Published on May 23rd, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Monaco GP From McLaren Formula One F1 Team
Monaco is the shortest and slowest circuit on the Formula 1 calendar, but it’s also one of the most demanding. The proximity of the barriers means there’s no room for error, and, with more than 4,000 gear changes during the 78-lap race, there’s great emphasis on reliability. The track layout has remained largely unchanged since French entrepreneur Antony Nogues first proposed the idea of a race to Prince Rainier in 1928. The first Monaco Grand Prix was staged in April of the following year and the race was subsequently included on the inaugural World Championship calendar of 1950. It has been a regular F1 fixture since 1955.
Most of the 3.340km track has been re-surfaced since last year, so the teams can expect the new, super-smooth asphalt to be slippery when practice gets underway on Thursday. That’s in direct contrast to the old, abrasive surface at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, scene of the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month.
With the emphasis on traction and low-speed mechanical grip, Pirelli are taking their two softest compounds to Monaco: the Soft (Prime) and Supersoft (Option) rubber. This is the first time that the Supersoft tyre has been raced this season, but the teams already have plenty of experience with the new-for-2014 Soft compound tyre from the Australian, Bahrain and Chinese Grands Prix.
McLaren has an enviable record at Monaco. The team has won the race 15 times – more than any other constructor, and five of those victories came with the late, great Ayrton Senna. Of our current driver line-up, Jenson Button has won the race once, from pole position in 2009, while Kevin Magnussen is tackling the circuit in an F1 car for the very first time. However, Kevin has raced at Monaco before; he finished fourth in last year’s World Series race there.
Circuit de Monaco – the stats you need
Race distance 78 laps (260.520km/161.887 miles)
Start time 14:00 (local)/12:00 (GMT)
Circuit length 3.340km/2.075 miles
2013 winner Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W04) 78 laps in 2hr17m52.056s (113.378km/h)
2013 pole Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W04) 1m13.876s (162.759km/h)
Lap record Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m14.439s (161.528km/h)
First F1 race 1950
What makes it special The unforgiving nature of the track and the spectacular scenery: the Alpes-Maritimes on one side and the Monaco Harbour on the other
Wins from pole position 27
Track abrasiveness Low. Monaco has a slippery, low-grip surface and traction is king
Pirelli tyre choice Supersoft (Option)/Soft (Prime)
2013 winning strategy One official pitstop, but race-winner Nico Rosberg changed tyres twice, his second ‘stop’ taking place while the race was red-flagged
Fuel consumption Low. Only 40 per cent of the lap is spent at full throttle, so most cars will start with less than the maximum 100kg of fuel
Brakewear Medium. There are 13 braking zones around the lap, but only two of them are from high speed
Weather Monaco enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and the forecast looks good. But the weather can change very quickly on the Mediterranean coast
DRS zones One – on the start/finish straight
Turbo effect High, due to lots of slow speed corners. Managing the torque around such a narrow track will be crucial for the drivers.
Safety Car likelihood High. Statistically, there’s an 80 per cent chance of a Safety Car; last year’s race saw two Safety Cars periods and one red flag
Grid Advantage The racing line is on the left, so it holds a slight advantage.
Pitlane time 24s
McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix
Wins 15 (1984, ’85, ’86, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’98, ’00, ’02, ’05, ’07, ’08)
Poles 11 (1984, ’86, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91, ’98, ’99, ’01, ’05, ’07)
Fastest laps 10 (1986, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’03, ’07)