Words: Morné Esben
Revamp the Monaco Grand Prix or scrap it from the calendar. That seems to be the overwhelming consensus among racing fans after last Sunday’s snorefest through the principality.
The current Formula One season is a gripping one and it’s still very early to say who will end the season as World Champion in Abu Dhabi in November. Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo have all won two races so far this season which sets the championship up nicely, but unfortunately, last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix – a race labelled by many as the jewel in the F1 crown – did absolutely nothing to add to the tension and drama that had been built up in the five races before.
While Monaco remains an absolute favourite because of the glitz, glamour, breathtaking views and pre-race parties, the racing on a Sunday has for the past few years now more often than not disappointed racing enthusiasts. The race on Sunday was dull, dreary and boring and at one point the cars were lapping the circuit nine seconds slower than the speeds they achieved in qualifying on Saturday.
The top six finished the race in the exact position they started.
What have the drivers been saying about the race? Well, multiple world champions Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso slammed it as the most boring Monaco Grand Prix in history. Hamilton actually went on to propose that the track layout should be made longer to help promote more exciting races.
"Formula One needs to apply a different schedule here. It should not be a one-stop race, for example"
Alonso was also blunt in his assessment of the race.
"I think we probably need to give something to the fans at the end of the race just to pay the ticket back a little."
So what is the solution?
My immediate reaction is scrap Monaco from the calendar and take the race elsewhere, whether an existing, unused track or a newly-built track in an exotic location. But that could come with unintended negative consequences. I tend to agree with Hamilton, the weekend format needs to be revamped in some way. Whether it’s sprint races, reverse grids or different tyre compounds – the organisers will have to investigate ways of making this once iconic Grand Prix watchable again.