The A-Z To The Monaco Grand Prix

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With it being the eve of Formula 1‘s crown jewel event and one of the most prestigious races in the world of Motorsport being just around the corner, the Monaco Grand Prix needs a guide. So here’s the ultimate guide to Monaco: ‘The A-Z To The Monaco Grand Prix’

A is for… Ayrton Senna

Yes, kicking off out list is Brazilian driver, Ayrton Senna, who is undoubtedly the master of Monaco. Securing 6 wins here over a Formula 1 career that spanned 10 years, Senna holds the most wins of any other driver at the Monaco Grand Prix, finishing second in his first ever shot at the race in  1984 for Toleman and securing his first ever podium finish in F1.

B is for… Beau Rivage 

Bea Rivage is just one of the parts of the Monaco Grand Prix that everybody loves. Seeing the drivers race through this uphill section after turn 1 on the first lap is always a sight for sore eyes. This stretch of the track is always a point for excitement, with 22 cars barrelling through at 155 mph.

C is for… Crashes

It was going to be a challenge to write a guide to the Monaco Grand Prix and not talk about crashes and accidents. Monaco is a notorious track for claiming its fair share of victims to the wall over the years. Not a year  goes by where there isn’t a crash at Monaco in either practice, qualifying, or the race. The slightest slip of concentration of the smallest lapse in attention and it’s usually game over.

D is for… Downforce

Monaco is the slowest circuit that requires the most down force of all the races during this year’s Formula 1 Championship. In order to do well in Monaco, downforce is vital, with teams running high rear wings in order to attain and achieve maximum grip into the circuit.

E is for… Entry and Exit

As well as the entry into a corner being important, the exit is of the same necessity to perfect at Monaco. At the Monaco Grand Prix, grid position is key and it is therefore important to get a high grid position. In order to achieve this goal, it is vital to perfect entry into corners, and exits out of them, in order to get the car hooked up and put in a fast lap.

F is for… Fame

The Monaco Grand Prix is considered as one of the most famous races in the world, being alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans for reputation. The Monaco Grand Prix is one of those races that everyone wants to win, with Graham Hill being the only driver in the history of Formula 1 to win all three of these races in his career.

G is for… Graham Hill

As well as winning the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Graham Hill also won the Monaco Grand Prix, with 5 of his 14 Formula 1 wins coming from Monaco, being the driver with the second most amount of wins here, alongside German driver, Michael Schumacher.

H is for… History

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic races in the world and is steeped in history, with there being many races of memorability happening around Monaco. Notable events include Ayrton Senna’s crash in the 1988 race after having a 50 second lead with 12 laps remaining. The 2010 Monaco Grand Prix was also one of memorability- what didn’t happen in that race?

I is for… the Iceman 

With Kimi Raikkonen‘s contract for Ferrari running out at the end of this season, much speculation has taken place as to weather the Iceman will be racing next year in Formula 1. Due to this, this year’s Monaco Grand Prix may well be Kimi’s last in his career. Kimi Raikkonen also won the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix whilst driving for McLaren.

J is for… Jules Bianchi

J is for Jules Bianchi, a real talent and a true driver. Back in 2014, Jules secured his first points finish in Formula 1, alongside the first points for his team Marussia. Through the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix, Bianchi established his name as one of the emerging power houses of Formula 1. However, tragedy struck that same year at the Japanese Grand Prix, with his life coming to an unexpected end after such a successful season. Rest in peace Jules.

K is for… Knowledge

At Monaco, knowledge is power. At a circuit with many different twists, turns, and bumps, knowledge is a vital aspect for success, with knowledge of the track optimising a driver’s capability to do a better lap, gain a better grid position and therefore achieve a better finishing position at Formula 1’s most iconic circuit.

L is for… La Rascasse 

La Rascasse is one of the few overtaking positions during the Monaco Grand Prix, with this 90 degree right hander being the second last turn on the circuit. Notable moves in the past include Jules Bianchi’s overtake on Kamui Kobayashi in 2014, with the Frenchman demonstrating true control over his car despite bouncing off the side of Kobayashi several times.

M is for… Mirabeau 

Mirabeau is another notable corner at the Monaco Grand Prix, again being a key overtaking position during the race. However, due to the very tight nature of the turn, overtaking is hard, with cars making contact frequently, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg making contact in the first lap at this corner in 2015.

N is for… Antony Noghes

Unknown to many is the fact that the last turn of the Monaco Grand Prix actually has a name, being named ‘Antony Noghes’ after the founder of the race. Noghes was not only the founder of the most iconic race of the F1 calendar but also helped to establish the Ralle Monte-Carlo in 1911.

O is for… Olivier Panis

Olivier Panis secured his one and only win at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1996. This came as much of  as a surprise, with only 4 of the 22 race starters finishing the race, allowing Panis to take the win for Ligier after starting in 14th place.

P is for… Piscine 

The swimming pool chicane or ‘Piscine’ as referred to by the locals is one of the most famous and iconic corners on the Formula 1 calendar. As one of the fastest corners at the Monaco Grand Prix after drivers build up their speed through Tabac, seeing a car run through this left-right combination is a spectacle, seeing cars at their highest downforce and under great strain, watching drivers battle their cars through the section.

Q is for… Quintessential

Quintessential is defined as the most perfect example of a quality or class and is perhaps the perfect word to describe the Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is the world’s second smallest country behind the Vatican City, however, is home to enormous wealth. When going to Monaco, things of the greatest quality are evident, with super car after super car being parked along the streets, yacht after yacht being parked up along the harbour, and celebrity after celebrity strolling around the paddock, giving the principality great status.

R is for… Royal

R is for Royal or Royalty, with Monaco being home to its very own royal family. Currently, the Prince of Monaco is Albert II of the house of Grimaldi. Albert’s father, Rainier III ruled before him, having a collection of 100 classic cars that is open for the public to see (well worth a visit).

S is for… Sainte Devote 

The infamous turn 1. Sainte Devote. Turn 1 is a key opportunity for overtaking at the Monaco Grand Prix but is always an easy place to make a mistake. Make the slightest mistake in this turn and your race could be ruined. Under braking into this turn can easily cause a driver to take evasive action down the escape road, or, if a driver can’t make the escape, can easily force him into the wall. Notable overtaking moves into this turn include Ayrton Senna’s iconic overtake in the 184 Monaco Grand Prix on Niki Lauda‘s McLaren.

T is for… Tunnel

Monaco is the only circuit on the F1 calendar to be home to a tunnel. The tunnel of Monaco is an iconic corner, with cars reaching speeds of up to 160 mph in there.  Although iconic, the tunnel is also difficult to master, taking a wide range of victims over the years including Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa.

U is for… Ultrasoft

This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix mark the first use this year of Pirelli’s new tyre compound, the ‘Ultrasoft’. The Ultrasoft tyre is the softest tyre compound this season, allowing cars to get maximum speed and maximum grip in their lap times. However, despite this tyre being quick, it also has a very small life span, with it being very easy to take all life out of the tyres very quickly.

V is for… Victory

Victory at the Monaco Grand Prix is what every racing driver dreams of. Winning at Monaco launches names into fame in Formula 1, with drivers having the ability to achieve legendary status by putting everything that they have on track and going into maximum attack to achieve their end goal of victory.

W is for… the Weather

Weather plays a key role in any race on the calendar, however, at Monaco, the weather is key to what the race will hold. A dry race will provide a flat out and aggressive battle to the finish line, whereas a wet race will mark drivers tiptoeing around the circuit, struggling to keep their cars on the track. It will be interesting to see the weather over the upcoming weekend and to see what the race will hold.

X is for… Excitement

Despite Monaco being one of the slowest circuits on the F1 calendar, it is without doubt one of the most exciting races. Due to the difficulty of overtaking at Monaco, excitement builds, with drivers calculating their overtakes lap after lap, preparing to dart up the inside or around the outside of their rival up ahead. When combined with the uncertainty of it they are going to actually avoid the wall, this always proves to be a tense and exciting moment for any Formula 1 fan.

Y is for… Yachts 

The glitz and glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix can easily be seen just by looking at the harbour, being home to many boats and yachts. Yachts in particular relate to one driver on the grid this year, with Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen getting onto his yacht after retiring from the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix when driving for McLaren.

Z is for… Zero

Z is for Zero. This marks the end of this ‘A-Z’ guide to the Monaco Grand Prix.
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