There is some apprehension ahead of the Munich weekend. The combination of the very narrow track in the Principality and the width of the latest generation of Formula 1 single-seaters does not mean that they will marry at the best.
In addition, there are questions related to visibility, which on the 2022 cars is reduced compared to the previous ones due to the larger size of the 18-inch wheels. Last, but not for the drivers, the management of curbs with very rigid machines, a theme that has already emerged in Miami.
Many question marks that will find an initial answer at the end of free practice on Friday, but the drivers have already expressed themselves on the matter by expressing several doubts.
Here is the setting of the Monaco GP: the Principality track will offer unusual difficulties for the drivers
Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images
“It will be a challenge – commented Carlos Sainz – regarding the curbs we had a taste of how hard it is for a driver already in Imola and Miami, with this single-seater philosophy it is clear that the price to pay is the strain on the back. I think it is necessary to open a discussion, the regulations are excellent in many respects, but there is a problem with regard to the repercussions that all the riders suffer in the neck and back. Perhaps there are those who think that this is the price to pay for a driver who races in Formula 1, but it is right to point out the problem. Monaco will be tough, and not just Monaco “.
On the visibility front, the pilots agree that the situation has worsened compared to last year, but all confirm that the ability to adapt will eventually make up for the situation.
“Seeing the apex of the corner is more difficult – explained Magnussen – but it won’t be a huge problem, and in the end we are all in the same boat”.
“I expect the difficulties that we have already faced in part in Jeddah – explained Albon – it is not easy, I struggled a bit with my eyes, but race after race you get used to it. Then I think we will be slower than in previous editions due to the philosophy of these cars “.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, fears reduced visibility in Munich for 18-inch wheels
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Obviously, the best compromise will have to be found, but this year the height from the ground is added. On city tracks, and in Monaco in particular, the driver’s feeling with the car and track is crucial to obtain a good performance, and if the passages on the curbs should prove particularly indigestible for someone, the engineers will evaluate the possibility of raising the car a little. The consequent loss of aerodynamic load could be compensated by the feeling of the pilot, a scenario exclusive to Monaco.
George Russell, Mercedes W13: in Monaco it will be necessary to raise the minimum height by losing load
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
Even for the teams there is some more apprehension. In Barcelona all the teams (with the exception of Haas) brought technical updates to the track, in some cases particularly substantial.
In Monte Carlo it will be important to have a good supply of spare parts
Photo by: Uncredited
The problem for the teams is to make sure they have an adequate reserve of spare parts, because in the event of even the most trivial off the track, in Monaco it usually presents a very high price to pay in terms of damage.
“We are still behind on this front – confirmed Aston Martin CTO Andrew Green – a further challenge for the team is underway. The amount of new parts we brought to Barcelona required a lot of effort, and we hope we don’t have to pay a price. We will try to approach the weekend with caution, but in Monaco you can’t ask a rider to zero out the risks, it’s impossible. The good news for us is that with the updates brought to Spain we have expanded the possible setup window, and in view of Monte Carlo this is a very good thing ”.