Monaco Grand Prix Preview: How do Mercedes bounce back after Spanish drama?

As Formula One returns to its most famous race, here's a guide of what you need to know.

Monaco Grand Prix Preview: How do Mercedes bounce back after Spanish drama?
Monaco. The race they all want to win. (Image credit Wikipedia)

Turn one at this weekend’s Formula One Monaco Grand Prix should be interesting, especially if the two Mercedes drivers are on the front row. For many reasons the Spanish Grand Prix was a memorable one, but the tension between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is palpable.

Add to the mix, that this event has provided flashpoints to their relations and we’re all set for an almighty battle into Sainte Devote. 2014. Rosberg runs down the Mirebeau escape road, robbing the world of a crescendo to Q3 and stopping from Hamilton taking pole, who then declares "​we aren't friends".​ And who can forget last year when Hamilton pitted for a second time, handing Rosberg the win?

But there are so many more stories to the 60th World Championship running of the race. Monaco is a chassis track, and with that in mind, just how close will Red Bull be to setting the pace? Where will Ferrari be? Just how good is the McLaren chassis​? All these will be resolved and Renault’s introduction of a new-spec power unit adds another interesting dimension.    

What happened last year?

Hamilton, from his first pole in the Principality looked all set to claim his second win on the Monegasque streets, but Max Verstappen’s collision with Romain Grosjean brought out first the Virtual and then full Safety Car. The ensuing switch to SuperSofts to cover Ferrari was pointless, as they didn’t pit, and the win was handed to a joyous Rosberg and left the Brit a disconsolate third, behind Sebastian Vettel.

Where am I going to see some overtakes?

Track position is key at Monaco, see Senna - Mansell 1992, and it is the hardest track to make a move on, but it is possible. Aside from the start, Sainte Devote (T1), Mirebeau (T5), the Lowes hairpin (T6) and the sea front chicane (T11) are all places where a move can be attempted. Portier (T8) and La Rascasse (T17) have also been known to occasionally serve up a memorable pass.

What tyres are Pirelli bringing?

The new Purple marked UltraSoft tyre will be making its debut this weekend, and most of the sets selected by the teams are of this compound. Pirelli have brought their softest possible selection, with the SuperSofts and Softs also on duty. As always the Intermediate and Wet tyres will also be brought.

Thursday and Saturday are forecast to be dry, but Sunday is predicted to be wet. 1,000 odd Brakehorse power cars, in the wet around the tightest circuit? Now that could be something special.

When is it on?

Due to Friday being a rest day in the principality, the usual sessions that day are shifted forward 24 hours to the Thursday. The rest of the weekend runs to the familiar European race schedule.

First Practice – 09:00am – 10:30am – Thursday

Second Practice – 13:00pm – 14:30pm – Thursday

Third Practice – 10:00am – 11:00am

Qualifying – 13:00pm – 14:00pm

Race – Lights out 13:00pm

All times UK.