Formula One continues its sojourn in Europe and this week. The juggernaut has landed in Monaco, which for the drivers on the grid is the most prestigious race on the calendar similar to how tennis players treat playing and winning Wimbledon. It is the most glamorous weekend of the season, with racing being just a part of the experience.
There are parties, fashion shows and sponsorship events among plenty of other attractions, but come Sunday evening the racing takes centre stage. It is a unique track within the city of Monaco, and it requires the perfect amount of precision and aggression in order for a driver to be successful.
The Monaco Grand Prix for drivers is all about rhythm; it is not about the power of the car, but the drivability and the understanding drivers develop with their cars over the weekend on the tight and twisty street circuit.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was robbed of a race win by his team last season, as Lewis Hamilton took his second win on the streets on the Principality. The Mercedes are expected to be quick again this season, but Ferrari's resurgence is likely to make them the closest contenders to the Silver Arrows this season.
Red Bull Racing did make a step forward at the last race in Spain, and traditionally they have been good in Monaco, and thus could be expected to pose a challenge to the two leading teams. It is a track where engine power counts for little and driver rhythm counts for everything.
Chassis and downforce play a crucial role in determining the quickest car, but drivers' ability to push the car to the maximum without putting it in the barriers is what makes the difference between pole position and second place.
Where to watch live
The first practice session (FP1) of the Monaco Grand Prix starts at 9am BST on Thursday (25 May), with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live coverage in the UK.
Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.
Live coverage of the second practice session (FP2) starts at 1pm BST.
- Circuit name: Circuit De Monaco
- First F1 Race: 1950
- Circuit length: 3.337km
- Number of laps: 78
- Race distance: 260.286km
- Lap record: 1'17.939 (Lewis Hamilton)
- Most wins: Ayrton Senna (6)
- 2016 winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- 2016 pole: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
|5||DANIEL RICCIARDO||AUS||RED BULL RACING||37|
|6||MAX VERSTAPPEN||NED||RED BULL RACING||35|
|7||SERGIO PEREZ||MEX||FORCE INDIA||34|
|8||ESTEBAN OCON||FRA||FORCE INDIA||19|
|10||CARLOS SAINZ||ESP||TORO ROSSO||17|
|3||RED BULL RACING||72|