Formula 1 Racing

The simple rule change that could make the Monaco GP exciting again

A view of the circuit and surrounding buildings

As F1 machinery has grown ever bigger and heavier, it is clear the cars have outgrown the famous streets in terms of being able to offer thrilling wheel-to-wheel action.

On occasions there have been calls that it is the layout that needs to be changed to try to open up a proper overtaking opportunity somewhere.

Ideas have varied from potentially tweaking the Nouvelle chicane (could it be made wider and sharper, so it became a passing place?) to actually creating some fresh corners.

One idea that has often been talked about is for cars to turn left at Portier, run down the roads along the beach there for a bit before heading back for a much longer straight (and DRS zone) into the chicane.

Asked about there being potential for a track revision, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “Monaco keeps reclaiming land, so I think it’s something we collectively and Formula 1 should look at because it’s such a great place.

A view of the circuit and surrounding buildings

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“There’s so much history here but everything evolves. I think the cars are so big now. If you compare them to cars of 10 years ago, they’re almost twice the size, so it’s something that we need to collectively – as a sport with the promoter – look at: how do we just introduce an overtaking opportunity?”

However, making a drastic change as creating extra corners would not only be hugely expensive but would also not guarantee the racing would be any better.

Overtaking is hard in modern F1 and there are plenty of venues – just look at Imola the week before – where passing places are very limited.

This year’s Monaco GP was especially processional because of the circumstances surrounding the lap-one red flag.

It effectively turned the race into a supreme tyre management no-stopper, where the name of the game was as going as slow as possible to avoid the need for a change of rubber.

As George Russell, who lapped well off the pace, admitted, there was nothing to gain by driving any quicker because all that risked was trouble later in the race.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Monaco is not alone in having tyre strategy circumstances derailing the potential for thrills. F1 has been blighted many times in the recent past when an early safety car forces the first stop well before teams would ideally like, and the race then turns into extreme management so…

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