Key Strategic Moment
The Key Strategic Moment of the Monaco Grand Prix was the mistake by MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS to pit Lewis Hamilton for supersoft tyres when he was comfortably leading the race with just 12 laps to go.
They did not have as much of a gap to Nico Rosberg in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third as they thought; this is because Hamilton lost some time behind the Safety Car and his pit stop was 1.3 seconds slower than his first. At Safety Car speeds he would have needed a 17-second margin to retain track position; he was three seconds short of that.
The question is; why did they stop him at all? The team says that it was because they were concerned that Vettel might pit and take on supersoft tyres, then attack both Mercedes at the restart, so they covered off that eventuality. They accept it was a mistake, but the damage is done.
Monaco has the lowest average lap speed of the season at 160 km/h, but it is never short of excitement. As it is so hard to overtake, qualifying is critically important to establish a slot at the front of the grid. The track layout is tight, with no high speed corners and two short straights. Monaco requires a particular technique of driving close to the barriers and this is a venue where a driver can make a real difference. Most drivers do a similar one-stop strategy, usually pitting between laps 27 and 30. With barriers waiting to punish a driving error, there is a very high (80%) chance of a safety car, which can turn a race on its head and hand the advantage to a rival.
In collaboration with James Allen
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The Monaco Grand Prix needs little introduction - the jewel in the crown, of the FIA Formula One World Championship™. It has been on the schedule since 1950 with a four-year break from 1951 to 54, with only a few changes to the course layout down the years and continues to create an atmosphere like no other when the month of May comes around. Home to many of the F1 drivers, Monaco is a tight twisty circuit where overtaking is extremely difficult. Every year here provides a memorable story, but Ayrton Senna’s spectacular exit from the 1988 running as he led comfortably remains a classic. Of the current drivers Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen have all won once, while Fernando Alonso has two victories. The race’s iconic podium on the main straight sees the victor handed his trophy - one of the most sought after pieces of silverware in world sport - by the Prince.
Circuit length 3.340 km
Race distance 260.520 km
2014 race winner Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)