Overtaking tough at Monaco street circuit

24May 2013



The Monaco Grand Prix on May 26th sees the paddock battle across the tight and twisty street circuit. Despite it being notoriously difficult to overtake, the frequent  threat of crashes provides the potential for unlikely outcomes.


Circuit de Monaco – Tough to overtake


The Circuit de Monaco is a stunning, but technical street circuit, which every driver has dreams of taming.


The circuit is the slowest and twistiest on the calendar and is famed for its narrow structure, demanding nature and it’s difficulty for overtaking. Nelson Piquet  famously compared it to “riding a bicycle round your living room”


With such difficulty in overtaking, qualifying is particularly critical at the Monaco GP – avoiding an incident in Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s race day could be  the difference between winning and losing.


Since 1981 there have been an average of just 11.72 overtakes per race, and if the race is dry like 26 of the previous 32, the average falls to a mere 10.15.


To put this into context, last season across all races there was an average of 57.15 overtakes per race, the Monaco GP saw just 12 – the lowest.


Slowest track of the year is easier on tyres


Similar to the past two years the drivers will have the choice of the soft and supersoft Pirelli tyres.


Despite severe tyre degradation in previous races this year, historically the race in Monaco has the lowest tyre wear and degradation, due to the slow average speed.  Therefore teams are expected to employ a two-stop strategy.


Last season the top 10 finishers employed a one-stop strategy – tyres were more durable 12 months ago – at lap 30, while all but two of them started the race on the  supersoft tyre and moved onto the soft.


The lack of overtaking doesn’t hamper teams looking to gain an edge through a perfect strategy however. Strategy will become even more important than usual, with teams  trying to utilise tactics to  maximise their starting positions, rather than look for overtaking manoeuvres.


80% chance of Safety Car


Thus far in the 2013 Formula One season there has been no safety car periods. The tight restrictions and lack of run-off areas means statistically the Monaco GP is  likely to see the use of a safety car.


Monaco has one of the highest probabilities of safety car deployment all year, at around 80%, which if used will clearly have a profound effect on race strategy.


Incidents skew correlation


After proving there was a good correlation between qualifying position and final race positions throughout the 2012 season, we have used the same model to examine the  last ten Monaco Grand Prix to indicate how much influence Formula One bettors can place on the relevance of qualifying at the Circuit de Monaco as a race performance  indicator.


The data shows a surprisingly weaker 0.48 correlation between qualifying and race position at the Monaco Grand Prix, despite 80% of drivers in the past ten years  winning the race from pole.


In contradiction to having the weakest correlation thus far, 50% of Monaco GP’s had a correlation above 0.5, which showcases that qualifying provided a reasonable  predictor of a drivers’ race performance.


The reason for the weak correlation is relative to the nature of the track. Over the past ten years at Monaco an average of 6.1 cars per race retire, highlighting that  one mistake can end in a retirement.


Click here for the best Monaco GP odds.


(Source: Pinnacle)



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Keywords: GP, Monaco, street circuit

Source: Pinnacle

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