A forecast for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix

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  • Yachts in the harbour in Monte Carlo, with its rugged, hilly backdrop. Credit: David Davies/PA.

    A satellite image showing the areas of cloud sat over Monaco (in the far south-east of France) through much of Saturday's qualifying session.

    A train of drivers, led by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, feeding through the very slow and tight hairpin bend. Credit: David Davies/PA.

  • A forecast for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix
    23.05.2015 14:43

     

    This weekend sees the F1 circus descend on the winding streets of Monaco, one of (if not the most) glamorous and theatrical races on the calendar. This unique race course, with its rich history, grand surroundings and celebrity-draw, plays host to the sixth outing of the 2015 season. So for the 66th edition of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, will the weather deal a helping or hindering hand to the drivers as they navigate the demandingly tight corners and eye-wateringly close barriers?

    What's gone on so far?


    Think of Monaco, and your mind's eye conjures up an image of brilliant blue skies and glorious sunshine glinting off the yacht-strewn Mediterranean Sea. However, Saturday's qualifying session was a disappointingly cloudy affair, with the elusive sun only occasionally peeking out onto the twenty drivers fighting it out below. Despite air temperatures rising to around 20C under some warm sunshine earlier in the day, the blanket of cloud that spread over the famous street circuit ultimately curtailed the track temperatures, with the result that many of the drivers struggled to keep heat in their tyres and, in some cases, control over their cars. The cloud threatened to do more than just put a dampener on the temperatures, as a few spits and spots of rain began to fall before the third and final qualifying session of the day. Despite many of the runners nipping out of the pitlane as soon as the clock started counting down, hoping to get a solid time on the board before wetter conditions developed, the chequered flag was ultimately waved over a track that finished virtually as dry as it started. The drivers will no doubt have been glad of this reprieve, having already contended with the heavens opening in the second of the free practice sessions on Thursday afternoon.

    So with both dry and wet running conditions already on the Monte Carlo streets, what is in store for the all-important Sunday race?

    Sunday will start off with a good deal of sunshine, helping air temperatures to once again climb to around 20C before the lights go out at the start of the race. However, as with Saturday, some cloud will likely roll in and cause air temperatures to level off, whilst also leading to a slight cooling of the track surface. Sunshine is still expected to shine through the cloud at times though, probably for lengthier periods compared to qualifying, whilst winds are forecast to be just light and variable. And as for any rain? Well, some light showers are likely to break out on the hills that surround the principality, but down at harbour level it should remain largely dry throughout the course of the race.

    By: Laura Caldwell