Monaco Formula1 Grand Prix Preview
Mercedes head to the Monaco Grand Prix with the momentum after five rounds of this thrilling season. Can they make it a hat-trick in Monte Carlo after the two back to back wins?
○ If you’re a resident of Monaco and want a quick game of blackjack in the casinos, then sorry, you’re out of luck. The law states Monegasques can’t set foot inside a casino unless they work there, never mind to have a cheeky flutter.
○ Monaco has more policemen per person than any other country, resulting in a low crime rate and your Bugatti Veyron still being intact.
○ Forget taking public transport to get around, an average person can walk across the width of the country in just 56 minutes.
○ A royal birth is a special occasion. When Prince Rainier and Princess Grace’s first child, Princess Caroline, was born in 1957, a national holiday was declared, with the people of the principality treated to free champagne and a gambling-free day.
You might be wondering what do these facts have in relation with F1 or racing? Well, you’re spot on! They indeed have no direct relationship with F1 but they reflect the unpredictable nature of the life of the dwellers of Monaco which is pretty much the reflection of the Grand Prix at Monaco. Unpredictibility is one word on which you can bet in Monaco GP.
□ Things to keep an eye on in the qualifying and main race
● Can Romain Grosjean Finally Make It To Points Table ?
Till now, after five races, Romain Grosjean has yet to score a point in the 2018 Formula One season. This seems especially surprising given the Frenchman’s previous success, and the raw speed that the 2018 Haas car boasts.
Grosjean has not had a great season, with wheel gun failures, a highest finish of P13 in Bahrain and two self-caused incidents.
We all know that Grosjean has it in him to grab some great points for Haas, but in his current form, at a track where position is everything, and the smallest of mistakes can send you into the barriers, Grosjean has his work cut out for him to make it through Monaco with some points. Hopefully, we will be wrong, Romain can avoid the wrath of Marcus Ericsson, and get back to his scoring ways.
● Can Hyper Soft Tyres Make a Difference ?
Will the pink hyper-softs make a difference? The new softest compound in Pirelli’s tyre range will be used for the first time this weekend. This is a truly new compound – not a re-labelled 2017 tyre as in the case of many of the others – and drivers have been very positive about its performance and durability.
But Monaco is not expected to be the best showcase of its potential, as the track does not place huge demands on the tyres. Expect to see drivers running long stints on the hyper-softs on Sunday.
● Can McLaren make a top 3 finish ?
For much the same reasons as Red Bull, McLaren can expect to have a competitive car this weekend. And unlike last year they will also have Fernando Alonso to drive it instead of a slightly race-rusty Jenson Button.
While Alonso can usually be relied upon to wring every last hundredth out of the car, team mate Stoffel Vandoorne is a driver in need of a result. Last year he pranged the McLaren in qualifying: this time he needs to be right on Alonso’s pace in order to maximise what could be the team’s best points-scoring opportunity for a while.
● Could Red Bull Be the Dark Horse?
Sebastian Vettel has been installed as favourite to end his three-race winning drought (the German has not featured on the podium since he won in Bahrain at the start of April), but the smart money could be on Red Bull. Both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo (4/1 to win) are certainly worth a punt given that the Monte Carlo layout is one not reliant on engine power. The Red Bulls also looked superior in the slow-speed final section of Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, while their only pole position of the post-2013 hybrid era was secured by Ricciardo at Monaco back two years ago. The Australian should have gone on to win before Red Bull messed up his pit stop. Vettel may have led Kimi Raikkonen home in a Ferrari one-two last year, but do not be surprised if the Red Bulls are the team to beat at the principality this weekend. And after finishing 1-2 in first practice , hopes are very high .
● Return of Grid Girls:
Grid girls are set to return in this years F1 calendar in the Monaco GP this sunday after the ban or withdrawal which was imposed by F1 authority in January.
Sebastian Vettel, the four-time champion, admitted he was saddened by the decision, while Lewis Hamilton published a message to Instagram in which he wrote: “Thank you Jesus” on news of a possible grid girls U-turn, before deleting and then distancing himself from the post.
Jean Todt, President for F1’s governing body the FIA, earlier this year blasted the furore around the decision as “Bulls***”.
The Russian Grand Prix in Sochi may follow Monaco’s example after the country’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak vowed to bring female models back for their race in September.