The Formula E championship returns to the world’s most famous street circuit this Saturday, for the third running of the Monaco ePrix.
|Circuit de Monaco|
|Location||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Circuit Length||1.765 km / 1.096 mi|
|Opened||1929||First Formula E Event||2015|
|Direction||Clockwise||Race Lap Record||53.822 – Sam Bird (2017)|
The Monaco Formula E circuit remains the shortest track on the calendar at 1.765 kilometres in length. Utilising the same starting grid as the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Formula E field takes a tighter first turn at Sainte Devote, staying down at harbour level instead of climbing the hill towards Casino Square. This ‘cut through’ rejoins the Grand Prix circuit in the opposite direction at the Nouvelle Chicane, which forms a hairpin in Formula E configuration. From here, the lap follows the rest of the historic circuit: through Tabac, the Swimming Pool chicane complex, La Rascasse and Anthony Noghes back to the start line.
Buemi’s current outright lap record stands at 52.729 seconds, set in Practice 2 during the 2017 event. As has been seen at each event during season five so far, this mark is highly likely to be smashed by the increased performance of the second-generation Formula E car, and a sub-50 second lap is not beyond the realms of possibility.
The Form Guide
Alternating with the Monaco Historic Grand Prix sees the Formula E event run every two years, with both the 2015 and 2017 events having the same top two finishers: Sébastien Buemi has won both races, with long-time rival Lucas di Grassi second on both occasions. Beyond the two race wins Buemi has also claimed both Monaco pole positions, and currently holds the Formula E lap record. It’s this level of performance that has led to the Swiss driver receiving the nickname ‘Electric Mr Monaco’, but Season Five has been the most difficult to date for Buemi who is currently 13th in the standings, 51 points off the championship lead and without a win to his name.
The recent performance of Buemi and his Nissan e.Dams team suggests that this could change in Monaco. Buemi crashed out of the lead in Mexico City, and was leading when he suffered a puncture last time out in Paris. Similarly, Oliver Rowland in the team’s other car has claimed two pole positions this season – including in Paris two weeks ago – and also led the Paris race before running off the track. The Monaco ePrix now provides the best opportunity for the Japanese marque to claim its first Formula E win, and for either Buemi or Rowland to become the ninth winner from as many different races this season.
With a maximum of 28 points available for taking the race win, fastest lap and pole position, there is plenty of room for the championship standings to change yet again in Monaco. Robin Frijns claimed victory – and the series lead for the first time – in Paris, the Envision Virgin Racing driver now sits a single point ahead of DS Techeetah’s André Lotterer. The top eight drivers (also including António Félix da Costa, di Grassi, Jérôme d’Ambrosio, Jean-Éric Vergne, Mitch Evans and Daniel Abt) are all within one race weekend of the lead, while Sam Bird and Edoardo Mortara are within a further seven points adrift and have also both won races this season.
The 2019 Monaco ePrix commences with Practice 1 from 07:30 local time (UTC +02:00), ahead of the second practice session at 10:00. The group stages of qualifying begin at 11:30, directly followed by Super Pole, with the 45 minutes (plus one lap) race scheduled to start at 16:03.
|2018-19 FIA Formula E Championship – Monaco ePrix|
|Date||11 May 2019||Free Practice Session 1||Sat 07:30-08:15|
|Free Practice Session 2||Sat 10:00-10:30||Preliminary Qualifying||Sat 11:45-12:30|
|‘Super Pole’||Sat 12:30-12:50||Race (45 min + 1 lap)||Sat 16:33-17:30|
Session times quoted in Central European Summer Time (GMT +2:00)
Images via ABB FIA Formula E Championship