Mon(aco)eyshake Grand Prix 2021: How Ordinary Cars Would Fare On The World’s Most Famous Track

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The Monaco Grand Prix makes a triumphant return to the Formula 1 calendar after Covid-19 halted last year’s race for the first time since 1959.

At Moneyshake our team is a mixture of car enthusiasts and F1 fanatics. To mark the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, we wanted to ask the question: how would ordinary cars fare on the iconic, 78-lap race? Would they even complete the circuit when pushed to their very limits? How would the handling of each car cope with the tight, twisting Monte Carlo track?

In this blog we break down exactly what you can expect from a handful of Team Moneyshake’s cars on the world famous Circuit de Monaco.

 

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The course

 
  • Total length: 2.074 miles
  • Turns: 19
  • Fun fact: The track is F1’s shortest and former racing driver Nelson Piquet compared driving it to riding your bicycle in your living room.
 

The cars and drivers

 

Now to meet the contestants taking to the grid…who will be the next Senna?

IT’S LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO.

 

Dan, Partnerships and Operations Lead – Audi RS Q3

 
Audi RS Q3 Sportback on a winding road
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 4.5
  • Power (bhp): 395
  • Weight (kg): 1,715
 

Coming into the race in pole position is our Partnerships and Operations Lead man Dan with his very conspicuous Audi RS Q3.

Fancying himself as a bit of a Michael Schumacher, when Dan isn’t crunching numbers and securing Moneyshake new partners, he’s putting serious practice hours in perfecting hairpin corner manoeuvres.

As you can see by the impressive stats above, Dan’s RS Q3 is the most powerful vehicle out of the entire team’s. When you consider that he starts the race in pole position and the car is 1cm wider than an F1 car, it may be hard to see another winner. That’s because it’s a very narrow course and trying to overtake is nigh on impossible.

Now, you might think that Dan is all but guaranteed first place spot on the podium. However, the competition has some rather unique strenghts of their own that may just allow them to pip ‘Bruce’ – yes, that is what Dan named his car – to win the trophy.

 

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Eben, CEO – BMW 4 Series

 
BMW 4 Series on a country road
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 7.5
  • Power (bhp): 184
  • Weight (kg): 1,600
 

Ah, the BMW 4 Series. It gets the business done and arguably that’s why our CEO Eben chose it in the first place. But can it look just as comfortable zipping round a professional racetrack as it does sat on the car park of a business park?

On paper, the 4 Series has already been bettered by the more ferocious, better-positioned RS Q3. What’s more is that, given Eben hasn’t quite got the same amount of leisure time to hone his skills behind the wheel as Dan has, he’ll be banking on having a quicker accelerator foot to send him into an early lead.

The pit stops on the circuit might be Eben’s saving grace in the Moneyshake Grand Prix. For it’s here where he can get a new set of BMW’s excellent reduced rolling resistance tyres that could give him the advantage over his fierce German rival (we’re talking about Audi vs BMW here, Dan isn’t German).

 

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Sonja, Graphics and UX Designer – Audi A1

 
Audi A1 Sportback on a nice country road
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 7.7
  • Power (bhp): 150
  • Weight (kg): 1,165
 

Really spicing up the competition is Sonja’s ‘pocket rocket’ Audi A1 which presents a problem for the bigger cars before it. Namely, it’s lighter, thinner and still packs plenty of punch.

On a tight course like Monaco, you might just fancy the A1. Portier corner represents a fantastic overtaking opportunity (probably the only chance in the race) because it’s opposite the tunnel entrance.

Sonja will be fancying her chances to create an upset on at least one of the 78 laps at this critical corner. If the other drivers don’t keep up a good speed entering the right-hand turn, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them.

 

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Zakk, Social Media Manager and Content Creator – Peugeot 207

 
Peugeot 207 on a seaside road
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 12.5
  • Power (bhp): 90
  • Weight (kg): 1,243
 

As far as tactics go, Zakk and his Peugeot 207 might well have an underrated advantage over the others. The advantage we’re referring to is fuel-efficiency.

With a 1.6-litre diesel engine that has a very frugal 62.7mpg, it’s all but guaranteed that the 207 will require less pit stops than the other, thirstier cars in the race. So, despite not having speed on his side, could Zakk be the tortoise that beats the hare like popular folktale has us believe?

One also has to consider that the Peugeot 207 has incredibly light steering which makes it very adept at tight manoeuvring. Given that there are a whopping 19 turns on the Monaco circuit – many of which are hairpins – then Zakk and his 207 can’t be written off completely.

 

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Elliot, Customer Service Coordinator – BMW 1 Series

 
BMW 1 Series on a winding country road
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 8.9
  • Power (bhp): 136
  • Weight (kg): 1,365
 

Another premium compact car on the Moneyshake Grand Prix starting line, though slightly more reserved than the A1.

Nevertheless, Elliot is one of the youngest drivers in the line-up and his coordination isn’t just spoken for when it comes to serving customers. Nope, behind the wheel of the BMW 1 Series is a petrolhead through and through who has the capacity to light this race up with his ‘Stokie fire’ alone.

One thing’s for certain, he’ll be keen not to let excitement on the day get the better of him. Right out of the blocks there’s a near-90-degree right-hand bend after the short sprint up Boulevard Albert ler, and it’s these early moments where Elliot will have to prove his composure over the more experienced drivers in the race.

Once a couple of laps are under his belt, the man on the phone will be looking to engage his Bimmer’s Sport+ mode which sharpens throttle response, steering and suspension. It will also allow for more rear wheel slip that, in the right hands, could give him a crucial advantage on those corners.

 

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Simon, Partner Relationship Manager – Honda Civic

 
Honda Civic front
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 8.6
  • Power (bhp): 140
  • Weight (kg): 1,468
 

Simon and his MK8 Honda Civic both pride themselves on daring to be different. In a flooded hatchback market where the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus take the share of the spoils, the Civic stood out with its genuinely unique looks and enjoyable drive. Likewise, Simon has a reputation for looking after our leasing brokers by guaranteeing them quality leads.

What are we getting at? Well, as the old saying goes, “fortune favours the brave”, and together Simon and the Civic have enough between them to nick the race on a good day.

If anything, reliability is on the side of the Civic, with very few complaints from owners. As long as Simon can keep the car shiny side up and stick it out to the latter stages of the race, he may well come up trumps for a podium finish thanks to time saved at the pit stops.

 

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Cameron, Digital Content Lead – Toyota Aygo

 
Toyota Aygo driving round a UK street
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 13.8
  • Power (bhp): 72
  • Weight (kg): 840kg
 

It’s the least powerful car of the bunch and is done for when it comes to outright pace, but the Toyota Aygo (like its owner) knows that where there’s a will there’s a way.

And what way might that be? In this case, it’s the dinky dimensions – both of the car and Cameron – which stand them in good stead for the Moneyshake Grand Prix. You see, the Aygo has weight, manoeuvrability, reliability and fuel efficiency over the other cars.

It’s down to Cameron whether these perks can be used to good effect, especially when he’s a couple of laps behind the quicker opponents. But he can speak for his car which is likely going to need the least pit stops thanks to its 100% reliability rating from owners – and that’s for models that are three years old! Cameron’s has less than 4,000 miles on the clock so expect him to be fresh out the blocks and ready for the long haul.

His job title contains the word ‘lead’, but will this manifest itself into a literal lead on race day?

 

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Alex, Data Analyst Executive – Mini Cooper S

 
Mini Cooper S in red and black on a plot of land
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 6.7
  • Power (bhp): 178
  • Weight (kg): 1,210
 

He’s crunched the numbers. He drives a machine that is full of surprises. If there’s one man that can guarantee fireworks on the track it’s Alex.

According to pre-race reports his team have analysed the course profile and his car’s performance capabilities to execute calculated manoeuvres at key points in the race that should guarantee victory. But that’s if everything goes according to plan, yet race day can always throw out surprises that even the most detailed strategy can’t prepare for.

On the day, it may come down to the proven Mini Cooper S to use its tech-savvy sporty features to deliver a victory. One such feature is ‘performance control’, which controls engine output and brakes each wheel individually to ensure balance while cornering at speed. A handy feature no doubt given the number of akward twists and turns on the circuit – but will it be enough to see Alex crowned champion?

 

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James, Dealership Relationship Manager – Audi Q3

 
Audi Q3 Sportback on a country lane
 

Key stats

 
  • 0-62mph (seconds): 9.6
  • Power (bhp): 150
  • Weight (kg): 1,450
 

The less mean (and less green) version of Dan’s car. James’ Audi Q3 is by no means out of the race because it has less power. We also have to consider the man piloting the vehicle and his team.

James is pretty pally with experienced car dealership staff that can give him the upper hand in a race that will ultimately come down to who can have the quickest turnaround at the pit stops.

Acceleration might be the stat that you focus on in this instance, but once up to speed the Q3 has a top speed of 128mph. While that’s 27mph short of the sportier RS Q3, James will be banking on entering corners faster in order to get the beating of his opponents using pure guts.

 

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