Monaco: The heat is on for the F1 drivers
Who will take the chequered flag?
With five different winners in five races so far this year, the Grand Prix of Monaco is anyone’s game. The famous course is now open for practice, and the world of Formula 1 is gearing up for a seriously heated competition on one of the most technical tracks in the series. Seven previous champions will be lined up on Sunday’s start grid, all revving their engines, desperate to win the prized title and get to pole position.
2012 has been a first for the Grand Prix. Never before have five different drivers secured a victory on five different tracks and some of the biggest names in the business are yet to earn the top spot. Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher have had difficult starts to the year and will no doubt be pushing their cars and teams to the maximum this weekend.
The Monaco Grand Prix street course is regarded as one of the most complex tracks in the sport. It’s tight, it’s tricky and it’s also pretty dangerous. The course has barely changed over the years and is made up of 16 confined corners, forcing drivers to make an average of 62 gear changes throughout the 3.3 kilometre circuit. Skill over style and speed is a clear component of the Monaco track and drivers will be keeping their eyes focused on the road if they want to make it through the 78 grueling laps.
Schumacher is in a stronger position thanmost. Noone has managed to break his 1.14439 minute lap record in eight years and the German racing icon is hoping for a triumph in Sunday’s race.
The sun is shining, but only for now. Meteo France is warning of showers and gusty winds on race day, making it difficult for drivers who are keen to try out different tyres on the track. The course demands plenty of braking and control – something groundwater could hamper if rain breaks out.
The world’s F1 fanatics are flocking to the tiny Principality for the event, vying for that all-important seat on a terrace or superyacht. But with some reservations costing upwards of 100,000 euros, not everyone will be watching the competition in luxury.
Over the next few days, Monte Carlo will be buzzing with anticipation and excitement. The Monaco Grand Prix is an unparalleled experience for car lovers and celebrities but it is possible to do it on a budget. The Friday before the main race is always free and spectators can enjoy the rumbling Porsche Supercup Qualifications as well as the opening race of the GP2 series.
Post-race, fans can meander along the course itself before settling at one of the Principality’s many exclusive restaurants or bars to soak up the atmosphere with a cocktail. So, who is your bet on?