Slowest corner in Formula One 54km/h
We should all be sitting down watching the Grand Prix tomorrow as it is one race in the year that attracts non motoring enthusiasts as well. I would compare this to the Wimbledon of tennis and the Masters of golf as a sporting spectacle. It is always held on the last weekend in May and they are giving it the skip this year as rescheduling is not an option.The race is iconic and special as it is a street circuit that is home to the rich and famous. A large percentage of the drivers live their as well for the obvious tax benefits.
Mercedes first pole 1955. First win in 2013 then they won four in a row.
Here are a few interesting things that make this track so unique
This is the only track that doesn't meet the FIA minimum distance requirements of 305 kilometres as it can only complete 260 kilometres in the time frame allowed. The average race speed is a lot lower than all the other tracks because of the amount of bends the cars have to slow down for. This is more challenging and grueling on the drivers than any other race.
At many of the corners the tyres are virtually touching the barriers in order to take the corner at the right angle maintaining speed. One lap of the circuit will see the drivers making 48 gear changes and nearly 3750 over the entire race. Gearbox reliability and driver concentration is definitely tested at this circuit.
Some other interesting facts about the Monaco circuit is that only 58 percent of the lap is at full throttle. The famous hairpin bend is taken at 54 km/h and is the slowest bend on any of the circuits. The circuit can boast the third quickest lap time in Formula One history which is some going when the tightness of the circuit isn't friendly for overtaking.
Ayrton Senna was known as Mr Monaco as he has won this race 6 times (Graham Hill 5) and was robbed of one more title when the race was stopped due to heavy rain in what might be deemed dubious circumstances. Alain Prost was comfortably leading the race until Senna was catching him and a panicking Prost was pleading with the officials to abort the race early handing him the victory. Prost up until this pint hadn't complained once about the conditions until Senna was catching him by as much as 4 seconds per lap.
Monaco is one of the tracks that you can nurse a damaged car around as overtaking is that difficult. There are only certain sections where it is possible allowing two cars on either side wide enough to make the move. Riccardo nursed his malfunctioning car home in 2018 with all the other teams knowing he was in trouble. The media coverage today doesn't allow a driver to hide away any mechanical problems as this is all part of the network coverage.
In 1989 Ayrton Senna had a 40 second gap over his team mate Alain Prost when he had gear box problems and lost first and second gear yet still won the race. He never mentioned it over the radio as he knew the others would know something was wrong. He managed to keep a high enough speed into the corners so he didn't lose much time and won comfortably in the end.
We will have to wait until next year and the one beauty about this track is it cannot change.It is a street circuit after all and there is no room to adjust even if one wanted to.