Monaco Grand Prix

Circuit de Monaco

First grand prix 1929

Number of laps 78

Race distance 260.286KM

Circuit length 3.337KM

GP Monaco

There are circuits where the walls are not forgiving, but the Monaco Grand Prix is especially tough with the walls being so close to the track. In Monaco this is the case, as every small steering error will have dramatic consequences for a qualifying lap or during the race itself. The seventh race on the 2020 Formula 1 calendar takes us to the streets of Monte Carlo and the homes of Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo, among others.

The Monaco Grand Prix 2020

In Vietnam, the first race of the season has already taken place on a street circuit, in Monaco one of the biggest challenges awaits on such a track. Straights like the start/finish in Baku are not to be expected in Monte Carlo. Even the straight where the start/finish is has a curve. Next, drivers have to suddenly put on the anchors to slow down in time for the first right angled turn, otherwise you'll have to park the car in the wall.

Every year there’s a crash which knocks a big name off their stride in Monaco. Either during qualifying (or in the case of Max Verstappen in 2018, the third free practice), or during the race. Two years ago it was Charles Leclerc who parked his Alfa Romeo-Sauber in Brendon Hartley’s car at the exit of the tunnel: without brakes you have big trouble in Monaco. 

The narrow streets of Monte Carlo not only bring the necessary challenge in the opening lap (mainly turn one), but also during qualifying and the rest of the race. Just letting someone pass who is working on a fast lap is not an option. Neither is overtaking someone driving in front of you. 

Daniel Ricciardo is proof of that, who in 2018, with a damaged MGU-K, managed to keep Sebastian Vettel behind him for the entire race. Defensive work similar to the victory of Ayrton Senna in 1992. Unless a team messes up the pit stop completely, the order usually changes very little.

Monte Carlo Track guide

The track is famous for it’s tight corners and elevations as the cars race through the streets of the Mediterranean Principality. There is a tunnel which is a famous part of the circuit and creates a great camera shot for those watching at home. It is one of the most technical tracks of the year and a race win here cements you as a top driver of your generation.

At this Grand Prix qualifying is vitally important as it is very hard to overtake on the narrow street circuit. Due to the technical element of the race mistakes are common and it is not unusual to see a safety car, making pit stops and strategy choice vitally important. Due to the hard cornering softer tyre compounds are used to ensure a top time in qualifying.Monaco has held the race 76 times and has cemented itself as a vital part of the Formula 1 season.   

History of the Monaco GP

The Monaco Grand Prix was first held in 1929 and with the Indy 500 and Le Mans makes up the Triple Crown. Ayrton Senna has won the race more times than any other driver with six wins five of which were won consecutively from 1989-1993. The race has been a constant part of Formula 1 since 1955 and has always been an exciting part of the season each year.

Due to the nature of the circuit top speed is not important and this means that some surprising drivers can end up winning the race and that midfield teams can end up doing well.

Graham Hill had great success racing around the streets of Monaco in the 1960’s and the Brit won the race five times which led to him being called the “King of Monaco.”

Last year Daniel Ricciardo won the race despite having a major issue with his car which meant he had significantly less power than Sebastian Vettel who was closing him down. Due to the narrow track Vettel was unable to pass meaning that Ricciardo won the race for Red Bull.

In 2017 Sebastian Vettel won the race and it was in 2016 when Lewis Hamilton last won at this famous Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg won the race three times in a row from 2013-2015, two times more than his father, Keke Rosberg, who won the race in 1983 for Williams.

McLaren has been the most successful constructor having won the race 15 times. The circuit is made up of 19 corners which create the 3.337 km long track which is one one of the most watched Formula 1 races of the year.

The Monaco Grand Prix very much takes over the principality for the weekend and because of this things are slightly different to the normal race weekend. Practise sessions are run on the Thursday to allow the city to open it’s streets up for the Friday. It takes Six weeks for the circuit to be made and the disruption to local life is significant.  

Every driver wants to win the Monaco Grand Prix as a win here secures you as one of a few top drivers. Many of the drivers on the grid live in Monaco creating an extra incentive to want to perform well here. It looks set to continue to create history and is likely to remain on the calendar for as long as Formula 1 continues.

What does the race weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix look like?

A different weekend in Monaco, as usual for the Grand Prix in the hometown of Charles Leclerc (and Robert Doornbos). The press conferences and first two practice sessions are scheduled on Thursday May 21st, with the start of the first free practice session at 10:00 UK time. 

On Friday there will be no Formula 1 action  and only on Saturday the drivers will come into the picture again. Qualifying at 14:00 on May 23rd, FP3  a few hours earlier from 11:00 to 12:00. The Monaco Grand Prix starts Sunday May 24th at 14:10.

What time does the Monaco Grand Prix start?

As in previous years, the Monaco GP can be followed live in GPblog's live blog from half an hour before the start of the race. The start time of the Monaco Grand Prix is 14:10 Dutch time. The first two free practice sessions can also be followed on our liveblog.

Session Date Time
Practice 1 21 May 2020 05:00 - 06:30
Practice 2 21 May 2020 09:00 - 10:30
Practice 3 23 May 2020 06:00 - 07:00
Qualifying 23 May 2020 09:00 - 10:00
Race 24 May 2020 09:10 - 11:10
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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