The greatest day of racing is almost upon us and it begins on the streets of Monte Carlo in what some consider one of the crown jewels of auto racing, The Grand Prix of Monaco.
The Monaco Grand Prix is race one of Memorial Day Sunday (that’s the name of this weekend in the United States (refer to Wikipedia to learn more about Memorial Day)), the biggest day of racing on Earth. We’ve got Monaco in the morning, the Indianapolis 500 at noon and the Coca-Cola 600 at 6:00 p.m. It just doesn’t get any bigger than that.
Circuit de Monaco is a street circuit laid out on the city streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine around the harbour of the principality of Monaco. It is commonly referred to as “Monte Carlo” because it is largely inside the Monte Carloneighbourhood of Monaco.
The circuit is used on one weekend in the month of May of each year to host the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. Formula One’s respective feeder series over the years – F2, Formula 3000 and today GP2 – also visit the circuit concurrently with Formula One.
The circuit is generally recognized to be less safe than other circuits used for Formula One. Driver and former winner Michael Schumacher stated before the 2012 Grand Prix that the additional risk is “justifiable once a year”. If it were not already an existing Grand Prix, it would not be permitted to be added to the Formula One schedule, for safety reasons.
Here’s some highlights from last years race.
Monte Carlo resident Lewis Hamilton comes into the sixth race of the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship as the points leader by only three points over teammate and fellow Monte Carlo resident Nico Rosberg. Defending series champion Sebastian Vettel is still looking for his first win of the season. Fernando Alonso is also still looking for his first win of 2014.
Pirelli is bringing the yellow and red banded tires to the circuit. The yellow is the soft prime tire and the red is the super-soft option tire.
Unlike the other circuits, Monaco will only have a single DRS zone with the detection point just before turn 17.
So who will kick off Memorial Day Sunday with the win? Find out this Sunday at 13:00 GMT on Sky Sports F1 (I have no idea if that’s correct so double check the time with your local provider) or if you’re reading this in the U.S., Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. on NBC.
(Photo: Uncidunci) (Video: NBC Sports)