By Vlad Roman,
General Manager, Smart Games

Monaco, the queen of Formula 1, a podium here is almost equivalent to the title of champion.

Although the Monte Carlo circuit is in the top of the circuits with the weakest characteristics, the shortest – 3,337 meters, the slowest with 19 turns, the slowest curve – the Mirabeau hairpin, is the most famous and appreciated on the calendar “ever” of Formula 1.

Founded in 1215 as a colony of the city of Genoa, the principality of Monaco organized on the initiative of the cigarette manufacturer Antony Noghes, the first automobile race in 1929 under the auspices of the Automobile Club of Monaco.

Later in 1950, Monte Carlo hosted the 2nd Grand Prix of the new Formula 1 world championship, won by Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo.

Back to our days, after qualifying, the starting grid was formed with Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon who took the place of local Charles Leclerc after the penalty received for impeding Lando Norris in the tunnel.

The weather at the start of Sunday’s race was the same as it had been all weekend, with clear skies and only light clouds, with an air temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and a tarmac temperature of 46 degrees. But dark clouds were already gathering from the north before the start of the race, so there was a 20 percent chance of rain.

In Monaco it is difficult to overtake, whoever starts first has every chance to win, but the circuit is very technical and any mistake is difficult to recover. The car doesn’t matter much here, the drivers make the difference. Max started well and by the time the rain started he had built up a 10 second lead over Fernando.

Alonso might have had a chance had the Aston Martin team strategists not missed the correct tire change and fitted intermediates instead of mediums, however Alonso managed to secure 2nd place making him the most consistent driver of the year, after Max Verstappen.

Perez’s strategy didn’t work, he left last on the grid, entered the pits after the first lap, probably hoping to finish the race on hard tires, but the weather in Pricipat did not cooperate with him and so he managed only one ranked 16th.

The pleasant surprise was Esteban Ocon who managed to keep Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes drivers at a distance, so the order of the first 3 finishers at the end of the race was identical to that at the start of the race.

Once again Ferrari’s strategy backfired, Sainz being totally displeased to be called to the pits while pressuring Ocon, a stop that cost him 4 places in the final standings.

Mercedes positioned their drivers in tandem in 4th and 5th, followed by Leclerc and Gasly.

In constructors, Red Bull collected 25 points, followed by Mercedes with 23, Alpine with 21, Aston Martin 18, Ferrari 12 and McLaren 3.

The first half of the races in Europe ended in Barcelona, on the Montmelo circuit, a circuit well known to all drivers due to the numerous tests that take place here. It is 4,647 meters long, 14 turns, two DRS zones and has been on the Formula 1 calendar since 1991 when Nigel Mansel won the grand prix.

Qualifying started on a wet track and the first few minutes we saw a lot of skids.

The first session was interrupted for a few minutes, after the restart Leclerc was unable to find the balance of the car which took him to 19th position, a little luckier Perez was the first over the line, 15th place.

Q2 brought us an incident between the Mercedes drivers and the elimination of Perez and Russel, they remain in the competition for pole position Max, the drivers of McLaren, Aston Martin and Alpine along with Sainz, Hamilton and Hulkenberg.

At the end of qualifying, the first line is occupied by Red Bull and Ferrari, through Versappen and Sainz, followed by Norris and Gasly. Alonso, after damaging his floor in Q2, only managed 9th place, but following Gasly’s double penalty he moved up to 8th.

Sunday’s race started in dry weather with seven different teams in the first seven positions on the grid and more than 284,000 spectators in attendance for the grand prix weekend.

The better car, except for Red Bull, is Mercedes, I don’t know what the engineers did, but here in Barcelona it was over Aston Martin and Ferrari. Of course the “red bull” led by the “mechanical orange” went like a Swiss watch, pole possition, 1st place in the race throughout its duration, and the fastest circuit lap in the race. The Brits from Mercedes made the small double, and Perez left the grid on 11th and managed to rank 4th.

At the end of the first 2 races this month, the drivers’ standings have Max Verstappen in 1st place, 53 points ahead of his teammate and second in the championship, followed by Alonso who is only 12 points ahead of Hamilton.

In the teams, Red Bull leads by far, followed by Mercedes and Aston Martin, while Ferrari has to be content with the 4th position for the moment.

The last race of this month is scheduled in Canada, at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.

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