Monaco lap shortened by Tabac changes

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Revisions to the Tabac corner on Monaco’s Grand Prix circuit have further reduced the length of what was already the shortest track on the F1 calendar.

The drivers now arrive at the corner slightly earlier as the section of track which links the Tabac left-hander to the start of the Swimming Pool complex has been moved closer to the harbour by 2.5 metres.

A crash at Tabac in 2013 involving Pastor Maldonado and Max Chilton forced the race to be stopped after the TecPro barrier on the outside of the corner became dislodged, blocking the circuit.

The change has shortened the official lap length by three metres to 3.337 kilometres. The race distance of 78 laps will not be altered, Monaco being the only race run for 260 kilometres instead of the usual 305.

The barrier on the inside of turn 15, the right-hander in the Swimming Pool complex, has also been moved since last year to give drivers a better view of the corner.

More than half of the track has been resurfaced since last year, including the start/finish area, Casino, the entry to the tunnel, the Swimming Pool complex and pit lane.

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    46 comments on “Monaco lap shortened by Tabac changes”

    1. This image shows the schematic layout change:

      There are more changes planned up until 2019. Next year, Rascasse will probably be a bit different to allow better access to the pitlane and better places for the specators.

      1. Thank you, @ringridder. Do you have a scan about the changes the revision induced at the Swimming Pool entry as well?

        1. @ringridder Thanks – glad it’s only a tiny change.

      2. So the track is a bit wider after the corner?

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      20th May 2015, 10:55

      One of my favourite corners, glad they don’t seem to have done much to the corner profile. Nearly had a fit when I saw the headline!

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        20th May 2015, 13:32

        I hate it (just from playing F1 games)
        Its so fiddly. i mean do you brake and drop a gear? Brake and just lift? Brake, drop 2 and floor it?
        Whatever the correct answer is I’m always either too slow on the exit, or get into the wall on the outside.

        I guess that makes it a great corner really.

        1. Try lifting (when you’d normally break) amd then go 1 gear up while lifting.Hit the gas gas as soon as you pass the little bump.

          1. Really depends on what car you have and your confidence with the wheel or controller. If you’re in a Mercedes/Red Bull/Ferrari/Williams/McLaren you should be able to get through Tabac with just a lift and a downshift, similar to Pouhon. However, if you are in the cars that lack downforce, or you’re just not confident to attack Monaco, or you’re on used tyres, then braking + downshifting 1 gear is the best option you have.

            That’s why I love Tabac in the F1 game series. You treat the corner on a lap by lap or car by car basis. When you’re in a fast car with fresh tyres, it just feels amazing. In fact, the Monaco circuit is my favorite in the F1 calendar. It’s the shame the AI are the slowest they are all-year around there.


            1. I my self drop two gears, this is using the 99 Ferrari v10 in 2013 Classic edition.and this is in the wet and I’m the top 10 in the world.

        2. @fullcoursecaution “I guess that makes it a great corner really.” exactly :)

        3. Michael Brown
          20th May 2015, 16:21

          Generally I brake an drop one or two gears, to fourth. I end up adjusting the fourth gear specifically for this corner. I like to accelerate before the apex, Schumacher style.

        4. Neil (@neilosjames)
          21st May 2015, 3:45

          My problem there is that I tend to back off to much and turn in too early. Tabac, Pouhon and Turn 7 at Sepang are the ones I seem to struggle most with, reckon a proper steering wheel and pedals set would help.

    3. I wonder if Maldonado ever imagined his actions would influence the modification of a world-famous race track..?

      1. @pukktpie If I remember rightly, it was Chilton who Maldonadoed Maldonado on that occasion.

        1. Yeah, that was definitely Chilton having a major (and dangerous) brain freeze.

        2. @craig-o ah yes right you are! Ironic then, in that case!

    4. When I walked the track this morning the corner looked a touch tighter than I remember albeit only fractionally, so it might be a shorter lap in terms of distance but it might not be in terms of time.

      Okay yes, the obligatory groan…another alteration to the world’s great racetracks, but this one was necessary for fan safety on the evidence of Maldonado’s 2013 crash and Grosjean’s shunt in Tabac whilst racing in GP2. This is no Parabolica run-off area…

      1. @countrygent From what it looks like the change doesn’t really reduce the challenge of what’s one of my favorite corners in F1. Or did I miss something?

        Anyway, the worst change by far was at Rascasse. Completely removed, what was a unique challenge of a corner. Swimming pool and nouvelle chicane I don’t mind at all since the corner wasn’t altered and only the wall moved back, which is a price good enough in the name of safety

    5. Michael will lose the lap record due to the change. :(

      1. @msc157 Doubt it. It’s only by two metres. That record is safe (until F1 gets ruined even more in 2017 of course).

        1. Mike (@mikeydcmtd)
          20th May 2015, 15:30

          Officially it will, it’s on the official website. 1st lap will be a new record for that layout, and the fastest will be quoted as the lap record from then on. It will still be slower than Michael’s time though.

      2. If the lap record does fall, at the moment it’ll be more due to the resurfacing than the reprofiling. But I don’t think it’s very likely until 2017 at the earliest.

      3. Remember the ‘lap record’ is the fastest lap set during a race so it will be well safe. Lap record is 1:14.439 and last year’s fastest lap was 1’18.479 for Raikkonen.

      4. @msc157 @craig-o @mazdachris @keithedin The corner is actually appears to be very slightly tighter now, so if anything it may be a tiny bit slower.

      5. @msc157 If anything, the laptime will be higher by half a tenth because of this change as the corner is tighter

    6. The lap record *will* be reset actually, regardless of how fast or slow the cars are. New track length means a new record, starting with this year.

      1. Even for 3 meters? Don’t think people are that pedantic

        1. @ifelix If it’s enough to change the official lap length, then @lateralus is most likely (in theory) correct.

        2. It doesn’t matter if it is one or one hundred meters. The official lap length is different.

          1. @lateralus I believe the Bahrain one from 2004 which was set on a very slightly different length track still stands on the F1 website.

            1. Hmmm, interesting. Do we know how Bahrain was changed and how different the length is compared to the original? I guess we will see what happens soon with the Monaco record.

            2. @lateralus I’m pretty sure Turn 4 was tighter in 2004. If you take a look at an onboard from that year it seems to be. The lap record for Bahrain is therefore, unsurprisingly, from 2005 (de la Rosa).

      2. It’s not like it will disappear. For all versions of circuits there are multiple lap records actually. You just don’t get it as the official lap time. If anything, since they changed the track it will be immortal now.
        At least, that’s how I’m gonna look at it.

    7. Am I not right in thinking they only just resurfaced large parts of the track quite recently?

      1. They most certainly did, but maybe they resurfaced the remaining areas now.

      2. Willem Cecchi (@)
        20th May 2015, 14:16

        Resurfacing makes it easier for the drivers. I don’t like it unless it is necessary for safety reasons.
        Obviously it needs to be taken into account that the circuit is a public road.

      3. @strontium

        You are. From the exit of Casino to the entry of the tunnel last year – I get the impression that they just resurfaced it again, but I’m not sure.

    8. Bring back the dog leg corner please..

      1. What dogleg are you referring to?

        1. Tommy Scragend
          21st May 2015, 21:13

          The old chicane I presume.

          Before it became “Nouvelle Chicane”, it was called “Chicane du Port” but also known as the Dog Leg.

    9. digitalrurouni
      20th May 2015, 15:41

      This weekend will definitely be a writeoff. As much fun as these tracks are in the F1 games. Monaco still is my least favorite. Simple reason being that you CAN’T overtake!! Sure in the video games it’s easy but yeah they are only video games.

      1. I am with you on that one. I don’t like that circuit, never had. And not only because of the overtaking difficulty: i don’t like the tightness of it all, the atmosphere… It doesn’t compare to Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Suzuka… I even prefer the mighty Hungaroring.

      2. I don’t mind this race at all. I think the calendar should always have at least one race where qualifying is key and overtaking very difficult. It’s not impossible to overtake as seen last year and every attempt is dangerous (again as seen last year).

    10. we are likely to have very fast laps in qualifying here given the changes and track resurfacing… this will bring out all the fans of the current formula to comment how fast this current era is.

    11. Watching that MAL/CHI video really made me miss the sound of the V8s…

    12. I wonder how the locals put up with it sometimes. The time spent resurfacing the roads in my area in Birmingham’s bad enough …

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