Monaco has changed over the years. There’s little doubt about that and even though they’ve been racing there since the 1920’s, it hasn’t changed radically since then. In the 70’s they redesigned the track to encompass the swimming pool section. Some modifications for a smaller and faster chicane in the late 70’s. In the mid-80’s they added the Nouvelle Chicane and in 1997 they redesigned the swimming pool section.
After reclaiming some of the land from the bay, they redesigned the pits and pit lane which added more space for the teams which was a welcome alteration for sure. All things given, it has changed a few times with the largest changes adding the Piscine section and the pitlane changes. Still, the track layout has remained very similar to the original. After Sunday’s race, that might not be good enough anymore.
In what Fernando Alonso called the most boring Formula 1 race ever and echoed by Lewis Hamilton, the latter told the press that maybe it’s time to redesigned the Monaco circuit and make it longer.
“It was insane how little l was pushing – the least l can ever remember. There was a point where l was ten seconds behind and l was conflicted because in my heart l was ‘I still want to win the race’ and they were like ‘no, just bring it home’. I just love racing.
“So what can we do to make this one better?”
Hamilton had an answer to his own question.
“I spoke to Prince Albert the other day and said maybe we should make it longer. There are more roads so maybe we can change this great track and make it even better.
“Or maybe the format should change. You shouldn’t be able to do a one-stop race here. There has to be some mixed-up things. Maybe we need two races.
“But that was the longest 78 laps ever!”
I watched the race on Sunday and to be honest, I enjoyed it and found there to be some intrigue and decent passing and defending. There are those who don’t like Monaco and it seems each year they offer more and more complaints about how processional it is and what a boring race it is.
I jumped on social media to see the reaction and from what I could tell, younger fans are among some of the most ardent supporters of changing the circuit.
One enterprising chap decided to post a video of the famous Ayrton Senna lap as an example of how exciting the Monaco GP used to be and how boring it is no, thus, we need to change it because young fans won’t stand for it any longer.
I didn’t want to come across as a jerk but the video he posted says everything you need to know about what really is wrong with Monaco. Daniel Ricciardo claimed pole this weekend and the hard core F1 fans will know that was some stunning onboard lap footage. When compared to Senna’s lap, it’s not the same. When Lewis’s race is compared to that of Senna’s race, it’s not the same…but the track is.
What!!?? Are you a luddite? F1 has always been the pinnacle of technology and that is true but perhaps the cars have advanced so far that the visceral experience of Monaco isn’t the same as it used to be. Driver’s weren’t able to take Eau Rougue flat out either but times change.
So now we have cars with epic technology and downforce and Lewis trundled around not pushing during the Monaco Grand Prix. Perhaps there is room to change the circuit and make it longer but is that the right idea? If you reduced aerodynamic downforce and made the cars more of a handful to manage, I think you would find Monaco to be quite the challenge. But that, some fans would argue, is going backwards and where is the logic in that?
F1 owners have suggested that making some track changes that react in ways conducive to better racing given the current car technology and regulations is a possibility. Would Monaco be a place ripe for that change? What do you think?
I’m not in favor of changing Monaco, or other tracks, to suit the current cars. I feel we’ve swung the pendulum too far toward the engineering spectrum and lost a bit of the driver element in F1. Indycar might be a good example that just because you can do something on a car doesn’t always mean you should. The cars at this year’s Indy 500 were a handful and many drivers lost the rear end of the car. Perhaps using technology to make the cars more of a handful could be a move in the right direction? Maybe not.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1