Skip to main content

Monaco GP – A challenge for seventy years
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
By: Ferrari S.p.A.

Monaco GP – A challenge for seventy years  At the previous round of the championship in Barcelona, where Fernando Alonso produced yet another fantastic drive in his Ferrari F2012 to take second place, the majority of teams had introduced new packages to coincide with the first European race of the season. If some elements had failed to deliver a clear picture of their benefits, there was usually talk of waiting to see how they would perform in Canada. Had the designers and engineers forgotten that, before going to Montreal, the F1 circus stops off at its most famous venue in Monte Carlo? Not at all, it's just that the Monaco Grand Prix throws up such a unique technical challenge it simply does not fit into the overall picture of how the season is evolving. 'You have to set the car up quite differently for Monaco,' explains Scuderia Ferrari's Technical Director, Pat Fry. 'On the street circuit you don't attack all the corner entries as hard as you would on a normal circuit, because the barriers are so close to the track at the entry and exit. However, trying to get the right car balance is as difficult as at the other venues.'

The Monaco Grand Prix is older than the World Championship itself and in fact it celebrates its seventieth birthday this year. One element that has not changed in all that time is that the lap is short and very slow, the slowest on the calendar in fact. 'This means it is more about downforce and less about efficiency and engine power,'' continues Fry. 'You need as much downforce as possible and a car that behaves consistently.' Even if Monaco is unique, many of the updates introduced on the F2012 in Spain were aimed specifically at generating aerodynamic downforce and will therefore prove useful this weekend. 'As a result of a lot of work in the wind tunnel and on the track, we had a lot of updates including a different front wing, floor, turning vanes, brake ducts and a new rear wing. All in all, we're reasonably happy with the update we made, but obviously we've still got a long way to go and we have to keep on working at a similar rate. In fact, we will have a few more small updates this weekend to add a bit more downforce to the car and, as usual this season, it will be interesting to see how each car uses its tyres.'

It is true that tyre behaviour has been the single most influential factor on the evolution of the five races so far this year and Monaco's unique characteristics will not make this weekend's race immune to that. 'We have seen that just a small change in track temperature can have a large effect on tyre performance,' maintains the English engineer. 'And apart from this sensitivity to temperature, they are also quite sensitive to the way the drivers use them. In a race where three pit stops would be considered the norm, if the driver is very very careful on the rear tyres, you might be able to keep them in good enough shape to do just two stops. But if you push hard on the tyres they degrade and a driver can damage them a little bit by pushing. So, when you are fighting in traffic, you take more out of the tyres than you would do if you're running in clean air.' Given that Monaco is synonymous with traffic, whether or not a race is taking place, finding that elusive clean air is the main challenge for the strategists. 'Monaco is a short lap, so your thinking time is reduced,' says Fry turning to the subject of race planning. 'While you look at all the usual factors such as tyres degradation, you have to be very aware of trying to keep the drivers out of traffic so as to try and give them a clear run. So if you are starting from the mid-field it's always a challenge, therefore starting at the front of the grid makes the job a little bit easier.'

After two pairs of back-to-back races to kick start the season, we are now back in the classic routine of a race every fortnight all the way through to the Germany-Hungary double-header at the end of July. Therefore, while for Fry and the team the immediate focus is on Monaco, the work never stops on developing the car for each coming race. 'In the medium term we are constantly driving to bring in updates, as indeed is the case for all teams,' reveals Fry. 'For Canada, we will have a different rear wing and front wing package, which will deliver a slightly different downforce level for this circuit. Work on the exhaust system is ongoing and we have new versions to test. Having learned a lot at the start of the year, we were able to address some of our problems at the Mugello test prior to the Spanish GP and I think now we have a good understanding of our car, trying to add performance to it in a constant drive that will go all the way through to the final race.'

As for this weekend, on the streets of the Principality, Fry believes that much of the improvement in lap times over the weekend comes from having good trouble free practice sessions, which allows the drivers to reacquaint themselves with the idiosyncrasies of the circuit, gaining confidence with each passing lap. Both the Scuderia's current drivers have proved they have that confidence. In fact, Fernando Alonso will be trying to record a third Monegasque win with a third different team, having won twice before in 2006 and 2007. The Spaniard also finished second last year and has twice started from pole position. As for Felipe Massa, he has two third places to his name, in 2007 and '08, the latter after he started from pole, while the following year, he set the race fastest lap. As for the Prancing Horse, the most famous team in the sport does not have the greatest record at the most famous race in the world, with a total of just eight wins since the championship began in 1950. In a topsy turvy season, could this be the weekend for Scuderia Ferrari to end a Monegasque drought that dates back to Michael Schumacher's win in 2001?

Photo credit: Ferrari S.p.A.

   Recent Articles
2016 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX

◾Renault Sport Formula One Team concluded its first FIA Formula 1 Championship season with seventeenth position for Jolyon Palmer and an early retirement from Kevin Magnussen.
◾Renault Sport Formula One Team ended the year in ninth position in the Constructors' Championship with Kevin Magnussen sixteenth and Jolyon Palmer eighteenth in the Drivers' Championship.

Jolyon made a great start from P15 to end the first lap in eleventh position, however he struggled with tyre degradation later in t....
GOLDEN GRIDS TO CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF FORMULA FORD

Special races at 2017 Silverstone Classic to mark major milestone
◾Record 54-car grids to celebrate 50 years of Formula Ford
◾Entry-level formula which launched future World Champions
◾Early Bird tickets now on sale with significant savings

The world's most famous proving ground for future champions, Formula Ford, turns 50 in 2017 – a golden milestone that will be celebrated in record-breaking style at next summer's Silverstone Classic (21-23 July).

To mark this prominent 50th annive....
High-End Summit – The First Maybach Cabriolet and the Most Powerful E-Class Ever

Fuel consumption, combined: 12.0 – 8.6 l/100 km; Electric power consumption: 12.9 kWh/100 km; Combined CO2 emissions: 272 - 0 g/km

Los Angeles. At the 2016 LA Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz Cars is presenting two new models from the very pinnacle of their respective classes. Celebrating their world premieres are the first cabriolet from luxury brand Mercedes-Maybach along with the most powerful E-Class ever, which sees Mercedes-AMG set the new benchmark in the performance segment. Whi....
RENAULT ANNOUNCES UK SPECIFICATION AND PRICING FOR NEW RENAULT TWINGO GT AND ENHANCED DYNAMIQUE S

◾New Renault Twingo GT and updated Dynamique S available to order from 1st December
◾Renault Sport-developed Twingo GT produces 110hp and 170Nm torque
◾Engine upgrades include a modified turbocharger, revised engine mapping and specially-developed exhaust
◾Chassis and transmission enhanced for driver enjoyment
◾Twingo GT priced at £13,755 on-the-road
◾Revised Dynamique S benefits from exterior and interior upgrades
◾Dynamique S starts from £12,205 on-the-road
◾Protected by Renault's four ....
THE EAGERLY-AWAITED ALL-NEW PEUGEOT 3008 SUV IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER IN DECEMBER

THE EAGERLY-AWAITED ALL-NEW PEUGEOT 3008 SUV IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER IN DECEMBER AND FEATURES THE LATEST PEUGEOT i-COCKPIT® / DIGITAL INSTRUMENTATION ON ALL MODELS
◾The all-new Peugeot 3008 SUV is available to order from December 2016
◾All versions of the 3008 SUV feature the latest PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®; with compact steering wheel, configurable 12.3' head-up digital instrument panel and 8.0' capacitive touch-screen
◾The 3008 SUV is also specified with a high-level of equipment on Active models f....
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING TO FIELD HOST OF ICONIC FORMULA ONE CARS AT AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL

◾Autosport International is proud to announce the legendary Williams Formula One cars set to appear at the 2017 show
◾Display will include the FW07 which gave Williams its first victory, Nigel Mansell's 1992 Drivers' Championship-winning FW14B, Damon Hill's 1996 Drivers' Championship-winning FW18 and the FW25
◾Cars are just one element of Williams' must-see centerpiece, though, with 2017 marking its 40th anniversary, Autosport International visitors can expect an immersive and interactive expe....
GOLF – THE UPDATE

• Major update for the most successful Volkswagen ever

• The Golf is the first compact car to feature gesture control

• Premium segment technology: high-end infotainment with the largest display in its class

• Efficiency technology: new 1.5 TSI Evo with Active Cylinder Management makes its debut in the Golf

Key facts – the Golf update in summary

1. World premieres: Volkswagen presents the updated 2 and 4-door Golf as well as the Golf GTI, Golf GTE and G....
YOUNG RACERS TO TAKE ON LEGENDS PETTER SOLBERG, MARCUS GRÖNHOLM AND KENNY BRÄCK AT ROC FACTOR SCANDINAVIA

First ROC Factor event in Sweden to be held as part of Monster Jam® Stockholm
◾Two young Swedish racers have won the chance of a lifetime to take on the greats of motor sport at Friends Arena on November 12, 2016
◾Thomas Bryntesson and Jessica Persson topped an online poll and a jury vote to decide who will race in the ROC Factor Scandinavia Final
◾They now have the chance to take on driving legends Petter Solberg, Marcus Grönholm and Kenny Brack in identical rallycross cars on a dirt....

   Related Vehicles
2012 Ferrari F2012
2012 Ferrari F2012  2012 Ferrari F2012  2012 Ferrari F2012  2012 Ferrari F2012  2012 Ferrari F2012  
2017 Audi A5 Sportback
2017 Audi A5 Sportback  2017 Audi A5 Sportback  2017 Audi A5 Sportback  2017 Audi A5 Sportback  2017 Audi A5 Sportback  
2017 Audi S5
2017 Audi S5  2017 Audi S5  2017 Audi S5  2017 Audi S5  2017 Audi S5  
2017 Audi S5 Sportback
2017 Audi S5 Sportback  2017 Audi S5 Sportback  2017 Audi S5 Sportback  2017 Audi S5 Sportback  2017 Audi S5 Sportback  
2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate
2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate  
2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC43
2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC43  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC43  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC43  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC43  2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC43  
2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC
2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC  2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC  2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC  2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC  2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC  
2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn
2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn  2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn  2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn  2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn  2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn  
2016 Alpine Vision Concept
2016 Alpine Vision Concept  2016 Alpine Vision Concept  2016 Alpine Vision Concept  2016 Alpine Vision Concept  2016 Alpine Vision Concept  
2016 Aston Martin DB11
2016 Aston Martin DB11  2016 Aston Martin DB11  2016 Aston Martin DB11  2016 Aston Martin DB11  2016 Aston Martin DB11  
2016 BMW 330e
2016 BMW 330e  2016 BMW 330e  2016 BMW 330e  2016 BMW 330e  2016 BMW 330e