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Monaco 2012 - Race information // Everything you need to know about the Monaco Grand Prix

Published by Christine

After a fortnight away, Formula One returns to the glamourous Monaco streets to put on another entertaining show for fans present and at home. With a couple of drivers calling the principality home, there is plenty to cheer about as the cars take to the streets once more. The season so far has been surprising, exhilarating and is heading well on it's way towards being a classic. What can Monaco throw in to the mix?

Event schedule

Pastor Maldonado secured a surprising but well-earned victory in Spain, becoming the fifth different driver to win this season. Talk and speculation surrounds whether we will be able to make it a sixth here in Monaco - or can one of the previous victors make it a double? Maldonado has gone well at Monaco in his past, whilst several of the drivers call the principality home, and we know it can be counted on to offer up a surprise.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionGMT +0100Local
24 MayThursdayFree Practice 109:0010:00
Free Practice 213:0014:00
26 MaySaturdayFree Practice 310:0011:00
Qualifying13:0014:00
27 MaySundayGrand Prix13:0014:00

Support racing for this event includes Renault 3.5, GP2, GP3 and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

The weather

You might imagine, if you've seen any of the photos coming out of Monaco, that the weekend is going to be hot and sunny and beautiful. However, the forecasts at this point disagree, with storms heading towards the principality in time for qualifying on Saturday, and showers predicted for Sunday.

clear

Monte Carlo, Thursday

24℃

  • Low 16℃
  • Humidity 75%

Mostly sunny

showers

Monte Carlo, Saturday

20℃

  • Low 16℃
  • Humidity 82%

Storms around

showers

Monte Carlo, Sunday

19℃

  • Low 15℃
  • Humidity 81%

Scattered showers

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection44m after turn 16
DRS activation18m after turn 19

The DRS zone is situated at what can be counted as one of the few straights in Monaco, as drivers cross the finish line. Although it is in that one particular zone during the race, on Saturday, DRS can be used throughout the lap. The FIA have banned its use in the tunnel, though, in a similar move to last year.

The tunnel ban was something the drivers were particularly keen to be put in place, and even more so when Sergio Pérez suffered his accident in qualifying. It was a terrible accident as it was, without the potential for having extra on top of the already high speeds.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameCircuit de Monaco
LocationMonte Carlo
TimezoneGMT +0200
First Race1950
Laps78
Length3.340 km
Distance260.520 km
Start / Finish Offset0.000 km

Monaco remains one of the most popular races on the calendar, and one of the ones that all drivers want to win, despite the fact that overtaking is difficult, and races are known for being processional. It is the challenge of the thing that makes it intriguing, and often throws up some unexpected results.

High concentration for drivers is crucial - it's a short lap but every inch of it requires technical skill and precision perfect driving. As a street track, in use up to the very last minute, the road surface can be bumpy and grip can take a while to come to the tyres. High downforce packages will be required and getting the right balance is more crucial than ever.

Since 2011, there have been a few changes to the track, including resurfacing after the tunnel following Pérez's accident. There has also been some adjustment to the safety barriers at the first turn, whilst the pit exit has been tweaked to allow an easier line for drivers to rejoin the track.

2011 Results
SessionDriverTeamTimeLinks
Free Practice 1Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:16.619Live / Results
Free Practice 2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:15.123Live / Results
Free Practice 3Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:14.433Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:13.556Live / Results
Grand PrixSebastian VettelRed Bull2:09:38.373Live / Results
Fastest LapMark WebberRed Bull1:16.234

Tyre compounds

Supersoft and soft compounds
Supersoft and soft compounds

This weekend, it is the turn of the soft and supersoft tyres to come together and provide the action. With eyebrows still raised at the performance of the rubber this year, and ongoing debates about whether it is better or worse for the sport as a whole, Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren has weighed in on the subject.

Giving predictions in F1 is normally quite difficult but I have never known it quite as challenging in my 20 years in the sport – not knowing when you go to a new event whether you are going to be competitive or not, or even from day-to-day it seems. So it causes some internal frustration, but I think it is great for the sport overall.

- Martin Whitmarsh

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayLocalAttendeeRepresenting
Wednesday15:00Romain GrosjeanLotus
Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
Michael SchumacherMercedes
Charles PicMarussia
Mark WebberRed Bull
Thursday16:00Ross BrawnMercedes
Jean-François CaubetRenault Sport
Monisha KaltenbornSauber
Vijay MallyaForce India
Frank WilliamsWilliams
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
NamePosition
Nigel MansellF1 and Champ Car champion
José AbedFIA Vice President
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission

All content in the series Monaco 2012