Grand Prix 2018 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Monaco. The principality of Monaco to be completely correct. Its name comes from a 6th century BC Greek colony in the area who believe they descended from Hercules himself. Despite their laws trying to suggest otherwise they have a monarch who holds ultimate autonomy over the region. It's all very Game of Thrones. All this for an area that is just over 2km squared. The region has a population of 19,000 people with around 10,000 of these being motor racing drivers avoiding paying tax in their own country. Monaco is famous for 3 things - the rich and crooked, casinos and motor racing. Yes it's F1's 'jewel in the crown's where the colours are brighter and the crowd are all beuatiful people.

Ok let's have a look at some of our readers letters. Here's one:

Dear Raspy,

All street circuits in F1 are pointless with Monaco being doubly so. It's not fit for modern race cars and should be disposed off immediately. I resent paying for a Now TV subscription to watch it.

Yours faithfully

Angry of Scotland.

Well Angry of Scotland does have a point and his view is shared by many. It is pretty silly having race cars on a track like Monaco where overtaking has been virtually impossible for the last 30 years. To be honest though overtaking is virtually impossible at every track now so maybe it was a trend setter. Personally I like Monaco for the look and the fact it's a challenge for the drivers to even make it round. There will be no 'rejoin the track by going to the left of the bollard' here. If you leave the black stuff you're in the wall.

One of the things levelled at Monaco is that it's an exceptionally boring race. This is not always true but let's be fair how can it possibly be more boring than the steaming terd that was the Spanish Grand Prix? Yes we come here off the back of a 1-2 from Merc, a supreme drive from Lewis, a lackluster performance from Vettel and Verstappen actually finishing a race. Unfortunately it was all so boring that nobody really cares. Hamilton is very much in control of the championship now and is in good spirits so I fully expect him to be as unbeatable here as he was in Spain. Vettel has never been awesome here and I expect him to get some trouble from the Red Bulls.

Speaking of which Max Verstappen has to be one of the favourites to be first in the wall. Probably joint along with Grosjean and the two Williams drivers. My little boys pushchair takes corners better than that Williams so I fully expect them to both crash out. This race has always bought about a lot of retirements and we've often seen a cautious approach lead to big points. The track is also seen as a leveller for the cars and we are told this means driver skill is far more important than the car. What this means is we'll get a lot of articles in the build up about how this is Fernando Alonso's chance to take an amazing and shocking win. I guess we'll see when we get there.

Last and not least let's talk about Charles LeClerc. The home town boy. Not only a home town boy but one who race under a Monegasque licence as well. LeClerc comes here off the back of two really results in a Sauber which looks a lot better than people expected. Could he pull off some sort of miricale podium here? I wouldn't put it past him.

So who is going to bother to watch?
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It always makes me laugh that when a driver is on a track surrounded by walls, how often they don't "exceed the track limits".

These farcical modern tracks with miles and miles of concrete run off provide no element of risk to the driver.

The one thing about Monaco is drivers have to feel their way up to the limit. The braver drivers get their quickly.
On side note leclerc cant have worse luck than last year. Retired from both races & was absoultely gutted i think he was leading until he had suspension damage & then did a mika hakkinen

I agree the race isnt great, but in simliar racing would rather watch monaco than Spain. because i still love the spectacle, backdrop & glamour. It always 1 of my favourite qualifyings of the year seeing these cars fight around monaco as was it alesi its like riding a bike around your living room . & because of the slowest average speed you always get close racing because dirty air is non existent

Also this where driver skill matters more than chassis or power. & i believe it gets a bad wrap we get great moments just from the last decade
2008 We had lewis hitting wall but coming back to win the wet/dry race
2009 Button running a victory lap down the front straight.
2010 we had the 3 way fight for win until SC Intervened stopped it.
2012 Michael schumacher rolling back the years & masterclass pole
2014 we had rosberg underhand tactics & deliberately bringing out yellow flags
2015 we had pitstop gate
2016 was wet/dry/wet race which robbed riccardio of the win as he had been on fire all weekend & perez on podium from 8th
2017 Kimi Raikkonen another guy who rolled back the years with brilliant pole. & then betrayed by his own team
I was going to say it's a no brainer for me, I'm away, so I can't watch it. But that's not true, we will be back home the day before, so it will be on. I may not watch it, but it will be on.
2010? 3 car battle? There is a man in Toronto who would argue that wasn't the case. Something about tyre wear.

1st its My bad as it was 2011 not 2010 sorry about that but we had the tyre wear was main factor but thats always been f1. but it brought about brilliant strategy on both compounds we had vettel on 55/60 lap old tyres alonso on new & button on even newer. Building drama as vettel was could he hold as edged closer to the cliff

I said at the time if red flag hadnt happened it couldve been mansell/senna for modern generation
It’s a race that I get excited for every single year and then more often than not end up disappointed. Monaco also holds the distinction of being the only race that I’ve fallen asleep to while watching.

Really hoping that Kimi is able to recapture his form from earlier in the year and pull out a lap like last year. Who knows, maybe Ferrari would even let him have a shot at winning.
F1Brits_90 I was making a joke. The debate on that particular race and the tyre wear of Vettel, Alonso and Button holds the record for CTA's longest circular argument. I believe without mod intervention it might still be running now.

No worries.Always the problem with internet. Things can always get misunderstood. :D

But i know about ray in toronto wasnt he the troll/wind up merchant on many forums. To be honest i dont know how he found the time. I struggle juggling sheff utd & f1 forums

aaron8831 i think there are shorter odds on grosjean being world champion than ferrari letting kimi win a race. Than vettel is still in
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I can't get worked up about the likes of Mansell/Senna. How can you praise a driver (in this case Senna) for defending his position around Monaco? Any driver can do it; Enrique Bernoldi held David Coulthard up for what felt like a week in 2001.

It's clear that, as an event, Monaco is being preserved by its tradition than by the idea of it not being dull. It's dull. There's no other Grand Prix on the calendar that we'd attempt to say, "There've been great moments, remember when the winner parked in the wrong parking spot? Or when we were set for an interesting finish and a red flag ruined it? Or when that guy cheated in qualifying?" The best bits are awful.

From a sporting perspective, there's an element of challenge as a driving and technical standard that just about justifies its continuation on the calendar. However, I'm sure everyone at Monaco would be delighted for their race to follow the annual snoozeathon in a circuit that is nearly (but not quite) in Barcelona, produces races that are nearly (but not quite) interesting and is nearly (but not quite) worth a place on the Formula One calendar.
Unless they downsize F1 cars so that genuine passing is possible (look at all the space available in the accompanying pic of the grid in the 1965 GP), even using the term "race" is a farce. "Parade" would be more accurate. Barring ill fortune, nowadays pole = win. It's as simple and boring as that.

It can be dull. But i think its gets an unfair kicking & is not by far the worse circuit there are far worse as at monaco as i mentioned. You always get a big talking point nearly every yr

Catalunya only 3 entertaining things have happen in 17 years & without the bottas vettel battle last season then sochi might as well be a blank
Monaco - the jewel in the Crown - the one all the drivers want to win.

The race itself it can be a bore fest but then something dramatic happens like pitstop gate in 2015 and suddenly throws a curve ball out to everyone

Senna defined what the challenge of Monaco was about in 1988. In quali - how fast can you go getting closer to the wall without running into it .

Then in the race way out in front and in command then to suffer a slow puncture and ending up in the barrier

People said Monaco is impossible to pass which I'm afraid it is unless you want to brave it down the inside at Ste Devote or throw one at the chicane which would have been a better passing place had they not modified it to be a tighter and slower exit

The race itself tends to be about attrition and who can keep their concentration as we saw last year some drivers were asleep at the restart and binned it

Its also the race that does seem to stir a lot of emotion with

Senna in 88 , checking into his hotel without telling Mclaren after ending the barrier
Hamilton in 2007 been told to back off even though he was charging hard to win the race
Ricciardo in 2016 getting mad with his team for not having the tyres ready
Kimi last year looking so red faced at the thought that he was deliberately screwed out of a victory
F1Brits_90 - To suggest it should be on an F1 calendar because it's better than Catalunya and a circuit designed as an Olympic Park is rather a stretch.

Im not saying it the best but there are far worse & monaco wouldnt even make my top 5 to bin Shanghai Barcelona Hockenheim Russia & Abu Dhabi. But it gets a unfair kicking. Because its tricky to overtake. But Monaco is more than that its driver & real test of driver skill
With the action zones introduced by Liberty Media in all track introductions I wonder what they have here. About every corner has an incident that comes to my mind. The archive dates back to 1981 AFAIK so incidents like Ascari going to sea are not going to be there.

So I pick four, each from different decade

Tambay/Brundle crash at Mirabeau (1986)
Start crash (1995)
Alonso's crash at Tunnel (2004)
Maldonado/Chilton crash at Tabac (2013)

Senna's crash in 1988 wasn't caught on camera, so that's the reason to ignore that. Wehrlein though flipped his car in the same spot last year.
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