After the cancellation of Imola now the European start. And that in Monte Carlo. The classic of Formula 1, but which also fights against time. The oldie could triumph on the track.
He lives – also from the splendor and fame of the past decades, the Formula 1 classic in Monaco.
This time, the race on the shortest of all Grand Prix circuits marks the start of the European season after Imola was canceled due to bad weather and flooding. And because Monaco is always something special and remains on the racing calendar, Red Bull’s winning streak could end.
Who is most likely to threaten leader Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez?
It’s a Monaco phenomenon, but being a favorite isn’t enough on a course that is unforgiving. One knows this better than anyone else: Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. In addition to many chosen Monegasques, the only real Monegasque. He knows every corner, he knows every pothole, he’s always one of the favourites. But a curse seems to weigh on him. He was eliminated five times in different racing series, last year he finished, but he could not use his pole, Leclerc was third.
No question, Monaco suits Red Bull, but it’s also the track for surprises, especially when it rains on the Côte d’Azur. Leclerc will of course try again, his teammate Carlos Sainz will try in the Ferrari, but especially his Spanish compatriot Fernando Alonso will try. In 2006 and 2007 he won in Monaco. And this year, the 41-year-old looks fresher than ever in the field. Third in classification. Equipped with all the tricks and a car whose disadvantage compared to the Red Bull does not come into play on the straights.
What makes the course so special?
He can muster some superlatives. The route is only 3.337 kilometers long. All others in the race calendar are at least 4 kilometers long. This also means that the most laps are driven, 78, but the race distance of a good 260 kilometers is well below the actually prescribed 305 kilometers. Overtaking opportunities are absolutely scarce. If you try anyway, you need a perfect sense of proportion. There are no alternatives on the street circuit either, instead there are merciless crash barriers. And really stepping on the pedals is also hardly possible: Only about a third are driven at full throttle per lap. All of this makes it a maximum challenge with a thrill factor for the drivers: the races are sometimes less thrilling for the spectators.
For the European start, some innovations are always expected on the cars. What role does that play on this course?
The so-called upgrades are likely to bring significantly less overall in Monaco than on another route – especially the next one at Barcelona. Due to the tight course with little full speed, aero updates will not really make a big difference. There is also a risk: If you test new parts in training and possibly crash, you will have new problems. Great insights are not necessarily to be expected.
Where, when, what?
It starts on Friday at 1:30 p.m. with the first free practice session, and the next one-hour practice session is at 5:00 p.m. The 3rd free practice session is scheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m., with qualifying starting at 4:00 p.m. Race start on Sunday is at 3 p.m. In Germany, everything is broadcast on the pay channel Sky.
How should the weather be?
The French Riviera should show its sunny side during training on Friday. But already on Saturday there is a certain probability of precipitation. So also on Sunday.
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