Why are we still racing at Monaco?

For more than 90 years, Monaco has served up some spectacular racing at the glittering Monte Carlo harbour, but just how good is it today?

When the F1 calendar is released each year there are several races that fans highlight. This can be their home Grand Prix, or some of the races almost guaranteed to serve up good racing, such as Silverstone, Azerbaijan and Spa.

Many fans circle Monaco as one of their most anticipated races, but should they?

Does the Monaco GP still have the entertainment value to match the highest tier of racing circuits?

The governing body of Formula 1 (FIA) state that the specifications for track width should be between 12-15 metres to avoid congestion. On average, Monaco is 9-10 metres wide with its narrowest point being the between the swimming pool complex and Rascasse at seven metres.

Over the last 20 years, the average number of overtakes at each Grand Prix is roughly 25-30. The average number of overtakes at Monaco is 10-15.

Due to its tight nature and short straights Monaco sits at the very bottom of overtakes per race. Despite the past decade of racing being somewhat defined by the demand for more overtaking, and the introduction of measures such as DRS to increase this.

The Crowded hairpin in 2019 Source: Motorsportmagazine.com

Another issue that must be considered with modern F1 at Monaco is safety. The safety of the drivers has been of upmost importance and evolution throughout its history.

There have been constant innovations such as the monocoque, tyre barriers, run-off areas and most recently the halo. All of these have been designed and implemented with the safety of drivers in mind.

The monstrous speed of modern F1 cars and the close proximity of the barriers is a dangerous mixture of factors that could create a disaster.

The Monaco circuit has been largely unchanged throughout the last 90 years but, in order for it to keep up with the increasing safety standards it may need altering. However, no one wants to tinker and possibly ruin a significant piece of motor racing history.

So, why does F1 still race at Monaco? There are two answers to this question. Money and spectacle. Monaco has a persona of fame and wealth. Broadcasters pay millions to beam the race into peoples homes every year, and the cheapest ticket to the 2021 GP is $695 AU.

As long as the race is making money, the people wielding the power in the F1 paddock will do their upmost to make sure that Monaco stays on the calendar.

Despite the introduction of modern night Grands Prix such as Singapore, Monaco is still the most spectacular event of the year. Although the race on Sunday may be ordinary, watching 1000 bhp speed machines roar around the streets during Saturday qualifying is still one of the best sights of the season.

The magic and entertainment value Formula 1 cars at Monaco is alive today. No doubt, there are many races that are better than Monaco but it still remains the Jewel in the Crown. This debate will continue, but ask any F1 fan the one race they would like to attend, most will still say Monaco.

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