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Everything you need to know about F1's Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix: a race hailed as the crown jewel of Formula 1. Since its establishment in 1955, this prestigious event has captured the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide. Only in 2020 did the...

The Monaco Grand Prix: a race hailed as the crown jewel of Formula 1. Since its establishment in 1955, this prestigious event has captured the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide. Only in 2020 did the COVID-19 pandemic force a temporary halt to the race, highlighting its significance on the F1 calendar. Nestled within its circuit are iconic sections that have become synonymous with the sport: Casino Square, the tunnel section, and the exhilarating Swimming Pool section.

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Monaco's circuit is notorious for its tight, twisty layout, presenting the ultimate test of driver skill. While the eternal debate of car versus driver persists in the world of racing, Monaco stands out as the one place where a driver can truly make a difference.

A testament to this is Monaco's qualifying session, widely regarded as one of the most intense and crucial moments of the entire season. A qualifying lap around Monte Carlo is unforgiving, putting the drivers' abilities to the ultimate test. No one understands this better than Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, a native of Monaco who used to catch his bus to school at the final corner of the race. Last year, after securing pole position, he unfortunately crashed and was unable to start the race.

Charles Leclerc crashed after securing pole for last year's event and was unable to start the race.

However, due to the circuit's nature and the increasing width of F1 cars, overtaking becomes nearly impossible at most locations, resulting in a somewhat processional race.

What makes Monaco truly remarkable is how quickly it reverts to normalcy once the track action concludes. During the weekend, the circuit parts intermittently open to the public, allowing fans to visit the bars lining the final sequence of corners and indulge in a drink on the racetrack.

Yet, despite its rich heritage and fame, Monaco's position on the F1 schedule is no longer unassailable. The current contract expires in 2022, leaving its future uncertain. Questions arise about enhancing the main event's entertainment value for fans and its continued relevance to F1. Monaco has long enjoyed favorable financial terms, but with F1's burgeoning popularity and the ability to command substantial fees from new promoters, this may soon change.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently emphasized that "having pedigree" is no longer sufficient, and McLaren boss Zak Brown expressed the need for Monaco to align with commercial terms similar to other grands prix.

The issue of the race's future is poised to dominate the build-up to this year's event.

Who's likely to win?

Ferrari, having relinquished the championship lead at the Spanish Grand Prix, enters the Monaco Grand Prix with confidence. The short, twisty Monte Carlo circuit plays to the strengths of the Italian car, excelling in slow-speed corners and potentially outperforming Red Bull on long straights, which pose no significant challenge this weekend.

This presents the perfect opportunity for Charles Leclerc to atone for last year's disappointment - a chance to finally secure victory at his home race. Additionally, Mercedes seeks to build on its improved performance in Spain, with upgrades seemingly addressing the bouncing issues faced in the initial races. However, potential challenges may persist through certain corners.

Ferrari should have the edge over its rivals this weekend.

What are the U.S. times?

  • Practice 1 - Friday, May 27 - 7:55 AM - ESPN2
  • Practice 2 - Friday, May 27 - 10:55 AM - ESPN2
  • Practice 3 - Saturday, May 28 - 6:55 AM - ESPN2
  • Qualifying - Saturday, May 28 - 9:55 AM - ESPN2
  • Pre-race show - Sunday, May 29 - 7:30 AM - ESPN
  • Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday, May 29 - 8:55 AM - ESPN
  • Post-race show - Sunday, May 29 - 11:00 AM - ESPN3
  • Race (re-air) - Sunday, May 29 - 3:30 PM - ABC

As the Monaco Grand Prix fast approaches, excitement fills the air. The allure of the circuit, the drivers' determination, and the unpredictable outcomes make this race an unmissable spectacle. Stay tuned as these elite athletes navigate the narrow streets of Monte Carlo, chasing victory in one of motorsport's most iconic events.

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