F1 Monaco GP 2019 Preview: An opportunity to beat Mercedes? 

The most prestigious race of the calendar, the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, is taking place this weekend. Our heroes of speed will take centre stage once again at this legendary appointment surrounded by its unique atmosphere of luxury and glamour.



The sixth date of the championship overshadowed by the recent death of Niki Lauda, could be one of the few opportunities to beat Mercedes, which have dominated the championship so far.

Besides, German squad cars have push-rod suspension, a great system for slow speed turns & tracks like Monte Carlo.



The Monegasque circuit prioritises traction, aerodynamic load and pilot skill over sheer power, opening up a chance for rivals to beat the Silver Arrows. Ferrari, their so-called main opponents for the title, must make the most of it.

Ferrari & Red Bull, the only alternatives

The Tifosi are fueling their weekend hopes by clinging to the results of the past two editions. Sebastian Vettel was second in 2018 and the winner in 2017. On top of that, Charles Leclerc will take to the track with the added motivation of doing so before his home turf.


Head of Red Bull, Helmut Marko, is not so optimistic about the boys from Maranello and their chances in Monaco. The stern chief is convinced that the red cars are not even going to make it to the top five.

He bases his opinion on the performance of the Italian cars at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he observed they were losing several tenths of a second every time they passed through Sector 3, the most twisted of the Catalunyan circuit. Monaco boasts slow corners of the same kind of those giving trouble to the SF90.


It could well be that the Red Bull RB15 in the talented hands of Max Verstappen ends up being the only real alternative to the German Empire.

Well, as long as the Dutchman stops making it a tradition to collide against the protections that is. The team of the energy drink always performs well on the asphalt of the French Riviera, where Daniel Ricciardo won in 2018.


As for McLaren and Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, they are optimistic about the race. After a sluggish start of the season, the Spaniard has arrived on the points for two consecutive Sundays. Another reason to be hopeful is the fact that Sainz has finished within the top ten in Monaco in all the four times he has taken part.  

A date with history and glamour

The narrow streets of Monte Carlo have seen the exploits of heroes such as Graham HillMichael Schumacher and of course Ayrton Senna. 25 years after his death, the Brazilian legend still holds the record of victories (6) and poles (5) in the most demanding layout of the Formula 1 circuit.

Monaco is the shortest, narrowest, slowest and most winding circuit of the championship; an extraordinary challenge for both drivers and their machines. The proximity to the safety rails poses a constant risk, but in order to stand a chance, drivers must race as close to these as possible.

All in all, it is an extremely strenuous challenge that requires the precision of a neurosurgeon’s and an extraordinary ability to concentrate during the more than two hours of race.

Driver Nelson Piquet famously compared the experience of competing in Monaco with trying to ride a bicycle in the living room of his house.

F1 Monaco Grand Prix essential stats

1. The Monaco Grand Prix as such was born in 1920, but its first edition within the Formula 1 World Championship was the first race of the 1950 season. The winner was Juan Manuel Fangio. The Argentine famously managed to dodged a multi-car pile-up before receiving the checkered flag.


2. The F1 Monaco Grand Prix street circuit is 3.337 meters long and has a total of 19 turns (12 to the right and to the left). Its famous Loews’ bend is the sharpest and slowest (50 km/h) of the whole championship and forces cars to widen their angle towards the other competitors.

3. The asphalt, used on a day to day basis by ordinary traffic, is also one of the worse maintained and with less adherence.


3. Achieving maximum traction, generally by using softer compounds, is key in Monte Carlo. Also, the softer configuration of the suspension system helps cars absorb the numerous bumps on the road.

4. The track is 3.337 kms long and has 19 turns, with the race set to last 78 laps and 260,286 km race distance.

5. As far as records go, Ayrton Senna continues to be the king of Monte Carlo with his six victories– five consecutive -, 5 pole positions and 8 podiums. Behind him and with five victories each are Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher. As for teams, the most successful has been McLaren with a total of 15 wins. 

6. The fastest pole position (1:10,810) record belongs to Daniel Ricciardo and his Red Bull in 2018. Max Verstappen holds the fastest lap record in a race (1: 14.260) also with Red Bull in 2018.

7. The prestige of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix means this is the only race in the calendar where the hosts are exempt from the hefty fees which are normally charged by the organisation to be part of the World Championship circuit.

Images of ‘F1 Monaco Grand Prix Preview’: Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, F1 & Pirelli.

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