George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2022

Bouncing makes this “by far the hardest Monaco ever” for Russell

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In the round-up: George Russell says that the Monaco Grand Prix “is not going to be pleasant” for Mercedes due to how stiff the car is over bumps

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In brief

Russell expects Monaco is “not going to be pleasant” to race

George Russell is braced for a punishing Monaco Grand Prix today.

Despite qualifying sixth on the grid for today’s Monaco Grand Prix, Russell anticipates an uncomfortable race for him and team mate Lewis Hamilton due to their car’s stiff ride problems.

“It’s not going to be pleasant to be honest,” said Russell. “FP1, when we didn’t have the car at its softest, was a real challenge for both Lewis and I. And it’s kind of tough, but you’ve got to sort of suck it up and get on with it. That’s all we can do.

“This was by far the hardest Monaco I’ve ever experienced – and I’ve been in one of the most challenging cars there was to drive in recent times. So I think it’s not been easy for everybody. I think it’s been a step worse compared to the previous era of cars.”

Q1 red flag did not appear on system, says Williams’ Robson

Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson says that the red flag called during Q1 did not originally show up on teams’ pit wall systems.

The first phase of qualifying was halted with just under two minutes of time remaining when Yuki Tsunoda hit the barrier on entry to the Nouvelle Chicane and punctured a tyre. But when race director Eduardo Freitas called for the red flag, Robson says, the teams did not receive a notification.

“Certainly that one at the end of Q1 surprised us a bit because it didn’t come up on the system,” said Robson.

“I don’t know whether that means race control hadn’t pressed the button or there was a problem with the system, but the first we knew was Nicholas saying on the radio our initial response was ‘no, it’s not – carry on’, to which he said, ‘no, we can definitely see the marshals waving the red flags’. So we had to stop and then it went on the system.

“To be honest, I’m still not hundred percent sure exactly what it was for. I think if there was something on the track, or something in the wall, then there probably was no choice. But it was a slightly odd way it came about.”

Daruvala predicted Hughes’ start-line stall

Jehan Daruvala had to react very quickly to Jake Hughes stalling ahead of him on the Monaco start line. Hughes, who led the partially-reversed grid for the sprint race, failed to make it off the line, when the race began. All drivers successfully avoided his stricken Van Amersfoort car.

Daruvala, who finished the race second, revealed he positioned his car to avoid Hughes. “I knew Jake had a full rebuild of the car last night after his heavy impact in qualifying,” Daruvala explained. “So I just angled my car right off the line.

“My engineer warned me a bit just to watch out and unfortunate for him that he stalled but now we go through safely and I managed to gain one position.”

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Comment of the day

With Formula 2 driver Amaury Cordeel escaping a ban by being reprimanded for a pit lane incident instead of hit with a penalty point, @red-andy cannot help but wonder if the driver being one penalty point away from a race ban led to him getting a simple telling off from the stewards:

I know some people complain about the penalty points system because it awards points for incidents that aren’t “dangerous” (which I think is a red herring, but I recognise the argument). However I think the Cordeel incident shows another potential problem – that the stewards are prone to withhold penalty points for fear of triggering a race ban.

Failing to drive safely in the pit lane is one of the most fundamentally dangerous things you can do in motorsport, and the narrowness of the Monaco pit lane makes it more important to do it properly, not less. So on the face of it I cannot see why this incident avoided penalty points, unless it was to spare Cordeel a race ban.

We saw similar with the mysterious U-turn on Hamilton’s penalty points for his illegal practice starts in Russia 2020, when the original penalty would have left him perilously close to a race ban.

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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6 comments on “Bouncing makes this “by far the hardest Monaco ever” for Russell”

  1. I remember the first time I went go karting. My ignorance meant that I sat in the bucket seat with no foam or protection of any sort. The welts I developed on my hips, back and shoulder blades were horrible! And that was only 15 minutes! I can’t imagine how uncomfortable Lewis and George are going to be after this race. I almost feel a little sorry for the.

    Also, for all the rubbishing of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, are there really any F1 fans who’ll skip it? Procession or not, I’ll be glued to the telly for the 2 hours. It’s like an IndyCar fan choosing not to watch the Indy500 or an endurance racing fan tuning out for the Le Mans 24hour. I guess we’ll see what the viewer figures are on Monday.

    1. Everyone who watches Indycar and WEC actually want their respective series to race at those locations though, @tommy-c.
      They are good tracks that produce good racing – and the fact they are endurance races multiplies the unpredictability and justification to watch it all.

      F1 at Monaco, on the other hand…. It’s usually pretty much done on Saturday.

  2. I still don’t get the red for Tsunoda’s barrier contact as nothing seemingly dropped on the track.

    To my knowledge, Sky doesn’t have ad breaks during sessions/programs, only between & or during the pre-session build-ups & post stuff.

    I agree with the COTD. Not that I necessarily such a thing would’ve been a motive behind leaving Cordeel one away from a ban, but possible.

    1. He punched the pollard in the inside with enough force to crack something in the wheel, I’d say they were making sure it was still secure and everything was still attached to it.

    2. Just so you know, there are x3 breaks in every practice session on sky sports F1, plus the obvious in quali

  3. “Q1 red flag did not appear on system, says Williams’ Robson”
    Yup, it was also missing from the onscreen graphics for some 30 seconds.

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