Why The Monaco Grand Prix Is Formula 1's Most Interesting Race


Felipe Massa crashes during qualifying for the 2013 race.Felipe Massa crashes during qualifying for the 2013 race.Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

It is not impossible to overtake another car in Monaco, as Sergio Perez demonstrated a few times, with varying degrees of success, in the 2013 race. It is just very difficult.

And that is how it should be.


Loads of passing does not equal better racing. One of the most exciting sequences of this season—Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's battle in Bahrain—involved no overtaking.

As former driver Eddie Irvine once said, per Atlas F1:

Loads of overtaking is boring. It's like fishing. You go fishing and you catch a fish every ten minutes and it's boring. But if you sit there all day and you catch a mega fish—and an overtaking manoeuvre now has to be mega, it isn't going to be easy—and you come back with stories that you caught a fish this size [indicates big fish] instead of this size [indicates small fish].

With Monaco's relatively short straights, drivers cannot rely solely on the Drag Reduction System (DRS) to get past the car in front of them.

The nature of the circuit means that there are virtually no run-off areas. At most other tracks, if you try a passing manoeuvre and miss, you can usually just run a bit wide and try again on the next lap. In Monaco, you need to really work for a pass and then risk your race—and maybe more—to make it stick.

A small mistake in the principality usually ends with a car in the barriers.

Another challenge for the drivers (and the cars) is the number of gear changes during the race; 48 per lap, according to F1 pundit James Allen. The lap time is around 80 seconds, so drivers are changing gears almost constantly.

There are no long straights where the drivers can relax for a couple of seconds during the race. As former driver and current BBC commentator David Coulthard said during the broadcast of last year's race, "The tricky bit starts when you leave the garage and it continues until the race finishes."

And that is how it should be.


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Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2069950-why-the-monaco-grand-prix-is-formula-1s-most-interesting-race

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