Monaco No Longer Untouchable

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Monaco used to be the crown jewel in the Formula One Racing calendar so much so they never even had to pay the nominal fee to be the host. Other tracks have to cough up in excess of $70 million per race just to guarantee they are on the calendar. The sport is changing at a rapid pace as new fans are being onboarded.

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A very important part of the negotiations that need to happen is sponsors who are at every track except Monaco. Crypto.com, Rolex, Emirates and a whole host of others are not blazoned around the track. Tag Heuer is the official time keeper so no Rolex as the Automobile Club of Monaco is the host of this race. Not only is the race free, but they make all the extras like advertising.

Monaco used to be the highlight each season as they offered a street race steeped in history plus an iconic coastal setting. This was fine for the smaller cars that raced around this track as Monaco has been used 67 times out of the 72 year old World Championship.

Every racing fan will tell you this has to be the most boring race track ever designed as there is very little overtaking taking place. Tomorrows race will possibly see half a dozen overtakes and the majority will be via pit stops.

The undercut is the only chance of leap frogging whoever is in front of you or possibly a crash which is almost a certainty. The undercut is when a car who is behind you comes in for fresh tyres and gains an advantage of using that new rubber whilst you go around for another lap before coming in. This is normally a difference of around 5 seconds so it definitely is a strategy that teams will use. If you have pole position the race is only there for you to lose. This is why the race is now in jeopardy as where is the entertainment as this is ultra boring?

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The cars are wider and heavier and the circuit cannot be altered anymore as they are using the road system that is available to them. There is no room for expansion as there are buildings plus a marina to contend with.

Liberty Media who own the Formula One rights quite rightly would like Monaco to pay their fair share like every other circuit. There is no ways they are handing out a new extended contract and whatever transpires will be a short one at a hefty price. Negotiations are under way this weekend as next years race is still in the balance.

There are already 25 races penciled in next season with Las Vegas and China being added. The Las Vegas race looks as though it is going to be the new jewel in the crown replacing Monaco as this is going to be the big money earner. If Monaco survives which I think it will this time around, but somehow think they are going to be phased out over the next 5 years. I can see the race coming back on alternate years, but definitely not a permanent guaranteed race.

We already know Vietnam was promised a race as they have already built their track. Johannesburg or Cape Town will be added at some point and suspect another few races in America. Theoretically we could see a calendar of 30 plus races each season. The demand is there and Liberty Media want to ride this growing wave of support.

There are more tracks willing to pay their way than they can actually use and they are all offering far more than Monaco just on entertainment value alone. Less fans can attend due to limited seating facilities so everything points to the sport having outgrown this circuit. No one is to blame as that is where the sport is currently and a reality check has to happen.

If something doesn't fit the criteria and business model you change that and move on. The Monaco Grand Prix is iconic to the Formula One history and that is what will make the decision that much harder. Liberty Media is a business and answers to their share holders so they have no real choices left but to wave good bye.



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11 comments
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I think Las Vegas is an ideal location. They have the hotel capacity to easily house the fans.

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Part of the beauty of the sport is the strategy but realistically you need rain, safety cars, or a wet track that is drying or a roasting hot track to add the jeopardy that is needed to make any race exciting. I agree that Monaco is memorably boring but I still will watch the replay on Sunday evening. The replay will have the advantages of skipping through the red flags rebuilding the walls if someone bins it

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I think you summarized the problem quite well! It is a very traditional race track full of memories but it is really not that entertainign anymore :/ Whoever gets pole, most likely wins the race, unless your wheelbolt is stuck for over a day during a pit stop :D (Last year happend to Bottas)

I can udnerstand every buisness owner who would decide against the Monaco GP and bring in a much more entertaining and much more profitable race to the race calender. On the other hand, it will kind of harm the romance of the sport. I think long lived fans will hate to see this track gone. The younger generation would probably like it.

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everything points to the sport having outgrown this circuit.

That's ultimately what it all comes down to. Monaco is romantic but the sport needs to expand and it's growing rapidly. I really hope Melbourne Aus remains

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Sports is moving from its norms of being a passionate and historical thing to just being one were how to make more money is the first thing that comes to any organizer's mind. Although Monaco failed to upgrade to the standard of other race venues but history should have been preserved still

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It is more than that as the cars are much bigger and heavier now so the track is no longer a race track.The track cannot be changed as there is no room.

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oh, that's also a valid reason

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Even as someone who only watches Formula 1 very occasionally, the way you wrote this made it interesting enough for me to read it all! I look forward to your next Sports posts!

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I kind of think Monaco should be untouchable in F1. It's definitely THE iconic track and definitely the one I'd most like to attend.

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I am not really a fan of this sport but I did watch a little bit of it. While I was watching I was thinking to myself that it looks almost impossible to ever have a chance to pass anyone. How is that exciting?

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It isn't exciting and why they need to move away from this circuit. The cars are wider and almost 5m long so things have changed quite considerably since thy first started there 72 years ago.

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