The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, it is a dangerous place to race. It is the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA's mandated 305 kilometres (190 mi) minimum race distance. The first race in 1929, was organised by Antony Noghès under the auspices of the "Automobile Club de Monaco", and was won by William Grover-Williams driving a Bugatti. The event was part of the pre-Second World War European Championship and was included in the first World Championship of Drivers in 1950.
It was designated the European Grand Prix two times, 1955 and 1963, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one Grand Prix race in Europe. Graham Hill was known as "Mr. Monaco" due to his five Monaco wins in the 1960s. Brazil's Ayrton Senna won the race more times than any other driver, with six victories, winning five races consecutively between 1989 and 1993. Monaco is unique and it’s not and easy race to win, even with the fastest car. And this year could be very eventful. The track layout is tight, with no high speed corners, two short straights and the lowest average lap speed of the season at 157 km/h (99mph). The only possible overtaking place is on the run between the exit of the tunnel and the chicane, but drivers must be careful as it is very dirty off line in the tunnel and they can lose grip by picking up dust and discarded rubber from the tyres.
Track length : 3.34 kilometres
Race distance : 78 laps (260.52 kilometres)
Corners : 19 corners in total
Average lap speed : 157km/h
Aerodynamic setup : High downforce
Top speed : 295km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 285km/h without
Full throttle : 45% of the lap (lowest of year)
Time spent braking : 21% of the lap (high)
Braking zones : 13
Brake wear : Medium; 48 gear changes per lap
Total time needed for pit stop : 25 seconds
Lap record : 1:14.439 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Expected weather conditions for the race: Generally bright with cloudy intervals and ambient temperatures ranging from 15 degrees overnight to 23 degrees during the day. There is, however, the possibility of rain showers throughout the four days of the grand prix.
The Monaco Grand Prix is the most prestigious race on the calendar, where the P Zero Red supersoft makes its debut this year, alongside the P Zero Yellow soft. The supersoft compound offers the most grip and performance of Pirelli's entire F1 entire range, with a brand new compound for 2015.
Monaco features a number of unconventional aspects. It's the race with the lowest average speed and slowest corner of the entire championship, emphasising the importance of mechanical grip from the tyres rather than aerodynamic grip. All these factors make it ideal territory for the supersoft tyre, which offers the most grip of the entire range as well as the fastest warm-up.
The Monaco Grand Prix will again feature a single DRS zone this season, the FIA has confirmed. As has recently been the case in the principality, the detection point will be situated between Turns 16 and 17, while the activation marker is to be placed on the exit of the final corner (Turn 19) for the run to St. Devote.
Very high; there is an 80% chance of a safety car and if it falls at the right time it can make your race. But if it falls at the wrong time, your victory plans fall apart – as they did for Jenson Button in 2011, who was trying to drive flat out uninterrupted on three stops, a risky plan given the likelihood of the safety car.
1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull); 4. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 5. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India); 6. Jenson Button (McLaren); 7. Felipe Massa (Williams); 8. Romain Grosjean (Lotus); 9. Jules Bianchi (Marussia); 10. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren).
Last five winners in Monaco
2014: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2013: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2012: Mark Webber (Red Bull)
2011: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2010: Mark Webber (Red Bull).
Revisions to the Tabac corner on Monaco’s Grand Prix circuit have further reduced the length of what was already the shortest track on the F1 calendar. The drivers now arrive at the corner slightly earlier as the section of track which links the Tabac left-hander to the start of the Swimming Pool complex has been moved closer to the harbour by 2.5 metres.
The change has shortened the official lap length by three metres to 3.337 kilometres. The race distance of 78 laps will not be altered, Monaco being the only race run for 260 kilometres instead of the usual 305. The barrier on the inside of turn 15, the right-hander in the Swimming Pool complex, has also been moved since last year to give drivers a better view of the corner. More than half of the track has been resurfaced since last year, including the start/finish area, Casino, the entry to the tunnel, the Swimming Pool complex and pit lane.
Power Unit Elements
Details of drivers power unit elements used prior to the Grand Prix de Monaco weekend.
ICE = Internal combustion Engine
TC = Turbo Charger
MGU-K = Motor Generator Unit - Kinetic
MGU-H = Motor Generator Unit - Heat
ES = Energy Store
CE = Control Electronics
Note: Drivers are able to use four of the new power units this season. However, this is more complicated than it first appears since the power unit is deemed to comprise six elements, which can be moved between units should the need arise.
Drivers are able to use four of each of the following: the engine (ICE), the motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), the energy store (ES), turbocharger (TC) and control electronics (CE). Each element can be rotated among units.
However, should a driver use more than four of any one of the elements a grid penalty will be imposed at the first event during which each additional element is used. The first time a driver uses a fifth element, a ten-place grid penalty is imposed. Different fifth elements used later will incur a five-place grid penalty. The first time a driver uses a sixth element, a ten-place grid penalty will be imposed. Different sixth elements used later will incur a five-place grid penalty and so on...
If a grid penalty is imposed, and the driver's grid position is such that the full penalty cannot be applied, the remainder of the penalty will be applied at the driver's next race. However, no remaining penalties will be carried forward for more than one race.
Last year's strategy and how the race was won: Last year the winning strategy was a one-stopper, helped by a safety car period that fell conveniently in the pit-stop window. Nico Rosberg (who won the race from pole) and his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton both stopped on lap 25 of 78, switching from the supersoft to the soft. The highest-placed two-stopper was Romain Grosjean in eighth, with a number of other drivers using innovative race strategies to make up places from lower down the grid.
With Lewis Hamilton getting preference to start qualifying first ahead of Nico Rosberg, will we see Lewis taking pole this time? The signs are there. At least we won't see any accidental off road excursions no more.
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