Feature

NEED TO KNOW: The most important facts, stats and trivia ahead of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Share
need-to-know-monaco-2024.png

Formula 1 rolls on from Imola to Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. Need to Know is your all-in-one guide for the week ahead with statistics, driving pointers, strategy tips and plenty more. You can also keep track of how fans have voted using our popular F1 Play predictor game.

The action will begin with first and second practice on Friday, May 24, followed by final practice and qualifying on Saturday, May 25, and then the main event, the Monaco Grand Prix itself, on Sunday, May 26.

IT’S RACE WEEK: 5 storylines we're excited about ahead of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Vital statistics

  • First Grand Prix – 1950
  • Track Length – 3.337km
  • Lap record – 1m 12.909s, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2021
  • Most pole positions – Ayrton Senna (5)
  • Most wins – Ayrton Senna (6)
  • Trivia – Monaco was one of seven venues on the inaugural F1 World Championship calendar back in 1950
  • Pole run to Turn 1 braking point – 142 metres
  • Overtakes completed in 2023 – 36
  • Safety Car probability – 57%
  • Virtual Safety Car probability – 43%
  • Pit stop time loss – 19.2 seconds

FAN VIEW: Max Verstappen’s one-lap speed has been ferocious this season and he is favourite again to be the fastest man in Monaco on Saturday. The Dutchman is polling around 40% of F1 Play votes, with Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and the McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri each picking up around half that number.

Monoco_Circuit.png

The driver’s verdict

Jolyon Palmer, former Renault F1 driver: Monaco is a beautiful circuit and a true driver’s track. It feels like madness in an F1 car; even in comparison to other street circuits it’s so narrow, the roads are cambered, it’s tight and twisty and there are challenges everywhere…

I love coming out of Sainte Devote, Turn 1, which is a challenge in its own right. It’s so steep at the exit, you’re looking at the sky going to Massenet and Casino. You’ve got to hug the inside line at Massenet, otherwise you skittle into the barriers on the outside.

PALMER: It’s approaching crunch time for Red Bull – is Perez doing enough to keep his seat, or should they look elsewhere?

The hairpin is a little bit more straightforward, but you feel like you’re in there for an eternity, bouncing your way through as it’s all really bumpy.

You flash out of the tunnel and pick a braking point for the chicane, where you’ve got to get as close as you can to the armco on the left-hand side. Occasionally you see people getting too greedy and just nibbling it, causing a puncture and a bit of damage.

You also see so many people going straight through the chicane, especially early on in practice, just trying to find the right braking point. It’s one of the few places where you have a little bit of room for error, so people will take it the fastest.

ONBOARD: Max Verstappen’s 2023 Pirelli Pole Position Award lap at the Monaco Grand Prix

Last five Monaco GP pole-sitters

  • 2023 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2022 – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  • 2021 – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  • 2019 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • 2018 – Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

DESTINATION GUIDE: What fans can eat, see and do when they visit Monaco for the Grand Prix

Last five Monaco GP winners

  • 2023 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2022 – Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
  • 2021 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2019 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • 2018 – Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

FAN VIEW: The picture is much bleaker here for Verstappen’s rivals. He is polling just shy of 90% of F1 Play votes as we head into race week, with the competition hardly making a ripple in the water. Both Leclerc and Norris have around 5%, but it is slim pickings for anybody hoping to defeat the Red Bull phenom on Sunday.

alonso-verstappen-monaco-race-2023.png

Max Verstappen fended off Fernando Alonso to claim victory in a rain-hit 2023 race

Tyre and strategy insight

Pirelli have chosen their softest three compounds – the C3, C4 and C5 – for this weekend’s action in Monaco, with the tyre manufacturer noting that the track “has a particularly smooth surface, given it is in daily use for road cars, and so the tyres must provide as much grip as possible”.

Indeed, the tyres experience some of the lowest forces seen across the season on Monte Carlo’s streets, thanks to a very low average speed around the 3.337-kilometre venue, and just under a third of the lap being spent at full throttle.

READ MORE: What tyres will the teams and drivers have for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix?

But there will still be stress to consider in the traction zones, with 78 twisting and turning laps to get through on Sunday, while graining can also cause some problems, particularly over the first couple of days when the track is rubbering in.

As for strategy, the only viable option is a one-stop, as drivers extend their opening stints and look to gain from any potential Safety Car periods – four of the last seven races in the Principality having been neutralised.

Prior to the race, qualifying is even more important than usual, with overtaking extremely difficult around the barrier-lined circuit, meaning track position is often maintained unless reliability issues or the aforementioned Safety Car make an appearance.

FAN VIEW: No surprises here with the big five dominating F1 Play voting for the podium places. If there is a surprise, it is the absolute lack of support for Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate, Sergio Perez, following his highly disappointing P8 in Imola on Sunday. It is a similar story for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

1920_08-mc-preview-en.jpg

Current form

Red Bull returned to winning ways in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last time out, with Max Verstappen overcoming some early practice struggles to claim a pole position and victory double at the famous Imola circuit.

However, Miami winner Lando Norris came agonisingly close to making it back-to-back triumphs with another spirited performance – the McLaren driver piling the pressure on across the second stint to finish just seven-tenths behind in P2.

POWER RANKINGS: Who was incredible at Imola and impressed our judges?

While Norris fell “one or two laps” short of another momentous result, it underlined that Red Bull are not having it all their own way this season, and their rivals will likely sense another upset on the streets of Monte Carlo.

Red Bull have typically found life more difficult on street tracks and, with the upgraded McLarens and Ferraris showing plenty of pace, a three-way scrap for one of the most important poles of the year is a tantalising prospect.

That’s not to mention Mercedes and Aston Martin, who have upgrades of their own to dial in further, or the potential for a qualifying upset from the likes of Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg, who have both starred at recent events.

FAN VIEW: Yuki Tsunoda (RB) and Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) have both been in terrific form of late, and both are fancied by F1 Play gamers to go well again around the iconic Monte Carlo street circuit this coming weekend. There is also good support for the Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Race Highlights: 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Iconic moment

Unsurprisingly, with Monaco appearing on the very first F1 calendar back in 1950, there are plenty of iconic moments to choose from over the years...

However, ahead of another weekend where the legendary Ayrton Senna will be remembered by the paddock, we have gone back to 1992 and the Brazilian’s defence against Nigel Mansell in the closing laps.

BEYOND THE GRID: Karl Wendlinger on his 1994 Monaco crash, a spirited F1 comeback and racing alongside Schumacher

Mansell had been leading the race when a suspected puncture brought him into the pits for fresh tyres, releasing Senna into a lead he would not relinquish via some on-the-limit car placement.

Check out the best moments from their scrap in the video player below, along with some other standout Monaco memories.

Monaco Grand Prix: 5 great battles from the F1 archive

Elsewhere in Monaco

There's even more happening in and around the F1 paddock this weekend than racing action and yacht parties...

  • Through an innovation with Ecotank, seawater is being transformed into freshwater ensuring that no drinking water is used in the process to wash the 50,000 reusable cups available throughout the circuit. The seawater desalination units can produce up to 800 litres of freshwater per hour.

READ MORE: What is the weather forecast for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix?

  • The Automobile Club de Monaco and 'Resin’Esterel', an association focusing on upskilling unemployed people in the local area, will be upcycling materials that would otherwise be put to waste to give them a second life. Products, including tote bags, made from last year's banners and marshal tabards will be available for fans to purchase around the circuit.

  • There are multiple renewable energy projects across the Grand Prix. The main grid energy is procured through a green tariff and race generators use HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) fuel, a second-generation biofuel created from non-fossil fuel sources.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Coming Up

Coming Up

News

‘The decision is approaching’ – Alunni Bravi reflects on Sainz’s prospects for Kick Sauber drive in 2025