Just a few of the many reasons why we can't wait for the Monaco GP!
1. A Sight Like No Other
There's nothing quite like watching Formula One cars powering around the streets of Monte Carlo, centimetres away from the barriers. It's definitely one of the best and most bonkers sights of the entire season.
F1 is all about precision but that's taken to new levels in Monaco, where even the slightest error can have disastrous consequences. It's such a different environment and track layout to anything else in F1, and this makes it undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges of the year.
Whether you're watching from trackside or tuning in on TV, seeing the cars blast up the hill to Casino Square, negotiate the tight Fairmont Hairpin or shoot out of the tunnel towards the harbour-side chicane is something incredibly special.
It's all part of the magic of the Monaco GP!
2. Glitz and Glamour
Monaco is the most extravagant and glamorous race weekend of the season. Nothing else compares. From the huge yachts in the harbour to the paddock packed with VIPs, it's the race everyone wants to be at!
F1 grids are always a tight squeeze, with so many people working on the cars and taking in the sights. But, the grid in Monaco is even more intense. Think more people and less space!
The celebrity guests are always out in force, with big names soaking up the F1 action and attending the numerous swanky, glitzy events that take place each evening. F1 definitely brings the party to town...
But, if the yachts and VIPs didn't make the glitz and glamour of Monaco obvious enough, you just need to take a quick look around to understand what a beautiful and unique place it is.
3. Hello Hypersoft
The Monaco GP marks the first appearance of the 2018 F1 season for the new HyperSoft tyre, which - as the name (voted for by the fans) suggests - is the softest compound in Pirelli's range.
Because it's a street track (in case you weren't aware), grip levels are very low and the track evolution is very high. This is part of the reason why Pirelli's three softest tyre compounds have been taken to Monaco.
It's believe the HyperSoft could become a "Monaco tyre", working perfectly with the mix of low grip levels, slow corners and big braking zones. Therefore, tyre nominations have been very HyperSoft-heavy for this weekend's race.
We've seen lap records and track records tumble this season, partly due to the softer tyres in 2018. That will almost certainly continue in Monaco and there's the potential for some blindingly-fast laps in Q3, so be prepared!
To make sure you are prepped and ready, here are the times to look out for are:
- Track Record: 1:12.178 (RAI, Q3, 2017)
- Race Lap Record: 1:14.820 (PER, 2017)
4. The Toughest Challenge
Few race tracks around the world can match (or better) the challenge of the Circuit de Monaco. It may be the shortest layout on the F1 calendar, at just 3.337 km, but the Monaco GP venue packs a punch and is one of the toughest laps in motorsport.
But, why is that? Well, the barriers are a constant presence, ready to punish even the slightest mistake or lapse in concentration. There's also no time to relax, with the straights being incredibly short (or not really straights at all). Plus, the track conditions are constantly evolving, and the weather can throw a spanner in the works sometimes too...
It brings together a remarkable collection of corners, many of which are very slow and require absolute precision. A driver's aim is to get as close to the barriers as possible, without touching them. Confidence and bravery are crucial. So is finding a rhythm. And they don't come easy!
It's a tricky beast to master, but when a driver does, it's one of the best things you can witness in F1. That's what makes Monaco so exciting - watching the drivers rise to the challenge and seeing who emerges on top at the end of the weekend.
5. Remarkable History
Just like Monaco itself, the track has evolved and changed over the years. But, the charm, glamour and pizazz of the race has remained through its long and rich history in motorsport.
The Monaco GP is one of the oldest races not just in F1, but in racing full stop and is part of the renowned 'Triple Crown' of motorsport - alongside the Indianapolis 500 (which takes place on the same day) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It's the race everyone wants to win, adding their name to the long, long list of previous victors, stamping their mark on one of motorsport's most historic events. The scene of so many iconic moments from racing's past.
We're always excited for Monaco. But, reflecting on the race's deep motorsport history and some of those incredible memories always gets us even more hyped up for the race weekend!