The Monaco Grand Prix, Round Six of the 2012 World Championship, is without doubt the most prestigious and unique race on the Formula One calendar. Taking place around the streets of the principality on Sunday 27 May, this year’s race will mark the 70th anniversary of the event.
During a typical Monaco qualifying lap, the driver makes over 130 significant steering movements. Including other functions like KERS, a driver makes around 200 car inputs per lap – not including brake and throttle pedals. On average, the drivers change gear once every 54 metres around a lap – in Spa, it’s once every 146 metres.
“Monaco is just a circuit of its own very unique character. In a way, you could look at it with a big portion of irony with regards to the contradiction that, for so many years we have successfully campaigned for more track safety, and then we deliberately race in Monaco. But in my view this is justifiable once a year, especially as the circuit is really so much fun to drive. Every time you go there, you just look forward to finally getting out and driving the track. Of course, knowing that I will lose five positions on the grid does not add to this feeling but this just means that I will have to try even harder. I’m actually quite confident that we should look reasonably good in Monaco due to the hard work that everybody in the team is putting into the development of our car. So let’s make the best out of the weekend.”
“I love the Monaco Grand Prix weekend and it’s a great feeling to be driving at home, knowing that all my friends and family are watching. I have always been quick around the streets here, and I believe a good result is possible for us next weekend. The nature of the track should suit our car but as we have seen at every race so far this season, tyre management will be crucial. With five different winning teams so far this year, at least ten drivers have the chance to win in Monaco so this could be one of the most interesting races there for years.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“The uniqueness of Monaco makes it one of those tracks where anything can happen, particularly in a season that has proved to be almost impossible to predict so far. Despite the logistical challenges of the weekend, Monaco is a race that everyone on the team and the drivers really enjoy, and the experience of winning in Monaco is something very special indeed. After Nico’s win in China, we have had two more difficult race weekends, but I am confident that we will start to see an improvement in Monaco as the developments that we have brought to the car recently take effect.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“With five different winners from five different teams in five races, it has been an exciting and unexpected first quarter of the 2012 season.Now Formula One visits the most atypical circuit of all, Monaco. It makes unusual, one-off demands of the cars: there are fast and narrow sections, but also eight corners taken at under 100 kph and over 4,500 gear changes during the race. It is also incredibly challenging and rewarding for the drivers. In Monaco, more than any other circuit, the driver can really make the difference, especially on a single qualifying lap. Both Nico and Michael have shown a great feeling for the circuit and the ability to master it in recent seasons.
After all the talk of unpredictability of the teams’ performance levels this year, there are also clear facts: three of five races have been won from pole position, including Nico’s victory in China. What’s more, the five drivers who have completed every race lap are all in the top seven in the current championship standings. Strong qualifying speed has been rewarded at every race, and consistently finishing races appears to be even more important in 2012. In the last three races, Nico has scored a total of 41 points, the second highest total in the field after Sebastian Vettel with 43. Our focus in Monaco will be to extract the maximum from our further developed technical package. Giving the drivers a car they can trust and feel confident in is worth more here than at any other circuit on the calendar.”
Source: Mercedes AMG