The Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2012 will kick off on Thursday 24 May with two practice sessions. This is followed by Practice Session 3 and Qualifying on Saturday 26 May. The race will be held on 27 May 2012. The Monaco Grand Prix consists of 78 laps of 3.340 km each, totalling a distance of 260.520 km. The lap record was set in 2004 by Michael Schumacher at 1:14.439.
Dates: 27 May 2012
Venue: Circuit de Monaco
Known as one of the most famous legs of the Formula 1 season, the Grand Prix de Monaco has been taking place since the year 1929. Its intricate and exciting course is laid out through the streets of Monaco, and as it features difficult corners, tunnels and even elevation changes, it is also known as one of the most challenging races of the season. Even though extremely high speeds cannot be reached on the course, is remains one of the most dangerous and on Sunday, 29 May 2011, the course showed just how treacherous it can be.
The 2011 Monaco Grand Prix was filled with nail biting action, heart stopping accidents, penalties, accusations and fast paced maneuvers that left spectators breathless. It was a race that will long be remembered. The most chilling session of the race came very near to the end. It was a battle between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, with Jenson Button doing extremely well in gaining on them in the last twenty laps of the race. It was going to be an epic battle, as Vettel was racing on old tires with a one stop strategy, and with Button having fairly new tires he was doing very well in catching the front runners. Things began to slow down a little as they hit traffic, and with all the traffic and front runners trying to get ahead, it was inevitable that chaos would ensue. After emerging from Tabac, Adrian Sutil could not avoid hitting the barrier, while Lewis Hamilton had the unfortunate luck of being hit in the back of his car by Jaime Alguersuari. Vitaly Petrov tried his utmost to avoid the accidents ahead of him, but in his attempts to get around the situation he hit the wall.
Safety cars and flags immediately came out, which ended up being a lucky break for Vettel and the Red Bull Team, giving them time to put new tires on his car. Another safety car was brought out after the tunnel claimed the cars of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, with the two cars colliding into each other. After that there was no stopping Sebastian Vettel, who won the Monaco Grand Prix, putting him in the championship lead with 58 points.
Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel found themselves at the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings following Sunday’s Monaco F1 Grand Prix event in which the talented duo took first and second place respectively. As the sixth race of the season, the Monaco victory puts Webber and Vettel at the top of the standings, each with 78 points, however the Australian’s two-race victory puts him in the lead, with the German having claimed first place once this season. Webber started off the race in pole position maintaining his determination to stay ahead of the pack, following up on the success he had enjoyed in Spain just a week previously, where he claimed fastest lap, pole position and first place. He is also the first Australian to win at Monaco since Jack Brabham took the checkered flag in 1959. Driving for Ferrari, Spaniard Fernando Alonso fought his way from the pits to claim seventh place in the iconic street race, putting him at third place in the season.
This is Mark Webber’s fourth season with Red Bull and it appears that he is on a long-awaited winning streak. In his inaugural season with the team he scored just 10 points, finishing the 2007 season in twelfth place. The following year saw somewhat of an improved performance by Webber, with 2009 being his most successful F1 season – finishing fourth in the drivers’ championship with a total of 69.5 points. Certainly, 2010 has started out well for the Red Bull team, with both its drivers delivering superb performances.
Prior to joining Red Bull, Webber had spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons driving for Williams, but with limited success. So it may have come as a surprise to many that Frank Williams has been quoted as saying: “When we had him, our car was a disappointment, and we felt that he was part of the problem, but he probably wasn’t actually – with hindsight.”
There are many variables with auto racing and those who participate in it will readily agree that it truly is a team sport, with every member of the team contributing to success. The Red Bull team is on a roll right now and fans are no doubt eager to see how the season progresses.
Jenson Alexander Lyons Button is a British Formula One driver born in Frome on 19 January 1980. He hit the track at a young age, beginning with karting at eight years. In 1989, at 9 years of age, Jenson Button took first competed in the British Super Prix. He achieved many successes as a kart driver, including becoming the youngest driver to win the European Super A championship in 1997.
In 1998 Jenson Button began competing in the British Formula Ford championship, where you came in first with nine race wins. That same year he placed second in the European Formula Ford championship. At the end of the year he was awarded the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award. 1999 was another successful year for Jenson Button as he entered the world of Formula Three racing. Coming in third overall, he ended the season as the top rookie driver.
Jenson Button entered the Formula One scene in 2000, racing for the Williams team. He ended his debut season with 12 points and came in eighth in the Drivers’ Championship. During the 2001 F1 season, Button drove for Benetton. It was a trying season, and Button only managed to rack up 2 points and came in 17th in the Drivers’ Championship. 2002 was a much better season for the talented driver. Benetton was now named Renault F1 and Jenson Button was racing alongside teammate Jarno Trulli. He certainly improved his standings, taking seventh place at the end of the season.
In 2003, Jenson Button moved to the BAR team, to race beside Jacques Villeneuve. It was a great season for Button, despite a bad crash at Monaco, and he took ninth in the standings with 17 points. Button met with great success in the 2004 F1 season, gaining 10 podium placings and finishing third overall with 85 points. The 2005 season started off dismally, but Button fought back in the second half of the season to come in ninth in the Drivers’ Championship, scoring 36 of 37 points for his team. He continued racing for BAR in 2006, which was now known as Honda Racing F1 Team. A great season, he outperformed his teammate Rubens Barrichello, gaining his first win at the Hungary Grand Prix and finishing sixth overall. Button described his 2007 F1 season as “a total disaster”, though he did manage to show off his talents in China, placing fifth in mixed conditions. The uncompetitive Honda RA 108, meant Button had another unsuccessful season in 2008.
Honda was bought out by Ross Brawn in 2009 and team renamed Brawn GP. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were to continue racing together. 2009 was Jenson Button’s year. He hit the ground running, winning six of his first seven races. Scoring throughout the season, Button took home the championship title.
In November 2009, Jenson Button announced that he would be moving to the McLaren team for the 2010 season, after signing a three-year contract with them. He stated that he was looking forward to competing head-to-head with teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Circuit de Monaco, opened in 1929, is an outstanding Formula One street circuit. Located in Monte Carlo, the F1 Circuit of Monaco is considered by many to be the grandest in the sport. Well known for its challenging twists, Monaco’s F1 circuit is popular with drivers and spectators alike. Held annually in the month of May, the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix incorporated some of the streets of Monte Carlo and of La Condamine, and the atmosphere among spectators is phenomenal – it is certainly the dream of many F1 fans to attend a race at Circuit de Monaco.
Anthony Noghes of Manegasque car club originally came up with the idea of turning the streets of Monaco into a Formula One circuit. The first race on Monte Carlo’s circuit was held in 1929. William Grover-Williams, racing for Bugatti, gained victory at the inaugural race.
The 2.092 mile or 3.367 km Monaco circuit is known for its tight turns, thus driver skill and ability is of greater importance than the power of the car. Monte Carlo’s roadways are narrow and provide little opportunity for overtaking. A renowned section of the circuit is the tunnel where F1 drivers have to deal with the quick succession of light changes. Certain adjustments have been made to the Monte Carlo F1 track making more space for pit stops. Of course as the Circuit de Monaco is held in the streets it needs to be constructed each year, a process which takes approximately 6 weeks.
Let’s take a look at what the drivers have to deal with when racing at Monte Carlo. The lap begins with a brief drive up to the almost 90 degree St. Devote corner. This is followed by an uphill leading to the Massenet left-hand long turn. Driving through Casino Square the drivers come to the challenging Mirabeau corner and quickly into the Grand Hotel hairpin. Next is the Portier double right-hander which takes the F1 drivers to the tunnel. Just out of the tunnel is a tough left-right chicane. A short straight heads to the Tabac corner. Drivers then accelerate on to the left-right-right-left spot called Piscine. Drivers have a short straight to prepare themselves for a quick left and immediate La Rascasse 180 degree turn. An adversely-cambered straight guides drivers to the Virage Antony Noghes corner, the last of the lap. Drivers make their way down the straight to cross the start-finish line for the next lap.
Although considered by many as a dangerous circuit, Circuit de Monaco is set to remain an important host of Formula One, providing drivers and spectators with breathtaking action.