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F1 2015: Monaco Grand Prix Preview – Magical Monaco Is Back

Monaco Grand Prix

Often words are used to describe things and situations and just as often the true meaning of these over-used words are lost. But if you have ever looked for a true definition of opulence, then look no further than Monte Carlo.

The Monaco grand prix weekend is arguably the most looked forward to race on the F1 calendar. It’s the visual representation of what Formula 1 can and should be. It’s glamorous, drenched in money and diamonds, daringly fast and dramatically out-of-place.

The history of the famous Monte Carlo race alone is enough of a tale to weave the most majestic of Formula 1 stories. For around these famous streets the definitive legends of the sport artfully plied their trade. So rapt was the great Ayrton Senna with the Anthony Noghes circuit that he described it as the most extreme out of body experience he ever had behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, as if it was a sixth sense driving him around the narrow streets, centimetres from the barriers.

Fairmont_VIP_Monaco_Grand_Prix_v2Even in the year 2015 this venue and circuit has lost none of its magnificent charm and remains the jewel in the Formula 1 crown. This means too that qualifying for the Monaco grand prix is as important as ever. It could spell the end before the weekend has even begun considering the definite advantage that Mercedes hold over one lap.

But don’t consign anyone else’s chances to the scrapheap just yet. In 2009, Jenson Button all-dominant Brawn secured the Monaco Grand Prix pole position by a few thousandths of a second over the lacklustre attempt of a car Ferrari slapped together that year.

Then there is the potential undercut on new Pirelli rubber. The supersoft is a choice this weekend and the performance advantage of this particular compound has been nearly two seconds in some circumstances. It has been the case so far this season that Ferrari are lot kinder to their tyres than Mercedes and they will undoubtedly be looking to exploit such an advantage this weekend. However, Ferrari’s advantage isn’t quite as clear-cut as that. Much will depend on the temperatures and it will have to err on the sizzling side of things for Ferrari to have a genuine leg up on Mercedes. Alas, if no one else can stem the Silver Arrows’ dominance this weekend at least the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg should be quite intense.

Nico Rosberg won the 2013 Monaco Grand PrixLast year’s Monaco grand prix was shrouded in controversy thanks mostly to Nico Rosberg’s “mistake” in qualifying. It cost Lewis Hamilton the chance of snapping up the coveted pole position and put the fraying tension between the two on display for the world to see.

In 2015 the story reads a bit differently. Although Hamilton starts the weekend in the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time this season, he is the one who will have to make the running around these famous streets. Consider Rosberg’s dominant win in Spain and add to the equation that he has quite an affinity for Monaco grand prix and has won on the last two visits to the Principality then it certainly looks like a leg up on his teammate.

The Monaco grand prix is literally the most regal event on the F1 calendar given that the trophies at the end of the race are presented by the Monegasque Royal family.  Now all we need to know is who will be crowned maestro of the Monaco streets.

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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2017 Azerbaijan GP Broadcast Times

CDTBSTGMT+2Local
Free Practice 1Friday 04:00Friday 10:00Friday 11:00Friday 13:00
Free Practice 2Friday 08:00Friday 16:00Friday 15:00Friday 17:00
Free Practice 3Saturday 05:00Saturday 11:00Saturday 12:00Saturday 14:00
QualifyingSaturday 08:00Saturday 14:00Saturday 15:00Saturday 17:00
RaceSunday 08:00Sunday 14:00Sunday 15:00Sunday 17:00

2017 Drivers Championship

Pos.DriverPoints
1 Sebastian Vettel141
2 Lewis Hamilton129
3 Valtteri Bottas93
4 Kimi Raikkonen73
5 Daniel Ricciardo67
> Full Championship Table

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