Monaco Grand Prix: PreviewMay 23, 2023
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team’s 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship challenge continues with Round 7, the Monaco Grand Prix.
Following the decision of Formula 1 and the FIA not to proceed with the planned Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, due to adverse weather conditions in the region, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team will mark the occasion of its 150th grand prix in Monaco. MoneyGram Haas F1 Team enters the event in seventh position in the Constructors’ Championship after scoring points on three occasions so far in 2023.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg both know their way around the tight and twisty confines of the Circuit de Monaco. Magnussen has tackled the Principality’s roads six times during his Formula 1 career while Hulkenberg has competed at the Monaco Grand Prix on nine occasions, scoring a best overall result of fifth.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic events on the sporting landscape. It was first run in 1929 while in 1950 it was part of Formula 1’s inaugural World Championship season. It has been a near-permanent fixture of the sport ever since, absent on only four occasions, most recently in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Circuit de Monaco stretches out across only 3.3km of the tiny Principality and while it is Formula 1’s shortest circuit it packs a lot into its layout. The 19-turn track means drivers rarely have a chance to draw breath, with the challenge heightened by the proximity of the barriers, and the blind nature of several of the corners. Drivers must build up speed through the course of the three practice sessions as confidence and track conditions ramp up.
Given that overtaking is a near-impossibility Saturday’s qualifying session, and the timing of the mandatory pit stop in Sunday’s race, takes on added importance compared to most grands prix. Teams and drivers must also be on alert for the probability of Safety Car periods, or even red flags, which could upend the situation at any moment.
Guenther Steiner – Team Principal:
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team fully supported the decision made by Formula 1 not to proceed with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to flooding in the region and the impact on the local community. As a team with multiple links to Italy, it must’ve been tough to watch the devastation caused to those living in affected areas.
“First of all, the most important thing is as many people as possible are safe. We have a lot of staff from that area so thank God our staff are safe, but they have their struggles to deal with now. We fully supported what was done by Formula 1, and also our people who were on-site setting up for the race.
"We flew them back to the UK to make sure everybody was safe as soon as possible but some had to stay and take the garage down and go on to Monaco, but everything is safe, and we keep on racing. At the moment though, Imola and its citizens are more important than Formula 1 racing there.”
Round 7 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship brings MoneyGram Haas F1 Team to the Principality for the Monaco Grand Prix. In a calendar full of ‘stand-out’ events, what does Monaco mean to you?
“Monaco to all of us means mixing glamour with racing. It’s an event which has been there a long time, a lot of people go there and a lot of people dream to go there one day because it’s an outstanding location and an important one for Formula 1. We always go there being prepared for a lot of activities to show what the sport is about.”
Qualifying is a crucial factor in having a successful race weekend in Monaco, with minimal overtaking opportunities available in the race. From the perspective of a Team Principal, how does this change the team’s preparations going into the weekend and does your role in communicating with the team change during such a session?
“In Monaco, we all put a lot of effort into the free practice sessions and on to qualifying because it’s important to qualify well. Overtaking isn’t impossible but it’s very, very difficult. You put the biggest effort into it and the drivers focus on it.
"Communication is like always – trying to communicate to drivers when there is traffic because if you’re on a hot lap and you find traffic, you’re in a mess. It’s very important to keep on top of it and to keep drivers as calm as possible. Already the stress of it is enough in Monaco because it’s high-speed through a lot of tight walls.
"Then, if you have to deal with traffic, that sometimes takes the driver the wrong way and they can’t focus on their driving. It’s the only thing you can do and sometimes you get it right, but sometimes you get it wrong – so that’s where our main focus is throughout the sessions.”