Slippery Monaco provides a gripping grand prix

2016 Monaco Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The Monaco Grand Prix is a stern challenge of driving abilities in ideal conditions – and rain cranks the difficulty up even higher for all involved.

Small wonder than that Sunday’s race saw the highest rating for a Monaco Grand Prix since the last time the race was held on a wet track in 2008.

Despite earning a strong average score of 7.7 out of ten from F1 Fanatic readers, the most recent round of the championship only ranked fourth of the six races so far, a sign we’ve enjoyed an absorbing start to the 2016 season.

Here’s what you thought of the Monaco Grand Prix:

Can’t beat a drying track at Monaco. Great driving and tactical skills on display, as well as some pretty dumb ones. What’s the point making a smart tyre choice in qualifying if you then make the choice of no tyres in the race?!

All part of a great day’s racing, along with the amazing finishes at Indianapolis and the Nurburgring.

I really like the Virtual Safety Car – it gets the race back on quickly, avoids the fake closing-up of the field (which admittedly plays a big part in the Indy 500) and there’s none of that tedious unlapping rubbish that goes on behind the safety car.

The rainy part was awesome, there was constant suspense all the way to the end, even when it was ‘dry’. I never quite knew who would finish where, whether each driver’s tyres would last, whether it might rain again, whether someone would make a silly error and one of those little lock-ups would become a proper shunt. Then we had six different cars finishing in the top six positions, with supposedly slower cars more than matching the quicker ones.
Neil (@Neilosjames)

Really good race for Monaco standards (and the fact that they were driving in Monaco is an inherent plus). Unfortunately, the last 25 laps or so weren’t quite so entertaining, apart from the clash of the Saubers and some aspects of the final lap.

Once it became clear that tyre wear wasn’t going to be a factor (except for Rosberg on the final lap; when it rains, it pours), and that Ricciardo’s only chance of attacking Hamilton was a prolonged neutralisation of the race, it felt like the race result was set in stone.

Nase wasn’t the only one who found it a ‘race of two halves’:

Very entertaining first half of the race with many on-track and pit-stop action along with different approaches what to do. However it all become quiet in the second half so it’s a shame that rain hadn’t fallen a few minutes earlier.
Michal (@Michal2009b)

The unique challenge of Monaco isn’t appreciated by everyone, however. The demanding narrow confines which makes the track so hard to drive also inhibits overtaking.

I hate the track, because overtaking is way too hard and it will get worse next year with the wider cars. It was entertaining but for me Monaco GP remains a show-run.

Why do we need overtaking all the time? Doesn’t it make the successful passes at Monaco more memorable when they occur?

It’s just a unique race that gives a real sense of speed… not every one needs to have loads of ‘overtakes’. No one mentioned DRS the whole weekend, which was an absolute blessing.

Palmer was one of several who shunted
Others felt there was just too much crashing for an F1 race.

This is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor racing, not demolition derby. Monaco just isn’t fit for purpose in the modern F1 era, and races like today give Bernie Ecclestone more ideas about sprinklers.

For the ‘jewel’ race of F1 this was amateur hour. Safety Car start ruined the excitement of a wet Monaco, Red Bull threw Ricciardo’s race away with one of the worst pit stops I’ve ever seen, massive disappointment from the ultra soft, Kvyat Kvyatting, the Saubers making fools of themselves, Rosberg forgetting where the finishing line is, and just all around general sloppiness from everyone involved.

A few bright spots (Alonso), but ultimately an average race in terms of action made worse by the laughable mess of errors.

Unusually for Monaco we even saw changes of position at the front of the field. But it came in unusual circumstances:

An entertaining and intriguing race. Disappointed for Ricciardo losing out on a silly pit error (Hamilton must have had a lot of trouble switching on those ultra-softs to only just pip him on pit exit) but Hamilton drove a good race once he was let past Rosberg (something I’m surprised they did, seeing as they tend not to use team orders).

What Rosberg was up to was confusing. He’s never been that good in the wet, but he also never found any pace to hassle anyone when the track dried and slipped backwards in the pit stops. Perez put in a great drive to quietly claim third, Vettel stayed out of trouble but didn’t achieve anything while Alonso did well to get fifth.
Craig Wilde (@Wildfire15)

If you’ve ever considered attending the race in person, Mark G encourages you to:

We stayed in Nice relatively inexpensively and got the train to Monaco. I was a bit apprehensive at first having never been to France as an adult but the whole experience couldn’t have gone any more smoothly!

The atmosphere in Monaco is incredible. We walked the pits on Friday, grabbed a drink then walked the track. You’ll love it as a fan!
Mark G (@Sparkyamg)

Finally a warm welcome to new reader @Pinakghosh who gave a comprehensive verdict on the outcome:

What I liked:
1. Monaco gives the feeling of a race where cars are supposed to be running around in queue. But that is not often the case. Even if there is less overtaking, one can never discount the quality of races this venue produces. The changing weather brought the element of uncertainty and gave a memorable race.
2. Lewis Hamilton is back. He has cut down massively on the championship lead and it is game on. I liked the way he drove this race, the way he extended the full wet weather tyres, before putting on the ultra-soft and then taking the tyre and the car all the way to the chequered flag. It was good to see him happy at the podium. If he is happy, he will win races.
3. Daniel Ricciardo did a fantastic job, and was unlucky to finish second. He is right when he said that he drove well on all three tyres. The car was fantastic and Renault updates have come in at the right time. But Ricciardo now has to keep his head down and not get the end result last couple of races affect his performance.
4. Sergio Perez is always there when it matters. He has shown on many occasions that he had great feel for the tyres and can adapt to changing conditions as well. His team made the correct strategic call today and he backed it with a podium finish.
5. Mercedes kept their head and took a correct strategy call even when Lewis was losing massive lap times on then wet tyres. They recognised the faster driver and gave him a best possible strategy.
6. McLaren were a bit fortunate with retirements. But that does not discredit in any way Fernando Alonso drove. He kept a much faster car behind him for considerable part of the race.

What I did not like:
1. Red Bull should have been ready for Daniel Ricciardo. That’s not how a former constructors champion should act in a close race.
2. Ferrari seems lost. Come on Ferrari, you have the resources, build a proper chassis.
3. Max Verstappen has to take it easy in Monaco. That will come with experience, of course. He had the car today to show his race craft.
4. Nico Rosberg held Lewis Hamilton for several laps. This cost Lewis lots of time at the beginning part of the race. Rosberg also could not make a clean pass on the McLaren. I guess if he did let Lewis go earlier, then a perfect Red Bull pit may not have mattered.
5. Some would say Daniil Kvyat was unfortunate at the start of the race. But, he should have realized it is Monaco where one has to keep his head down and try to bring the car to end of the race. He is justifying his demotion with his driving and his attitude.

2016 Rate the Race Results

Race Average score
2016 Spanish Grand Prix 8.706
2016 Chinese Grand Prix 7.853
2016 Australian Grand Prix 7.757
2016 Monaco Grand Prix 7.747
2016 Bahrain Grand Prix 7.382
2016 Russian Grand Prix 5.396

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2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Slippery Monaco provides a gripping grand prix”

  1. This is a stellar season so far.

    1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
      2nd June 2016, 11:39


    2. I feel that in the last two years the racing has been pretty decent, the only thing that was missing was a proper challenge in the front, and it seems that now all is coming together to have a fantastic season.

      1. True, and the FIA wants to change the formula to ensure that we end up with a new period of domination. There are really amazing…

        1. End up with? We have one already. The only chance of ending it is to mix things up or make proper rules, and we both know that nobody in f1 will ever consider the latter.

    3. You must be watching a different season to me. Almost every race is won by the same team, and no other team is even close to being able to fight with them. This isn’t gripping, it’s tepid and wishy-washy.

      1. Blue is the best color, not red!!!! Oh….you mean some things are subjective???

  2. Monaco is part of F1 history and my favorite circuit. If you do a little driving yourself it is easy to see how difficult it is. The best drivers rise to the top here specially in the wet. Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof come to mind. It was a great race this year and for me the best was Perez.

    1. Yes I really enjoy driving this on Rfactor, need to be right on the limit. A wrong timing or decision can cost you the race.

  3. Dan Ricciardo is on fire. Great performance all wkend. Hope Renault deliver on that 0.5 promise for Canada.

  4. WillOfTheSupremo
    2nd June 2016, 14:33

    I know, i know, too early too judge probably.

    But will this turn out to be just as amazing season as 2012??

    1. I think in terms of racing this year has been the best start to a season since probably both 2012 and 2013, let’s hope that Red Bull can get there pitstops right and Ferrari stop trolling us with the ‘we can still aim for the title’.

  5. Looking pretty good. And it is gonna get better. Mercercedes has a gripping duel, Red Bull is regaining competitivness, Ferrari has a lot to prove.

    And then Williams, STR, McLaren and Force India all have fair claim on fourth place and potential lucky podiums.

    Renault and Haas working hard to get in to midfield…

    Then there is Manor and Sauber fighting for points and survival.

  6. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    2nd June 2016, 17:10

    Now it’s time to watch the final laps of Monaco ’92.

  7. On the last view by @Pinakghosh , I’d like to add to his list (which I totally agree with), that I was fuming with the safety car at the begining. Those are supposed to be the best drivers in the world in the best cars in the world. If they can’t work with a wet track when rain has stopped, it’s a sad state of affaires. If it’s because the tyres don’t work in the wet, change them. And in all cases, come on ! 8 laps ! It’s not normal that minutes after the “real” start everybody was pitting for inters. You either don’t launch the race because the cars are floating, or you do start it and you don’t “kill” a tenth of the laps with a SC.

  8. For me, there was one outstanding aspect this year:
    I keep telling myself not to forget that driving an F1 car is extremely challenging, and that even a skilled driver would probably look like a fool trying to complete a few lap under realistic circumstances.
    However, this doesn’t always show on many circuits. We see the drivers putting in constant lap times, fluctuating by just a few tenths at most, never looking too challenged.

    The past weekend was very different in that respect. The cars did find a lot of downforce, as evidenced by the outstanding lap times we saw in qualifying, but the engines seem to have found even more power. I don’t think I’ve seen a single onboard lap without at least one breathtaking moment in which the rear stepped out under acceleration, necessitating frantic corrections on the steering wheel. I was constantly in awe because I reckoned that if it had been me trying to keep the car pointing in the right direction, I would’ve crashed out almost every single time that happened.
    To me, that was eye-opening, and I wasn’t even a skeptic. These cars are so twitchy owing to their tremendously powerful Power Units, but all drivers but three were able to react to these difficulties lap after lap, for almost two hours, under very tricky circumstances.
    It’s been one of those races that remind me why I am a fan.

  9. @keithcollantine where is the table that shows the last couple of Monaco GPs and their ratings? we used to have that next to the current season’s races table.

  10. So far the season has been great for me and I cannot wait for Montreal.

  11. I didn’t watch the race live, instead I watched it last night via the Channel 4 replay thing. Here they edited out quite a few laps from 40 or so to 75 (unless I fell asleep!), the edited race looked very exciting and entertaining. Not sure if I would have felt quite the same if I’d been watching the missing (boring?) laps though.

    1. No, it was a really good race. Like I said, there wasn’t much action after lap 50, but it was still so close that the tiniest mistake could’ve changed the order at the front or in the pack lead by Alonso. Also, Vettel and Pérez traded fastest laps at one stage, and it seemed quite possible that there was going to be a fight, either between them or with Hamilton/Ricciardo. Ultimately, this fight didn’t materialise, but that doesn’t mean those laps were boring.

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