Grand Prix 2015 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

There is something - indeed, almost everything - different about the Monaco Grand Prix. Free practice will take place on Thursday, and F1 will take Friday off. The race will be 40km shorter despite having more laps than any other Grand Prix, and its winners will jump out of the car straight to the 'podium', which will be made up, simply, of a red carpet. Most strikingly, Bernie Ecclestone does not ask for a fee from the organisers in order to include the Grand Prix in his Championship.

The track is old: it has scarcely changed since 1929. The building of the Ranier III Swimming Stadium in 1972 still represents the biggest change that has ever been made to the course. It is very slow by Formula One standards - pole laps frequently average less than 100mph, and the shortening of the distance does not prevent the winning time pushing over one and three-quarter hours even when the red flag has not been thrown. Some of that is also because the Safety Car is so much more likely to appear.

The Safety Car doesn't prevent overtaking in Monaco too much more than the layout itself does - with the pole sitter having won every dry Grand Prix there since 2004, with 2008 standing as the only wet event in that period, won by Lewis Hamilton from third having planted the wall at exactly the right moment! Track position is vital; an undercut is difficult to pull off, and passing someone on dodgy tyres is staggeringly hard. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso found in 2011 that the only overtaking that occurs in Monaco is when they were overtaken by events.

Winning at Monaco is an interesting achievement. It can certainly underline your reputation as a great (Senna's 6, Schumacher's 5 and Prost's 4), although there are some conspicuous absentees (Clark, Piquet, Mansell). Some find a groove there that they don't maintain elsewhere (Webber, Coulthard, Trintignant), and some have their solitary moment in the sun there (Trulli, Panis, Beltoise). Either way, those that win at Monaco will tell you it is the best circuit on the calendar to win on. Graham Hill's legend will always be founded upon his achievements here.

Who will be the 2015 winner? Following on from Catalan victory, Nico Rosberg will be heartened by his own form in the principality, having won dominantly in each of the last two years. He'll also enjoy that Monaco has never served as a favoured circuit to his team-mate Hamilton (whose only win came courtesy of said lucky walling, and has not finished ahead of a team-mate who actually completed the distance otherwise), and has certainly not favoured Ferrari (who have only won there 8 times from their 61 attempts, and have not taken a victory there since 2001). Although the differences at Monaco are often exaggerated, sometimes constructors do find the circuit to their liking if they focus more on aerodynamics than power, which suggests that this may be Red Bull's best chance to challenge Williams this season.

However, predicting what might happen on a Monaco race day is often a fools' game. It could well be a tedious procession, but it could well be full of drama - a good position can often be thrown into the ubiquitous Armco, the lack of new engines for this circuit could lead to one going pop or a frustrated move down at the Grand Hotel could lead to a front-wing buckling. Last year, lest we forget, Jules Bianchi achieved his one-and-only points finish in Formula One - the only points for the new-for-2010 teams in 5 years of trying. There have been many tedious processions here, but there has been 1970, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2011 too. Lets hope to add 2015 to that illustrious list.
It's almost always a procession, I'm hoping for rain. I predict it will be Nico, Lewis, Vettel on the podium. What if Bernie made this a non-points event where there would be no technical inspection pre or post-race? It would certainly be more interesting
I'm going to make a special effort to be positive and upbeat for this year's Monaco GP and enjoy the spectacle of F1 cars driving just meters from houses and hotels on the French Riviera. I suspect the race will be fairly processional but with quite a few youngsters on the grid I'm hoping there will be some fireworks, especially from the Toro Rosso and Red Bull guys.
I know it's usually a processional, but Monaco is actually one of my favorite races on the calendar, even so. The history, the scenery, the modern and the old juxtaposed, the glitz and glamor - Monaco is F1.
2015-1982 = 33 That's a lot of years to wait for another decent race at Monaco.
I hate Monaco. Low point in the season for me. F1 outgrew the track in the late 70's the cars are simply too fast. it's impossible to out break someone and the only interest comes from accidents or bad weather.

I would take a proper track with proper racing over the history, glitz and glamour every day.

The on-boards are the only plus for me. Maybe I will watch the whole thing in-car on red button.

Expectations are zero. But I will still watch in hope of miracles.
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What would be interesting would be to see some new camera angles around the circuit as all we ever see are the same shots I remember seeing back in the 80's. Come on FOM, you know you can do it.
... There have been many tedious processions here, but there has been 1970, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2011 too.

And then there's the 1936 GP; it's got it all; Auto Union and Mercedes at the height of their power, the underpower Alfa in the magic hands of Nuvolari, pouring rain, first lap mayhem and a regeinmeister in the making. That's what racing us all about.
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