Crash debates: Has F1 outgrown Monaco and is it time to leave?
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Formula 1’s blue riband event – the Monaco Grand Prix – didn’t exactly receive a glowing review on its return to the calendar following a one-year hiatus.A fairly uneventful race saw Max Verstappen go largely unchallenged as he dominated to claim his maiden victory around the famous streets of the principality and soar to the top of the F1 world championship for the first time in his career.With overtaking extremely limited – and the one notable moment of excitement embarrassingly missed by the TV director – many fans were left branding the event a 78-lap snooze-fest. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had called for changes to the weekend format at Monaco before the weekend’s action even got underway, having predicted that F1 fans would “see a train on Sunday”. He wasn’t wrong. With F1’s latest generation of bigger, wider cars used since 2017 only exacerbating the overtaking issue, has the time come for the relationship between F1 and Monaco to be reconsidered? Here are the views of our F1 writers…Yes – Monaco has run its course While Monaco has been a regular staple on the F1 calendar over the years, Sunday’s dull affair highlights how the sport has simply outgrown the iconic Monte Carlo streets.Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Ferrari investigation finds Leclerc’s did cause race-ending failureaccImages.createImage(); Former FIA president Max Mosley dies aged 81 Qualifying remains an impressive spectacle in Monaco, but it does at most tracks. Plus, the sport is built on what happens on a Sunday – the grand prix.XPB_1088749_HiRes.jpg accImages.createImage();The only overtake we saw televised was Mick Schumacher’s late lunge on Nikita Mazepin into the hairpin. In terms of the front of the field, there was no action or chance of it due to how narrow the circuit is and how big modern F1 cars.Even in 2018 when Daniel Ricciardo had suffered an ERS failure – costing him several seconds per lap – Sebastian Vettel couldn’t get close to make a manoeuvre.The ‘challenge of Monaco’ is extremely overrated as well.Zero yellow flag or Safety Car periods in the 2021 race show Monaco is simply too easy nowadays – tracks like Mugello, Imola, Suzuka and Spa-Francorchamps provide a much greater challenge, even Baku does!Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Giovinazzi hopes ‘luck is turning around’ after first F1 point of 2021 in MonacoaccImages.createImage(); Giovinazzi hopes ‘luck is turning around’ after first F1 point of 2021 in MonacoNot only the track isn’t suitable for F1, but the whole glitz and glamour rhetoric also doesn’t fit with the sport in 2021, nor is it popular with the average fan.At the end of the race, legendary Tennis champion Serena Williams was interviewed by David Coulthard – why?Could you imagine Verstappen being interviewed after Roger Federer had just won Wimbledon?”4Fans don’t want an obsession over completely irrelevant (in F1 terms) celebrities which the Monaco GP weekend, unfortunately, plays into with its ‘glitz and glamour’ vibe.Even if F1 doesn’t let go of Monaco completely, a change in the track layout or perhaps having Pirelli bring specifically-made Monaco tyres to force extra pit stops and greater variation in the race would be welcome.Monaco will always have a great place in F1’s history but times move on.Connor McDonaghNo – Qualifying spectacle is unrivalled Monaco is synonymous with F1, having been the jewel in the calendar for more than 70 years since being part of the first world championship all the way back in 1950. “5Only last year was the event not held owning to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was a welcome return to the 2021 schedule. For fans of tradition in F1, what says tradition in grand prix racing more than Monaco? The whole event exudes showbiz and glamour and to this day, it remains a firm favourite among the drivers. 2807263.0064.jpg accImages.createImage();Yes, the race isn’t the most exciting and yes, it is more often than not a procession, but it is just one race on an increasingly expanding 20-plus round world championship calendar. Not every race will be a classic, but Monaco provides a unique kind of thrill. It is qualifying day on Saturday that makes Monaco so special and sets it apart from all the other races on the calendar. Seeing the drivers test themselves and pushing to the limit at mind-boggling speeds knowing that the slightest error will have catastrophic consequences (just ask Charles Leclerc) is verging on lunacy but absolutely epic.”6In an age of endless run-off areas, Monaco remains one of the few circuits that still tests true driver skill and punishes mistakes. And as last weekend highlighted, there is always a high chance for a shock result or two.While this year’s Monaco GP lacked on-track excitement in the race, it has certainly made the title fight more interesting with an outcome that simply wouldn’t have occurred at any other circuit. “7Lewis Larkam What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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