Monte Carlo - Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix - 01 June 2003
Race Distance : 262.860km / 163.334m
Number of Laps : 78
Lap Distance : 3.370km / 2.094m
Lap Record : D. Coulthard 1.19.424
Qualifying : 13:00 - May 25/2002
Race : 14:00 - May 26/2002

The start of the Monaco Grand Prix is all about getting to, and through, the very first corner safely. Do that and you have a chance! The Virage de Sainte Devote is a near 90-degree right-hander that is approached from the Start-Finish line at 170 mph. Then, it's a hard brake at -3.6 g and down to a 2nd-gear 55 mph for cornering. The Montée du Beau Rivage is a short straight that takes the cars past the world famous Rosie's Bar in 6th gear at 165 mph and then it's over the crest of the hill and down to 4th gear as Virage Massenet beckons. A long left-hander, the car must be kept close to the inside kerb in 3rd gear at 80 mph. The cars then come to Virage Casino which is a quick right-hander that is taken in 2nd gear at 70 mph.
Coming out of Casino the cars get a chance to accelerate briefly along a short straight before they enter one of the most complex sections of the course. The Virage Mirabeau is approached downhill in 4th at 130 mph, requiring fast gear changes to get into 2nd gear for this bumpy right-hander, taken slowly at 30 mph. Out of this comes the short approach to the Virage Loews, a left-hand hairpin negotiated in 2nd gear at about 20 mph with the steering turned full lock, then right - this is one of the most famous TV and photographic views in F1. The turns are ended by the Virage du Portier, another sharp right-hander cleared in 2nd gear at 50 mph.
Coming out of the turns, the cars start on a long sweep through the Tunnel. Noise and sparks fly as the cars change up to 5th gear and 145 mph. Once out of the tunnel, left-right Nouvelle Chicane is approached at 175 mph before drivers change down to 2nd gear and a sedate 30 mph.
The most spectacular and glamourous part of the course is Tabac, lying, as it does, alongside the harbour, which is driven through at 95 mph in 4th gear. Piscine or the Swimming Pool complex provides a short kink in the circuit which pushes the drivers through a succession of gear changes and speeds ranging from 50 mph to 100 mph. This section of the circuit underwent major revision prior to the 1997 Grand Prix to make it safer.
Virage de la Rascasse is the slowest part of the circuit with a very tight hairpin that is taken in 1st gear at a crawling 20 mph. Along a very short straight and a faster right-hander, Virage Anthony Noghes, is taken in 2nd at 45 mph before accelerating and climbing upwards into the Start-Finish straight.





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