Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2001

2017 Monaco Grand Prix stats preview

2017 Monaco Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Not since Michael Schumacher’s 2001 triumph has Ferrari scored a win at Monaco. But this 16-year win-less streak is hardly unprecedented for Ferrari.

Schumacher’s 1997 win was Ferrari’s first victory at the track since Gilles Villeneuve’s victory 16 years earlier. Prior to that they went 20 years without a Monaco Grand Prix win between 1955 (Maurice Trintignant) and 1975 (Niki Lauda). What are their chances of ending that streak this weekend?

The form book

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2015
Rosberg was the last winner from pole in 2015
For obvious reasons, the tight and narrow Monaco track is often thought of as a circuit where you have to qualify on pole position to win the race. This wasn’t true for the two most recent winners, but all bar one 11 races prior to that were all won by the driver who qualified on pole position.

That 11-year span includes two races where Schumacher could have started on pole position but didn’t. He was sent to the back of the grid in 2006 after setting the fastest time during Q3 and stopping on the racing line in a bid to prevent other drivers from improving their time. Title rival Fernando Alonso therefore took pole position and went on to claim victory.

Six years later Schumacher was quickest in Q3 for the one and only time during his spell at Mercedes. But a five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Bruno Senna at the previous race meant Mark Webber inherited pole position, and won.

Had Schumacher started that race from pole it’s likely Mercedes won have won the last five Monaco Grands Prix. Instead they arrive in Monte-Carlo with four consecutive wins to their name including three in a row by Nico Rosberg plus Lewis Hamilton’s second career win at the track last year.

McLaren hold the record for the most consecutive wins at Monaco with a streak of six in a row which started in 1988. Only Ayrton Senna’s 1987 win for Lotus kept McLaren from monopolising the top step for a full decade from 1984 to 1993.

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The team will be without top driver Fernando Alonso this weekend as he has chosen to race in the Indianapolis 500 instead. He will start that race from fifth on the grid, which is only two places higher than the sensational seventh he achieved at the Circuit de Catalunya last week. Alonso will have gone three years without completing a full F1 season, as he sat out the 2015 Australian and 2016 Bahrain Grands Prix due to injury.

Jenson Button will therefore make a one-off return to the cockpit. The 2009 Monaco Grand Prix winner will start his 306th race and tie with Schumacher as the driver with the second-highest number of grand prix starts. Button will need to come back for a full season to beat Rubens Barrichello’s record of 322.

How Button will fare on his return will be a point of considerable interest. His team mate Stoffel Vandoorne is yet to out-qualify Fernando Alonso so far this year. Kimi Raikkonen, Lance Stroll and Jolyon Palmer are also yet to out-qualify their team mates in 2017.

Lap times

The Tabac corner was re-profiled in 2015 so we only have two years of comparable lap time data for Monaco.

Overtaking

Source: Mercedes

Overtaking is a rarity at Monaco. Last year’s rain-hit race was unusual.

Race ratings

Here’s how F1 Fanatic readers have rated the Monaco Grand Prix in recent years.

Join in Rate the Race when the chequered flag falls at the end of this year’s race. You will need a (free) F1 Fanatic account to participate:

2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2017 Monaco Grand Prix articles

27 comments on “2017 Monaco Grand Prix stats preview”

  1. I wonder if they are going to be faster than last year. Wider cars means an even more narrow ideal line, and since there aren’t much fast corners, I think the will be on par with last year. I’m predicting more drama though, especially in corners like Sainte-Dévote, Loews and La Rascasse.

    Also, Mercedes their long wheelbase might make it a difficult weekend for them, meaning, Ferrari probably quicker and Red Bull might challenge them.

    1. Sector 3 in Catalunya is Monaco-like, and Mercedes were the fastest there. If they can get round the hairpin and the swimming pool sections OK, then I would expect them to be on pole, unless Danny Ric does one of his “specials”.

      1. You really can’t compare Catalunya with Monaco, the last sector in Catalunya is very wide and let’s the driver use the kerbstones. Plus sector 3 includes a fast corner (corner 12), where the long wheelbase is in their advantage.

        1. Both LWB & SWB cars have won around Monaco, this idea that Mercedes will somehow struggle because of that, I find rather nonsensical.

          They say if your car works well around Catalunya, means it will work everywhere, the Mercedes worked really well in Spain.

    2. @montalvo No need to wonder because it’s a given that this year’s pole time will be faster than last year’s should qualifying be run in dry conditions. The only thing to wonder is how big the difference between the equivalent times will be. I predict it will be smaller than in Shanghai and Montmelo, and perhaps Sochi as well, but larger than in Bahrain and Melbourne.

      1. Last year’s pole was set in the dry, it was just the race that was wet.

        I actually don’t think the cars will be that much quicker here this year with the extra weight and length, not to mention harder tyres.

      2. Tendency this year has been that tracks with more downforce requirements = more improvement, and more mechanical requirements = very little improvement, or none.

        I’m willing to bet that this track will have the worst improvements in laptime for the entire year, compared to 2016 races.

        1. @ho3n3r ”I’m willing to bet that this track will have the worst improvements in laptime for the entire year, compared to 2016 races.” – I bet that the improvement from last year will be worse in Montreal, Baku, Red Bull Ring, and Monza, for example, although with Monza the straight-line speed deficit could perhaps be entirely nullified by making the rear wings extremely skinny like they used to be before the 2009 aero changes.

  2. How many times will Lance Stroll punch the barriers?

  3. Wow.. 3 spells of 15+ year win droughts of the sport’s oldest team and the sport’s oldest circuit, how come this never featured in the previous stats articles.

    So, how often have Ferrari won at Monaco since 1956? Just 2-3 times?

    1. @Sumedh

      So, how often have Ferrari won at Monaco since 1956? Just 2-3 times?

      Why 1956?

      In total, the Monaco GP has been won 9 times by Ferrari drivers, and 7 times since 1956 (although I really wonder what’s so special about that year).

      1. Because 1956 is the start of their first dry spell as mentioned in the article.

  4. What a shame! My comment was deleted. :(

  5. I think Rosberg’s win in 2015 din’t came from pole!

  6. The last time they won the Monaco gp the nokia 3310 was still in the market. Place your bets gentleman, ferrari 1-2

    1. The Nokia 3310 was relaunched this year

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        23rd May 2017, 6:59

        Well, that settles it. Nokia is going to be Ferrari’s new principal sponsor! :P

      2. Exactly.

  7. Six years later Schumacher was quickest in Q3 for the one and only time during his spell at Mercedes. But a five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Bruno Senna at the previous race meant Mark Webber inherited pole position, and won.

    Still mad about this. I was never a Schumacher fan in his first career, but I warmed to him and always wished he could have gotten one last win on his comeback. Alas.

    1. @george except that, even without the grid penalty in that race, Schumacher wouldn’t have won anyway – what Keith has forgotten is that Schumacher retired from that race on lap 63 with a failed fuel pump.

  8. ”The Tabac corner was re-profiled in 2015 so we only have two years of comparable lap time data for Monaco.”
    – The corner is very slightly different only, so it doesn’t have any influence on overall lap time nor the track layout itself, so, therefore, I’d say the lap times this year indeed are comparable to 2014 and earlier.

  9. That early ’00 Schumacher-Ferrari looks absolutely stunning! It’s so lean compared to the letargic, lego-like, bulky looking cars of today (exept maybe this year’s Toro Rosso, that looks lean and mean imho)

  10. I expect the Ferrari to have the advantage here and I wouldn’t put it past Raikkonen having slightly less to lose taking pole. The interesting thing is will Ferrari in the interest of the championship call for places to be swapped. Those points are crucial for Vettel as we start reaching some tracks Mercedes will hold the advantage at and once Ferrari’s engine penalties start kicking in.

    I’m pretty certain Stroll will either stick it in the barriers or drive so timidly he winds up last. And I’m going to predict that if the car makes it the full race, Button will land points.

    Monaco will obviously be the typical precession, but it will give interesting results.

  11. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    22nd May 2017, 20:36

    It’s going to be very interesting to see what Fernando can do at Indy.

  12. With Fernando’s luck he will retire from the indy race with an engine failure while mclaren will pick up a podium at monaco!

    1. Lol. That is just mean… But factual.

      Honda has a lot of indy and F1 engine failures this year. Atleast in Indy they have a power advantage.

      If Jenson gets a podium that wil be as big suprise as Alonso getting an Indy win this year.

  13. Man, that Ferrari in the article is beautiful.

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