2013 Formula One Monaco Grand Prix
Round six of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship will see the teams do battle around the tight and twisting streets of Monaco for a race that cranks up G-forces of a different kind – meaning there will be plenty of glitz and glamour on show as well as no small amount of grit and determination on the part of the drivers at a track that provides them with one of the season’s toughest tests.
The track may have the slowest average speed of any circuit on the calendar but the proximity of the barriers and the lack of run-off areas means it requires absolute focus and total commitment, especially as early in the weekend the surface is usually very slippery. The winding nature of the track means the teams will bring their highest downforce aero configurations and tyre manufacturer Pirelli will supply its soft and supersoft tyres in order to maximise mechanical grip.
Beyond the need for downforce and good traction, the Monaco Grand Prix is all about driver skill and this, coupled with the race’s history, makes it the one every racer wants to win. In recent years that honour has gone to those wearing the colours of Red Bull Racing, with Mark Webber winning in 2010 and last year and Sebastian Vettel victorious in 2011.
Whether that run will continue is anyone’s guess. Pole position is of major importance in Monaco, with all but two of the last 10 races being won from the front of the grid. On that score, Mercedes look to be the form team, with Nico Rosberg on pole at the last two races and Lewis Hamilton in P1 at the start in China. However, Fernando Alonso, energised by his recent home win at the Spanish Grand Prix, will undoubtedly fancy his chances of a third Monaco victory, while this season’s Mr Consistency, Kimi Raikkonen, will no doubt be in the mix again come Sunday. In truth, on a circuit where the influence of car superiority is significantly reduced, any one of a host of drivers could win F1’s most glittering prize.
Thursday May 23, 2013
Practice 1 – 08:00 gmt
Practice 2 – 12:00 gmt
Saturday May 25, 2013
Practice 3 – 09:00 gmt
Qualifying – 12:00 gmt
Sunday May 26, 2013
Race – 12:00 gmt
This will be the 71st Monaco Grand Prix, the race stretching all the way back to 1929. It is the 60th Formula One race here, with the principality making its debut on the first Formula One calendar in 1950. It then took a break until 1955 but has featured on the calendar every year since.
Olivier Panis won the 1996 race from 14th on the grid, the lowest position from which victory has been scored here since Formula One began. In a race characterised by wet weather, crashes and mechanical failures, just four of the 21 who started the race were still racing when the chequered flag came out on lap 75 – Panis, David Coulthard, Johnny Herbert. Fourth-placed Heinz Harald-Frentzen was in the pits when the flag fell.
That 1996 win was Panis’ first and last in Formula One. Eight other drivers have recorded maiden F1 wins here: Juan Manuel Fangio (1950), Maurice Trintignant (1955), Jack Brabham (1959), Denny Hulme (1967), Jean-Pierre Beltoise (1972), Patrick Depailler (1978), Riccardo Patrese (1982), and Jarno Trulli (2004). Only Beltoise, Panis and Trulli never won again.
A high grid position is a major advantage here. Since 1950 the race has only been won 10 times from a starting position worse than third place. From third on the grid the race has also been won 10 times since 1950. However, only three of those have come since the turn of the century – Coulthard in 2000, Juan Pablo Montoya in ’03, and Lewis Hamilton in ’08.
The driver starting second has won 13 times since 1950, but only two of those have come since 2000 – Michael Schumacher in 2001 and Coulthard in 2002.
The race has been won from the front of the grid 26 times since 1950. Since 2000, eight winners have started in P1.
McLaren have the most victories at the Monaco race (15). The second most successful team at the track is Ferrari with eight, while Lotus have clinched seven, including their maiden victory in 1960.
Of the current drivers only Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber have multiple wins here. Both have two victories (Alonso in ’06 and ’07 and Webber in ’10 and ’12). If Alonso wins for Ferrari this year he will be the first driver in F1 history to win here with three different teams. His first victory was with Renault and his second came with McLaren.
Of the 2013 rookies only Williams’ Valtteri Bottas has never raced here in single seaters. Marussia’s Jules Bianchi debuted here in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2009 and raced here in GP2 in 2010-’11. Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde raced here in F3 Euro Series in 2005. He also raced here in Formula Renault 3.5 (2007-’08) and in GP2 (’09-’12). Marussia’s Max Chilton made his Monaco debut in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2009 and raced in GP2 in 2010-’12. Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez first raced here in GP2 in 2011 and again last year.
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Image: Caterham F1 Facebook | Source: FIA Press Release
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