Formula 1

PREVIEW: 2021 Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco

3 Mins read
Credit: Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Formula 1 returns to Monte Carlo for the spectacle around the principality. The Monaco Grand Prix was one of the many casualties of 2020 due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic meaning it’s been two years since drivers were last at the historic street circuit.

Ayrton Senna is the king here, winning at the track a whopping six times, five of those in consecutive seasons. We’ve been treated to three different winners over the last three races here. It is also the last place Daniel Ricciardo was a victor, gaining his redemption day in 2018.

Despite the track being difficult to overtake on and typically a lacklustre race, fans still enjoy seeing the glitz and glamour of the classic race on the French Riviera.

What Happened at Spanish Grand Prix?

Lewis Hamilton claimed his one-hundredth pole and ninety-eighth win of his career at the Spanish Grand Prix.

His race wasn’t without hiccups though. On the first corner, he was overtaken by Max Verstappen and Hamilton had difficult trying to overtake the Dutchman.

The Spanish race is typically one-stop, but Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Hamilton took the tactical decision to pit for a second time. This left Hamilton with fresher tyres to charge down on Verstappen.

Verstappen and Red Bull Racing did not take a second pit-stop, a decision which was ultimately the wrong one when Hamilton was able to whizz past Verstappen with just a handful of laps left of the race.

Verstappen claimed second, keeping him second in the Drivers’ Championship, with Valtteri Bottascompleting the podium in third.

What Happened 2019 Monaco Grand prix?

Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix for a third time, claiming victory from pole position. 

Charles Leclerc was an unfortunate casualty of the race. He had to retire from his home race due to a puncture sustained while attempting to overtake Nico Hülkenberg.

Verstappen, who was running in second, gained a five second time penalty for an unsafe release during his mandatory pit-stop.  

George Russell clashed with Antonio Giovinazzi, causing a traffic jam on the narrow track with drivers finding it hard to get by. He was able to continue after a stationary ten seconds.

Hamilton complained of tyre issues during the last 20 laps but was able to soldier on to take the win. Verstappen followed him in second but was relegated down to fourth due to his time penalty with Sebastian Vettel and Bottas promoted to second and third respectively. 

The Circuit

The Monaco Grand Prix is the only track on the F1 calendar that doesn’t meet the criteria of a minimum of 305km for total race distance. Drivers will race around the 3.337km circuit for a total of 78 laps, equalling a total race distance of 260.286km.

Track record is held by Verstappen, who set a time of 1:14.260 in 2018.

Credit: Pirelli Media

Corners, Sectors and DRS Zones

The street circuit consists of nineteen corners in total. 

Sector 1 contains Turn’s 1 through to 4 named Sainte Devote, Beau Rivage, Massenet and Casino

Sector 2 starts with Mirabeau Haute before going through the famous Grand Hotel Hairpin. Next up is Portier before flying through the Tunnel. Completing the sector is Turns 10, 11 and 12, with Nouvelle Chicane making 10 and 11 before finishing up at Tabac.

The third and final sector consists of Turn’s 13 through to 19. Included is Louis Chiron, the Piscine, La Rascasse and finishing off the circuit is Virage Antony Noghes.

There’s just the one DRS zone on the track along the start/finish straight.

Tyre Strategy

The softest three compounds make an appearance for the first time in the 2021 calendar. 

Pirelli has opted for the white-striped hard C3, yellow-striped medium C4 and red-striped soft C5. This is due to the quick pace the corners come meaning it’s easier to warm up the tyres.

What should we look out for this year?

Hamilton has had his greatest start to a F1 season with three wins and one second place finish. Not too far behind him is Verstappen. It’s slowly turning into a two-horse race for the Drivers’ Championship.

McLaren F1 Team sit nicely in third, with 65 points, for the Constructors’ Championship but a resurgent Scuderia Ferrari aren’t too far behind, just 5 points away. Expect a great battle between their drivers this year.

Three teams, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLENWilliams Racing and Uralkali Haas F1 Team, are yet to score a point so far. Alfa Romeo have got close but had a Kimi Räikkönen top ten finish taken away from them during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to a breach of a technicality during a race restart. At a track where it’s difficult to overtake, they’ll have to do a lot to get themselves into the points.

What’s the schedule?

Thursday 20 May

10:30 BST / 11:30 Local Time – Free Practice 1

14:00 BST / 15:00 Local Time – Free Practice 2

Saturday 22 May

11:00 BST / 12:00 Local Time – Free Practice 3

14:00 BST / 15:00 Local Time – Qualifying

Sunday 23 May

14:00 BST / 15:00 Local Time – Race

How can I keep up with the action?

Follow all the action at the Checkered Flag with our extensive coverage, quotes and analysis of every session of the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. You can watch all the coverage live on Sky F1.

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