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Rosberg To Hit Back As Monaco Levels The Playing-field

What?

The 2014 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO
Round 6 of 19

Where?

Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo

When?

May 22 & 24 - 25
Qualifying • Saturday May 24
Race start • Sunday May 25

Laps?

78

Question:

Two French drivers won only one Grand Prix each – and it was at Monaco. Can you name either of them? (answer below)

Track records:

Best record:
McLaren: 15 victories here
Senna: 6 victories

Lap record:
1:14.439 = 161.528 km/h • M. Schumacher (Ferrari) 2004

2013 pole:

Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:13.876 = 162.759 km/h

2013 results:

1 Rosberg (Mercedes) 2:17.52.056 = 113.378 km/h
2 Vettel (Red Bull Renault)
3 M Webber (Red Bull Renault)

Best Moments

1950: the very beginning of Monaco’s World Championship history, and Fangio steers his way round first-lap chaos at the harbour to win in his Alfa Romeo.

1959: the late Jack Brabham wins his first Grand Prix, in a Cooper, in the year of his first World Championship success.

1984: the brilliant Ayrton Senna comes oh-so-close to winning in a Toleman, of all things, but the race is called early because of torrential rain.

2006: Michael Schumacher ‘parks’ his Ferrari across the road at La Rascasse to make sure no-one – like Alonso or Webber – can better his pole-position time but the stewards relegate him to the back of the grid.

2010: Mark Webber produces a stunning drive to win Monaco for Red Bull Racing – and does it again in 2012.

Man of the Moment

Let’s give this accolade to someone else for a change. In fact let’s give it to two of the new boys in F1 this year, shall we?

One youngster who will be under the gun this weekend is Scuderia Toro Rosso’s F1 rookie Daniil Kvyat. Not only has he never raced in Monaco, he’s never even been there before – and to make matters worse he’s never raced on ANY street circuit in his young life! Good luck, Dani…

As for Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson, he plans to dedicate his first Monaco F1 appearance to his great compatriot Ronnie Peterson. It’s 40 years since Peterson, killed at Monza in 1978, won for Lotus in Monaco: “It’s a huge honour for me to be another Swedish F1 driver following in his footsteps, especially as he and I come from the same part of Sweden, and while I know we won’t be competing for a win like he was, I want to do the best job I can to pay homage to him and his legacy,” says the Caterham rookie.

“I’ve obviously been asked a lot about what Senna meant to me over the last few weeks, but I always say it’s Ronnie that really inspired me, obviously not because I saw him race, but because where I’m from in Sweden, Kumla, Ronnie is the number one hero.” We’ll be thinking of you too, Marcus…

Big issues

If you remember, F1 cars this season can use only the gear ratios they nominated for the beginning of the year. How will those ratios stand up to 4000 gear-changes over 78 laps, and the slow corners of Monaco?

Cooling in the new, turbo-driven hybrid era can be an issue: how will the engines cope when there are no long straights to force air through and cool things down? Only 30 seconds of a Monaco lap is spent at full noise (and by the way, the FIA has asked teams to use ‘megaphone’ exhausts to try and improve the music).

The cars’ response out of the slower corners, like the famous Rascasse, will be crucial. Pirelli have deployed their Supersoft tyre for the first time this year along with the Soft.

Quote of the week

This one has to go to our man Ricciardo. The great Nelson Piquet once said racing at Monaco was like riding a bike round your living-room – and Dan used to do just that because there were more obstacles and it was more fun. “In Monte Carlo it’s impossible to do that calm, detached, racing driver thing,” says the Red Bull man. “Every year I’m determined I’m going to approach the weekend in a coldly logical way, and every year I end up bouncing up and down and getting excited. It’s just amazing.”

Off the record

If any track’s going to shake things up it’s Monaco – unless those Mercs monopolise the front row. And the odds against Hamilton winning must be mounting after four straight… Rosberg-Vettel-Ricciardo …

Answer

Jean-Pierre Beltoise (BRM, 1972) and Olivier Panis (Ligier, 1996)

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