Formula One: Is Monaco Necessary Anymore?

Sheiban ShakeriSenior Analyst IMay 16, 2008

This is a controversial topic that has been pondered many times. Several issues of F1 Racing Magazine in the past few years had readers write in saying that the cars had outgrown the streets of the principality. Racing in the principality has been likened by the first Nelson Piquet as "flying a helicopter in your living room."

While Formula One cars have become amazingly quick and amazingly aerodynamic (a mandatory prerequisite of the sport), the Circuit de Monaco has hardly changed. It is known as the slowest race on the Formula One calendar and the average speeds going through the twists and turns of Monte Carlo are around 150 km/h, about 50-60 km slower than other Grands Prix.

However, this is not new. Nelson Piquet's quote comes from the 1980s, and even in the 1930s when it first debuted, people complained that the cars were too fast, and it's certainly not news that the cars today are too fast.

But for a circuit where you don't have a lot of room, a driver error is followed by a crunching noise into the barriers, and is considered a way to separate the men from the boys in Formula One, the Monaco Grand Prix has appeared to become more of a ceremony than an actual race. Of course you will see amazing drives like Michael Schumacher's stellar drive from 22nd to 5th, but these tend to be anomalies.

Overall though, opinion on this race tends to be divided. Monaco is a crown jewel for Formula One, and many fans wonder why the question of taking Monaco out should even be addressed. On the other hand, another group of fans believe that Monaco has run out of fuel and that other high-speed tracks should take priority in order for us to watch some world-class racing.

What would the general consensus be towards Monaco? For the record, my opinion on this issue is neutral.