Grand Prix 2013 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

After the excitement of Spain the GP circus moves on to the glamour of Monaco, the longest serving race on the F1 calendar. Monaco, I'm sure, is probably the most testing circuit of the season for the drivers. Hurtling millimetres from unforgiving armco barriers at speeds of up to 180 mph, trying to wrestle 700 plus horsepower engines through tight and twisty corners with no hint of a run off area and having to cope with going from broad daylight into a tunnel with your foot planted hard to the floor before bursting back into the sunlight metres from probably the tightest chicane on any track, anywhere.

It is, almost certainly, the most marmite race on the season. Many love the glamour, the history and the challenge for the drivers. Others feel it is an anachronism in 21st century sport, that it is dangerous and doesn't show F1 at it's best with virtually no opportunity to overtake anywhere on the circuit. Whatever your feelings toward Monaco it isn't going anywhere soon and, I believe, is the only race which can thumb it's nose at FOM when they come along asking for money to allow the race to run. As important to Formula One as Ferrari apparently.

The battle at the top of the WDC leader board has closed up post Spain. Fernando Alonso & Ferrari were outstanding in the Catalan race and the team chose exactly the right tactics to help him win on home ground. Red Bull looked out of sorts, third best behind the Ferrari's and the Lotus Renaults (in Kimi Raikkonen's hands at least).

The tyres should probably not have quite so much of an influence on the racing in Monaco as they have in other races so far this season and Pirelli are planning changes to the rubber to give a maximum of 3 pit stops. Maybe this will help Mercedes, who appear to suffer most of the top teams with decaying rubber. Either that or Ross Brawn should remove the cheese graters Adrian Newey screwed on next to the tyres on the Merc when no one was looking.

If Mercedes manage to show the one lap pace they have elsewhere this season this could be their best chance for a win as they can lead a train around the track. However, it's hard to see past Alonso and, without some mistakes and mechanical failures, you can imagine he would have a VERY healthy lead in the drivers race by now. Perhaps the better driveability of the Renault engines will allow Lotus and Red Bull to mount a more serious challenge to Ferrari. Could someone like Force India spring a surprise, or McLaren? Sorry Macca fans, a little joke there. I shouldn't get your hopes up.

Meanwhile, down at the back. Aww, who cares as long as they get out of the way when being lapped, or get in the way depending on which driver arrives behind them. No safety cars so far this year, some how I'll be shocked if Monaco doesn't give Bert Mylander his first outing.

So Monaco, remember FP1 and 2 are on the Thursday as Friday is a religious holiday for Monegasques. Who'd have thought all those millionaires were so religious. Hope you all enjoy the race, or doing the ironing or gardening if it get's too dull/exciting (delete as appropriate).
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Hamberg.... To be honest, I have to question the whole idea of a safety car.... Massa's accident was at Sainte Devote. The only place on the circuit where a safety car was needed was to slow the field through Sainte Devote to protect the marshalls, yet the safety car comes out onto the circuit AFTER Sainte Devote, so had to do a lap before it even slowed down the field through that section! Where is the logic in that? It is, in fact, completely barmy! If anyone's really going to have a complaint about speed, it might be about Hamilton on that lap, as I believe that he was the fastest person through that sector - I don't have any complaints, by the way.....
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
I think it's quite logical that the SC comes onto the track after St. Devote, because the SC comes out of the pits. Coming from the pits you enter the circuit after St. Devote.

I thought the strange thing about the SC is that it was only employed after they cleared Massa's car from the track. But I understood that they found that the barrier had to be repaired. Anyway I expected the SC a few laps earlier.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Wombcat...

It need not come out from the pits... THere's no reason why there couldn't be several safety cars positioned around the circuit; then the race could be neutralised in a much safer manner!
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
Wombcat...

It need not come out from the pits... THere's no reason why there couldn't be several safety cars positioned around the circuit; then the race could be neutralised in a much safer manner!
Maybe there's no reason not to, but are there several SC's positioned? Not as far as I know, although there is a spare SC.
 

Hamberg

Those who know, they know
Contributor
This may be unpopular with some but that race got more exciting after the safety car, we actually got to see some quite good overtaking/battles (and some questionable ones).
 

Quintessentially

-
Contributor
Wombcat...

It need not come out from the pits... THere's no reason why there couldn't be several safety cars positioned around the circuit; then the race could be neutralised in a much safer manner!




That's why you have double waved yellows meaning slow down and be prepared to stop. You cannot have the safety joining the circuit at random places because that could be even more dangerous. This is akin to drivers joining motorways wherever they want and ignoring slip roads. The SC is much slower than an F1 car and drivers need a very clear line of vision of it joining the circuit because of the dangers of closing speeds. FIA can also display safety information like flags and SC deployment on driver screens so they behave themselves. Massa's car was cleared with no major issues as were other big incidents over the weekend.

If anyone's really going to have a complaint about speed, it might be about Hamilton on that lap, as I believe that he was the fastest person through that sector - I don't have any complaints, by the way.....



Hamilton setting the fastest time through that sector doesn't necessarily mean he drove through the the incident at speed or violated any safety rules, if this is what you are suggesting. The sector obviously covers a wider range than the accident spot and most of it would not have been under regulation.
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
Quintessentially, I wasn't suggesting anything about Hamilton, just wondering why the SC was deployed only after the wreck of Massa's car was cleared from the circuit and why the SC was deployed after that.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
I still can't help thinking the safety car rules in general are pants.

I would have thought that they could allow anyone who wished to to pit, then re-form the train in the same order as the cars were in at the time the SC was signalled. No doubt someone more clever than me will say why that wouldn't work.

Also, instead of releasing lapped cars only for the SC to then have to stay out longer while the released cars re-catch the back of the train (while not exceeding the lap delta time), why can't the lapped cars drop back through the field instead, but be credited a lap on the timing computer?
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
Chad Stewarthill, if they re-order the cars in the same order as when the SC was signalled, then you'd be at a huge disadvantage if you had just pitted. If Rosberg had just pitted when te SC would have come on track in this race, then he'd drop to place 5-10. Then the others get a free pitstop, but he's dropped way to the back.

With the delta times is as fair as you can get the SC-situation imo.
 
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