(Motorsport-Total.com) – For years, the unwritten law applied in Formula 1: “Bernie Ecclestone needs Ferrari and Monaco – then everything else will take care of itself.” As a result, Ferrari received a special payment from the prize pool and Monaco was the only grand prize that did not have to pay an event fee. But those times are over.
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Most intense clip: Marc Surer at the Casino of Monaco (Arrows, 1986)
Liberty Media (since 2017), the new rights holder, has acquired new destination cities such as Miami and Las Vegas for Formula 1 while retaining existing key locations such as Singapore and Baku. As a result, Monaco’s former charisma loses its value in relative terms, and Liberty revokes perks such as training-free Friday or the free contract.
“It was just like when you explained to the sponsor just after the start of the season that you presented it in Monaco,” says Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer. “Today there are a lot of events you can invite the CEO to: Miami was crowded, it’s going to be Vegas too. There are other places to consider.”
Steering is being criticized more and more
Regardless of the “big business”, the track is a point that is repeatedly criticized in Monaco. Arcades such as the casino, Loews, or the pool have not lost any of their former charm. But the races are usually boring because overtaking is almost impossible in the emirate’s narrow streets.
“Monaco should probably consider doing a different track, where there is also an opportunity to overtake,” Formula 1 expert Mark Surer says in a recent video on Formel1.de’s YouTube channel. In that regard, the track in Monte Carlo is a “disaster,” he said.
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“We have a parade. The whole race is an elimination race where the only overtaking maneuvers are in the pits. You really have to think: where do you change the lane so that there is a chance to overtake? And I’m sure they will. You have a chance to overtake a spotting,” says Surer.
As early as 2021, predict whether racing in reverse will not provide better overtaking opportunities. The extension of the track with an additional loop has also been considered in the past. To date, however, only cosmetic modifications such as Rascasse deactivation have been implemented.
“Doing a race where you can’t overtake is actually nonsense,” Surer says, but adds “on the other hand: overtaking alone doesn’t work. It’s also an exciting race when one of them rushes into the other, until they make a mistake. So Monaco has the excitement.”
Driving in Monaco: Feeling like you’re in an ice channel
This also applies to the driver’s experience in the cockpit. Surer competed in the Monaco Grand Prix five times and even finished sixth on the captaincy in 1981, earning points. He recalls: “Monaco is great. You ride in a canal. The only comparison I can think of: I once rode in a bobsleigh in St. Moritz. I had the exact same feeling.”
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And even if Monaco is no longer the highlight of the season on a commercial and racing level: “Formula 1 thrives on tradition. Formula 1 without Monaco, something is simply missing”, confirms Surer. “We have to keep racing. Even if the cars aren’t fit for this track anymore, you have to say so.”
In an interview on Formel1.de’s YouTube channel (12:29 min), Marc Surer also recalls other aspects of Formula 1 in Monaco, such as the wild barbecues where drivers not only burn coals, but also hurl chairs at the restaurant with gunfire. Subscribe to the channel now for free and never miss a new video with the experts of Formula 1!