“Incredible”, but …: Formula 1 is looking for an answer to the difficult Monaco question

“Incredible” but …
Formula 1 is looking for an answer to the difficult Monaco question

Since Formula 1 has existed, Monaco has been on the racing calendar every year. But this weekend, the traditional Grand Prix is ​​threatened with a farewell performance. The contract expires – and again and again the question arises as to whether the narrow street circuit is still up to date.

The Automobile Club of Monaco has already announced the “most beautiful week of the year”. The outrageously expensive yachts push themselves into the harbor, the teams arranging their accommodation for the classic Formula 1 in the smallest spaces within sight of the legendary Rascasse. Formula 1 is driving through the Little Principality for the 68th time. The best class was on the Côte d’Azur in the first year of the World Cup. But the question is: how much longer? “It would be a shame to lose something that has been a part of the sport for so many years,” said Mick Schumacher.

The 23-year-old son of record-breaking world champion Michael Schumacher – who is also a five-time Monaco winner – is not alone in his opinion. Monaco is Formula 1. It has been an unwritten law for decades since the narrow streets were first driven in 1950. “A Formula 1 without Monaco is unthinkable,” says Christian Horner, whose Red Bull team has once again built its motorhome with roof terrace pool on a giant pontoon.

Monaco and Formula 1 – what an enticing combination for the rich and beautiful. The fact that the Cannes Film Festival is taking place at the same time may increase the number of celebrities in the already tight starting line-up. “If the world championship were to be reduced to one race, it would have to be Monte Carlo,” said the now 82-year-old triple world champion Jackie Stewart. “Driving Formula 1 in Monaco is like flying a helicopter in the living room,” said Nelson Piquet, 69, also a three-time champion. About 1000 times around the corner, about 4000 coupling operations. And all those inches past the crash barriers.

Today, Monaco would be rejected

Sounds spectacular. It was. Still is. But the myth threatens to disappear. Monaco is the pilot’s match against the track. And then against the opponents. Monaco means: It is practically impossible to get past. “Running a race where you can not overtake is nonsense,” says the former driver Marc Surer in a talk on the formula1de portal. His verdict: The route is no longer updated. Nor is he alone in his opinion.

“We can not live in the past,” said Mick Schumacher’s Haas team manager Günther Steiner. “If Monaco wanted to be included as a new track and they say: Well, we have the lowest entry fee of all tracks and you go where you can not overtake – Monaco would never be on the racing calendar,” Horner stressed , true. to the motto: “Stagnation means regression.” But Formula 1 has long since shifted a gear up under the leadership of the American media group Liberty Media.

Despite all the human rights and political discussions about the venue, the new street circuit in Saudi Arabia offered pure performance. Miami celebrated its premiere this year, Las Vegas will be added next year. Now Monaco must shift to the next gear. The contract expires after this race.

The talks are underway

This weekend shows that Formula 1 also breaks with the tradition there. For decades, pilots in the Principality always practiced on Thursdays. The reason: The training day often fell on Ascension Day, so Friday was always (noise) free. The training is Friday this year. Point.

Quite a few drivers, such as world championship leader Max Verstappen from Red Bull, his Ferrari opponent Charles Leclerc – a real Monegasse – or record champion Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes who is regaining strength, can stroll leisurely and walk from their flats to the fold. Sleep in your own bed and rest before Sunday’s race, which may have already been decided after Saturday’s qualifier.

One lap is only 3,337 kilometers long. There is no shorter event on the race calendar. So why not extend it? Surer suggests an extra loop. “As long as we drive past the casino and along the harbor, Monaco is Monaco,” he says.

The leader of the Monegasque car club recently expressed his confidence that Formula 1 will stop in Monaco after this season. They are in negotiations, Michel Boeri was quoted as saying by the “Gazette de Monaco”. This weekend there may be an opportunity to start a new Formula 1 future with the races of the past.

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