‘Unimaginable’, but…: Formula 1 is looking for an answer to Monaco’s tough question

“Unimaginable” but…
Formula 1 is looking for an answer to Monaco’s tough question

Since the advent of Formula 1, 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 the question arises over and over again about whether the narrow street circuit is still up to date.

The Automobile Club of Monaco has already announced its “most beautiful week of the year”. Plenty of expensive yachts flock to the harbor, teams have set up their quarters for a Formula 1 classic in the smallest of spaces within sight of the legendary Rascasse. Formula 1 races through the small principality for the 68th time. The first season was on the Cote d’Azur in the first year of the World Cup. But the question: for how long? “It would be a shame to lose something that has been a part of the sport for so many years,” says Mick Schumacher.

The 23-year-old son of world champion Michael Schumacher – also a five-time winner in Monaco – is not alone in his opinion. Monaco is Formula 1. This has been an unwritten law for decades, ever since the narrow streets were first driven in 1950. Christian Horner, whose Red Bull team has once again built his mobile home with a rooftop pool on a massive pontoon, says: Formula 1 without Monaco is unimaginable.”

Monaco and Formula 1 – what an attractive combination for the rich and the beautiful. The fact that the Cannes Film Festival is taking place at the same time could add to the number of celebrities in an already tight starting lineup. “If the world championship has to be scaled back to one race, it has to be Monte Carlo,” said 82-year-old three-time world champion Jackie Stewart. “Driving Formula 1 in Monaco is like driving a helicopter in the living room,” said Nelson Piquet, 69, who is also a three-time champion. About 1,000 times around the corner, about 4,000 switches. And all those centimeters after the fenders.

Today, Monaco will be rejected

They look amazing. It was. still. But the legend is fading away. Monaco is the pilot’s fight against the circuit. And then against opponents. Monaco means: It is practically impossible to transcend the past. “Doing a race where you can’t overtake is nonsense,” former driver Marc Surer says in an interview on formel1.de. His verdict: The road is no longer up to date. He is not alone in his opinion.

“We cannot live in the past,” said Haas boss Mick Schumacher, Gunther Steiner. “If Monaco wants to be included as a new track and they say ‘OK, we have the lowest entry fee for all the tracks and you go where you can’t overtake – you’ll never be Monaco on the racing calendar,'” Horner emphasized, true to the tagline: “Stagnation means regression.” But Formula 1 has long since transformed under the leadership of American media group Liberty Media.

Despite all the human rights and political debates about the venue, the new street circuit in Saudi Arabia presented a pure spectacle. Miami celebrated the premiere this year, and Las Vegas will be added next year. Now Monaco has to move to the next speed. The contract expires after this race.

Conversations are going on

This weekend shows that Formula 1 is breaking with tradition there, too. For decades, pilots in the emirate have always practiced Thursdays. The reason: Training day often fell on boarding day, so Friday was always noise-free. Training on Friday this year. a point.

After all, quite a few drivers, such as world championship leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc – the true Monegas champion – or record champion Lewis Hamilton in a resurgent Mercedes, can stroll quietly and walk from their apartments to the ring. Sleep in your bed and rest before Sunday’s race, which may already be decided after Saturday’s qualifying.

One lap is only 3,337 kilometers long. There is no shorter event on the race calendar. Why don’t we extend it? Surer suggests an additional loop. “As long as we are past the casino and along the port, Monaco is Monaco,” he says.

The president of the Automobile Club de Monaco recently expressed confidence that Formula 1 would stop in Monaco after this season. “The Gazete de Monaco” quoted Michel Boeri as saying that they were in talks. There may be a chance this weekend to start a new future for Formula 1 with racing from the past.

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