Sergio Perez, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2014

Monaco “not the most difficult circuit” – Perez

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2014Sergio Perez does not go along with the widely-held view that the Monaco Grand Prix is the toughest race on the Formula One calendar.

“It’s not the most difficult circuit,” said Perez, “but if you get it wrong, you get punished.”

Perez was injured in a crash on his first visit to Monaco in 2011 and was unable to start the race. He is yet to score a point at the track, but was running fifth when brake failure put him out in 2013.

He considers Monaco a track where the contribution from the driver matters more. “I enjoy the challenge of Monaco and I believe that the driver can make more of a difference compared to other circuits,” he said.

“To be quick you have to take some risks, push the limits, and kiss the walls. I enjoy the quick parts of the lap – the swimming pool section and Casino Square. It’s all about being accurate and precise.”

“When you get together the perfect lap it feels great,” he added. “That’s why I think it’s the one race where there is a chance to do something extra special.”

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Keith Collantine
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35 comments on “Monaco “not the most difficult circuit” – Perez”

  1. For me, the main attraction of Monaco is watching drivers pushing cars to the limits on a track that punishes every mistake. It’s never been a great race track due to the limited space and lack of overtaking opportunities but it is a place where real talent gets to show itself.
    Sadly the current F1 doesn’t allow the drivers to push the cars to the limits for more than a few laps per race which makes Monaco quite boring and takes away much of the challange.

    1. That the issue – Monaco is great when everything is pushed to the limit. You are left questioning how anyone can keep it on the track at those speeds and how close they get to the walls but these days, it just all looks far too easy and once you add fuel saving, tyre saving, power saving etc into the mix, it just becomes dull. Add again that this generation of cars cannot follow each other closely (even compared to the previous few years), there is sadly nothing to get excited about.

    2. Well, qualifying remains worth watching; thats still more excitement than the entire Barcelona weekend.

      Rain excepted, its difficult to recall a Monaco race that has been worth watching (possible exception would be Lewis in 2011, but not exactly for the right reasons). Merc’s 2013 strategy (especially) of driving very slowly to back the pack up and prevent undercut extinguishes the last hopes I might otherwise have harboured for a good race.

      To me, its a good thing that the BBC dumped it on Sky :)

  2. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
    18th May 2015, 10:39

    how many times Perez involved in Monaco accident?
    – 2011 in practice
    – 2012, punted by Maldonado in practice (not Perez fault)
    – 2012 in qualifying
    – 2013 touching Raikkonen
    – 2014, out in 1st lap after touch with Button, Sutil, and Grosjean

    surely Monaco is not a most difficult track for him.

    1. He might be in denial :P

    2. @adityafakhri He is stating his opinion, there is nothing wrong with that.

      1. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
        19th May 2015, 1:46

        @strontium there is nothing wrong indeed. he has a point and I agree wholeheartedly. but as an observer I find that rather amusing.

        “It’s not the most difficult circuit,” said Perez, “but if you get it wrong, you get punished.”

        it just happened he got punished frequently.

    3. Those weren’t his fault of course. Actually his crashes never are.

      So then none of the circuits is difficult :)

      1. I don’t get the random Perez bashing. What he says actually makes sense. I think there are tracks that represent a bigger challenge for drivers when it comes to being quick, but are more forgiving when it comes to driver mistakes.

    4. 2013 touching Raikkonen

      is extremely charitable. Perez was divebombing everyone at the chicane and getting away with it. I was happy that finally Kimi called his bluff and didn’t let him through (but sadly it ruined Kimi’s race) but he should have been stopped much earlier.

      1. His move on Button was clean and fair. The move on Alonso not so much. The one on Raikkonen was stupid. I hope he can keep his head this time.

    5. he loves monaco because he wins there in gp2 2010

  3. Divebomb heaven for Checo :)

    I know lots of people love Monaco, but I can’t get past the stupidity of having a race on a track they can’t overtake on. Saturday is epic, but Sunday has to be wet.

  4. If you are an A-Grade driver then yes, somewhere utterly chassis dependent like Barcelona or Shanghai may be more challenging. And in terms of a driver challenge, a qualifying effort in Monza demands as much precision as a lap of Monaco but at at infinitely greater speed. The challenge of Monaco largely rests on the lack of margin for error, but if you are a driver who seldom makes an error, this is not an issue. Checo meanwhile, has made fundamental driving errors each time he has competed there in F1.

    1. That’s the problem with Monaco though, if you are driving the car with everything turned down whilst protecting the tyres, you aren’t going to make an error and that removes what makes Monaco special. If it’s comfortable for the drivers, the only unique thing about Monaco is that you can’t overtake.

      1. @petebaldwin Monaco IS special in that the opportunity for errors is so great, with the fastest cars in the world on a track they should have outgrown some decades ago. And yet mistakes remain a rarity, especially among the frontrunners, and in this sense Monaco has a much greater capacity for demonstrating the brilliance of both driver and team than any other. The winner of the Monaco Grand Prix has had more opportunities than at any other to wipe it down the barriers, but has emerged victorious against both rivals and track.

        Remember when watching next weekend that the trick to enjoying the Monaco GP is understanding the track as an adversary equal to the other drivers. The fact that errors remain a rarity does not degrade the uniqueness of the Monaco Grand Prix, but illustrate the uniqueness of those behind the wheel.

        1. @countrygent – I understand that but there is a difference between driving a car to it’s absolute limit around Monaco and driving a car well within it’s limits to protect tyres/fuel/engine.

          If you watch an on-board from Senna around Monaco, you realise what a challenge it was! If you watch an on-board from last year, it just looks so easy in comparison.

          There are much fewer mistakes being made these days at Monaco – is that because the drivers are better or because the challenge has been reduced?

          1. @petebaldwin That’s an amusing comment: seen as the master of Monaco, the man you cite as exemplifying the Monaco challenge, crashed whilst protecting his engine in 1988. Saving tyres can be more dangerous than a qualifying lap.

            If Monaco looks easier in 2015 than it did in 1988 that is because talent is not quite so heavily concentrated at the head of the field, and teams have become wise to the unique technical challenge of Monaco. And still, even in modern times crashes are numerous and mistakes are constant. On Vettel’s 2011 pole lap he lock a brake badly into Mirabeau and on Rosberg’s 2013 pole lap he nearly chucks it into the barriers through the final part of the swimming pool. A perfect Monaco lap remains a contradiction in terms.

        2. @countrygent – Very eloquent description of Monaco and why it is still viable and important on the Formula 1 calendar. In the era of many cookie cutter tracks Monaco is one of a kind, unforgiving to every driver. A different challenge, not better or worse, but different.

          Tradition is one good reason to keep it, but not the only reason. I remember as a younger man in 1980 walking the streets of Monte Carlo with a backpack on my back. I’d just gotten off the train from France. Now I was walking in front of the Casino right where the F1 cars drove on the very same streets. That’s all I could think about. Not the opulence of the casino, not the yachts in the harbor or the fancy mansions on the hill, but the F1 cars screaming down these streets. Before my time and hopefully after. That is tradition.

          The challenge today is still driver against driver, all drivers vs. the barriers, mistakes do not go unpunished. Monaco is not the only course where passing is difficult, maybe the most difficult though. If you do pass without race-ending error, you will be remembered.

          I look forward to the spectacle.

          1. @bullmello I have been to the Monaco Grand Prix twenty-four times, and much like rereading a great novel, each visit is distinctive and special. I think the most striking thing for me about Monaco is just how much more strongly the character profiles of each driver comes through on track than any other race. In 2007 I was lucky enough to watching from a marshal’s post in Q3 when Alonso tucked the front of his McLaren into the Mirabeau gully on his way to pole position. For the entire radius of the corner he was no more than half an inch from the barrier. That is talent.

            I don’t suppose I’ve ever subscribed to FOM’s “big parties and beautiful people” definition of the Monaco Grand Prix…

          2. @countrygent I was sad when the track got resurfaced and that gully was lost. That anecdote typifies for me why Alonso is the successor to Schumi as best on the grid!

            The question now is, who will be his successor? Hamilton? Or Vettel? Although, if the ‘runner-up’ here gets to be the next Kimi, that’s not a bad position to be in either!

          3. @countrygent

            I have been to the Monaco Grand Prix twenty-four times, and much like rereading a great novel, each visit is distinctive and special.

            I tend to not live my life being envious of others, in this case I may be prepared to make an exception. :-)

    2. I don’t think what you’re saying is accurate. All drivers make small errors here and there in each race, which rarely make the frontpage, as in most tracks are are not punished, besides losing a few tenths. In Monaco, first you have to produce an error free AND fast lap in order to get as close to P1 as possible, but then you have to do an extra 78 laps without a single error, as a simple oversteer can end your race.

      Most of the top drivers, have at least once at their career ruined their race in Monaco by crashing, and almost all drivers consider winning in Monaco one of the high moments of their year or career.

  5. No one asked him “If Monaco isn’t, which one is?” ????

    1. @fer-no65 Bathurst? Macau? Le Mans? Nordschliefe? Pau? Oh, wait…

      1. Bathurst? Way too dangerous for F1 mate. It was actually quite funny watching JB take a McLaren around there a few years back. The poor thing (the car, not JB)had run out of breath about half way down the straight. Not to mention the camber of the ‘regular’ road ie, high in the centre.

  6. Singapore might be more difficult than Monaco due to the added physicality. Most drivers look exhausted after Singapore GP.

  7. I think we’ll see this weekend who trusts their car more than others. I believe that’s one of the things that makes the difference in circuits like Monaco and Singapore.

  8. Well, the guy did take such a big hit to the head in 2011, you can excuse him for having forgotten!

    1. Hahahhahahah

  9. Monaco was a lot more difficult before they started moving the barriers at places like the 2nd part of swimming pool & St.Devote.

    The post-2003 straighter run to rascasse is also a lot easier than the old configuration as well.

    1. That last part should be read the less straighter run to Rascasse.

  10. Chris Brighton
    18th May 2015, 19:10

    Well done Sergio, you’re right. It’s not the most difficult track. Most drivers say Singapore because of the heat and the fact it’s a two hour race.

  11. Fikri Harish (@)
    18th May 2015, 20:43

    I consider Suzuka to be the most challenging. Even in video games it’s hard to nail an error-free lap around that place
    But Monaco is still by far the most unforgiving track in the current calendar.

    Perez is right.

  12. I’m sure maldonado “loves” Monaco!

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