May 21, 2012

F1 on SPEED!: Monaco 2012

Monaco.  The world's second-smallest sovereign country at 0.79 square miles.  Home of the world's highest life expectancy: 90 years.  The lowest unemployment rate in the world: 0.00%.  The average GDP per capita is $172,676, unsurprisingly the highest in the world.  Also unsurprisingly, real estate prices are out of this world in Monaco: just over $56,000 per square meter.  Despite being smaller than the entire campus of Duck U., its banks hold just over €100 billion in funds.

Sounds like a great place to have a little car race.  Here's the track map for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco:

There is no more famous F1 race than Monaco, nor one more prestigious.  Indeed, it is undoubtedly on the short list for the title of "Greatest Car Race," with the other two entries in racing's unofficial "triple crown," the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of LeMans.  Though the track is, without a doubt, the most dangerous and perhaps worst on the F1 calendar in terms of actual racing, it still appears on the calendar every year... because everybody involved loves it.

This is F1's only original-style street circuit.  To be sure, the track at Valencia meanders its way through that city's harbor area, but over extra-wide tarmac designed to be raced upon.  Singapore runs hither and yon through that city-state's Marina Bay district, but is wide and airy in comparison to Monaco.  Here, the streets are narrow, lined with Armco and covered with oil from leaky trucks and buses.  You might be able to get three cars side-by-side, not that anybody would be stupid enough to actually try that.  Two cars is the functional limit, and only with a steely glare, clenched teeth, a firm jaw, and dozens of brooms standing by to clean up the carbon fiber shards.  It's a circuit where a mistake, no matter how small, usually ends up with a car in the wall.

Right, Tabac.  Left, the run to Beau Rivage.
It is also the F1 circuit that allows for the most glorious visuals on the calendar.  Nowhere else can a fan get so close to the track than Monaco... if you have the cash, the cafe at Anthony Noghes is the most exclusive seat in the world, unless you prefer to moor your yacht in the harbor (and you're lucky enough to win a Zone 1 slot for the weekend)? 

It's the slowest circuit on the calendar, with two turns forcing the cars to go as slow as 45 miles/hour or less.  The fastest point on the track would be through the famous tunnel section, where the cars will get up to 160-170mph before heading quickly downhill into the simply-named Chicane.  It was here that saw Nico Rosberg narrowly avoid a tremendous accident last year, and Sergio Perez pointedly not avoid one.  As a result of those mishaps, there have been some changes made to the circuit in that area.  The hideous bump at the exit of the tunnel that's been the cause of so many wrecks in the past few years has been removed (allegedly), and the TecPro barrier that Perez hit has been moved back about 30 yards.  The rest of the circuit remains unchanged.

As is usual, the bon hommes of SPEED's Mythique Annoncent Equipe will be bringing us the usual superior coverage of every session.  Here's the schedule:

P1: 3a - 430a streaming
P2: 7a - 840a live
P3: 4a - 5a streaming
Quals: 7a - 830a live-ish
Grand Prix of Monaco: 630a - 9a live.

Yes, Thursday.  As is tradition at Monaco, Practices are on Thursday, Friday is a "quiet" day, certainly to let the residents of the Principality come home (or head for the hills).

F1Update! should be here all weekend, so stay tuned!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:58 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 634 words, total size 5 kb.


"Second smallest"... and instantly I wondered which one is even smaller. My guess: The Vatican.

It'll be interesting to see how the New Jersey F1 compares as a street circuit. One novel thing about New Jersey is going to be the drastic altitude change. And some of the roads they're going to be using are not very wide.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 21, 2012 10:37 PM (+rSRq)

2 The Vatican is correct.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 22, 2012 06:58 AM (4qAlp)


I do believe that you are the "only one" that could make me give a crap about F1.  Bless ya.


I still don't love it like you do.  But thanks for opening my eyes to the "sport"

Posted by: The Old Man at May 22, 2012 08:46 AM (dBz2M)

4 David, I deleted your post due to you putting the entire URL in the body of the post.  That isn't needed.  Just do something like THIS.

I asked people to do that a few posts back, and I was serious about it.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 24, 2012 05:45 PM (q2lfL)

5 I remember you pointing out that we should use the link button, but I didn't understand that you wanted the url hidden.  I'm not actually seeing how to do it.  Nice Miku video, btw.

Posted by: David at May 24, 2012 10:42 PM (Kn54v)


You type your text. You use your mouse to highlight the text you want to make into a link. Then you click the "link" button. It's the10th one from the left, just to the right of the paint brush.

It brings a popup. Enter your URL in the top right space, and hit the "Insert" button twice. (Take my word for it. Once isn't enough.) That makes the popup go away, and your link is formed.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 24, 2012 10:47 PM (+rSRq)

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