Lap 30/77: “New to F1. Could you tell me what the differences are between the tires. How they affect the car on the track,” emails Gary.
Sure. Slick tyres have the least grip, but they are the fastest type, so they are right for dry conditions. Wet tyres have the most grip, and need to be used in wet weather, but are slower. Intermediates are in the middle.
Horner of Red Bull: “We got the crossover right … we managed to jump both Ferraris. That was great teamwork.”
Lap 28/77: Safety car! Mick Schumacher (Haas) has spun off and smashed into a barrier and his car has split in half. The rear wheels have detached from the front of the car. That looked absolutely horrible but he appears to be ok, thank God. Schumacher has walked away.
“F**ck, is he OK,” asks one of the drivers on the radio, obviously having seen the mess on the track. Yes, he is OK.
Lap 26/77: So after a frankly dizzying series of pitstops, Perez leads the race. Sainz second, Verstappen third, Leclerc fourth. I cannot understand what Ferrari were doing by making Leclerc pit twice in such quick succession …
Lap 23/77: Perez leads the race. Sainz second, Verstappen now leads Leclerc, who must be fuming. “Overcut” has worked perfectly for Red Bull … four seconds separates the top four. This is intense.
Lap 20/77: Hamilton is right on Ocon’s tail as the British driver tries to take eighth place. Ocon is having none of it. “Are any of these moves being investigated?” Hamilton asks on radio.
Up front, Sainz pits. He takes slick tyres … and Leclerc pits again too! And takes slicks. Perez and Verstappen now lead the race in first and second respectively but will have to pit again … Leclerc is furious at having been asked to pit twice in quick succession, and why wouldn’t he be? His teammate, Sainz, is now ahead of him.
Lap 19/77: Leclerc pits for intermediates. Sainz leads the race. Moments ago, Hamilton was trying to get past Ocon, and said on the radio he ‘turned in on me’ and he fears his front wing is damaged.
“He’s just put me in the wall, man,” Hamilton tells his team on the radio. “It looks OK,” they reply.
Lap 17/77: Perez pits for intermediates, and reemerges in fifth place, just ahead of Russell. That means Verstappen is up to third for now, 3.9sec behind second-placed Sainz.
Lap 14/77: Leclerc now has 4.7secs on his teammate Sainz and he is looking very assured indeed as he benefits from having a clear road ahead of him. Perez (Red Bull) is 2.6sec behind second-placed Sainz, with Verstappen a couple of seconds further back.
Lap 12/77: Hamilton is running eighth, behind Alonso. Ninth-placed Ocon (Alpine) is a sizeable 14sec behind Hamilton having overtaken Bottas (Alfa Romeo).
Lap 11/77: Ferrari’s Leclerc is looking good up front and has stretched his lead over Sainz to 4.1sec.
As they stand on Lap 10/77:
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +3.580
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +5.220
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +6.928
5 Lando Norris Mclaren +14.352
6 George Russell Mercedes +15.743
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine +19.801
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +22.916
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine +34.219
10 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +37.584
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team +38.470
12 Daniel Ricciardo Mclaren +41.960
13 Alexander Albon Williams +42.653
14GuanyuZhou Alfa Romeo +43.632
15 Pierre Gasly Alphatauri +44.159 1
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +51.884 1
17 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team +54.488 1
18 Yuki Tsunoda Alphatauri +56.138 1
19 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +63.166 2
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams +68.357 2
Lap 8/77: The racing line is now drying out nicely. That will only encourage more cars to come in and switch from wets to intermediates.
Lap 8/77: Verstappen is asked about the conditions: “Dry, but still tricky on these tyres,” he says.
Lap 7/77: There are no time gaps … oh, now there are! Leclerc is 3sec ahead of Sainz. Perez is 4.9sec back.
Lap 6/77: Gasly sets the fastest lap on intermediates. Vettel is overtaken by Esteban Ocon and is now in 10th. Now Sainz clocks a new fastets lap, 1.37.998sec.
Lap 5/77: Judging by the clouds over Monaco I think we’ll definitely get some more rain before too long. But as Horner said it is very unpredictable in Monaco.
Schumacher and Latifi have pitted for intermediates, but according to Sky, they are not looking much quicker than those on wets.
Lap 5/77: “Yes it’s my real name, with suffix too,” emails Montague Gammon III.
“Google it if you doubt me, but more importantly, I am truly delighted to be published internationally!”
“No more rain for the next 20 to 30 minutes,” our race leader Leclerc is informed on the radio.
Lap 4/77: Leclerc clocks a fastest lap. Looks like there is some misinformation on the graphics about which cars are running wets or intermediates.
Lap 3/77: Stroll and Latifi nearly crash in the pits!!! Stroll had a puncture, and Latifi needed a new nose. That was sketchy. It’s sketchy out on the track too, you can see the cars are struggling for grip … but Leclerc has fashioned a 2.2sec lead on his teammate Sainz.
Lap 3/77: We’re racing! Safety car disappears. It’s very slippery … Leclerc and Sainz one and two.
Whoops. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) has gone into the barriers at the Loews Hairpin … meanwhile the safety car is still out, but the race has officially begun and the laps are ticking down. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) has a puncture.
Lap 1/77 is displayed on screen. The cars crawl around Loews hairpin bend and then through into the tunnel.
The cars are rolling back out on the famous Monaco circuit. Let’s race! Please, let’s race.
So with a start under the safety car in a couple of minutes, do we think that rain shower was the most exciting this afternoon is going to get?
No! “We do expect more rain,” comes the ball on Ricciardo’s radio from his McLaren team.
So that means in theory that the two laps done under the safety car will be taken off the race tally.
The race resumes behind the safety car at 15.05 UK time.
Meanwhile … an idea on Twitter from my colleague Beau Dure:
Ted Kravitz, on Sky, observes that we don’t know what kind of start we’re going to have …
So, we are going to get a race in under 10 minutes. It looks to be drying up for now … but the threat of more heavy rain hangs in the air.
Oh the glamour of the Monaco GP. Hiding under a bin bag in an open stand.
The 10 minute signal is shown 3.55pm – warning to start.
Email round-up below. Opinion is split.
Michael Hughes emails: “You can’t be an F1 driver and not take risks. The cars are very safe, the spectators protected. Let them race!”
“Montague Gammon” (not their real name?):
“1) We’re over the “danger shows how brave the drivers are” mentality. We’ve lost too many over the decades I’ve been paying attention.
2) It would have been in effect a sprint qualifying race before the inevitable red flag, and the history of race control screw ups of late does not inspire confidence that would have been managed well.
Back to 1) What would Lauda say? What would Stewart? I think we both know the answer to that.”
Andrew Benton: “The no-start could have been due to strategic thinking, using the rain to make the point that Monaco circuit isn’t as fit for purpose as it could be. It’s only still in the calendar because of its heritage, Christian Horner said here. Wondering, have there been any F1 races stopped by snow?”
David Hepp: “This is, after all, gladiatorial combat on four wheels. Spectacle, gentlemen. Pan e circo.
If the FIA stick to their rules and don’t declare the force majeure again, the race must end at 6pm.
Claire emails in: “Been sat in this bar all day, my boyfriend says we can’t leave until the race is done so now I’m sat here watching a bunch of lads getting wet.”
Haha! Sorry, Claire.
UPDATE: It is raining in Monaco. Or is it? Not sure to be honest. It is wet though. More accurate updates to follow. There is another big black cloud rolling in above the casino, says Ted Kravitz
Brundle has just revealed on Sky that a man once flagged him down, at the end of a British grand prix won by Nigel Mansell, with his baby (!?) to ask for an autograph. The man’s baby, not Brundle’s. Some people, eh?
“Honestly, I feel like it would be dangerous for spectators around the track and the drivers themselves,” emails “Mixtraffic”. “Better safe than sorry.”
“The controversy is one reason people love the F1,” says Nick. “If it was too unsafe, more controversial.”
“While I’d personally love to see a race in this weather, the Monaco track doesn’t seem promising or safe to drive on right now,” emails Harshini. “Although, it would serve as a testament to the drivers’ skill if they manage to successfully pull off the laps. I’m excited to see how the race goes but also want all of them to be safe there!!”
An email from Alison titled: Red Bull, but no Wings –
“We’re in a pub waiting for the GP to start. About to run out of wings, so hoping we get some movement soon!”
Chicken wings? Order some more!
There is a three-hour window for the race to take place. That is counting down now. When that was used at the Spa race that was called off the FIA cited force majeure to stop the countdown. However, since they changed the start time to 3pm, another limiting factor is how many hours of daylight are available.
“Any other track I would’ve been OK with a wet tyre start but not Monaco!!” emails siddharthmathur.
“With the threat of heavy rain throughout the race – if it ever gets started – this has to be a day to look to experience and the drivers who have been here so many times before,” emails Tom McLaughlin.
“Monaco can throw up some very unpredictable results when it rains. Keep an eye therefore on Hamilton and even Vettel and Alonso.”
That’s my brother, in case you were wondering. Thanks Tom!
“What was the last time a driver was seriously hurt in the wet at Monaco?” asks Mark Woldin on email.
“I don’t like crashes so I feel better safe than sorry,” emails Anne Williams of the decision to delay the start.
Zinedene Zidane is pictured in the pits. He’s hot-footed it down from Paris and last night’s Champions League final.
It’s always fun to have a bit of controversy and intrigue at a grand prix, but I can’t escape the feeling that a big opportunity was missed to begin the race with all the cars on wet tyres.
Or would that have been unacceptably dangerous?
“Sunset is 9.02pm tonight,” observes Brundle on Sky.
Giles Richard reports from Monaco: “This delay may last some time, there is a lot of standing water in some areas although Monaco does drain very well from the streets.”
“It really is raining quite hard here now,” as Alan Partridge once said.
“You’re 33?! You look about 14!”
“It’s too wet to race out there right now,” says Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal.
“We were neutral about it [the rain],” says Horner as to whether he wanted the heavens to open.
“Being in Monaco it’s a bit of a lottery now … if it does start to clear a little, a standing start would be preferable.”
And on how the teams have been caught out by the weather forecast: “You’ve got this microclimate here with big mountains, the weather gets stuck [behind the mountains], sometimes it doesn’t come and sometimes it gets locked in.”
However, as Ted Kravitz just pointed out, had the race started on time, on wet tyres, they’d probably have red-flagged it now anyway.
That may well be true, but that doesn’t mean the decision to delay was right.
The rain is pouring, and the race has now been red-flagged. The cars are queuing to get back into the pits.
The question remains: Why didn’t all teams go on to full wet tyres and get the race going?
Wouldn’t that be a great test of the drivers’ skill, as much as safety is paramount?
Ricciardo on radio: “It’s wetter than I thought it would be. It’s very wet at the moment.”