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 choses.to 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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Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
What bizarre ratings. For a start it was not possible to rate the top five because Ricciardo was limping along through no fault of his own, the next four were all in the queue following him, it even looked like Trulli was back. The comments about the tyres were odd as Hamiltom actually fell back more that Vettel in those last few laps. And as for Bottas, he actually got closer to the driver in front of him and for longer than the others in front of him.

I will be so pleased when Sky no longer own F1.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Monaco GP: Jolyon Palmer column - Is it time to make changes?

Another one?

It seems that a hell of a lot of scales have fallen from eyes this weekend. Yes, the spectacle wasn't great, but there's a simple fact that loads seem to be ignoring. This. Is. Monaco. This is what it has been like for many, many years. In 2012, it started to rain in the latter stages of the race and Mark Webber backed off so he didn't wall it. The top six in that race finished within six seconds of the winner; that's not a recommendation as to how close it was but a condemnation of how little threat the leader was under even with a whole cast of challengers on his tail.

In 2011, Jenson Button lost the Monaco Grand Prix pitting with the effect of surrendering track position, in the expectation that the two leaders' tyres would go off. A red flag means we never found out if those tyres would have gone off and a lengthy circular argument ensued on this website. But it has become clear that the only thing that matters is track position; get into Turn One first, then don't cock the strategy up and you have won the Monaco Grand Prix. Annually it is predictable. Annually it is dull. Over the last four years, three have been won because of a pit error (HAM 2015, RIC 2016, RAI 2017) and allowed another past (ROS 2015, HAM 2016, VET 2017), and the other has been won by a car that had actually failed.

I struggle to work out how Palmer intends to improve the racing at Monaco by whacking harder tyres on the cars. The drivers would still back off; why wouldn't you? You can't hope to pass, and if you can't be threatened from behind unless a much faster car has erred its way behind you. Unless they're fools, they won't push. While blaming Pirelli for everything has been Formula One's media modus operandi for the last seven years, the fault is not theirs either.

Circuit de Monaco was described on TV as the "best racing circuit in the world" this weekend. It isn't. It's not even a racing circuit. It's a collection of streets. Even then, it's a narrow, twisty collection of streets. It is wholly insufficient to be hosting a Formula One event (and it's not even close). It is run in, by and in the style of a hereditary monarchy: anachronistic, high-society, entrenched, unchallengable, propagandist, dull and unquestioned. It had run its course at least twenty years ago, and they should all be aware of this.

Keep it on the calendar because of the tradition, the champagne or the prestige if you want, but don't delude anyone that this should be a good race, and it is the fault of any organisation or group if it isn't. This is Monaco, it's what you want to keep and it is what you'll get, year in year out, until it is removed from the calendar.

Considering, however, that the number one criticism of Formula One from non-fans is that it is over-privileged, processional and just plain dull, how does it look to the rest of the world that the race held up to be its crown jewel is all of those things in excelsis. How do you sell a sport by making this event your shop window? Frankly, anything worth preserving about Monaco can be found at Monza anyway...
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
Martin Brundle said on twitter that Monaco is a race everyone is talking about. Well they are, but are they talking about it for the right reasons?

Now I'm sure from his perspective actually being there is a very different prospect to what we mere fans sat at home watching on the tv experience. For years we haven't really seen a true race there. Sure it can be incident filled, it can get hairy when it rains, but more often than not it's a procession that seems to go on for far too long.

I agree with a lot of what has been said here, it's a tradition, it's a big deal because it's Monaco and we all know that if drivers lose concentration they can bin the car in spectacular style. It's dangerous by the nature of the circuit and barriers, but it's not exactly a race. There is almost nowhere to overtake and even the DRS (which I don't like by the way as it's artificial) hasn't managed to encourage more overtaking here. If only they could run the Monaco race at a decent track like Spa instead :snigger:
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
The number of on-track overtakes has made it into double figures five times in the past ten seasons, reaching a "peak" of 28 in the (dry) 2011 event. So part of the problem is that the current wide-track chassis make it hard to follow closely; and Pirelli's new conservatism means the lap time differential between old and new tyres is much less. Notwithstanding this, though, passing is extremely difficult, undoubtedly. Any tension in the race must rest on mechanical unreliability, or drivers making mistakes - and the necessity to preserve rubber and lengthen stints makes these much less likely.

The benefit of the current regulations was seen in qualifying, which personally I enjoyed enormously, particularly the onboard camera footage. The challenge of accuracy for the drivers is incredible, and everything is happening much faster now than it was for Senna, Prost, Villeneuve and co. So I'd keep it on the calendar solely for that combination of spectacle and history (albeit the circuit has changed more than commentators would have us believe).
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think 2011 was exceptional in many ways; broadly speaking the drivers believed that the cliff could come into account, and reacted accordingly.

I wonder how much the Caterham/HRT/Marussia situation contributed many of those overtakes (but thanks for reminding me that Van Der Garde actually had a Formula One stint).
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
It's usually crap, it will continue to usually be crap. We will have the odd race where we all go :o but these will be fewer and farther between as the cars become more reliable. It will never leave the F1 calender until F1 is dead and I doubt the circuit will change dramatically at any point unless they build more millionaires apartments on major parts of the track.

The problem I see is that many others try to ape what Monaco does and we will end up with more and more street circuits which will destroy what F1 is. Although dear old Bernie, and now Liberty media, seem to be trying to speed up it's death at a pace.
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
Just because something is traditional doesn't always mean it's good. Monaco has a long tradition of motorsport, but the word racing doesn't always feature lately sadly. Parade is often more accurate if you ask me.
 
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