With a length of 3.337 kilometres, the Circuit de Monaco is F1’s quickest track configuration. This is nearly one kilometre shorter than the next shortest, Zandvoort. It also has the briefest sprint from pole to the first braking zone on the 2022 F1 calendar, gauging only 114 metres. This means there will be fewer opportunities to make an advance on the first lap.
Only 42 percent of the lap time in Monaco is spent at full speed, the lowest estimate of any F1 track on the calendar this season. While many race tracks have started hosting Formula One races over the years, neither of them have been as spectacular as Monaco. The setting, heritage, risk versus reward combine to make Monaco one of the most exceptional F1 challenges.
“Winning a race there in 2008, I felt like I was at the top of the highest mountain of the world. So many different things need to come together for that to happen and it is a track where you just can’t leave anything on the table,” said 7-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton who himself has won the Monaco GP thrice. Cars have been sprinting on the roads of Monaco since 1929, and in Formula One since the motorsport’s inception in 1950. It is a core component of the motorsport’s Triple Crown, along with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and is known for its elegance and reputation.
Lewis Hamilton explains how to master the tracks of Monaco
“Monaco is a circuit that’s probably the highest in concentration and mental focus. he street circuit nature, the fact it is quite short and there are not very long straights. It’s not a massively physical circuit because we are not doing really high speeds through corners and pulling the g-forces you would somewhere like Barcelona. But your mind is having to work so much faster,” explained the Briton.
There seems to be little time for drivers to relax during a single lap in Monaco, bringing multi-tasking to another threshold. Across a lap, drivers must balance the pedal, ignition, manoeuvring, come to terms with forces and perceive what the car is doing through their body, as well as pay attention to the road.
Monaco… there's nothing quite like it! A track that requires intense concentration and focus 👊
Lewis and Marcus explain how the drivers and teams approach this unique challenge! 👀
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 25, 2022
Then there’s the drivers changing switch and steering wheel positions as they lap the circuit. There’s not too many ways to take their foot off the brake and render those tweaks because there aren’t many straights. To reduce burden, teams must definitely contemplate whether it is worth the gamble of drivers attempting to make switch adjustments, as well as guarantee they head out on track each time with the right specifications.