The Shocking Blue Streets of Monaco

Would you like to hot lap Monaco? Before you say this, watch it. Part real part not, but it is pretty darn good. Seriously, go watch it. Even the legends in F1 don’t really know how to pass in Monaco. They still love it there, but the racing has never been great if you are a TV spectator other than the fact is is beyond beautiful. Mansell could not pass Senna, and nobody else can on that track either.

F1 racing is old. It is older than us individually, unless your sentient stage preceded 1950. So, what is up on the streets in Monte Carlo? You think this is NASCAR or some lumbering junk? No.

Ferrari is up through practice. Doubt that will continue after qualifying, but one can hope. Expect Mercedes and Red Bull to still lead after qualy. But it sure is more fun if the Red are in the game.

And, as I write this, qualy is on, so will update a bit later.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the Cahieh Archive counts as a million. Thank you again Paul-Henri Cahier for letting me pilfer your, and Bernard’s, pictures occasionally. The Cahiers and the astounding Cahier Archive have long been kind and the most amazing F1 photographers ever.

Music is by Mariska Veres and The Shocking Blue, a shockingly good band. Remembered for Venus, but did a lot of very good work.

46 replies
  1. Jon says:

    Well, Leclerc and the Ferrari are on pole. After setting the fast lap, he stuffed his car in the wall, resulting in a red flag and ending qualifying. Hamilton will start seventh. Tomorrow’s race should be nuts.

    • bmaz says:

      Exactly. But that is the thing about Monaco. Even a Williams, if it somehow started on pole, might still win. And, man, that was a painful joke as Sir Frank was a wonderful man.

      • Jon says:

        I know what you mean. Williams is looking much better this season, so maybe Russel can win some points this year. The race is young, and it’s already been pretty wild, with a bunch of passing, and of course, LeClerc retiring before the start.

        • J R in WV says:

          From The Drive:
          “…after the right front wheel gun completely sheared off the teeth it was supposed to lock onto, during Bottas’ Monaco pit stop—and a day later, the team still can’t get the tire off the car.”

          Seeing the video of the power tool, and bits of chrome-steel showering from around the bit end, then he pulls the driver gun away, and you can see he ground the gear teeth completely away. They’re going to have grind and cut off the remaining bulk of the nut using a Dremel tool back at the factory.

          This is the kind of thing I dread when working on my tractor and implements — destroying a plug that keeps the hydraulic fluid inside, or the engine oil, or a fitting for the backhoe. And I’m strictly an amateur, and these guys are Mercedes F1 professionals. Scary! At least the failure was stopped dead in the pits, and not going 100+ on the course…

  2. Peterr says:

    The thing I love about most courses like Monaco is that 51 weekends of the year, ordinary folks can drive the route. Granted, you can’t drive it at race speeds, but still — the idea of following the path of the race in your own car is really something.

    (And no, I haven’t been to Monaco and done this. Maybe some day.)

    • JohnJ says:

      I live in St. Petersburg. We have a problem with that every year with people following the track.

  3. John McManus says:

    Qualifying 3 was interesting. Three drivers outperforming their cars and three drivers underperforming their cars. Gasley again showed why we need him in a faster car.

  4. drouse says:

    Hamilton did look uncharacteristically unsure of himself out there today and he can’t be real happy about that. Maybe Merc hasn’t managed to claw back enough of the downforce the rules changes has cost the teams yet. From the perspective of the constructors championship, Ferrari having both cars in the first two rows can’t be making McLaren happy at all.

  5. drouse says:

    I have a question for those who have more than my three seasons of fandom. How prone is Monaco to red flags and restarts? Looking at the room available on the track, anything more serious than losing a chunk of the front wing or maybe a flat would bring out a red flag rather than a yellow. Leclerc eating the wall as an example.

  6. johno says:

    A few years ago I sold a large amount of pro video equipment to a major sports broadcaster. He told me he could get me VIP seats to any F1 – just ask. I immediately request Monaco. He says “no way”.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeargh! For what it is worth, it is not the seats, per se, it is the badge. If you really have VIP or Event Sponsor badge, you are pretty golden. Used to be even allowed to wander the pits, though that is not the same anymore. I was set to go to Monaco long ago, for free including palace time, but contracted mono and that was the end of it. Been to a ton of GPs, but will likely expire without realizing Monaco.

  7. Hopeful says:

    Love that Shocking Blue song, which I have not heard until now; when I was a young lad Venus was BIG.

    Was lucky in the late 1990’s to visit the facilities of Benetton, as the company I was working for then had a semiconductor device that could be used in their vehicles.

    Got to see their test tracks and F1 production facilities. Very high level technology!

  8. Molly Pitcher says:

    OT, bmaz, I saw that Lamborghini is coming out with an all electric car in 2025. Will F1 convert at some point ?

  9. Chetnolian says:

    You must be in 7th heaven bmaz. Ferrari on pole; ok so then Leclerc almost wrecked the car.

    Probably a preview of the race. Instead of overtaking we will have spills.

    Unusually watching live this time.

  10. MattyG says:

    I keep a small stable of racing sims on my PC rig. The vernerable Grand Prix Legends is still king – the 1967 GP in it’s full glory. And terrific fan mods cover years on either side, 1969 being especially cool with the introduction of aero wings.

    Monaco is always fun to watch regardless of how static the grid can be. But I awlays liked San Marino of the 1980s to early1990s, (both to watch and hot lap). The classic layout just before they added chicanes on the main straight after Sennas tragic death.

    Not sure how I feel about the new F1 body form – actually I do – I don’t like the roll cage center post at all. But at least grooved tire are far behind us now. I grimmaced at least once to myself every time I watched races of that era.

  11. namekarB says:

    Another rich white male sport. Good on Lewis Hamilton for breaking the colour barrier in F1

  12. Eureka says:

    FWIW, the Inky listed the Suns first in their power rankings last week. I’d like a break from LeBronLakersNetsLakersLeBronLeBronLakersNets — let the Suns dispense with the West coast portions of that talk soup post haste. [Though I’d take the Lakers — contra the prevailing air am not seeing them as all that. Now.] LeBron’s playacting lain over the near bench-clearing brawl was a nice touch.

    The refs have been recurrently horrible all season — Adam Silver hates basketball — but today for our game was such an egregious outing that even the highly professional non-homer announcers went ballistic. Sixers prevailed. I’ve heard that (should they advance sufficiently) Sam “Trust The Process” Hinke might be invited to ring the pre-game bell. That would be strangely awesome for a few reasons so that makes it a pretty jinxy idea. Knock on wood and cracked bell replicas and all that.

    • Eureka says:

      LOL, to clarify: I’d take the Lakers _as an opponent_ (not as a bet, in case construed that way. Phrase reads a little more context-dependent than intended!). And here I was risking the rain-down upon me of the lake show for daring to doubt. We’ll save the heat of a thousand suns for the finals, as applicable.

      #GO SIXERS

      With today’s Manafort releases (and seeing that K. Vogel has changed his profile pic to a 76ers logo), I am left to ponder this math: just how much did Vogel’s writing contribute to the ratfucking of his home state (too late to work up the pre-/post-election impact splits; even if by a hair’s breadth pre-election, his role in the post-election propaganda-laundering &c. w/NYT byline did horrible damage to our discourse and reception of the investigation).

      (Opens the twitter, know I’ll regret it):

      JHC he’s got the time to do the Hunter Biden hunters another solid lately and go after Shannon Sharpe for airing JJones to troll the Cowboys … yet **CRICKETS** on today’s docs:

      It it asking too much that some people take these issues more personally _as Americans_? I mean WTactualF?

      Well then. This took a sharper turn than them streets of Monaco.

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