Anthony Davidson's Monaco track guide part 1

Discussion in 'F1 2010 - The Game' started by Chris, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Chris

    Staff Premium

    The start-finish 'straight' at Monaco is a seventh gear approach into Saint. Devote. It's quite bumpy and you have to keep the car as close to the left-hand barriers as possible before braking as straight as you can for the turn-in. It's very easy to lose the rear-end here and there's a big squashy barrier waiting for you on the outside if you do out-brake yourself.

    It can be an overtaking corner but you have to be very sure of your move and be, at the very least, alongside the car you are trying pass going into the corner. Otherwise, as we saw last year with Pastor Maldonado and Lewis Hamilton, the result can be messy.

    It is, however, a very satisfying corner to get right and, with a good exit, it's full throttle up the hill past Beau Rivage, clipping each apex in order to straight-line the hill as much as possible.

    At Massenet, you quite often see mistakes and cars in the barriers because the rears do tend to go quite light under braking. The problem with this corner is that you are braking whilst turning and there's a sharp, steep kerb on the left-hand side. A driver needs to get his front-left as near to that kerb as possible, particularly midway through the corner, to sacrifice the exit for the correct line through Casino. It's not an easy corner, especially in the late stages of a race when the tyres are graining and there are a lot of marbles around - which means one small error will cost you big time and you'll be swept off into the barriers before you know it.

    Casino is a great part of the track. There's a slight camber to the inside, and the rears can go a little loose on the exit, but it's a section that feels a little bit wider than the norm so you can really get your foot down and feel confident you won't hit the barriers. This section of the track - Turns Three and Four - is very enjoyable with the car dancing around underneath you.

    Down the hill to Mirabeau, there's a bump in the road which persuades some drivers to veer to the right. My preference was to go halfway rather than all the way to the right-hand side because that would have felt like adding an extra chicane to a track that really didn't need another! But if you do stay on the left, you can really feel the bump and the car bottoming out, so most cars will naturally filter to the right.

    Mirabeau is another of my favourite corners on the track, a steeply-downhill, heavily-cambered right-hander that is a very slight overtaking opportunity - especially at the start of the race. I like this corner because it needs heavy braking and it really feels as if the car stops well into Mirabeau with the high grip due to the camber. Even as you are still turning, you can put your foot down quite aggressively and let the car hook up and fire down the hill towards the renamed Faremont Hill (previously known as the Loews Hairpin).

    At the start of the race, there's the slight chance that this very, very tight and slow left-hander could possibly be an overtaking opportunity when there's a bit of a traffic jam and the field is closely packed. But it's extremely easy to out-brake yourself here and lock the inside front left, even though there's not much time to gain because every car will have the same turn-in and, no matter what you do, the car will still be reluctant to keep the same trajectory all the way around the corner. It feels extremely cumbersome and, to top it off, there's a really steep wall on the left which if, you get to near, will upset the car and leave you with a really pathetic slow-speed bounce.

    Another feature I should mention is that, because you have crossed your arms so heavily to the left around the hairpin, it sometimes happens that you touch buttons on the steering wheel with your arm or wrist without even realising. As a result, teams often put shrouding on the wheel just as a precaution for this one particular corner.

    All in all, it's just a very frustrating bit of the track...but on the exit, things really start to get interesting again.

    When you put your foot down and the car wants to snap the rear out quickly with oversteer, you have to turn back to the opposite direction, thus crossing your arms back from one side to the other. Very fast hands in the car are required, in what can be quite a scary process because you aren't just fighting to get your hands back to neutral but also have to try to correct that snap of oversteer. This is definitely a very busy part of the lap if you don't have a nice balance on the rears.

    There's a short run down to Mirabeau Bas, a ninety-degree right-hander which is fairly straightforward. The aim of the game here is to get the car on to the kerbs as much as possible in order to decrease the severity of the angle. On the exit, you have to carefully watch how the car re-settles as the rear can be quite unstable and if you have spun up your tyres on the exit out of the Hairpin then chances are that the car will try to break traction.

    After accelerating just a little bit out of Mirabeau Bas, you have to then brake again and sharpen your angle to make the apex of Portier - a very, very tight corner which is made very difficult by the narrowness between the barriers. You can't clip the barriers on the right and you're aware of how near the barriers on the left are through the exit...even the legend himself got it wrong here during a race once which goes to show what a tricky little corner this is!

    Just to add to the challenge, you need a good exit from this corner because it leads on to one of the few straight-ish sections of the track where you can be at full throttle. Every millimetre counts around Portier and though the kerb on the left-hand side is very slight - it's a poor excuse for a kerb, to be honest! - it's vital to use it just to open up the track a little bit more.