F1 open to Monaco changes

Jerry Andre/Motorsport Images

F1 open to Monaco changes

Formula 1

F1 open to Monaco changes


Formula 1 is open to looking at what it can do to improve the Monaco Grand Prix but is wary of spoiling the special challenge it already delivers, according to Ross Brawn.

Lewis Hamilton said ahead of this weekend’s race that he feels the event needs to change, adding, “We’ve had the same format for years — it’s the best venue and it is the most beautiful place we get to race at but you already know that it’s never exciting for fans.”

F1’s managing director of motorsports Brawn says it’s an understandable take on the racing side of things and that discussions are held about what could improve the sporting spectacle, but insists the sport will be cautious with any changes it looks into.

“Monaco is a very special event,” Brawn told RACER. “It’s a whole thing. There are some unique challenges at Monaco, and there’s definitely nowhere else we race with those sort of challenges. The challenges of the nature of the track and the barriers, the conditions you’re working in, weather can be a big factor here…

“I think we’d all love if we could to make a greater opportunity to overtake in Monaco, because in the races if the guy in front does a great job it’s very difficult to challenge them, and we’ve seen that over the years many times.

“We could look at the format. I mean, some of the teams have suggested we only use soft tires for the whole weekend — now, I can recall a race in Singapore where the tires were very soft and the guy in front just queued everyone up until it was the opportune time for him then to change his tires. The teams are so good at taking advantage of the conditions. We could look at changing tire usage or things of that nature but I think the teams will just immediately optimize around it.

“Can we change the track here? That’s a big question. We’re very limited, but maybe we just need to have a lateral view as to whether there’s anything that can be done with the track or the layout that could enhance the racing.

Close-quarters action around the tight confines of the circuit – like this Hamilton-vs-Verstappen battle for the win in 2019 – are a part of Monaco’s unique appeal, Brawn argues. Hasan Bratic/Sutton/Motorsport Images)

“But I don’t think we should lose sight of how special Monaco is and what a great event it is. Blue riband event — the world’s focused on Monaco for this weekend. It normally produces an eventful race. There are processions here sometimes, but I can remember lots of races where because of safety cars or crashes or weather, there’s something thrown into the mix that suddenly makes it a real race.

“So we don’t want to spoil what we’ve got. It’s fair comment but not an easy one to resolve; but we’re completely open-minded to see if there’s a solution.”