- FAN ZONE
04 May 21
Legendary corners, energy management, high speed and plenty of overtaking. The traditional Monaco circuit we're set to race on this weekend is "made for Formula E". So, what can we expect? Formula E Sporting Director Fred Espinos fills us in.
Formula E heads to the glamourous French Riviera and Monaco for its fourth visit to the Principality and this time around, the historic, full circuit will be awaiting the world championship's 24 drivers.
For the first time in Formula E history, we're going to see a grid of all-electric race cars firing up the hill by Massenet and the famous Casino Square, round the Grand Hotel Hairpin and through the inimitable Monaco tunnel ahead of the harbourfront chicane. They're all instantly recognisable turns, iconic sections of a legendary circuit that has hosted motor racing's past, since 1929, and now its electric future.
"As a motor racing fan firstly, it’s quite unbelievable to have Formula E racing on this track; it’s special. The corners are iconic and the mix of motorsport tradition with the future in Formula E is really unique. Monaco has been there from the beginning of the sport and it shows just how far Formula E has come and evolved in the last seven years."
So, what challenges will the changes throw up? Formula E's Sporting Director Fred Espinos takes us around the legendary lap and outlines what teams and drivers have in store.
"First of all, the straight is always special in Monaco as it’s not actually a straight," says Espinos. "You arrive at St Devote with a lot of pace, and head up to Massenet up a super long hill – up there with the gradients we've seen in Rome – and it’ll be very fast, flat out.
"From there, it’s all downhill from the famous Casino Square. This is where energy management and regen will be absolutely key – from Mirabeau over the bump and down to the Grand Hotel Hairpin and Portier.
"This section will be super good for Formula E, with plenty of room for overtaking, and for strategy to play out with regen and energy management in mind.
"Then you’re into the tunnel, which will be flat out and one of the fastest corners of the season. It’s quite a long section at top speed in qualifying, and it’ll be interesting to see where drivers lift off in the race for regen. That’ll be a real challenge.
"We’ve modified the harbour-front chicane for Formula E to suit regen with a slower corner speed, and after that we rejoin the old Formula E track – heading into Tabac which is always an impressive corner and leads the field into Swimming Pool. There, the cars are jumping from one corner to the next, with drivers trying to retain a lot of speed into the second part of Swimming Pool, where regen will again play a part with a big stop required.
"You’re already almost at the end of the lap with the super-slow section at La Rascasse and the final flick at Anthony Noghes onto the start/finish where it’s important to carry the speed.
"There’ll be a lot of places to overtake – La Rascasse, the chicane, St Devote and the hairpin. Energy management will be key here as it’s a new layout, it’s fast and it’s a long track – one of the longest we’ve had in Formula E. With the big uphill and downhill sections, too, it’ll be intriguing."