Mercedes has scored 98.6 p.c of accessible factors thus far in season 2019, however certainly the Monaco Grand Prix will pose the best problem of holding their spectacular one-two streak alive.
What time does it begin? How can I watch it?
This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix is ready to get underway at 2:10 p.m. BST and 9:10 a.m. ET. For U.S. viewers, all of this weekend’s periods are reside on ESPN:
Thursday — Observe
Observe 1 – Thursday, Could 23, four:55 a.m. – ESPN2
Observe 2 – Thursday, Could 23, eight:55 a.m. – ESPN2
Saturday — Qualifying
Observe three – Saturday, Could 25, 5:55 a.m. – ESPN2
Qualifying – Saturday, Could 25, eight:55 a.m. – ESPN2
Sunday — Race
Pit Lane Stay – Sunday, Could 26, 7:30 a.m. – ESPN3
On The Grid – Sunday, Could 26, eight:30 a.m. – ESPN
Race – Sunday, Could 26, 9:05 a.m. – ESPN
U.Ok. viewers can watch each session reside on Sky Sports activities F1. Verify native listings for all different territories.
F1’s greatest groups have probably the most to lose from the rule change however extra sources to adapt. Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto by way of Getty Pictures
Monaco is an oddity on the F1 calendar in that the primary half of the week — the media day, and the opening day of observe — shifts ahead, successfully that means Friday is an off-day for the F1 paddock. That is due to the place Monaco traditionally has been scheduled, throughout the Christian competition of Ascension Day, which can be a nationwide vacation within the Principality. The non secular theme of the race weekend would not finish there, both. Flip 1 known as Sainte Dedicate, named after a tiny, historic chapel positioned on the skin of the nook.
Though there isn’t any observe motion on Thursday, drivers are nonetheless anticipated to hold out sponsor duties on Friday, whereas there may be additionally a style present for them to participate in. The break day doesn’t prolong to F1’s feeder collection, nevertheless. System 2 is allowed to take centre stage, with its characteristic race going down on Friday morning. That enables the Monaco circuit’s roads to be opened early afternoon (when second observe would ordinarily be going down) to facilitate the circulate of visitors.
The quirky schedule can generally present an interesting problem for drivers who’ve only one hour to rediscover their rhythm within the remaining observe session forward of qualifying on Saturday.
The burning query: Can Mercedes actually win all 21 races this season?
In the beginning of the yr, you’ll have been laughed out of the room for suggesting Mercedes might win each race in season 2019.
Ferrari’s dominance in winter testing noticed the Scuderia put in as championship favourites for the primary time within the V6 period and left many questioning if the Silver Arrows might actually mount a lot of a problem.
Quick ahead three months and the shape information has been ripped up. Mercedes has overshadowed and easily outperformed Ferrari, claiming one-twos in all 5 races to date to carry a staggering 96-point lead within the constructors’ championship. It is formally the perfect begin a group has ever made to a System One season.
Naturally, dialogue within the paddock is rising louder round whether or not or not they will sweep the season. However can it actually be carried out?
No group has ever had the proper season, however a number of have come shut. McLaren received 15 of 16 races in 1988 for a formidable strike price of 93.eight p.c. Mercedes themselves got here fairly shut in 2016, successful 19 of 21 races.
This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix will possible be one of many harder races for Mercedes. Crimson Bull has been extremely sturdy in Monte Carlo in latest occasions and could have an important probability of successful. Nonetheless, in the event that they do handle to get the job carried out, an ideal season begins to turn into much more lifelike.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Dieter Zetsche of Mercedes have a good time on the rostrum after the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. Marco Canoniero/LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures
Which automotive will swimsuit the observe?
As nice as Max Verstappen has pushed this yr, he hasn’t actually had a real probability of successful — till now.
Crimson Bull, who received in Monaco final yr via Daniel Ricciardo, might realistically finish Mercedes’ run this weekend. The tight and twisty nature of the Monte Carlo avenue circuit performs proper into Crimson Bull’s fingers and a win is definitely on the playing cards if they will string collectively a clear Saturday.
It will be silly to place a line via Mercedes, who had the quickest automotive within the closing sector at Barcelona two weeks in the past. That part of race observe is considerably much like what we see in Monaco, so it’s going to possible maintain the Silver Arrows in good stead as soon as once more.
Down the order, look ahead to Racing Level to have a robust weekend. Each automobiles made Q3 in Monaco final yr, when racing beneath the Pressure India title, and Esteban Ocon went on to complete better of the remaining in P6.
The stat recordsdata
1:10.810 — The quickest lap ever recorded round Monte Carlo, set by Ricciardo in 2018’s qualifying session.
2 — Of all present drivers, solely Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are a number of Monaco Grand Prix winners.
Germany — 10 of the previous 25 races in Monaco have been received by a German.
15 — McLaren has received in Monaco extra occasions than another constructor.
Ferrari × 2 — The Scuderia has double the quantity of podiums (52) than the following greatest constructor (McLaren with 26) in Monaco.
Michael Schumacher of Ferrari celebrates after successful the 2001 Monaco Grand Prix. Hoch Zwei/Corbis by way of Getty Pictures
Out there compounds: Arduous C3 (white), Medium C4 (yellow), Comfortable C5 (pink)
Mario Isolo, head of automotive racing — “Unsurprisingly, we’re bringing our softest tyres to Monaco, with the C5 being broadly equal to final yr’s hyper-soft however designed to present a higher chance for the drivers to push laborious from the begin to the end of every stint. Because of this not as a lot tyre administration is required because the 2018 hyper-soft, however its wonderful efficiency continues to be maintained. We might be in for a quick race, particularly in comparison with final yr. Monaco is like nowhere else, nevertheless it’s a Grand Prix the place each strategic alternative must be grasped, particularly if there’s a Security Automobile. With overtaking virtually inconceivable — as Daniel Ricciardo proved by successful from pole regardless of a major technical downside final yr — the time gained and misplaced within the pits is essential.”
Minimal beginning pressures: Entrance 18.5 psi, rear 17.5 psi
It appears each time System One automobiles are rolled out in Monaco, the climate is spectacular. This yr is not any exception with sunny but cool situations anticipated on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Nonetheless, if we’re to see a downpour it’s going to possible arrive on Saturday forward of qualifying with afternoon rain presently a 20 p.c probability.
Daniel Ricciardo of Crimson Bull celebrates on the rostrum after successful the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Pictures
After what we have seen within the first 5 rounds it appears loopy to select somebody not in a Mercedes, however there’s one man driving the wheels off his automotive and could have redemption on his thoughts when he returns to Monaco.
Winner: Max Verstappen