Monaco Grand Prix: Who will conquer Monte Carlo?

Published on 25 May 2023 at 13:00

The iconic narrow streets of Monaco are back for the 2023 season. After the devastating events in Imola, Formula 1 continues.


The Circuit de Monaco is not only one of the most prestigious circuits in the calendar but the most demanding. Almost 5 thousand gear changes can be made by a driver while racing the tight and narrow streets before they cross the finish line. Monaco is considered one of the more dangerous circuits, with the slowest corners and the quickest wind tunnel.

Nelson Piquet reported that the Monte Carlo circuit “Is like riding a bicycle around your living room.”


Progressing from the tragic events in Imola resulting in no race, we will finally see the upgrades teams have made. Specifically, Mercedes, who have ‘known since testing it wasn’t a car that could win the championship, ’  However, all teams adjust their set for Monaco, using high downforce to keep their cars stable throughout the intense race. But will this be Mercedes's breakthrough race?


Circuit de Monaco is known to be extremely challenging to overtake, which makes qualifying incredibly important. Team strategies can be assumed to be very different from normal. Although every qualifying session is essential, a good qualifying is vital in Monaco if you want a chance for a podium finish. Carlos Sainz said in an interview:

“Qualifying is crucial in Monaco, and it’s usually very tense. I would say it’s one of the toughest sessions of the whole season.”

Now, this is a home race for Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Drivers thrive on their homeland and local support. However, Leclerc doesn’t have the best history with Monaco and has obtained somewhat of a ‘curse.’ His record shows two DNFs and one DNS. Last year he did finish in fourth after qualifying in pole position, which is his best result yet. Ferrari is showing a respectable qualifying pace which could work in their favour for Monaco. With it being strenuous to overtake, their struggle for race pace might be minor, with a good qualifying result.


The threat of the street circuit specialist Sergio Perez is again at a high. Despite his bittersweet relationship with Monaco, after his memorable crash in 2011, he’s proved he can charm the streets of Monte Carlo. Defending his 2022 win, Sergio Perez no doubt has his eyes on Monaco win number two. Could this be the race that closes the already small gap to his teammate in the championship?


The Monaco circuit will also see McLarens ‘Triple Crown’ Livery. McLaren’s fan base is fond of the design, unlike their underwhelming performance this year. They took to Twitter to express their passionate approval, “Keep this all year.”

Hopefully, the livery won’t be the only thing the fans are admiring. Lando Norris and Aussie rookie Oscar Piastri who replaced fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, are currently fifth in the constructor's championship, equal to Alpine with 14 points. In desperate need to finish in the top 10, can the two youngsters tackle Monaco?

Let’s look at some facts and statics the drivers are racing this week.

The Monaco circuit comprises 19 corners, 78 laps,  one speed trap and only one DRS zone. Making it one of the three circuits to have only 1 DRS zone.

It is the shortest race since a lap is only 2.075 miles which equal 161.887 miles in total. It is a substantial distance under the mandate of 190 miles set by the FIA.

It takes six weeks to build the street circuit established in 1929 and has been part of Formula 1 since it started in 1950. The circuit has been adapted many times over the years. For example, in 2002, they extended the pit by taking some of the harbour and changing a section of the circuit.


Monaco could host anyone on the podium, but it is somewhat predictable after qualifying. Red Bull’s reliable pace will once again put them ahead. Could experience almost be better with Monaco being a slower pace race? The likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, who have raced those tricky turns every year, minus Covid. They might have a greater chance of hearing their national anthem play.

Car upgrades could play a significant role in round 7, along with team strategy, particularly tyre maintenance.


My bets are on Red Bull continuing their dominance. However, the homeland hero, Charles Leclerc, proves to have a good qualifying record, and with a massive amount of support, maybe he could break his ‘curse.’


Megan Taylor

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