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Formula 1: Monaco Grand Prix Review

Formula 1’s most recent victor, Lando Norris, calls it the race “every driver wants to win”.  

Monaco GP

Formula 1’s most recent victor, Lando Norris, calls it the race “every driver wants to win”.  

The Monaco Grand Prix is the sport’s most prestigious race of the year, loaded with pomp and ceremony. It’s also one of the most challenging. 

Three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet described a lap of the street circuit as “like riding a bicycle around your living room”. Modern F1 cars are the same length as a Mercedes-Benz GLS. 

This year marks the 70th edition of the famous race around Monte Carlo’s narrow streets. Max Verstappen has won five of the opening seven races but faces another stern test this weekend as McLaren and Ferrari look to add another victory to their season. 

The Track

The circuit is unlike any other track on the calendar and is the shortest track at 3.3km. 

The drivers will navigate their way around the lap 78 times and execute around 47 gear changes. The majority of the 19 corners are slow to medium turns and the top speed is around 290km/h in the longest flat-out section measuring 669m.

The track features the slowest corner on the calendar too, with drivers teetering around the Fairmont Hairpin at 50km/h. Like Imola, there’s only one DRS zone at Monaco which is active along the pit straight. 

Drivers will lose around 16 seconds when they pit and with Monaco being one of the hardest places to overtake it means the team will rely on capitalising on mistakes and through clever strategy calls to gain places. 

Ferrari And McLaren Have Red Bull In Their Sights

”It’s not the easiest track to overtake on, but qualifying here is one of the most exciting challenges in motorsport”, says Norris. 

He’s right. The best chance of winning in Monte Carlo is still bag pole position on Saturday. 

The Miami GP winner will hope to continue his excellent form and place his MCL38 on pole position. However, he faces a big challenge from Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. 

The Ferrari is emerging as the strongest contender to grab victory. The short and twisty circuit could see Leclerc break the curse of finally winning his home race. 

Leclerc is blisteringly quick over one lap and his knowledge of his hometown and Ferrari’s advantage on this type of circuit make him our favourite for the win. 

It’ll be a three-horse race at the front with Norris, Oscar Piastri, and having the advantage over the Red Bulls. 

What’s The Weather Forecast This Weekend?

Mercifully the forecast for this weekend’s race is set to be clear. Temperatures will be cool, around 20°C, which means the tyres won’t take too much of a beating. Monaco is usually a one-stop race and technicians must get the pit stop error-free. 

Info nugget: Lewis Hamilton still holds the lap record here with 1:12:909 in 2021. 


Winner: Norris

Podium: Norris, Leclerc, Piastri

Winning Margin: Under 5 seconds 

Fastest lap: Sainz

Pole position: Leclerc

First to retire: Logan Sargeant

First car to retire: Williams

Most Team Points: Ferrari

Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: RB

Practice 1/2/3 Winning Car: Oscar Piastri/ McLaren 

Safety Car: No

Top 6: Russell, Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg, 

Top 10: Ocon, Bottas, Ricciardo

Fastest pit stop: Red Bull

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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