The Circuit de Monaco Course
The Monte Carlo circuit is known for its tough, gruelling challenge on the skills of the drivers who take on the course. Being so tight in places it’s been described as riding a bicycle around your house, overtaking takes incredible skill.
It tests all aspects of the drivers skill arsenal. Tight corners up and down hills slow the pace for millimeter-perfect accuracy, but the world-famous section of the street track features is the fastest bend in F1.
The famed Nouvelle Chicane sees drivers go through a tight left-right, before a wider right-left section. The course is known for its limited easy overtaking chances, especially when drivers are of similar skill, meaning that this is one of the few places to safely overtake without risking burning up unnecessary fuel. At Monaco, the tight track and lack of easy overtaking opportunities means that taking an extra trip down the pit lane can drop a drivers position beyond recovery. This leads the an unforgiving endurance race, and causing drivers to think as much about speed and position as they do about limiting fuel use and tyre wear.
Changes to the Circuit de Monaco
Being the oldest Formula One track still in use today, the course has had to change numerous times over the years. This has been for safety reasons, as well as the roads in the city-state being changed up.
Mostly, the changes have been in the form of proper safety barriers being put in place. Being a street circuit there used to be too little set up time for organisers to do much more than put a safety rope in place. Now, sections with spectators nearby are protected by safety barriers, and other stretches feature larger run-off space.
The larger off-track space was given to the Sainte Devote corner in 2003, where there once stood a roundabout. The permanent roundabout was removed and replaced with a regular street junction to limit the large number of 1st lap crashes and spins it caused . The corner’s entry is now wider, but the exit remains largely the same, forcing cars to battle it out for top position as they head into the second straight – or face driving off-course.