The 2021 Monaco GP was a race that many people were looking forward to. F1 was returning to Monaco for the first time since 2019 since the 2020 Monaco GP was cancelled. This Monaco GP race weekend was a great one because it completely spun the championship standings around. There was happiness, heartbreak, jokes, and this crazy unpredictability throughout the weekend. That’s one of the many things that makes the Monaco GP unique; it’s not mainly about the Grand Prix. The Practice sessions and ESPECIALLY Qualifying are VERY close and very exciting.
The same can’t be said for the Grand Prix, however. Since the Circuit de Monaco is so narrow, it’s difficult to overtake at Monaco. The racing in the GP is just not entertaining enough. If there’s no crashes, or no pitstop drama, or no strategy variation, the race is just really boring. While there were no crashes, there was pitstop drama, and there was strategy drama, and there were some overtakes, which made this race fairly fun and interesting.
Red Bull was CLEARLY superior in this race since they finished a spectacular P1 and P4. Red Bull took the lead in the constructor’s championship for the first time since 2013 after this race. And Max Verstappen took the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time in his career! Since Lewis Hamilton finished 7th, Verstappen winning gave him BIG gains. Mercedes had a disaster race, with Bottas retiring from P2 after a pitstop disaster. When he was in the pits, the pit crew member in charge of the pneumatic wheel gun put the wheel gun on the wheel nut at an angle.
Since the wheel gun has A LOT of power, putting it on an angle wore away the grooves that the gun would’ve gripped onto to remove the lug nut. What made this disaster somewhat funny is that the race took place on Sunday, but the wheel came off of the car on Tuesday, because Mercedes transported the car with the wheel still on back to the factory and removed it there. They had to use a machine to cut away the metal and cut away the wheel from the car. Obviously, this whole disaster generated a lot of memes on social media.
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The podium for this race was a shocker! We saw Lando Norris perform another fantastic race to take another podium in 2021 with 3rd place. Carlos Sainz brought Ferrari back onto the podium for the first time since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix. There was a lot of heartbreak, however, since a Ferrari could’ve won the race. Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari was starting the race on pole position, but he couldn’t start the race due to a driveshaft problem on the left-hand side of the car. The driveshaft transfers the mechanical effort from the engine and power unit into the rear wheels to make them move. This was broken, meaning Leclerc couldn’t start the race. That was INCREDIBLY painful for the F1 world.
There were some great perfomances, loads of comedy and memes, and learnings that came out of this Monaco GP. So, without further ado, let’s get into the 2021 Monaco GP Race Review!
The *Terrible* TV Direction At the 2021 Monaco GP
Well, I’m gonna have to start off this post by talking about this, because it was pretty much the biggest event of this race. The TV Direction at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix was easily THE WORST TV Direction I’ve EVER seen. The TV Direction is usually handled by a team from Formula 1 at every race weekend. This team is in charge of controlling what you see on your screen when you’re watching an F1 race or F1 session. The graphics, the replays, the camera shifts, the team are in charge of everything. The headquarters for F1 Communications is HUGE, and the team behind the TV Direction at every race weekend is really big. This team is a really good team, and they do the TV Direction every week.
They’ve got top-notch training and experience, which is why all of the F1 broadcasts are always easy to watch and have very high quality. The cameras and microphones always work and they’re always in the right places. The team is very good at selecting the right cars to follow, and the right replays to show at the right time. The world feed/broadcast is all directed by this team. But if this team is so great at its job, then why was the Monaco GP TV Direction so terrible? And what was wrong with the TV Direction Well, here’s the ans-
YOU’VE BEEN LANCE STROLLED!!! Yeah, that’s what happened with the Monaco GP TV Direction. And it wasn’t F1’s fault AT ALL. Since the Monaco GP has to be EVEN MORE unique than it already is, a French company called TMC takes over the TV Direction for this race every year. They take over every single aspect of the world feed. This is the stuff that the team at F1 handles at all of the other F1 races. By now, people who have been watching F1 in recent years are aware of this. They can pretty much anticipate that the TV Direction at the Monaco GP won’t be as good as it is in other races. But NOBODY could anticipate how bad it was at the 2021 Monaco GP.
The TMC team probably knew nothing about F1 or how it works, because the TV Direction just ruined the race. In the race, we finally got some overtaking at the Monaco GP. Vettel was coming out of the pits, and he was going side-by-side with Pierre Gasly in an unexpected fight. The two cars were sprinting down to the Massenet corner when suddenly something happened. Arose the painful problems of the Monaco F1 TV Direction. THE CAMERA CUT TO A *USELESS* SHOT OF LANCE STROLL GOING OVER A KERB INSTEAD OF SHOWING AN ACTUAL OVERTAKE!!!! This is NOT what’s supposed to happen.
It’s true, handling and producing an F1 race is nowhere near easy. But still, a professional company should at least know how a race works, and how the fans want to experience a race. To make matter 10 times worse, when we were going to see the replay of the overtake, and finally see what happened, the cameras cut to Sergio Perez coming into the pits in the middle of the overtake. Brilliant. I just can’t help but be really harsh on these people for ruining the race. On the flip side, a HUGE meme came out of all this chaos, which does make the situation a little bit better.
The Unexpected Power Of The Overcut
The overcut was SHOCKINGLY powerful at the 2021 Monaco GP. I don’t think the fans or the teams anticipated how much the overcut worked for some of the drivers at Monaco. The image above shows Sergio Perez in the Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin. These 2 drivers are the drivers who benefitted A LOT from the overcut at the Monaco Grand Prix. The driver who benefitted the most from the overcut, however, was Lance Stroll. In F1, an overcut is when a driver pits later than their rival so that when they come out of the pits, they’ll come out ahead of their rivals. The undercut, which is when a driver pits earlier than their rival, is MUCH more common and usually more reliable and gives better results.
An undercut is usually more powerful because when a driver pits, their team gives them a fresh set of tires. Then, they push their hardest in all of the laps that their rival spends on the older tires. That works much better at most races, and that’s why people didn’t expect the overcut to work at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. A great example of the undercut working well was at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton pit WAY earlier than Max Verstappen. True, it looked like Max Verstappen would use the fresher tires from the overcut to win the race. But Hamilton used some great driving to preserve his tires and then give it everything at the end to win the race.
At the Monaco Grand Prix, the overcut was WAY more effective than that. Lewis Hamilton pit from the soft tires to the hard tires on Lap 29. Since was the first person to pit, people thought he stopped early. Actually, an “early” stop would be at around Lap 20. A “late” stop would be at around Lap 30. Hamilton was currently stuck behind the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, who was running in P5. Mercedes could see the overcut would be effective, and that’s why they were waiting to pit Hamilton. When Gasly wasn’t pitting, Mercedes called Hamilton in on Lap 29. Hamilton’s tires could last longer, but Mercedes still called him in.
That strategy call was the only true option. If Hamilton waited longer and went for an overcut, his tires wouldn’t make it. 29 laps was already a monster stint for the soft tires. So Mercedes brought him in. A lap later, on Lap 30, Gasly came into the pits. When he came out, he was clearly ahead of Hamilton. Hamilton hated this and got angry at Mercedes, but they really couldn’t have done anything about it. Hamilton simply didn’t have the pace to beat Gasly. Before the pitstops, Gasly, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were in 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. After Hamilton and Gasly pitter, Vettel was running in P3, because he hadn’t pit yet.
To rub salt into Hamilton’s wound, Vettel pit on Lap 31, and guess where he came out of the pits? Unbelievably, he was side-by-side with Pierre Gasly, and since Vettel had brand-new tires, he could completely come ahead of Gasly and secure P5. Sebastian Vettel, a driver who’s been struggling since the beginning of 2021, gained 2 positions in the pitstops. And he did it in Monaco, where it is all about the drivers’ skill. Vettel did some fantastic driving to manage his tires and make the overcut work, and that earned him Driver of the Day.
An EVEN BIGGER overcut was from Sergio Perez. Perez was in 8th before the pitstops. He used his infamous tire-management skills to complete a CRAZY stint of 35 laps on the soft tires. When he came out of the pits, he was in P4, and he’d jumped Vettel, Gasly and Hamilton. INCREDIBLE. Sergio Perez actually got 17% of the votes for the Driver of the Day, but Vettel got 23% of them, because he suddenly did an outstanding performance and still proved that he’s got the pace and the skill in him.
This is the end of the 2021 Monaco GP Race Review. It was a good race on the calendar, it spun things around a bit. It was still relatively boring, but the 2021 F1 Regulation Changes made the racing a bit closer and more exciting. Let us know in the comments below whether you think F1 should take over the TV Direction at the next Monaco GP! Stay safe stay on the lookout for new posts, and enjoy F1ntastic.