Grand Prix 2021 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Many of our loyal readers will have noticed that this seasons PQR threads have taken on a more frivolous tone. I feel that in these trying times a little humour goes a long way. Having said that however, we are now going to discuss the Monaco GP so a different tone is required.

Monaco is the jewel in F1’s crown. It is the fresh crisp linen on clean bedding day. It is the smell of new mown hay on a warm summers evening. It is to F1 what that first visit to the toilet after a long drive home is to relief. A special place for special people. Racing in Monte Carlo gives the average person a chance to see how the rich and famous live. To look down lovingly on the chosen few in their yachts and trackside balconies while being grateful to spend time in such giddy company.

To honour this track then, I will review 3 classic races that made front page headlines the world over and helped contribute to the myth and the legend that is the Monaco grand prix circuit.

Firstly, we must start with the absolute classic that was the 1966 Monaco GP. Few would have predicted at the start of this race that impact it would have on the world championship. A championship that would end in tragedy and go right down to the wire. The race weekend saw a close fight between the Brit, Scott Stoddard and American Pete Aron in the racing green and gold Jordan cars and their rivals Jean-Pierre Sarti and Nino Barlini in the Ferraris. Few remember now that the opening laps were quite dull. As the mid race point approached however, Pete Aron started to experience gear box issues. Desperately trying to fend of Stoddard, who had been gaining on him lap by lap, Aron struggled to keep the car in gear. Coming on to the waterfront stretch of the track Aron thrust his arm in the air to allow Stoddard to pass when suddenly the engine on his Jordan seized and he lost control sending Stoddard into a fiery crash and pitching both men and cars into the harbour. Stoddard’s injuries were severe and enough to see him miss a significant part of the season while Aron was immediately fired from the Jordan team. The impact this had on the season was significant. Going into the final round at Monza, Stoddard had made an amazing recovery and, with Aron now racing for the Japanese Yamura team, any one of the four drivers could still win the title. What happened at that race will have to wait for another day.

The next race I would like to focus on involves sports cars. Another class of racing which alongside rallying, has left its mark on the principality. The 1977 Trans-France Race was an absorbing battle won in truly remarkable fashion. The race unfolded into a four-way battle between Jim Douglas driving a Volkswagen, Diane Darcy in a Lancia, the German Bruno Von Stickle and the Frenchman Claude Gilbert. The battle between the four of them was fierce and even at times potentially lethal. Darcy was first to retire when her Lancia failed, and this was followed shortly after by Gilbert departing from the race. Von Stickle however, still held a commanding lead and would be extremely difficult to pass as the cars headed into the narrow streets of Monaco. It was then that Douglas pulled off a move in the number 53 Volkswagen that is still being talked about today. As the two cars entered the narrow-tunnelled section of the F1 circuit, instead of passing Von Stickle, Douglas drove his car firstly along the barrier and then up the tunnel wall and finally upside down along the tunnel roof. It was a thrilling victory and marked the 20th win for Jim Douglas and the Volkswagen car. Hearts were also set racing when it was announced that Jim Douglas and Diane Darcy had fallen in love after the race.

Finally, here's a more recent race that captured the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Another type of racing that takes place in Monaco usually occurs one or two weeks prior to the F1 GP. The Historic Monaco Grand Prix takes in cars from all over the world and all eras of history. On this occasion the race featured a demonstration race involving cars that had raced in the IRL series in previous years. One of these cars was sponsored by Amreican industrialist Tony Stark. Only a few weeks before Stark had announced to the world that he was the man behind the armour known as Iron Man. His presence in Monaco had already caused headlines when he decided that he was going to replace his regular driver and take to the street track himself. Stark, a keen amateur racing driver acquitted himself well and increased his pace as the race progressed. Suddenly, at around the mid race point, Anton Vanko, a former Stark industries employee with a major grievance against his old boss, encroached on to the race circuit and caused carnage with two electrified whips. Fortunately, Stark managed to just about fend Vanko off and while the number of cars destroyed was high and the fiery explosions seen world-wide on TV looked deadly, no one was seriously injured in the incident.

So, contrary to popular belief, Monaco isn’t a track that’s far too narrow, provides for dull racing and almost no overtaking while only remaining in the calendar because it is a playground for the rich and famous. As these examples above have shown, it provides for thrilling races throughout its history and we all hope that the next GP here will be another of those.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Brogan i would say he isnt out of the woods yet, sunday morning he will know more, but signs are alot brighter than they were a few hours ago i give them 75% he starts on pole

but then leclerc makes Barrichello at interlagos sound lucky. because he has never seen the chequered flag around here in monaco. i think he retired from the lead twice, 1 In F2 he was on pole, head & shoulders above everyone. his engine blew. then 2019 the ferrari garage cock up that cost him a shot at pole

gethinceri i wouldnt say it was sensationalism, he was pretty hefty hit & we know how flimsy gearbox can be hit in wrong place
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
They are saying there’s no serious damage. They, and others, are sensationalising it with the mention of a need to make a decision about it tomorrow.
‘twas ever thus, it means nothing. The race is odds on to be shit as usual, so anything to add something eh?
Yawn.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Reb Bull could claw a lot of points back but Bottas will be desperate to beat Verstappen

Leclerc would love get one over his rival Verstappen
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Something a bit different in Qualie at least. A Ferrari pole, Lewis down the grid, Vettel in to Q3, Alonso out in Q1. I suspect the race won't be as mixed up but we can hope. On other things, what's wrong with Danny Ric?
 

olegg

Race Winner
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F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Monaco is always spectacular. the qualifying is the best of the year

for a race we couldnt ask for anything more around monaco. a underdog & home town hero on pole. which has never been done. the last time a monaqsue was on podium was F1's 2nd ever race in 1950. we have championship challenger in 2nd, championship leader in 7th.

F1 is about all types of challenges over the season high speed, low speed, endurance in Singapore & this the mental concentration to keep it the confines for 90 mins 1 mistake & it all over
 
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The Artist.....

Champion Elect
F1 has to find a way to stop shooting itself in the foot with qualifying.

If a car causes one of their rivals to lose time when they are overtaking during qualifying, they get given a penalty, however, if a car crashes, and stops everyone improving, then there is no penalty.

This has happened on numerous occasions before - even to the point that the other cars have all been penalised (Japan 2009), but often leads to potential advantage for the offender (Monaco 2021, Monaco 2014, Monaco. 2006*, Singapore 2009,…)

let’s be clear, I’m not saying that this was deliberate, but if one car disadvantages the others, without any penalty, it does make a mockery of the sport.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
let’s be clear, I’m not saying that this was deliberate, but if one car disadvantages the others, without any penalty, it does make a mockery of the sport.
i think in BTCC & indycar, if you crash & bring out a red flag. i believe you lose your fastest lap

but its monaco & this wasn't deliberate it isnt schumacher 06 rosberg 15??, its coincidental he was on pole, when he made a genuine mistake just like latifi did in FP3
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
F1Brits_90 - to be honest, I’d go further than BTCC or Indy.
  1. If you cause a yellow flag that causes anyone else to abort their lap, you need to lose your fastest lap
  2. if you cause a red flag, because you have been unable to return to the pits under your own power, you should be disqualified from qualifying, and need to start from the pitlane. (This is, at least, consistent with the idea that Parc Ferme begins at the beginning of qualifying.
This would also be in line with the rules about when a car runs out of fuel, and cannot return to the pits in qualifying.

 
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The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Sounds like Leclerc's not going to make the start... Gearbox failure on the way to the grid...

Ironically, this might be good news for Bottas, because he's starting on the clean side of the grid, with an empty run up to Sainte Devote.
 
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The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I thought about this a little more... Increase qualifying to 90 minutes, and have 60 minutes in 1 by 1 qualifying, but then have the last 30 minutes as "bump" qualifying, giving drivers a second chance - but that would erase their previous time...
 
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