Ah the jewel in F1’s diamond encrusted crown is back after last years Covid enforced hiatus. It’s the one they all want to win with victory cementing a driver into Motorsport folk law. Overtaking will be sparse but expect a whole raft of talking points to emanate from F1’s most famous circuit. Here are three things to look out for in Monaco over the weekend.
Practice? On a Thursday… say what
Now I know what you’re thinking, we haven’t lost the plot, practice really does take place on a Thursday in Monaco. It’s one of the sports longest standing traditions and is synonymous with the glitz and glamour that Monaco is so famed for. But why you ask? Well religion has the answer.
The Monaco Grand Prix has been traditionally scheduled around the Christian festival of Ascension, which is a major holiday in the Principality. Therefore everything moves forward meaning Friday is an off day in the F1 paddock. Fear not as F2 takes centre stage, with the first of three races that morning before the roads reopen to the public for a short while.
McLaren’s Gulf throwback
Earlier last week several journalists teased that McLaren had some big news to share with the F1 community. Fast forward to last Sunday and the Woking based outfit revealed a striking one-off Gulf Oil shod livery for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The livery is one of the most famed in motorsport and takes inspiration from cars such as the Ford GT40 that starred in endurance racing back in the 60’s. McLaren are looking to cement their relationship with the brand as both drivers will sport special race suits, whilst Lando Norris will don a one-off helmet.
It’s very rare to see teams adopt special liveries, so lets hope McLaren can do the iconic look proud this weekend.
What about Ferrari?
Normally a great deal of power and aero dependability is what propels an F1 car up the grid. In Monaco, these fundamentals aren’t so crucial. Ferrari have struggled of late in those areas so Monaco could provide a chance for the Italian team to score some big points. Barcelona, despite being very aero dependant provides us with some vital clues going into F1’s showpiece event.
The answers lie in Barcelona’s twisty third sector which mirror the characteristics of the famous street track. In that sector, Ferrari were less than three tenths down on pace setters Red Bull and only a tenth behind eventual winners Mercedes. Monaco provides the best chance so far to see Charles Leclerc on the podium in 2021 and there will be no better feeling than to do so than in front of the home crowd of which there will be around 8,000.
Those are our picks for the three big things to look out for in Monaco this weekend. Whatever happens, it will be great to be back on the world’s most famous street track.