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Monaco Grand Prix - Why F1's showpiece is irreplaceable

Monaco Grand Prix - Why F1's showpiece is irreplaceable

Monaco Grand Prix - Why F1's showpiece is irreplaceable

Monaco Grand Prix - Why F1's showpiece is irreplaceable

The recent announcement of the Las Vegas Grand Prix as F1 continues to build its presence in the United States has thrust the sport even more firmly into the spotlight.

The new race has captured the imagination, adding to a bustling list of circuits around the world on the calendar but as more and more interest in joining that roster is created, historic races are put at risk.

The name that has been singled out since the announcement is Monaco, given its relation to Las Vegas with regard to its exclusivity and setting in amongst wealthy hotels and casinos.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has also warned Monaco may need to change to ensure its place is safe on the calendar. He said: “I think Monaco needs to come up to the same commercial terms as other grands prix [it pays only $15million per year].

"[It] also maybe needs to work with ways they can adapt their track because as our cars have become bigger, the racing has become more difficult.”

So should Monaco remain in F1?

What GPFans readers say

Across the weekend, GPFans conducted a poll asking you, the reader, if you believed Monaco should or should not be on the calendar going forward.

The results, as of writing, indicate 73 per cent think Monaco is part of the fabric and should stay in F1.

What you cannot escape is the continued pressure on the Principality to keep up with the evolution experienced by the sport in modern times.

Why Monaco is under pressure

The issue for Monaco is that whilst F1 cars are unrecognisable to those that took part in the 1950s other than the fact they are still single-seaters with four wheels, the track layout has gone largely unchanged.

Minor tweaks have taken place on the harbour front at the exit of the tunnel and the opening-up of the swimming pool complex whilst La Rascasse and Saint Devote have also been altered.

But other than these, the track remains the same and that is a problem because as F1's machinery has evolved into longer, wider and more powerful beasts, the racing action has been hindered.

Overtaking has never been easy in Monte Carlo - just think back to the incredible tussle between Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell in 1992.

But the scenario we have been left with in recent times is the race is almost done and dusted when qualifying is completed and that is not what we want to see.

With faster and wider street circuits entering the fray, Monaco no longer fits the bill in terms of racing excitement, hence the pressure to pay up or move on.

Is Monaco irreplaceable?

The question, therefore, turns to whether Monaco actually adds anything to F1.

The answer is simple. It does.

The Monaco Grand Prix is F1 summed up in a weekend. It is glamourous, expensive, exclusive, hair raising and - most importantly - completely over the top.

There is no greater challenge for the 20 drivers on the grid than to hustle an F1 car around the narrow streets for 78 laps, using the highest level of concentration of any athlete on the planet for the purpose of entertainment and sport.

Ask any driver and the race they will want to win, other than their home event if applicable, is the Monaco Grand Prix such is its history.

F1 without Monaco would be like F1 without Ferrari. Of course, it would survive, it just wouldn't feel the same.

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