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The world-renowned sport of Formula 1 is filled with thrillers and classics, ranging from the brightly-lit streets of Singapore to the historic circuit of Silverstone, UK.

None, however, meet the prestige of the Monaco Grand Prix, a street circuit surrounded by rich history, sparkling blue water dotted with hundreds of yachts and the powerful influence of the Royal Family.

However, a rising concern for Formula 1’s Jewel in the Crown has gotten more support: the circuit is too old-fashioned and cannot supply entertaining races for modern-day F1 racing.

Race Highlights

Four corners into Lap 1, Kevin Magnussen in his Haas crashed into Red Bull’s Sergio Perez on a bold overtake attempt, sending Perez into Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg and ending all their races, bringing out the red flag. This was after Haas was barely allowed to start in the race after both cars’ left- and right-hand outermost parts of their rear wing exceeded the 85-millimeter limit.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon attempted an overtake on teammate Pierre Gasly, but contact forced him to retire.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz suffered a front-left puncture, but due to the red flag was able to limp back to the pits to change tyres and keep his position for the race restart.

During the race, Lance Stroll of Aston Martin suffered a tyre puncture and was forced to the back of the grid, but made a double overtake on Williams’s Logan Sargeant and Stake’s Zhou Guanyu.

The other two overtakes were Stake’s Valtteri Bottas on Sargeant and Sargeant on Zhou.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc broke his infamous “Monaco Curse” with his maiden home win, the first Monagsque to win at home in the Formula 1 dynasty and 93 years after the last home winner.

The lack of action bored many viewers, especially with no new change in conditions that could spice the race up, such as last year’s rain or the requirement for pitstops. Even Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was quoted in a post-race interview by calling it “…a little bit boring…”.

After Lap 1, there seemed to be very little racing except the four overtakes, but those were at the back of the grid. The top 10 racers finished where they started with no overtakes between them. There are many factors as to why this was the case and possible solutions to overcome them.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Monaco is the shining jewel of this unpopular sentiment, as F1 cars only continue to grow while its streets remain as slender as they were 70 years ago.

The modern car is about twice as large as it was 30 years ago. Leclerc’s Ferrari measures 5.63 meters long and two meters wide, weighing 798 kilograms. With a full fuel tank, it can weigh up to 908 kilograms at the race start.

30 years ago, however? Cars were only 3.5 meters by 1.6 meters, weighing only 595 kilograms.

Faster Doesn’t Help

Place 6 Verstappen had a faster pace than P5 George Russell in Mercedes, yet fresh, new hard tyres at Lap 52 were not enough to pass him. Throughout the race, he closed the gap multiple times but due to the narrow circuit of Monaco could not make the overtake.

Russell, Yuki Tsunoda in VisaCashappRB and Fernando Alonso in Aston Martin kept slower paces than the surrounding cars, building gaps ranging from 10 seconds to a whole minute and 16 seconds!

They successfully backed up multiple drivers with faster paces but couldn’t overtake, including Williams’s Alex Albon and Sargeant, Bottas, Zhou and VisaCashappRB’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes agreed as he said “…it didn’t matter what tyre you were on. We were driving seconds off the pace.”

Pitstops Didn’t Change The Game

Usually, it is when the pitstop windows open that an otherwise dull race can become more interesting, with the possibilities of undercuts, overcuts, ill-timed pitstops and more notoriously, botched ones. Monaco 2016 comes to mind, as Red Bull didn’t have Ricciardo’s tyres ready, costing him a top-ten points finish, even a potential win.

But in 2024? The red flag at Lap 1 meant every driver pitted for new tyres, so on a track with low degradation, no one needed to pit again. Any excitement from watching drivers dive into the pits, praying for the perfect pitstop and better track and tyre advantage, wasn’t there.

Few drivers pitted to gain a better advantage to overtake, but that didn’t work out for drivers like Verstappen.

Possible Solutions

Cars have grown larger and heavier due to safety reasons and other regulations. The current hybrid power unit is 55 kilograms heavier than the naturally aspirated V8s used previously.

The FIA desires to make changes in the 2026 regulations. Cars are 15 centimeters shorter, 10 centimeters narrower and 50 kilograms lighter, which may make a small difference

There is also talk of creating lighter engines via natural aspiration and lighter chassis in 2030.

But these changes could take at least half a decade before they come into effect, let alone combat other issues such as reliability and short braking zones.

Due to Monaco’s low tyre degradation and difficulty of overtaking, it is a simple one-stop race for most drivers as they need to comply with the necessary singular race pitstop, so they need specialty tyres.

Hamilton suggested a new formula of tyres that would force a multi-pitstop strategy for most teams to spur more action and racing.

IndyCar already singled out the famed Indianapolis 500 with a different format and Monaco could be F1’s version.

Ricciardo suggested, “It should just be like a three-day time trial. The track’s open for three days straight, nine hours a day, and you just pick when the temperature is right and you try to set it up.”

A slightly different tactic would be a single lap of qualifying for the Top 10 in Qualifying Three the day before, and then reversing the results so that the driver starting at P10 gets pole position instead, and so on.

Monaco faces several issues that contribute towards a dull race with a little strategy of tyres, pitstops, and overtakes, but with both short- and long-term solutions, many can be combatted to bring back the glorifying spectacle of the most prestigious race in Formula 1.

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