Let's Brainstorm: How Can We Make F1's Monaco Grand Prix More Interesting?

Illustration for article titled Let's Brainstorm: How Can We Make F1's Monaco Grand Prix More Interesting?
Photo: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP (Getty Images)

It isn’t often that I’ll admit that maybe Bernie Ecclestone was right about something, but after last weekend’s processional Monaco Grand Prix, I’ve been thinking that Formula One’s most iconic—and most boring—race could use a makeover. And with NASCAR’s rainy outing at Circuit of the Americas taking place at the same time, I started thinking, maybe installing sprinklers at race tracks to make artificially wet races wouldn’t be such a bad idea.


As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one brainstorming what could make the race even slightly more interesting. Chain Bear on YouTube was sharing that wavelength.

The whole premise here is pretty simple: what would make the Monaco Grand Prix more interesting? What would it take? And I have to say that Stuart over at Chain Bear is, once again, the master of some very good ideas, such as:

  • Revamp the entire weekend, turning Saturday’s qualifying session into a one-lap attempt to set the fastest time. Then, on Saturday, run another staggered qualifying session, the assumption being the track will get better as the day goes on, so drivers will have the pressure of choosing the best time to go out.
  • If you’re still interested in the traditional Sunday race, introduce a mandatory Joker Lap, which will bring in a bunch of strategy opportunities that could shake up the running order.
  • Or, you could run an even longer and harder Joker Lap that basically reroutes the entire circuit.

I have to admit that these options are a lot more fun than me running with Ecclestone’s unimaginative artificial rain idea, which has the opportunity to fall apart at any possible moment.

But I’ll throw another idea into the ring. Make all the F1 drivers run Formula E cars on the Formula E Monaco circuit, which made for a fascinatingly exciting race earlier this year. It would still be part of the F1 Championship, but you’d just have a one-off event that would throw a money wrench into everything the series knows about itself, thus guaranteeing chaos and fun.

I am amenable to hearing your ideas, so get pitching.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.



Keep it like this and accept the fact that this one race has its place in the championship for history, glory, glamour, for the black and white images from the 50s and 60s.
Because it is a weird and out of time show that embodies the essence of what F1 was and is, and what remains of its mix of poshness and dirty mechanics working all night to repair a car.

It’s romantic, as simple as that. And not every race has to be an adrenalinic circus of overtakes. We could just appreciate it for what it is.

It’s racing history, live, right in front of our eyes.
If one can’t grasp this simple fact he/she has not understood F1, in my opinion.

On the other hand, Monaco is one race, and probably should be one only. What I mean is that you definetely can and should keep it like it always has been, but in the meantime you shouldn’t replicate its formula in 42 other races with city circuits in every other exotic city, only because they offer a bag of cash.

Because if you strip Monaco from its heritage and history, yes, what it remains is a boring race in a cramped circuit. And you get Abu Dhabi.
Not a great idea to try a and make another 5 or 6 of it all along the season.
THAT’s not interesting. That’s boring.

To improve Monaco you shouldn’t change a thing of it, but you should work to let it be the only one weird outlier in an otherwise more racing-intense championship. Quirky and fascinating precisely because unique, and not common.