Your A-Z Guide to the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix
F1's marquee Grand Prix returns to the Principality after a one year hiatus.
Monte Carlo, Monaco - Welcome to your A-z Guide to the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix! After a one year hiatus, F1's most historic Grand Prix returns to the calendar as teams get set to try and crown themselves King of Monte Carlo this weekend. In this video, we'll break down all the track facts and info that makes Monaco so special, look ahead to some of the news entering the weekend, and finish off with some predictions as to who might take victory in Monaco. Let's start off by looking at the track facts for the Circuit de Monaco.
A lot has changed in Formula 1 but the Monaco Grand Prix has remained roughly the same since its debut back in 1950. This year will mark the 67th Formula 1 World Championship Monaco Grand Prix and the 78th overall race around the streets of Monte Carlo. The 3.3KM Circuit is one of the most iconic in all of motorsport with 19 corners overall, 8 to the left and 11 to the right. A maximum downforce setup is required in Monaco in order to navigate the tight and narrow streets of Monte Carlo. Because of that, you take your lap at full throttle only 43% of the time and that's aided by the only DRS zone on this circuit down the start/finish straight. We are all familiar with importance of taking pole position in Monaco with the pole sitter being positioned on the right hand side of the grid and the run down to Turn 1 being only 113 meters.
McLaren are the most familiar with tasting the champagne in Monaco as they hold the record for most wins in the principality with 15 overall and 23% of the victories. Ferrari are second with 10 wins all time and 15% of the total victories and Mercedes' recent dominance has put them third all time with 8 wins in Monaco to date.
Out of the current drivers on the grid, Lewis Hamilton is the most successful at Monaco with three victories in his career. Close behind him are the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel who have taken two victories each with two different teams in their careers, while Daniel Ricciardo owns one memorable win in Monaco that came for Red Bull back in 2018. Street races can get crazy at times so don't be surprised if we get a safety car this Sunday. Historically, their is a 38% chance of a safety car at the Monaco Grand Prix with the safety car making an appearance at 5 of the last 6 races in Monte Carlo. If you want to avoid getting caught up in the action, starting on the front row is a pretty good spot to be come race day. 45% of race victories have come from pole position while another 23% have come from second on the grid. Their is actually a decent chance of winning from outside of the top 3 at 15% with the most famous being Olivier Panis' win from 14th on the grid back in 1996.
Kicking off the weekend notes, let's look at the forecast for this weekend in the French Riviera.
Weather: A dry race weekend is expected in Monaco with Thursday seeing a high of 18 degrees and mainly sunny conditions. Cloud cover rolls in for Qualifying and Race day with the temperature slightly going up to 20 degrees but the chance of rain is very slim. Let's now look at the tyre allocation for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.
Tyres: The streets of Monte Carlo will see the debut of Pirelli's softest compounds as they bring the C3, C4, and C5 compounds to Monaco. As the track surface is not very abrasive and the stress on the tyres is not massive, a one stop strategy is the popular choice with a pretty wide pitstop window during the 78 lap race.
McLaren's New Livery: McLaren revealed a special one-off livery for this weekend's Monaco GP in the colors of their sponsor Gulf. It is a throwback to the infamous Gulf racing colors of the past and the entire McLaren team, drivers, and garage will be decked out in the new Gulf colors for this weekend.
Williams' Milestone Grand Prix: This Sunday in Monaco, Williams will become only the third Formula 1 team in history to compete in 750 Grand Prix's. The team will run the names of 100 fans on their halo and also a special 750 logo for the race weekend.
Monaco is the greatest spectacle in Formula 1 and whether you like the racing or not, it is a special weekend for fans and drivers. It's also a very tricky weekend to get the car right as it is a fine balance of good chassis performance, ultimate traction, and pin point braking. So who is in the drivers seat heading into Monaco? It's a difficult one to call as Monaco is unlike any of the other tracks we've been to so far in 2021. If we tried to get a picture of the teams form around the Monte Carlo streets, we could look back to the sector 3 times in Spain for an idea. Red Bull lead the way with Mercedes close behind, then come Ferrari, Alpine, and McLaren. The problem with trying to gauge car performance from Sector 3 in Spain is that the car setup will be massively different to the one teams will run in Monaco so it could really shake up the order. Red Bull are excited to return to one of their favorite tracks with Sergio Perez targeting a race win and Max Verstappen wanting to score a maiden podium finish in what is technically a home race for him. Mercedes believe on paper that Red Bull are the favorites as they think their rivals have more downforce that they can tack on from what they ran in Spain. Mercedes have been quite strong in the slow speed corners this year however so I think this is another case of the defending champions down playing their chances ahead of the weekend. I believe it's advantage Mercedes in Monaco but this is a win that Red Bull really need to get in order to punch back in the championship. We haven't seen too many 1-2 finishes in Monaco as of late, but a Red Bull 1-2 would certainly squash a lot of the Mercedes momentum they've built up since Imola. I wouldn't say it's a must win for Red Bull this early on in the season but it is definitely at race that is important not only to the championship but also for the legacy of the drivers' careers.