Watching the Monaco GP is a real privilege where by winning the driver will get the prestige of, which can not be acquired anywhere else. Source: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Watching the Monaco GP is a real privilege where by winning the driver will get the prestige of, which can not be acquired anywhere else. Source: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unique Monaco GP: would not be able to join the calendar today but is not kicked out either.

F1 Dins Davids Ozols 24.05.2024

The races have been held on the street circuit of Monaco since 1929, and although the cars have become many times more powerful, the narrow city circuit is still being raced. Despite the fact that it’s anything but exciting in terms of racing.

When the Monaco circuit was first raced competitively 95 years ago, the magazine La Vie Automobile wrote: “Any self-respecting race organizer would cover the entire track with ‘danger’ signs, installing them left and right.”

And if you ask some of the rally fans to describe the path along the Mediterranean coast, rest assured that the phrase “zero chance of overtaking” will be mentioned within the first three sentences. A more generous person would perhaps go as far as to say “few overtaking opportunities”.

Whoever starts first finishes first

For someone other than the starter from the best starting position to win in Monaco – as has happened in 13 of the last 20 cases – the given driver must either make a mistake, it must rain, or the team must make a proper pass with pit tactics.

However, these facts have never put the inclusion of the Monaco GP in the F1 calendar under question. However, over the decades various options have been discussed to make the track longer/more interesting – for example extending the track to the left before the famous tunnel, taking advantage of the beach section there.

But since there are no guarantees that it will give more chances of overtaking, the F1 series, let alone the race organizers, does not dare to make such an investment. Besides, it is not the easiest task to rearrange things in a city compressed into just 4 square kilometres.

Cannot beat the oil money

Speaking of money, that is also a problem in Monaco. For example, they pay significantly less than others to be part of the competition calendar. Although the exact numbers have not been disclosed, there is talk of 18-20 million euros, versus the 50 million offered by Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

Also, it is not possible to attract the masses to the edge of the street circle there. While Monza’s track can hold up to 400,000 people during a race weekend, Monaco’s daily limit is strictly 27,000 due to lack of space. And 7,000 of them have to settle for standing positions.

“I think that if Monaco was an aspiring stage on the calendar now and they turn to F1 with the story: ‘We pay you the least of all the circuits and if driving here, also means no overtakes’, they would never be added to the calendar,” the Red Bull team manager Christian Horner said.

However, he added: “But we have Monaco in our plan because of its prestige and history. It’s just the way it is!”

Prestige matters

Because the 27,000 who watch the Monaco stage on the spot are not ordinary fans, but filthy rich businessmen who are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of euros for a chance to enjoy Sunday’s race from the deck of their luxury yacht.

This is also the reason why we see sponsors at the Monaco track who are otherwise not interested in F1: for example, the watch brand Tag Heuer, which is also an arch-rival of Rolex, the official watch partner of the F1 series.

However, in light of the success of the stages in the USA – above all in Las Vegas, but also in Miami – in recent years, its meaning is beginning to change. Because there, too, it is possible to attract businessmen and celebrities to the track, but simply many times more of them.

Thus, the fate of the Monaco GP in F1 has come under a question mark. Last year, Liberty Media, which is responsible for F1, signed a three-year contract with the leading men there, but what will happen after 2025 is currently unknown.

The Monegasques, especially the Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, are of course interested in keeping the legendary street circuit on the F1 calendar, but at a time when everything is measured more and more in money, it will be difficult for them to compete with the rest of the world.

Can’t get rid of history

However, at this point, the same drivers who curse the street circuit for its boredom and few overtaking opportunities can come to their aid. As the three-time world champion Nelson Piquet aptly said: Racing in Monaco is like riding a bicycle in your living room, but a victory here is worth twice as much as anywhere else.

Besides, there is still such a prestigious achievement in the circuit world as the Triple Crown (Triple Crown of Motorsport). And to earn it one has to be victorious in Monaco. In addition to winning the most prestigious GP of the F1 series, the Triple Crown also requires the Indianapolis 500 trophy in the Indycar series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race victory.

There are only 19 drivers in history who have raced in all three series, and the only one to achieve this feat is two-time F1 World Champion Graham Hill. The Brit won at Monaco in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1969, the Indy 500 in 1966 and Le Mans in 1972.

Among active drivers, Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso have two triumphs out of three. The former is missing a win at Le Mans, the latter at the Indianapolis 500, meaning the list won’t be extended this weekend.

This year’s Monaco GP will start on Sunday, at 16:00 Estonian time.

Dins Davids Ozols

Dins is a self-raised copywriter whose burning desire for punctuality and correctness of texts has combined with a lifelong passion for sports. He's on a mission to provide OlyBet.TV visitors with content on current sports events. His favorite topics include major football leagues and competitions, NBA, and UFC.


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