Monaco GP Michelin preview

Monaco is a legend within the world of Formula One. A grand prix like no other, it is renowned for its glamorous atmosphere and the name of every corner is well known the world over. "But for tyres it's more a hell than a heaven," says Michelin ...

Monaco is a legend within the world of Formula One. A grand prix like no other, it is renowned for its glamorous atmosphere and the name of every corner is well known the world over. "But for tyres it's more a hell than a heaven," says Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier. "The track is covered with ultra- slippery, painted road markings, while the kerbs and the manhole covers offer risks of tyre damage. The drivers are also constantly kissing the guardrails."

The track is extremely slow by F1 standards and the winning race speed is less than 150 km/h (93mph). Last year's winner David Coulthard averaged 144 km/h (89.5mph). The tight corners demand that cars have good traction in order to accelerate as quickly as possible without incurring too much tyre wear.

"Michael Schumacher has questioned the performance of our tyres in public," says Pierre Dupasquier, "so we hope that he will be seeing them ahead of him once again! Seriously, though, the track is like so many others we are racing on this year because we have no previous experience here."

Monaco is as strenuous for the drivers as it is for their cars. Racers either love it or loathe it, but they admit that it is a real achievement not to make the slightest error during the 78 scheduled laps (262,626 km/163.196 miles). If the race takes place in the rain, the winner instantly enters the sport's hall of fame.

-Michelin

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard