When it comes to F1 career mode, most players just skip the Monaco Grand Prix.
That's entirely understandable, as it's nearly impossible to overtake and we all know how hungry the walls are for your front wing. However, there's no doubting that Monaco is one of the most rewarding tracks to hotlap and can be incredibly fun when you switch damage off in a race.
But it's also a brutally tricky track to be fast on and will be just as tough on F1 2021, so how can you do it? Let's take a look.
Maximise the width of the track
With such tight walls there aren't a lot of liberties you can take when it comes to track limits, however several key corners are just waiting for you to gobble up some extra millemetres.
Getting as close to the wall on corner entry and then stealing apex angle when there is no wall is key. Sainte Devote, the Nouvelle Chicane, and Swimming Pool are perfect examples of this. Cutting the apexes as much as possible and bumping over the kerb ensures you keep a high minimum speed and maximise your exit.
If you are racing on regular corner cutting you can get really far inside before triggering a warning.
Keep it tidy
Nothing will slow you down in Monaco like a broken front wing, so it's crucial not to "overdrive" the car.
It's easy to get greedy down into Mirabeau and through Portier, but braking a touch early will always be faster than braking a fraction late. There's NO room for coming in hot to these corners, and a broken wing will ruin everything so just take it easy into these corners. No one is overtaking you here no matter how slow you are.
Cut the hairpin
While we are talking about Mirabeau and Portier, the Loews Hairpin, or whatever it's called now, is always nightmare. If you keep all four wheels on the road you'll never make it round, especially if you are using a controller.
Make sure the inside tyres are mounted up on the kerb with the rears on the road. This will help roate the car. Make sure you're in first for entry and changing up to second for the exit. If you knock it down into neutral by mistake then don't worry, you aren't the only one doing it!
The joy of Monaco comes after the Nouvelle Chicane. Until we get Mugello in the F1 games there isn't a rollercoaster like the final sector of Monaco, and to be fast there you have to merge the two tips from above.
Get super close to the wall on entry and exit of Tabac, cut the kerbs as much as possible at the Swimming Pool, take all the angle out of Rascasse that you can same goes for Anthony Noghes, which is an especially miserable corner but one you'll need to ace if you want to make the most of DRS down the pit straight.
While careful car placement at low speeds is the name of the game from Mirabeau down to the Tunnel, from there on it's full send, carry the speed, and don't blink!
They say "practice makes perfect", and while that is true in most cases even in Monaco all the practice in the world won't make you flawless. There are just too many odd angles, bumps, and nightmare corners.
Even the best have been caught out on the streets of Monaco, so don't beat yourself up if you can't fly up the leaderboards or string together perfect corner after perfect corner even after hours of practice.
Setup of champions
Setups are a very driver-specific thing, as we all have a different style that plays well to an oversteery or understeery car. However, there is certainly a "meta" to the F1 games when it comes to setups, and generally what the Esports guys are using is the fastest way to get around a lap of any track.
So, what are they using in Monaco? Here's Jarno Opmeer's setup, which let him hit a 1:06.808, a mind-blowing lap.
- Front Wing - 8
- Rear Wing - 11
- On-Throttle Diff: 50%
- Off-Throttle Diff: 50%
- Cambers: All the way right
- Toes: All the way left
- Front Suspension: 1
- Rear Suspension: 6
- Front Anti-Roll Bar: 1
- Rear Anti-Roll Bar: 8
- Front Ride Height: 1
- Rear Ride Height: 3
- Brake Pressure: 100%
- Brake Bias: 50%
- Front Tyre Pressures: 20.0 PSI
- Rear Tyre Pressures: 19.5 PSI
As you would expect, thiis is a lively and challenging setup to drive with. The rear wants to swap ends on nearly every corner exit. We found that softening the rear suspension to 4 and the rear anti-roll to 6 negates some of this and makes the car far more driveable for us mortals!
If you just want to see how fast you can go around Monaco without regard for leaderboards, then this video is for you.
Can you beat our time of 1:03.809?