Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 June 2019

F1 must use harder tyres at Monaco Grand Prix in future to help inject some much-needed entertainment

Overtaking will always be tough in Monte Carlo, but repeat of Sunday's race where Lewis Hamilton complained of not being allowed to push must not be allowed to happen again

Lewis Hamilton was unimpressed with being unable to push hard in Monaco due to the high degrading tyres. Charles Coates / Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton was unimpressed with being unable to push hard in Monaco due to the high degrading tyres. Charles Coates / Getty Images

There is usually an out-cry most years about how processional and dull the Monaco Grand Prix is after the event has happened.

Beforehand there is the usual excitement and hype about Formula One being in Monte Carlo, which seems to ignore that fact that the venue is entirely inappropriate for modern cars to race around.

Overtaking is extremely difficult and pretty much needs the driver overtaking to have the co-operation of the car in front to get past.

Dull Monaco races are not new, but F1 has always put up with it in the past because while the actual racing is not good, the venue is spectacular and the drivers do have a challenge, when going at full speed, of pushing hard knowing that any error will be punished by hitting the barriers.

Certain circumstances made this year's race particularly troublesome and highlighted the problem that F1, in its modern form, has in Monaco.


Read more

Daniel Ricciardo survives engine drama to win in Monte Carlo

Toto Wolff: Issues with Mercedes car delayed Lewis Hamilton contract talks

Comment: After Barcelona blunder, Grosjean's Ferrari dream up in smoke


If you needed a reminder of just how hard it is to overtake in Monaco then Daniel Ricciardo's victory underlined it.

That is not to detract from the Red Bull Racing driver's effort from guiding a sick RB14 home for his second win of 2018.

But it is a scary scenario when a car that has lost 25 per cent of its engine performance due to a mechanical failure, can hold off the rest of the field and triumph.

Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was consistently no more than a second behind, but a mixture of Ricciardo's skilled driving and the layout of the circuit meant the German never looked like attempting a passing move.

The other issue was that Pirelli brought its softest compounds of tyres, the hypersoft and the ultrasoft, as two of the three options for the race.

Most teams went for a strategy of a short first stint of the quickly degrading hypersoft, and then trying to make the ultrasoft last for 50-60 laps.

That most drivers did achieve. By driving off the pace. Very off the pace as it turned out.

They of course could have pitted for new rubber, but given the toughness of overtaking to get back positions lost by pitting, most stuck it out on track.

Lewis Hamilton, the world champion who finished third, was not impressed by the afternoon's action as he spent more time worrying about his tyres then actually challenging the drivers ahead.

"It's just insane how little I was pushing - the least, probably, that I can ever remember."

Ricciardo referred to some of his racing as "cruising" and it summed up an event that really did not do F1 any favours.

Spectators do not travel to Monte Carlo and pay hundreds of Euros to sit in grandstands and watch their heroes drive within themselves.

Likewise, the race where the top five finished where they started is unlikely to have enthralled TV audiences across the globe.

The problem is the drivers could get away with driving slow because they knew it would be impossible to pass if they ensured they were fast in the key areas of the course.

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on

Given F1 is unlikely to ditch Monaco as a location anytime soon, the sport's chiefs need to look at how to prevent this happening again.

The easiest way is by ensuring that Pirelli bring their hardest tyres next year to Monaco, something the drivers can push hard on for a long duration.

It will not make overtaking any easier on the current track layout, but if the drivers can go flat out and challenge each other, it may create more pressure or mistakes.

Practice and qualifying were great to watch in Monaco, watching the top drivers throw their cars around the streets with no margin for error.

The grand prix itself did not deliver. It rarely does in terms of outright entertainment, but harder tyres would at least encourage the drivers to race. Which is the very minimum F1 fans should be treated to.

Updated: May 28, 2018 06:03 PM



Editor's Picks