related Retirements
1st Melbourne 34%
2nd Montreal 20%
3rd Monte Carlo 15%

To sum up this stat, the carp about Monaco being the ultimate challenge is slightly wide of the mark, no? What actually seems more challenging is trying to go between relatively close walls at high speed rather than eye of a needle stuff slowly. Essentially, the poor F1 driver makes more mistakes at Melbourne/Montreal than Monaco. OK, so they're less used to the car when they arrive at Albert Park, but Montreal has always been closer to the end of the season than Monaco.

Galahad said:
Finally, there has (incredibly) not been a single first-lap retirement recorded in Monte Carlo in the last five years.

That is ridiculous...
teabagyokel said:
Galahad said:
Finally, there has (incredibly) not been a single first-lap retirement recorded in Monte Carlo in the last five years.

That is ridiculous...
I hadn't picked up on that.

That's a fairly incredible statistic in its own right considering the carnage we get at some first corners.
An interesting question for the next preview is:

Of the first lap incidents in Istanbul, how many were Fisichella-related?
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