MONACO PREVIEW: Everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 Monaco E-Prix

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship makes its fourth visit to the most iconic street circuit in motorsport and Monaco this weekend (May 8) for Round 7 of the season on the glamourous French Riviera.

Formula E heads to Monaco this weekend (May 8) with 12 teams and 24 world-class drivers all set to take on a new layout that will, for the first time in the championship’s history, see the all-electric cars race up the hill by Mirabeau and the famous Casino Square, round the Grand Hotel Hairpin and through the inimitable Monaco tunnel ahead of the harbourfront chicane.

WATCH: Catch up with the Valencia weekend recap

“To see Formula E race around the longer version of the most historic racing circuit in the world will mark another great milestone for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship," said Alberto Longo, Chief Championship Officer, Formula E.

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"In many ways, this circuit is made for Formula E - it’s a fast and narrow street circuit which will see plenty of opportunities for overtaking and will really test driver’s energy management with sharp inclines and high-speed sections.

"The FIA and the ACM are allowing us to race around corners steeped in motorsport tradition and we are honoured that Formula E will be creating its own history on May 8.”

Monaco E-Prix new circuit layout

The stakes couldn’t be higher, either. The whole field have already scored points in the 2020/21 campaign after the opening six rounds, while fewer than 20 points split the top six in the Drivers’ standings – Formula E has scarcely been more hotly-contested. With five different winners in six races, there’s no telling who’ll be able to master the mythical streets of Monte Carlo on Saturday.

As things stand

Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries tops the pile heading into the race weekend after a measured victory in the DHL Valencia E-Prix Round 5. He’s just nine points clear of teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who battled from the back to take a podium in that same race.

The German outfit sits atop the Teams’ standings and with three wins from six in the bag so far, de Vries and Vandoorne will be looking to double down with silverware in the principality – both having driven to victory there in Formula 2 and GP2.

READ MORE: Formula E's Season 7 line-up, team-by-team

Diriyah winner Sam Bird sits third in the running after a strong start to Season 7 hit a small bump in the road during a tricky trip to Spain last time out for Jaguar Racing, while Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) finds himself fourth, plugging away over Rounds 1-6 to keep in touch.

British rookie Jake Dennis (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) turned heads with a dominant drive to victory in Round 6 last time out – enough to fire him to within 22 points of standings leader de Vries as Formula E’s first season as an FIA World Championship heads towards its half-way stage.

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Monaco maestros

“Monaco is Monaco, it’s just magic,” says Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH). 

Vergne’s one of two drivers on the grid to have taken the chequered flag first in Formula E around Monte Carlo’s hallowed harbourfront, with a lights-to-flag masterclass on his way to Drivers’ Championship number two back in 2018/19. He came, he saw and he conquered in Rome, can he match the feat in the rapid DS E-TENSE FE21 this weekend?

Sebastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams) is the only other driver to have summited the top step of the podium in Monaco, and the Swiss is hoping to stake his claim to the “Electric Mr Monaco” moniker as Formula E makes the switch to the traditional layout for 2021.

“Every driver dreams of racing in Monaco at some point in their career,” says the 32-year-old. “We have a pretty good history so far there. I won in Season 1 and Season 3 and have had two pole positions. The short track was getting a bit too small for the 24 Formula E cars and I can’t wait to get the opportunity to try the new layout.”

Norman Nato ROKiT Venturi Racing Formula E

Home turf

Many of the drivers on the Formula E grid call Monte Carlo home but the Monaco E-Prix takes place in ROKiT Venturi Racing’s backyard.

The outfit is based in the principality and both Edo Mortara and rookie teammate Norman Nato will be looking to make good on flashes of brilliance so far in Season 7, with Frenchman Nato undoubtedly unlucky to have silverware slip through his fingers in Rome and Valencia. He’s won in Monte Carlo in Formula Renault 3.5 and made the podium in GP2, and will feel he is in with a shout here.

The Monaco E-Prix, and Round 7 of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set to get underway at 16:00 CEST on Saturday, 8 May.

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