The Monaco Grand Prix is the one race of the year that every driver dreams of winning, requiring a combination of precision driving, technical excellence and sheer bravery to win in Monte Carlo.
These facets highlight the differences between the good drivers and the great in Formula 1.
The Armco barrier-lined circuit leaves no margin for error, demanding more concentration that any other Formula 1 track. Cars run with maximum downforce and brakes are worked hard. Overtaking is next to impossible so qualifying in Monaco is more critical than at any other Grand Prix. The Portier corner is key to achieving a good lap time around Monaco. It is preceded by the Loews hairpin, the slowest corner in Formula 1, and followed by the tunnel, one of the few flat-out sections of the track. Some great names have ended their races in the barriers here, most notably Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
To win in Monaco places a driver’s name on a list that includes many of history’s all-time greats.
Both Graham Hill, the man nicknamed ‘Mr Monaco’, and Michael Schumacher won it five times, Alain Prost took four victories, whilst Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart each won here three times. But the record of wins in the Principality resides with the Senna, who won in Monte Carlo six times.
The race has been a regular fixture of the world championship since 1955, but in that time the circuit has changed remarkably little. Slight alterations were made for the 2003 event, in particular a new, gentler entry to the Rascasse corner, with even bigger changes in 2004, with a new pit complex and increased spectator capacity.
Facts & Statistics:
Lap distance:3.337km. Total distance: 260.286 km (78 laps)
2018 pole: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:10.810
2018 winner: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
Race lap record: Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:14.260 (2018)
Start time: 1310 GMT (1510 local)
► The Monaco Grand Prix appeared on the original Formula One World Championship calendar in 1950. It reappeared in 1955 and has been ever-present since. This is the 66th Monaco Grand Prix.
► While many drivers call Monaco home, Scuderia Ferrari’s Leclerc is one of very few Monegasques to take part in the race. Louis Chiron raced in 1950 and 1955 (with a DNS in ’56 and a DNQ in ’58) finishing third in 1950. He competed many times in the pre-World Championship Monaco Grand Prix, winning in 1931. Olivier Beretta finished eighth for Larousse in 1994.
► Olivier Panis is the only winner to start outside the top ten. His 1996 triumph for Ligier came from P14. That race holds the record for the highest number of retirements as a percentage of starters, with 85.7% of the field (18 from 21) failing to see the chequered flag.