The most important, must watch Grand Prix of the year is almost here – the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix – and we couldn’t be more excited.
We got so excited that we forgot to finish a nice long preview and story of the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix intended for Fox Sports. They published the small mini preview anyway, so we say good on them with thanks.
So we thought we’d pick up where that has left off, with our preview of the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix with a top 5 of just about everything we could think of.
This was what we hoped to produce for Fox Sports.
TOP 5 POINTS OF INTEREST for the 2017 MONACO GRAND PRIX
- Obvious one – with the different nature of Monaco, will it be Ferrari or Mercedes on top?
- Can Max Verstappen possibly have a worse race than last year.
- Jenson Button returns for a one off drive.
- Will there be tyres ready for Daniel Ricciardo this year? And will Red Bull even be closer enough for it to matter?
- and Fernando Alonso’s attempt to win the Indy 500
TOP 5 PREDICTION for the 2017 MONACO GRAND PRIX
See below, and we’ve picked a first corner melee at the front which then leaves some Top 5 spots available for those lucky and quick enough. Lewis Hamilton is one Monaco Grand Prix win behind beloved ex team mate Nico Rosberg, so no doubt he’d like to see that corrected. Ricciardo took pole here last year and should have won, if not for the tyres failing to show up for a pitstop. Hulkenberg deserves a chance to show his best and we say this is the year at Monaco. Perez always takes advantage with chaos up the front. And why not Carlos Sainz for fifth?
TOP 5 RETIREMENTS PREDICTION for the 2017 MONACO GRAND PRIX
A bold prediction to tip two of the front runners to be amongst the first retirements, but it happened in Spain and Monaco is much tighter, and Vettel and Max have previous form. The other tips almost select themselves. If there’s any bad luck to be grabbed then Palmer is usually amongst it, Lance Stroll has struggled so far in 2017 and Monaco is unforgiving, and Ericsson is as mediocre as we’ve seen in a while.
OTHER TOP 5’s
Enough for this year’s race, how about a bunch of Monaco Grand Prix Top 5’s.
TOP 5 MONACO GRAND PRIX QUIRKS
- The first practice day is on a Thursday which allows for sponsor schmoozing on Friday.
- It is the only track which has to navigate around a swimming and has a tunnel
- Only Senna and Prost won the race for a decade from 1984 to 1993. And there have been just 33 winners in 61 races.
- Back when there used to be 26 or more cars entering a race, the grid was limited to 20.
- One can find “Free Sandwiches” near the Tabac corner under the grandstand.
TOP 5 BEST MONACO GRANDS PRIX
Here’s our thoughts on the best Monaco Grands Prix
1982 Monaco Grand Prix
All the action happened late when the rain came and long time leader Prost crashed with three laps to go, and those last minutes are F1 historical gold if you can find them anywhere. Losers at F1 took down the videos.
In the closing stages a plethora of cars got to the lead, or would have led had they not run out of fuel or crashed. Patrese took the lead from Prost but spun half a lap later, Pironi led very slowly and ran out of fuel with half a lap to go, Andrea de Cesaris ran out of fuel a few hundred metres further back, Derek Daly smashed his car just as he was about to start his last lap and could have taken the lead. Patrese then bump started down the hill and eventually got going enough to eventually win the race.
James Hunt summed it up best in the commentary “We have the ridiculous situation where we are all waiting by the finish line to get a winner and we don’t seem to be getting one.”
1984 Monaco Grand Prix
The race that made a legend of Ayrton Senna. On a very wet day, from the midfield, in a car that was nowhere near the dominant McLaren Porsche of Alain Prost, Senna powered through the conditions and the from half of the grid. He was just about on Prost’s tail when the race was called off, and half points awarded.
Also famous for Tyrrell driver Stefan Bellof’s charge from the very back. He was catching both Senna and Prost when the red flag came out. And not to forget Nigel “White Lines” Mansell, who famously claimed they were to blame for crashing out in the lead.
1996 Monaco Grand Prix
Another wet race to begin with, and it looked like business as usual with William driver Damon Hill well out in front, like he had for a lot of the 96 season thus far. Although there was a huge surprise when rain master Michael Schumacher crashed out halfway around the first lap.
But behind the leaders there was a fair bit going on. Eddie Irvine was holding off a group of drivers, eventually annoying Heinz Harald Frentzen enough that he made an ill judged lunge that didn’t work. This group was also getting picked off one by one by Olivier Panis in his Ligier, who passed a remarkable (for Monaco) four cars by the end of the race.
A well timed pitstop for dry tyres, dealing with Irvine by punting him out of the race, and a Williams and Benetton failure ahead gave the Frenchman a highly unlikely win at 200-1. He was one of just three cars left at the end of the race.
1997 Monaco Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher masterclass. Was 6 seconds up after one lap. Also famous for the Stewart team’s first points with Barrichello’s second place.
2010 Monaco Grand Prix
It looked likely that Webber would never win any Grand Prix let alone a Monaco. So it was enjoyed, even with the worrying of a slice of Webber luck.
TOP 5 BEST MONACO GRAND PRIX ONE WIN WONDERS
Some great drivers never get to win a Monaco Grand Prix, Nigel Mansell comes to mind, but some are lucky enough that their only one came in the Principality. There are only three so we included those who only won one other race.
2004 – Jarno Trulli – Renault
1996 – Olivier Panis – Ligier
1972 – Jean-Pierre Beltoise – BRM
1978 – Patrick Depaillier – Tyrrell
1954 / 1958 – Maurice Trintignant – Ferrari / Cooper – his only two came at Monaco
TOP 5 BEST NON MONACO GRAND PRIX WINNERS
Hard to believe these drivers never won at Monaco
- NIGEL MANSELL
- NELSON PIQUET
- JIM CLARK
- JEAN ALESI
- PIERLUIGI MARTINI
TOP 5 BEST MONACO GRAND PRIX DRIVES
1983 – KEKE ROSBERG
Started on wet track with dry tyres and was mega. Suckered many drivers and teams into it since. But not of those drivers were the great Keke Rosberg.
1984 – AYRTON SENNA / STEFAN BELLOF
See the race report above.
1986 – ALAIN PROST
Lost in all the Senna-Prost bravado it is forgotten that Alain Prost was a very good driver, and excellent around Monaco. His 1986 drive was as complete as one could get.
1990 – JEAN ALESI
Hauled an unfancied Tyrrell up to second just 1 second behind Senna at the end.
2014 – JULES BIANCHI
Finished 9th in his Marussia, a car that looked unlikely for points anywhere. Unfortunately never got his chance with a bigger team to do more.
TOP 5 WORST MONACO GRAND PRIX TACTICAL DECISIONS
1996 – MAX VERSTAPPEN / ARROWS
Sent out on slicks on a soaked track that saw even Rainmaster Michael Schumacher spin off half a lap later.
1997 – WILLIAMS
Sent both drivers out on slicks on a wet track trying to emulate their 1983 win with Rosberg. Waited until their races were well and truly over before changing.
2015 – MERCEDES
Pit stop call cost the Briton a win in Monaco.
2016 – RED BULL
Calling Ricciardo in from the lead against his wishes and not providing tyres.
TOP 5 BEST MONACO GRAND PRIX INCIDENTS
2006 – SCHUMACHER PARKS THE FERRARI AT RASCASSE
Michael Schumacher did a few ordinary things over the year, and this incident was one of the worst. Having already taken Pole the German lost control of his car at 16 km/h to block the track and stop anyone else from setting a faster time. Hard to figure a multiple world champion would lose control at a speed less than a mobility scooter can go. Stewards thought so and piunished him.
2014 – NICO ROSBERG RUNS STRAIGHT ON
Learned from his compatriot by appearing to run straight on at Mirabeau, bringing out the yellow flags and spoiling Hamilton’s final lap.
1984 – RED FLAG
The Red Flag came out early to stop the race whilst Alain Prost was in front, a French conspiracy was floated, but it ultimately cost Prost anyway as he lost the Championship by half a point. Even points for second would have got him 1.5 more than he did with a half price win.
1986 – TAMBAY ALMOST FLIPS OVER THE WALL AT MIRABEAU
Drivers can get frustrated being stuck behind a car for too long, it can sometimes last for an entire race.
This happened in 1and the result was a 1986 crash between Martin Brundle and Patrick Tambay. Tambay flipped over Brundle’s Tyrrell and then landed on top of the small barriers and bounced back. If it didn’t a good 5 m drop to the road below awaited.
1981 – FIRE IN THE KITCHEN
In 1981 the race was delayed by an hour after a fire in the hotel kitchen that sits above the tunnel. The Fire was put out by plenty of water, which then seeped through into the tunnel and made that wet.