Several people are calling for the Monaco Grand Prix to be removed from the Formula 1 calendar, but Sunday’s race proved why it should not be.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic and historic races in motorsport, with it having been run since 1929. But over the last couple of years, the number of people calling for it to be removed from the Formula 1 calendar has risen.
The race is very unique, compared to the others on the calendar throughout Formula 1’s history. In the last 12 Monaco races, excluding Sunday’s event, it averaged the least number of overtakes per race and the highest number of crashes per race, with 10 and 3.2, respectively.
Monaco’s uniqueness actually produces an interesting race quite regularly. Although it may not provide fans with the high-speed DRS zone overtakes that other tracks do, the circuit’s potential for unpredictability is what gives it the element of excitement.
Due to the circuit’s narrow nature, the opportunities to overtake are slim. Because of that, it puts a greater importance of performing in qualifying. In many instances, drivers have finished in their starting positions due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. So running the best lap possible is of utmost importance on Saturday.
Additionally, the strategy that teams choose to execute can either make or break their race. That includes what tires to start on, knowing the drivers and teams with which one will be competing, and playing one’s cards right regarding when to pit. Each driver has their own setup and strategy, which feeds into the excitement of the race.
The narrow streets of Monaco always deliver in terms of providing Formula 1 fans with what they want to see: yellow flags, safety cars, and gutsy overtake attempts.
Oftentimes, we will see drivers brushing a barrier or making slight contact with another car. The slightest of touches could lead to damage to the car or a yellow flag, which could have major implications that could change the complexion of the race.
In Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, the majority of the race was fairly boring. But once the rain started to fall, the action picked up, making it a lot more interesting and dramatic. Seeing drivers sliding around the corners on slick tires and pitting for intermediate tires gave fans the excitement they had been longing for.
The Monaco Grand Prix not being so traditional is what has made it so unique and historic over the years. Over the last few years, there have been rumors that it would be taken off of the calendar. But in 2022, a new three-year deal was signed, extending its stay on the Formula 1 calendar through at least 2025, indicating that many still see what is so special about Monaco.