Hamilton: Monaco GP weekend format “needs to change”


Monaco has always been notoriously difficult for drivers to pass at, but the bigger, wider cars used since 2017 have exacerbated the issue.

F1 is set to introduce its first sprint races into weekends later this year, planned for Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos, but the Monaco format has gone unchanged.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton said the “much bigger cars” used compared to previous eras of racing in Monaco mean there is “almost zero opportunity to overtake in a race”.

“It has been the case for some time, and in my opinion, it needs to change,” Hamilton said.

“We’ve had the same format for years. It is the best venue. It is the most beautiful place that we get to race at.

“But you already know that it’s never exciting for the fans. It’s a one-stop race with these hard, long stints that we get to do.

“On a list of difficult places to overtake, it is off the scale, highly unlikely that you’re ever going to get an opportunity to do so. So I don’t think fans enjoy that.

“I don’t know what the solution is. But I’m hoping when we are looking forwards to future generations, it can be a more exciting race for people.”

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Hamilton has claimed three victories in Monaco, including the most recent running of the grand prix in 2019.

Asked by Motorsport.com if the current generation of cars had sapped some of the enjoyment of driving in Monaco, Hamilton said the thrill was undiminished over a single lap.

“Just driving the track, going through the tunnel, up into Casino, the whole experience through the weekend is mesmerising, and that never changes,” Hamilton said.

“The feeling of winning here is never any less. Every year it’s unique and special, if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity.

“But as a racer, we’ve got a lot of tracks where we go to where you see racing. I think it’s been an exciting start to a season where you are seeing people overtaking, and you’ve seen the whole field close up.

“You’re going to see a train on Sunday, and you already know that fans, fans already know that is what is going to happen this weekend. However, it’s still exciting to watch somehow.”

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