Monaco GP receives lowest rating of 2012 so far

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

The Monaco Grand Prix produced an extraordinarily close finish. Just 4.1 seconds covered the top five finishers, led by Mark Webber, after 78 laps of racing.

But despite this, the race received an average rating of 5.436, the lowest so far this year. It was also rated lower than the four previous Monaco Grands Prix.

The race was shaped by the ever-present threat of rain, which led teams to be very conservative about the tyre strategies, as Solo pointed out:

Another problem was the one pit stop strategy that they all end up doing either waiting for rain or as a plan.

With such a strategy everyone was on conservative mode to keep the tyres alive.

Several commenters remarked that the team’s ‘want-and-see’ strategies made for a lifeless race:

David Coulthard made a comment after the race about how impressed he was that the top six drivers didn’t make one mistake.

I think this is less about the current quality of the drivers and more to do with the way in which they are required to drive.

Even Mark Webber after the race didn’t seem that pumped given he’d just bossed the field for 78 laps.

For some, this was what made the race, though they seemed to be in the minority:

The strategy on the pit wall and the strategic driving in this race was second to none and with the first four cars separated by 1.4 seconds the tension until the end was incredible.

JCost argued that the traditionally glitzy atmosphere did nothing to entertain:

The glamour cannot save that race as a show for the spectators. I understand drivers love the challenge but for viewers it’s very boring.

A bit more rain would make it a thriller but it never came and we ended up with a poor show.

John H views Monaco as an all-or-nothing track:

Moncao can either be fantastic or a bore-fest. Obviously its convenient to criticise it after this race but next year it could be fantastic again like it almost was last year, in 2010 and 2008.
John H

Despite echoes of the thrilling climax to this year’s Chinese Grand Prix, rambler wasn’t excited:

I’d say it’s the only time I have ever been so bored while the top six of a race are so close together.

You just knew nothing would happen despite everyone being so close. They might as well been 20 seconds apart, I wouldn’t have felt any different.

But have the changes in racing in recent years altered our view of Monaco? DK and Craig-o offered some perspective:

Monaco has never been an overtaking track in any era. The artificial overtaking methods have blinded people tremendously to that.

Not sure why anyone thought somehow there was going to be loads of overtaking in any manner.

Heikki’s move on Jenson was ace! Felipe on form was good too. But the anticlimax of no rain just made it dull towards the end.

It would have been an amazing race five years ago. But abysmal by 2012 standards.

What did you think of the Monaco Grand Prix? Does it deserve its place at the foot of the rankings? Have your say in the comments

Previous rate the race results

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Monaco Grand Prix articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

75 comments on “Monaco GP receives lowest rating of 2012 so far”

  1. matthewf1 (@)
    5th June 2012, 13:02

    All I can say is roll on Canada!

    1. +1

      1. Exactly! I’m looking forward to Canada as it can never be boring with Lewis around. He’ll either dominate the race or take out everyone in sight, himself included LOL

        1. All these suggestions saying the racing was boring because of the top 6 conserving tyres maybe are missing something. The Caterham is still around 2 seconds a lap slower than the McLaren and Jenson had no need to conserve tyres and he couldn’t pass HK.

          Monaco is boring because of 1 thing. The modern F1 cars have rendered overtaking nigh on impossible. Not becasue of tyres, strategy….

          The rate of acceleration is so much quicker today than even in the 90’s, the cars cannot create enough of a closing delta speed to pass.

          Further, reliability has removed the chances of surprises at Monaco – where the toip drivers fail because of their machinery.

          This is why today the only excitement of Monaco is the one lap skill game of Qualifying.

          Proper F1 racing at Monaco has been consigned to nostalgic and historic memories – and isn’t coming back anytime soon, if ever.

          1. I think boring is in the eye of the beholder, too. eg. I was on the edge of my seat hoping that NR would secure those 2nd place points and not make a mistake, or that if it rained it might upset his apple cart that way. Or it might have afforded him the opportunity to take a win. I just didn’t want to see him lose ground. And I also don’t expect a lot of passing in Monaco, and have always understood that these races can be processional and that Saturday’s grid positioning is perhaps more important than at any other track. So I just take the race for what it is. Something different than the others, with a rich history, and always lots to talk about in spite of it’s ‘boring’ reputation. I think it helps to not be a pass counter, but instead to put oneself in the driver’s seat and imagine the pressure on them to not make a day-ending mistake. Especially with a bit of rain thrown in, but only a bit.

  2. 99% of the time, Monaco is boring. Don’t see why anyone would be suprised that this year should be any different. I still don’t understand all the hype this place gets. Yeah it looks nice, but I tune in to see racing, not yachts.

    1. I’m sorry, but I just can’t agree. The race was not a thriller by any standard… But boring? I don’t think I’ve ever been bored by F1… Even when nothing happens.

      You can obviously see, that many times it could have exploded with excitement… But it just didn’t. But that is the nature of sport. And is the case in any sport. Honestly, it’s probably up to the commentators to make up for that.

      1. Totally agree. I enjoy absolutely every grand prix and I would never describe one as ‘boring’. It worries me that many F1 fans are getting a sweet-tooth for DRS/Pirrelli position-changing manias!

        Having said that I agree with many of the criticisms of the Monaco GP, especially the fact that the drivers seemed overly concerned about preserving their tyres rather than actually racing.

  3. Typical overreaction is all I think it is. It’s Monaco, of course there’s not going to be wheel-to-wheel racing for 78 laps, I don’t see why anyone would expect anything else. As Monaco races go, it was perfectly fine.

    1. Agreed. Can’t understand how people can call it “boring”.

    2. I agree with that @ciaran, to me it was a pretty good race in Monaco, although its lack of action did remind a bit of times we had prior to 2010.

    3. Because it was mainly down to tyre conservation, which means they weren’t really pushing, so it didn’t look amazingly fast. Watching drivers going through the corners at the limit is fantastic, and will never get boring. The last laps however when it started to rain were indeed fantastic, because that shows a different driver skill, and anyone could have overtaken at any time, or slipped or made a mistake, and that made it tense and enjoyable to watch, but other than that, it was a slower than usual Monaco procession.
      It’s not the lack of overtakes here, just the lack of full paced speed. They possibly could have brought the harder tyres here so that the drivers could have pushed more.

      1. with harder tyres they might have been even slower, but it would have seemed quicker, if they were pushing more. it certainly would have guaranteed a one-stop race, whereas with the super-soft and soft, we could have had different strategies. however, with the field so close, no one had many gaps to drop into (unusual for monaco), so two-stoppers were unlikely.

        for me, it was really enjoyable, the last few laps were incredibly tense – i would challenge any of the nay-sayers to walk away from the tv in the last 5-10 laps of that race – impossible!

    4. It wasn’t boring, but miraculously my cupboard was clean when the race finished.

    5. Very true – I didn’t expect any action or excitement. And I didn’t get any either, so it lived up to expectations.

      Qualifying is another matter- the worlds best driving in such confines is well worth watching. I’m frankly puzzled why anyone would want to watch a procession of conservatively driven cars on the Sunday though, never mind rate it higher than 1.

    6. Its true Monaco has never been a big overtaking circuit, its appeal lies in the close running and the barriers and the glamour.

      But I sense that it is getting worse with processions of close running cars becoming the norm over recent years – apart from when the rain comes down.

      The key question is what on earth could they do about it ? Assuming that they don’t drop the race from the calendar, what could they do to improve the racing at Monaco ?

      Just thinking out loud…. how about some harbour-front changes, removing Nouvelle Chicane and create a longer ‘straight’ through the tunnel and down towards Tabac ? Or remodel Anthony Noghes to allow a more varied and faster exit which would end up with more opportunites at St Devote.

      There’s not much can be done from St Devote to Portier.

  4. To respond to the argument that “Don’t expect loads of overtaking in Monaco anyways”, I don’t think viewers wanted overtaking moves, but viewers wanted atleast attempts.

    None of the top 6 ever took an inside line or outside line into the chicane or into turn 1. Even Jenson didn’t do anything to Heikki. Michael was getting delayed by Kimi but he also never did anything out of the ordinary.

    Forget overtaking, there wasn’t even an attempt of overtaking

    1. Agree completely. Sure, it’s hard to pass at monaco, but that means that the attempted passes are daring, and the few that succeed are brilliant. Because of the fame and history of Monaco, the drivers risk a little more to get in front. This year, whether everyone was waiting for rain or just protecting their tires, no one tried very hard to pass, even though they were all running nose-to-tail, and that’s why the race was justly rated so low. The race was a drag not because it’s too hard to pass, or because we’ve been duped by various gimmicks introduced in the last few years, but all because the teams and drivers settled and played it safe.

    2. Exactly, I’m fine with a Monaco GP with no overtakes as long as there is some kind of pressure, but this time they were just following each other around, while it was obvious that they could’ve pushed harder.

      1. And I think the reason for this is that the teams are terrified by the uncertainty of the new Pirellis. I hope this won’t be the case in the next races, but I’m not too sure.

        1. I wonder if Lewis’s fortunes on the track last year had an effect on drivers’ aggression?

          1. Yes. and not just Lewis. I think since the stewards are giving out penalties for practically any contact whatsoever, drivers take less risks than they used to. They want to avoid getting a drive through or a five place grid drop in the next race for trying to pass someone and making a mistake. Couple that with the Pirellis and there is little benefit in attempting to drive excessively and pass someone, except in a DRS zone which is practically for free. Yes , drivers do drive aggressively and we have a lot of non-DRS passes, because thats what good drivers do. But they get punished later on. Those drivers who were great overtakers before all the rule changes, are now suffering because their driving style is no longer suited to this form of F1. Now, different characteristics make you win. (being smooth, soft on your tyres, not very aggressive, dont take risks, go just fast enough but not too much, wait for others to fall off the cliff, dont get into trouble,)

            From the outside this looks very unpredictable and throws very surprising results. Races are entertaining to watch, even for casual fans. But from inside it must be frustrating. We’ve already heard some of those frustrations surface. But ultimately its what the fans want. Do we want the best drivers in the best machines, challenged to the limit and showing their skills fighting glory? (here inevitably patterns emerge as the fastest drivers and smartest designers eventually get ahead) Or do we want a gamble where anything is possible? (might as well watch the drivers go round in VW Golfs on Pirellis).

          2. @vjanik, I see it differently. You are right about having a lot of penalties where many would prefer a bit more room for racing incidents to just happen, and its inevitable that this does make drivers a bit less risk taking, and possibly make us miss out on a few passes.

            But on the other hand in the past year we have seen that its not just

            being smooth, soft on your tyres, not very aggressive, dont take risks, go just fast enough but not too much, wait for others to fall off the cliff, dont get into trouble

            as you write. Otherwise Button would be leading the championship from maybe Rosberg.

            In 2011 next to seeing Hamilton have all sorts of accidents, we had impressive overtaking going on between Alonso, Vettel and Webber at several races, and some very nice moves by Hamilton and Button as well. I think Hamilton’s approach is working fine so far, he does rake in a lot of points (bar some mistakes that are rather the team than his making) and will be right there to capitalize if they keep the car fast and grab his chances.

  5. I thought it was an incredible race!!!
    5 or 6 cars separate by about 4 seconds or so. What’s not to like?
    And when the rain came, it further increased the tension of the race.

    1. 5 or 6 cars separate by about 4 seconds or so. What’s not to like?

      this is only due to the fact they could not pass, it’s a parade not a race.

      Love the place love the event but not as a race. Q3 is the race.

      1. I saw it as a display of utter and complete skill behind the wheel; it takes skill to defend when you have little to no grip. Try racing a kart in the wet on slicks.

        1. “Try racing a kart in the wet on slicks”. With WDC points to be had or lost, with walls inches away, and with millions on the line.

  6. Race are always rubbish when we get the “rain in 5 minutes” for the whole race.

    I’d happily have the commentators and FOM not mentioned the weather at all and if it happens, it happens.

    1. @tommyb89 It’s the nature of the beast at the moment, particularly at a track like Monaco where overtaking is virtually impossible. Change tyres two laps before a rain shower which forces a second change to intermediates and you’ve thrown away around half a minute.

      It would have been great to see Vergne try to make it to the end without gambling on a switch to intermediates at a second stop, just to see if he could have made the tyres last after his early stop.

      1. I thought the force india’s had already passed vergne before he pitted

      2. With regard to an extra change of tyres because of rain; case in point, look at Hungary last year (?) with Hamilton and Webber.

        I don’t think this was a boring race by any stretch. It probably would have been more exciting if the rain did fall in a big way, or at least enough to force a change to inters (or try to get by on slicks a la Timo Glock in Brazil 2008), or if there was no threat of rain to begin with.

        Ultimately that’s racing, and nobody wanted to be the one to take the gamble and risk losing it all.

    2. @tommyb89 I actually agree with you. So many radio messages that were relayed were about rain that never fell and tyre strategies. I really wish that they’d stop doing that as well.

      1. I love F1, but after 20 laps I was going to turn the TV off, but then they said “rain”, the magic word that glued me to the chair untill the end of the race. It was still a borefest, but had the possibility of becoming a great race. Looking back, it seems like the director played these messages because he felt the amount of spectators will drop off dramatically.

    3. If only there had been something other than the threat of rain to talk about…

      1. I have a feeling FOM warns us for rain every 5 minutes when in moist conditions, simply to keep the fans tuned in. Hey, I don’t like it, but who can blame them – It’s a brilliant strategy.

        1. It’s not FOM who deliberately warn us – it’s FOM using rain-related team radio transmissions as code red. The teams have to do that, it’s their job to warn the driver and prepare for rain minutes in advance, even if it doesn’t materialize.

          But to be completely fair to all parties here at Monaco, it was raining multiple times during the race and the clouds completely broke over the principality just after the race ended.

  7. George Nikolaou (@)
    5th June 2012, 13:56

    Monaco it’s always great. It is like a marathon not a 200m run.. It is something between the track and the driver. It has nothing to do with overtaking..
    An absolutely unique place and track.
    It is not a circus that has to entertain the spectators through “magical”moments , but for everyone to appreciate the skills and the driving abilities in an environment that it is not made for typical racing.
    I know that it is just my opinion but has to do also i think with the fact that i have been in Monaco for the race twice and it was just amazing. A thousand times better than seeing it on TV.
    The exact opposite with other tracks I’ve BEEN .

    1. It is like a marathon not a 200m run

      Marathon running is also an incredibly dull spectator sport.

  8. I loved how Mark Webber openly said he didn’t like all the media and glamour that went with the race. He called it all “pretentious” in his column on the BBC website. I’ve said just that for years. I dislike the circuit, personally. It doesn’t give the type of action that I enjoy watching.

    It’s 100% the history that keeps Monaco on the calendar. It’s just a shame that the unwritten rule that protects Monaco’s place on the calendar doesn’t apply to other historic venues where ‘the show’ can actually be presented properly to an audience.

    1. George Nikolaou (@)
      5th June 2012, 14:24 forgot to mention also what Webber told about the track.. “If someone has to go to only one Formula 1 race , that should be Monaco..”

      1. It’s very ‘meh’ to me. I’d choose Silverstone, Monza, Albert Park or Spa over Monaco any day!

        1. George Nikolaou (@)
          5th June 2012, 14:47

          Something that it is very important i think, it’s the fact of the different perspective about the race when you are there or watching it from tv.
          I’ve been also to Monza and Spa..
          Compared with Monaco the other and most favorite tracks to me , they are loosing hands down.
          Spa it is wonderful as a location and as a track. But you see the cars only 44 times and you can’t hear them for the most of the race.
          I love watching Spa GP on tv ,but being there it was something completely different.
          In Monaco you hear a noise like no other due to the hills and the building surroundings. You may lose the “audio” for no more than 10- 15 seconds.. And actually in some grandstands you can “touch” the cars..
          It is unbelievable.
          I know that on tv a race without overtaking could be very , very boring. But you lose actually all the effort that the drivers make to “stay alive”. If you experience this you cannot forget.
          And it is easy to recall when you see again the race on tv.
          Try it in the future.. you will be amazed..:-)

          Canada it is one track that I’d love to visit.. should be fantastic..

        2. I’d choose Suzuka, Nürburgring Nordschleife or Circuit de la Sarthe. Monaco would still be pretty high up though

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        5th June 2012, 16:37

        because her e he has more possibilities to beat the rest of the paddock and his great teammate as well. I would say Spa or Suzuka, but Monaco? Would you see soccer matches if you knew that 99% of the times they finish 0 – 0 ?

        1. George Nikolaou (@)
          5th June 2012, 18:37

          I would like to hear the opinion of a person just like me who went to Monaco for the race but also to other races.
          The total experience it’s beyond comparison..

          Formula 1 it is not like soccer. Even if you know the favorite.
          Monaco it is not the typical race. I am not the only one to say that.
          All drivers of all times saying the same thing.
          It’s the driver and the track. The other drivers are not the goal but a distraction.
          Of course i could understand if someone doesn’t like the way Monaco works.
          Especially on TV.

      3. artificial racer
        5th June 2012, 17:48

        I’ve been to Albert Park, Singapore, Sepang, and Fuji. Of those, Singapore was very exciting due to the closeness to the track, and it has interesting racing, although it gets hot. Logistics and facilities were also good. And the whole “night race” thing is unique.

        Albert Park was also very good, with a nice park setting for spectators, but still a street circuit, yet it is also a “proper race track” with fast corners and runoff areas. It’s also a nice place to visit.

        Sepang was great except for the transit in and out. It’s an interesting track with good racing and from some points you can see a lot of circuit at once. And the weather can make dramatic scenery.

        I think Monaco would be great to see/hear the cars close up, for so many laps, and the elevation change in the circuit is very cool (we need more elevation changes in F1, 3-dimensions is better than 2). The odds are that the race itself will not be exciting.

        Montreal seems like a nice one to visit.

  9. Interesting to see that rates of races have decreased race after race this year. What could it be, are we more familiarized with the new rules, cars, tyres, or is it really that performance has decreased?
    The low rate that Monaco got, gives a chance that this trend stops in Canada.

    1. Forget about above post. I had a second look and saw that the table is ordered by rate and by date. Reading in a hurry between small windows of pause at work.

  10. The low rating could also be due to the fact that four of the most popular drivers i.e button,kimi,schumi and hamilton had a pretty average race

  11. Well F1 coverage here in OZ is pathetic and has now gone back to delayed telecasts & in SD so they can run “D” grade movies on there HD channel. A lot of viewers i am sure would be seeking illegal feeds so i am not surprised. Didn’t someone tell them we have two local aussies mixing it up it the pinnacle of motorsport.

    Jibbed !

    1. And the amount of commercial breaks for products no self-respecting F1 fan would care for in a million years is ridiculous. And they’re always terribly timed.

      1. I know every 5 to 7 laps & always around pit stop time :{ I am surprised Fox haven’t done a deal yet. I thought 10/One was doing a good job but now they have made this silly decision for F1 & Moto GP & lost the footy which was also HD + 5.1 to 7 SD + Stereo :{.

        Funny how they started the year in HD. Image if they broadcasted the OZ GP in SD they would have had all the major papers on there back…

        When Monaco was running they were showing Netball in HD. rrrrrr!

        1. That’s because Netball is more exciting than F1 at Monaco?

          1. And I assume Netball is played by women, probably hot women. Hence HD! :D

      2. We have the same problem here in Hungary, though we get the live feed. I would trade this for a delayed show without commercials and with professional commentators . At Barcelona they had no idea why VET and MAS were given a penatly, and when the director showed images of VET with open DRS under yellow flags they did not understand what the director was showing…

        1. To be fair, DC and Edwards didn’t pick up on the DRS being open during that replay. So even the pros can miss subtle things.

  12. I gave the race an 8 but I understand why it was rated low, compared to the other GPs we have seen this year. 2009 and 2010 Monaco ratings were not much bigger either. The 2008 race was rainy and the 2011 GP was certainly more exciting with 28 passes, different strategies and a couple of impressive collisions.

    This year’s race saw only 12 passes, none of them was in the top ten positions and only some were shown on TV. Almost every driver made only one pit stop and the rain that was ‘expected’ all race long, never really managed to spice up the racing. Yes, it started to drizzle in the end and the leading pack came together but there were no real fights for the positions.

    I enjoyed the race anyway as I always love Monaco’s glamour and the tight streets. But I cannot ask everyone to have the same attitude so the F1F readers’ rating seems to make sense.

  13. Wow, lower than Bahrain. That too when people were voting 1’s because the race was being held there. Another low for risky-boring-snooze fest.

    1. Bahrain was a blast, lots of overtaking and close driving, not only in DRS zones. Looking forward to India!!!!

  14. Yup !! it was a BORING PROCESSION. Roll on Canada!!

  15. How is a race rated anyway?

    1. Out of 10

  16. Maybe because passing is limited,. It appears to be a nightmare to drive. 1,000% focus at 100% of the time. I have to admit I do prefer Qualy more than the race at Monaco because feel the drivers are pushing it to the max with light fuel.

  17. Ranked lower than the 2009 edition? Really?

    For people sunbathing in the yachts nearby maybe, but else…

  18. I disagree that this was a boring race. Just because the cars didn’t attempt an overtake, doesn’t mean they weren’t pushing. Even if they’re trying to conserve the tires they still need to drive fast or risk loosing their position. In Monaco it is insanely difficult to pass. You need a car that is SEVERAL seconds faster per lap. And any failed attempt at a pass will damage the car or tyres or cost the driver time. Tyre or even car conservation has always been a part of racing. In-fact it was even more so in the past, because the cars were not as reliable as they are now. Do you think that if the drivers were pushing as hard as they can for 78 laps straight they wouldn’t blow the engine or overheat something in the car other than the tyres? I’m sick and tired of hearing all this talk about this is not real racing because the tyres fall off too early or DRS or this and that. Every team has the same available tools at their disposal. I personally took a different approach at watching this race. As I’m a big fan of racing, and play F1 2010 as often as time allows me. I know that I can’t go half distance of a race at Monaco and be as consistent as these drivers were. If I were in any of the top 6 drivers shoes, even if I couldn’t get passed anyone, I’d still feel as if I was racing, I just didn’t have the right opportunity to pass the racer ahead of me. I study the drivers, and try to learn what I can and apply it to the game so I can become a better racer. I know I went off topic but I still say this was an entertaining race, just not as much as the last 5 races. My rant is done.

    1. @paulocreed

      “You need a car that is SEVERAL seconds faster per lap.”

      Try telling that to Jenson Button, stuck behind Kovalainen ;)

      1. @andrewtanner like I said, several seconds faster. In qualifying Jenson’s time was only one second faster than Kovalainan’s. Button’s car would have to be at least 4 seconds faster if not more per lap. Remember when Alonso started from the back of the grid? I believe it was in 2010. The passes he was able to make, as difficult as they were, were because his car was much faster.

  19. Cars going so slowly even Pirelli tyres not under stress, eyes started closing half way through. The only way one of those up front were going to make a mistake is if they followed suit.

  20. I guess fans like chess when you can grab the pieces and not when they are speeding along.

  21. Michael Brown (@)
    5th June 2012, 21:07

    Personally I thought it was boring because nobody even made an attempt to overtake anyone else. The only moves I can recall are Perez on Kovalainen (once or twice out of the tunnel, one at St Devote), Vergne on Perez at the tunnel, and MSC attempting to pass Kimi out of the tunnel.

    Yes one stop strategies are boring but when the drivers aren’t even attempting to pass – and the DRS couldn’t even fix that – shows how worried the teams are about these tires. It might be fun for the viewers but I’m sure it’s not fun for the drivers.

    1. Because Kimi’s tyres were gone 6 laps ago and he was lacking traction out of corners for 10. Lotus and their winning strategies, gotta wonder.

      For me this was the most exiting moment too, I stopped watching GP after I realized Lotus pulled another of their strategy masterpieces.

  22. The Monaco race from see above can be a bit tedious but the views from inside the cockpit… Come on theyre brilliant! I love watching the race from the drivers perspective and also that low angle shot at the end of chicane where you see the cars literally bounce off the curbs.

  23. I think I have it a 7 and I stand by that. Personally, I can only vote for the race I did see, rather than what I didn’t so with that in mind I scored it pretty high. Yes, drivers were very concerned about their tyres but I would attribute that to the weather rather than any supposed high-wear, after all, Vettel did 46 laps on the softs! You can only expect so much at Monaco, the cares were extremely close in the end, to me that’s a good race, irrespective of position changes.

  24. andrew_s (@)
    6th June 2012, 10:47

    as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I do not recall moaning at the kids once to keep quiet during the race. In fact, I recall speaking to them a fair bit during the race. :)

Comments are closed.