Formula 2 arrives in the glamorous streets of Monaco for the third round of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship. Every driver’s dream is to win around the historic streets, and two drivers will get the chance to realize their dream.
|Circuit de Monaco|
|Location||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Circuit Length||3.337 km / 2.074 mi|
|Opened||1929||First GP2/F2 Race||1999|
The principality hosts the race around the narrow city streets of Monaco, where the sea-front is strung together for 19 corners at only 3.337 km, the shortest track on the calendar. The streets are incredibly narrow and drivers often race their machines just inches away from the armco, meaning qualifying is all-important around here. The track has the calendar’s slowest corner, the hairpin at Turn 6 as well as the world’s only “in-door” corner when cars go through the tunnel for the right hander Turn 9 before they hit a top speed of 266.9 km/h.
Only one DRS zone will be available at this year’s event, along the main pit ‘straight’ where the detection point is on the run-up between turns 17 and 18.
In contrast to the last weekend at Barcelona, this is a circuit which is very easy on the tyres and Pirelli have traditionally packed the softest tyres available for Monaco. They will be bringing in the soft and the super-soft compound and tyre wear will not be an issue, they say.
Charles Leclerc is the man so far with two wins from the last four races and with a team on their best form and confidence in every turn so far this season, the rookie is well in the mix for success here in Monaco.
Artem Markelov’s epic drive to victory last year will be hard to re-enact but his pace so far this year and his clear abilities around these streets mean he is one to look out for this round.
Oliver Rowland and Luca Ghiotto have yet to win a race this year but have been in the mix every race so far. They will be hoping to turn their pace into victory in the best place possible.
Nobuharu Matsushita won here last year and has on a race so far this year and shouldn’t be overlooked for this weekend.
Anotonio Fuoco’s qualifying pace in Bahrain has been the highlight of his season as the Italian has only scored two points so far and sits in 12th in the standings while his team mate sits at the top spot, the Ferrari junior will want to reboot his season here where the glamour and the attention are certainly enough motivation.
Robert Visoiu is another senior driver rejoining the series in the #12 Campos. This time it has been announced that he will be driving the car for the remained of the season after Stefano Coletti and Roberto Merhi split their duties in the #12 between the first two events. The Romanian competed in GP2 for one year in 2015 with Rapax, where he was outpaced by then-teammate Sergey Sirotkin. He will be back with plenty to prove.
Charles Leclerc’s campaign is now 73-points strong at the top of the drivers standings, 26 points away from Oliver Rowland while Luca Ghiotto is third with 38 points.
PREMA are equally in the lead of the team’s championship with DAMS on 75 points Russian Time are a very close third with 72.
Monaco has always held practice and qualifying on Thursday for GP2 and while Friday is traditionally ‘rest day’ in Monaco, Formula 2 will be the only track activity on Friday as the Feature Race is held to avoid a crowded schedule. The Sprint Race is held on Saturday instead of Sunday.
|2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Monaco (24-26 May 2017)|
|Free Practice Session||Thu 12:00-12:45||Qualifying||Thu 16:15-16:55|
|Feature Race (42 laps)||Fri 11:30-12:45||Sprint Race (30 laps)||Sat 16:10-17:00|
Session times quoted in Central European Summer Time (GMT + 02:00)
Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship