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Feeder Series Preview: Monaco

Written by Juan Arroyo, Edited by Meghana Sree

Formula 2 returns to the famous Principality of Monaco this weekend, along with Formula 3, after an extended break since Australia. The previous round, to be held at Imola, was suspended after the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy was flooded by torrential rain over a series of days.


Monaco’s street layout is known for its tight and narrow form, which poses a significant challenge for drivers of all categories. The circuit has a total length of around 3.337 kilometres (2.074 miles).


A series of slow-speed corners demands precise car control and excellent maneuverability by the drivers. Some of the iconic corners include Sainte Devote, Casino Square, Mirabeau, Loews Hairpin, and the Swimming Pool complex.


Overtaking opportunities are rare, but the end of the start-finish straight at Sainte Devote has proven to be a common hunting ground in previous feeder series races. The Loews hairpin — known as the slowest corner on the calendar — offers a potential overtaking opportunity too if a driver can position their car well coming into the corner and carry more speed on the exit.


The tunnel straight and Nouvelle chicane also offer opportunities, but it’s easy for even F1 drivers to overestimate their brake power and collide with the rear of another car.


In-season testing for Formula 2 showed Théo Pourchaire regaining his form in Catalunya, topping the overall lap times. Jack Doohan was close behind, acknowledging the struggles with his Virtuosi machinery.


Pourchaire leads the standings with 65 points, despite three scoreless sprint races. Frederik Vesti (Prema) and Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS) are in close pursuit with 62 and 58 points, respectively. Ollie Bearman of Prema aims to strengthen his position in the title fight after a double win in Baku.


Meanwhile, Formula 3 drivers were in Imola for in-season testing in April. Jenzer Motorsport emerged as the team to beat, with Nikita Bedrin consistently setting the fastest times. Gabriel Bortoleto was the only driver to outperform Bedrin on Day 2, while Prema and MP Motorsport completed the top 10.


Bortoleto put himself in a strong position after a run of impressive performances in Bahrain and Australia. The Trident driver leads the championship by 20 points ahead of Grégoire Saucy (ART). Rookies Dino Beganovic (Prema) and Gabriele Minì (Hitech Pulse-Eight) follow with 28 points each.


Last year, F2 qualifying was divided into two groups to avoid traffic issues. Felipe Drugovich dominated the weekend by claiming pole position (after Liam Lawson’s disqualification) and the Feature Race win, while Dennis Hauger took the chequered flag in the Sprint Race.


Meanwhile, this will be the first time Formula 3 visits Monaco under its current moniker.


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