Sports | 26 May 2017

Monaco Grand Prix: Prepping the perfect car for F1’s ultimate street fighting challenge

In order to tackle the most prestigious grand prix on the calendar – which will take place on Sunday, May 28 – Renault Sport Formula One Team must carefully adapt its car to deal with the very specific demands of this truly unique street circuit.
by Caroline De Beaumont

Since its first edition back in 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has firmly established itself as the jewel in Formula 1’s crown. It is the race that drivers desire to win above all others, and its unrivalled VIP attendance makes it an unmistakably glamorous affair. It is also famously one of the most difficult events of the season, challenging competitors to drive as fast as they dare through the Principality’s narrow, winding streets behind the wheel of cars capable of travelling at speeds in excess of 280kph.

A unique challenge

The Monaco Grand Prix represents a unique challenge for drivers, who must display millimetre-perfect precision, skill and finesse to safely and successfully navigate their way between the circuit’s unforgiving barriers – with absolutely no margin for error. Straying even just slightly off-line very often results in instant retirement. In order to tame this extraordinary track – unlike any other on the Formula 1 calendar – it is vital to have a car that has been carefully set up to meet its demands.

The most visible difference is on the aerodynamic front.

Monaco sees the most extreme aero packages of the year. This is because the low speeds and short straights mean that the sensitivity to more downforce is high and the sensitivity to more drag is low, so aero components that might be too inefficient to run at other circuits might be suitable here.

         Ciaron Pilbeam, Renault Sport Formula One Team Chief Race Engineer 

2017 GP Monaco Formula 1

A specific aerodynamic package and steering set-up

Prioritising cornering grip over straight-line speed for Monaco, Renault Sport Formula One Team has produced bespoke wings that are set more vertically than at other circuit.

Some elements of the Monaco package will be used at other circuits, possibly Singapore and maybe Budapest.

                 Ciaron Pilbeam, Renault Sport Formula One Team Chief Race Engineer

The technical tweaks brought to the R.S.17 for Monaco, however, do not merely involve the car’s aerodynamics but also its mechanical make-up.

2017 GP Monaco Formula 1

More steering lock is required at Monaco than at any other circuit. This is required to get round the very tight hairpin. For some teams this means using different front suspension and steering than at other circuits.

             Ciaron Pilbeam, Renault Sport Formula One Team Chief Race Engineer

Long known as the Loews Hairpin, it was re-baptised the Fairmont Hairpin when the hotel that borders it changed its name. It is the slowest corner of the season.

2017 GP Monaco Formula 1

Softer settings

There is one other area upon which the sport’s engineers must focus their attention in preparation for the Monaco Grand Prix

 The setup is also slightly different for many other circuits. In particular the cars will have softer suspension setups because the roads are not as flat as purpose-built race circuits.

              Ciaron Pilbeam, Renault Sport Formula One Team Chief Race Engineer

With the team’s R.S.17s accordingly modified, at 2pm local time on Sunday, the two Renault drivers will attempt once more to crack the top six, like Nico Hülkenberg did last time out in Spain.

And on Friday 26 May at 12:50 PM, Get ready!

#MonacoGP #F1 #MeganeRS #RenaultSport

The #Monaco #F1 Grand Prix weekend will see New R.S. make its first public appearance around the Principality’s famous street track in the hands of @hulkhulkenberg. Follow the live on Facebook !

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