Posts Tagged ‘monaco’

Happy birthday Monaco

May 21st, 2010 No comments

Sixty years ago today was the first Monaco Grand Prix of the new Formula One World Championship.

It wasn’t actually the first Monaco Grand Prix ever. That was in 1929 and it was won by British spy/racing driver William Grover-Williams but in 1950 Juan Manuel Fangio won his first race of his career in Monte Carlo.

As he tells Jake Humphrey in this great BBC interview, Sir Stirling Moss, the first British winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, considers Fangio the greatest ever Formula One driver. It’s easy to see why. Fangio would later go on to win 5 world championships, a record only surpassed by Michael Schumacher 46 years later.

This picture of Fangio racing his Maserati 250F around the streets of Monte Carlo is not a photograph. It is an airbrush painting by Italian artist Alberto Ponno. Ponno’s incredibly details paintings are the result of months of work all done freehand and without any masking.

Here are a few more Monaco examples of  of his amazing work. Visit his website to see the rest of his paintings.

Categories: Circuits Tags: , , ,

Damon Hill has his revenge on Schumacher

May 16th, 2010 No comments

In a race that saw the safety car deployed four times it was the final lap that provided some unexpected controversy.

Mark Webber carried over his winning form from Barcelona to score his second victory of the season over team mate Sebastian Vettel. His perfect qualifying lap was matched by a perfect race and he led from lights to flag.

Robert Kubica had threatened all weekend but he had a poor start from the dusty side of the track and was forced settle for third behind the charging Red Bulls.

Nevertheless, this is a good result for Kubica and the French team. Renault have steadily improved this season and the way Kubica wrestled the black and yellow R30 around Monaco’s twisty streets proved that with the right equipment he is the equal of any on the grid.

After crashing in qualifying Alonso carved his way from starting in the pit lane up to sixth place but when Jarno Trulli parked his Lotus on Karun Chandhok’s head at La Rascasse the safety car was deployed in the dying laps of the race.

As the safety car pulled into the pits on the final lap Michael Schumacher took the opportunity to slip past a slightly sideways Alonso into the final corner and claim 6th. The stewards ruled this was in breach of article 40.13 of the sporting regulations:

If the race ends while the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

Schumacher was penalised 20 seconds which dropped him back to 12th.

Mercedes are appealing the decision. Reading the rules, I guess it could be open to interpretation but I thought it was a typically Schumacheresque piece of opportunism.

You have to smile at the irony, too. In 2006 Schumacher parked his Ferrari at Rascasse in an attempt to hold onto his pole position. The stewards didn’t buy his story then and he had to start the race from the back of the grid.

But that’s not the only interesting little bit of trivia. This year an experienced driver is assigned to the stewards at each race, a scheme that has so far seen much improved decisions. Who happens to have that role at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix? None other than Michael Schumacher’s old rival, Damon Hill.

2010 Monaco Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1 1:50:13.355 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 3 +00:00.448 18
3 Robert Kubica Renault 2 +00:01.675 15
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 4 +00:02.666 12
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 5 +00:04.363 10
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24 +00:06.341 8
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 6 +00:06.651 6
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 12 +00:06.970 4
9 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 10 +00:07.305 2
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13 +00:08.199 1
11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 17 +00:09.135
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 7 +00:25.712
13 Vitaly Petrov Renault 14 retired, 73 laps
14 Karun Chandhok Hispania-Cosworth 23 crash, 70 laps
15 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 19 crash, 70 laps
16 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 18 retired, 58 laps
17 Bruno Senna Hispania-Cosworth 22 retired, 58 laps
18 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 9 crash, 30 laps
19 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 16 retired, 26 laps
20 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 21 retired, 25 laps
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 20 retired, 22 laps
22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 15 retired, 21 laps
23 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 8 retired, 2 laps
24 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 11 crash, 1 laps

Image: Red Bull

Categories: 2010 Season Tags: ,

Prediction game: Round 6 results

May 28th, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen, Monaco, 2009It seems like you can’t go wrong with backing Brawn GP this year.  Everybody in the f1buzz prediction game expected either Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello to be on the podium in Monaco and that’s exactly what happened.

The biggest winner was Mark who correctly predicted a Button-Barrichello 1-2 and moves up to third place, but in the one race where Ferrari looked reasonable, nobody picked the Red Cars for anything.  Andrew maintains his 7 point lead in the standings.

It was a fairly unusual Monaco Grand Prix in that there were no safety car periods so the race was over quite quickly.  The sunny conditions and lack of any big accidents also had the effect of spreading the field out.  But there is still no other race like Monaco and I was lucky enough to be there this year.

If you are thinking of going, I can definitely recommend it.  No other track gets you so close to the cars and the atmosphere in Monte Carlo is fantastic.  I had tickets in grandstand K at Tabac and could see all the way from the tunnel to the swimming pool.  These tickets also gave access to the pit lane on Friday.

There are a few of my pictures in the Facebook group already and I’ll be adding more soon.

The next race is Turkey in 10 days time at the fatastic Istanbul Park.

Image: Brawn GP

Categories: Prediction Game Tags:

Unstoppable Button wins again in Monaco

May 24th, 2009 No comments

Rosberg passes Massa, Monaco, 2009Jenson Button has joined the ranks of Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher by winning five out of the first six Grands Prix of the season when he drove to a flawless victory in Monaco on Sunday.

Even KERS couldn’t help Kimi Raikkonen to match the pace of the Brawn GP cars off the start and he dropped back to third behind Rubens Barrichello.

Ferrari must be encouraged by Kimi Raikkonen’s third place finish and Felipe Massa’s fourth, considering their woeful start to the season.  It gives them a nice haul of points and puts them fourth in the Constructors Championship.

Raikkonen might be happy for the team but he was disappointed not to finish higher:

Of course in the bigger picture I’m not happy with third place – I’m disappointed.  But, in this situation, for the team it’s a good result.

Despite the gains made by Ferrari the Brawn GP car just looks unstoppable now.  There doesn’t seem to be a circuit it is not suited to and Jenson Button’s driving is impressing even Ross Brawn:

I’m lost for words with him really. He’s exceeding everything I thought possible.

Button’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship is now 16 points over team mate Rubens Barrichello and 28 over Sebastian Vettel in third place.  Brawn GP lead the Constructor’s Championship by a massive 43.5 points, with more than twice as many points as Red Bull has in second place.

2009 Monaco Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1 1:40:44.282 10
2 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 3 1:40:51.948 8
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2 1:40:57.724 6
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 5 1:40:59.392 5
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 8 1:41:00.012 4
6 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 6 1:41:17.868 3
7 Fernando Alonso Renault 9 1:41:22.121 2
8 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 14 1:41:47.424 1
9 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 13 1:41:49.322 0
10 Timo Glock Toyota 19 lapped 0
11 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 16 lapped 0
12 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 20 lapped 0
13 Jarno Trulli Toyota 18 lapped 0
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 15 lapped 0
RET Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 10 crash, 76 laps 0
RET Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 7 crash, 51 laps 0
RET Robert Kubica BMW 17 retired, 28 laps 0
RET Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 4 crash, 15 laps 0
RET Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 12 retired, 10 laps 0
RET Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 11 crash, 10 laps 0

Image: David Keen

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,

Monaco: Fuel adjusted qualifying times

May 23rd, 2009 No comments

Jenson Button, Monaco, 2009While today’s qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix was a disappointment for Lewis Hamilton, who hit the barriers in Q1, it was pole number four for fellow Brit Jenson Button.

Below is a graph showing the actual top ten qualifying times as well as those times adjusted for the weight of fuel each car is carrying.  The graph assumes a standard lap time cost of 0.3 seconds per 10kg of fuel.

While the order looks roughly correct, it does seem like Sebastian Vettel is a little out of position.  He has the lightest car on the grid and his adjusted time is slower than his team mate Mark Webber’s who is a couple of rows behind him in eighth.

The graph does show how good Kimi Raikkonen was, though.  He was the only driver to really match the pace of the Brawns and it wasn’t because he was running light.  With his KERS equipped Ferrari on the front row, he will be a definite threat to Jenson Button’s race on Sunday.

2009 Monaco GP Q3 (weight-adjusted)

Image: Brawn GP

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,