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.
So, Leclerc isn't going to even make the start with a broken gearbox...

Had they taken a precautionary change, he would have started from 6th... As it is, he isn't going to even make the race... What utter incompetents
Depends how you see it ..this was their best shot at winning the race until Hungary possibly so it was worth the gamble because they are not challenging for the championship or play safe to hold back Mclaren
It's amazing how the field-spread goes at Monaco... Before the stops, Hamilton was 5 seconds behind Norris. After 57 laps, he was almost 30 seconds behind
I found the race very confusing as there were no overtakes (as far as I noticed), there were no yellow flags, no safety cars, on the face of it was as boring as hell, but I couldn't not watch it. I suspect I was just waiting/hoping that something would happen, but it never did.
surprised but not surprised that leclerc wouldnt take place, as i said on saturday night Leclerc has dreadful luck around here, but also how ferrari check a gearbox / drive shaft around the gearbox twice only for it to be terminal as soon they put any load through it
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

yes Monaco doesnt give you many overtakes but neither does spain & i know where i would rather race, because monaco is still special, the qualifying is quite amazing spectacle, & you need to have a wide range of skills to win a title, & dont forget next year we have the cars that according to ross brawn only have 5% effect in dirty air, instead of 50%. so we could be better next season. also it is has set up the season brilliantly, might be wrong but i think could be the 1st time mercedes havent let the constructers since 2018 british GP
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i would go far to say Monaco isnt even the worst 5 circuits on the calendar

Spain, Abu Dhabi, France, Russia are much worse, if pushed Hungary/Australia are slightly worse.
well the average score in the poll is around minus 1.7 so i think so far the forum thinks it was shit.
After fighting to stay awake to watch yesterday's race I find those thinking of Formula E as laughable due to a lower average MPH rather....well laughable.

Personally I'd rather watch a competition than something going fast - something no one can even tell on the TV without the graphic next to it anyways.

What price speed eh? :whistle:
RasputinLives - I agree completely. If F1 wants to race at Monaco, it has to find a way to make it a competition, rather than a procession...

Either, it needs to slow things down a bit, or make the cars slower, or make it more likely to make mistakes.

One step that would improve things would be manual gearboxes - simply because they introduce the possibility of mistakes.

An extreme solution would be to make them all race in formula Ford cars!
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