Glamorous Monaco fails to gain high rating

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

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The Monaco Grand Prix may be feted as the most glamorous event in Formula One but as a race it often doesn’t quite cut it.

That was the case again this year as the ‘jewel in the crown of the F1 season’ attained an average score of just 6.132 out of ten. That placed it above only the Spanish Grand Prix in the races so far this year, but it did get a higher score than last season.

The build-up to the grand prix was dominated by the revelation of Mercedes’ secret tyre test in Spain. But that seemed to have little bearing on how F1 Fanatic readers rated the race.

Views were split between those who enjoyed the action that followed the red flag and those who pointed out there was no real fight at the front and the top drivers were forced to back off and preserve their tyres:

I really enjoyed that race: Excellent drive from Rosberg, good luck for Vettel and Webber, bad luck for Hamilton, Button’s finishing position surprised me but was welcome, Sutil was everything Perez was not… great drive from him! Coupled with the usual Grosjean/Maldonado smash-and-grab antics I thought it was highly entertaining.

Just boring. Horrible race even for Monaco. Gave it a two.

Dull first half of the race. Second part only spiced by moves from those that didn’t care about scoring points. No attacks from the guys leading the championship apart from Hamilton’s couple of shy tries on Webber.

Not even strategies could play a role in this race. All did the same saving tyres in the first half procession. Worst Monaco Grand Prix I’ve ever seen.

A major talking point was the driving of some of the recent GP2 graduates:

Perez, Grosjean, Maldonado… all with potential and all frustratingly crash-prone.

These guys have time to get their acts together but come next year I can’t see these three crash kids all being on the grid. I think it’s likely at least one of them won’t stop crashing and will be booted out (regardless of whether they bring in sponsorship or not). It’ll be interesting to see, and I like Perez and Grosjean enough to want to see them succeed.

While a few people leapt to their defence.

As much as the F1 fan base screams and wishes for more drivers like Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna and such – they’re the loudest to scream that drivers like??Perez and Maldonado are ‘dangerous and unfit for F1’ when they actually show that aggression.

I think it’s worth pointing out to those who are arguing about the GP2 graduate drivers, mainly Perez and Maldonado, being reckless and ruining the race, that not all GP2 drivers are like that.

I mean, it’s not like a graduate won the race or anything…

It’s about as likely to happen as Kimi Raikkonen telling knock-knock jokes in the press conference, but some even called for the race to be scrapped:

Boring race. I also believe Monaco should not longer be in F1???s calendar. The drivers can handle the race to their limits but it’s no good to watch ten or twelve cars follow another for 80% of the race. I know it’s a ‘prestigious’ Grand Prix but we’re not here for the prince and the movie ‘stars’.

Agreed, very boring. Monaco shouldn’t be part of today’s F1 calendar. The history and glamour feeling shouldn’t be enough to keep it in. Time to update the calendar and actually go to tracks that suit the set safety regulations and measurements for F1 track.

Or perhaps it just needs a better standard of celebrity, suggested one tongue-in-cheek comment:

I expect higher quality celebrity representation, that’s what. There was a serious celebrity deficit. Minus three for that.

According to the NBC promos, which showed Will Smith about ten times, I expected to see more than David Hasselhoff and Cameron Diaz. Hasselhoff is barely a celebrity so that was really scraping the barrel. Diaz is past her professional prime. We can usually at least count on the Jamiroquai guys to show up.

Next year we must have at least Bieber, the Dalai Lama, Vladimir Putin, or a celebrity roster of equivalent aggregate fame.

There have been a few complaints about the standard of television coverage during the season. But Monaco – the only remaining race where a local TV director is used rather than one provided by FOM – came under stronger attack than usual:

First half was extremely tedious as Monaco is always. Got better towards the end, but the director did his best to miss interesting bits. We saw none of Raikkonen’s overtakes during the final laps and instead we were shown the top four cruising around.

The TV coverage director: zero out of ten. Was absolute and total rubbish the whole weekend, but in the race he somehow managed to do worse than that.

Missed huge amounts of action and never even showed Raikkonen’s charge from sixteenth to tenth in the last seven laps.

In the view of one reader, this was the race that had the ingredients of a classic but couldn’t make anything out of them:

This race wasn’t bad, but could have been amazing.

The first part of the race (before the first Safety Car) was absolutely boring: no one could pass, and we had the feeling that Mercedes was holding everybody up. It was as if we were watching a formation lap for more than 20 laps.

Then, after the first Safety Car, the race started getting thrilling: we at least had the feeling that overtaking were possible. All the cars were glued together, Hamilton looked like he could pass Webber, Perez looked like he could pass everyone. It was a real thriller, but unfortunately, it didn’t last very long. Like in 2011, a red flag ruined it. Everyone could put on the tyres they wanted.

The last part of the race could have delivered the same amount of thrills, but instead it became very frustrating. There were a couple of impressive passes, but also a lot of frustrating moments: Perez destroying his race (and Raikkonen’s) with a contact, Alonso sinking in the field (after he showed promising pace in practice), and the top four having their positions frozen without anyone attacking any more.

The victory of Rosberg might have been a nice moment (that guy really deserves to have more wins). But what I didn’t like was that we’ve seen a lot of dangerous incidents. Grosjean has stupidly rammed Ricciardo: we don’t want to see that side of Grosjean’s driving in races.

Perez was nice to see most of the time, the incident with Raikkonen was dangerous and frustrating. His retirement was even more frustrating.

And last but not least, Chilton’s driving was way too dangerous: the accident with Maldonado was scary. Chilton was driving as if he didn’t pay attention to what was going around him. A drive-through was way too nice for that accident.

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2013 Monaco Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

33 comments on “Glamorous Monaco fails to gain high rating”

  1. The Red Flag and SCs made it more interesting. They didn’t try and save their tyres at the end of SC period. When the Red Flag came out after Maldonado’s crash and the could put on a brand new fresh set of tyres. So I would give it a 9

  2. Monaco should always be a part of the calendar. Yes it doesn’t produce as much overtaking as other circuits, but when has Monaco actually ever been an overtaking haven? And it can actually be enjoyable to see cars actually battle to fight their way past the car in front. When an overtake happens in Monaco, it is more special than when a car zooms past the one in front in the DRS zone halfway down the back straight at Shanghai.
    Yes it is not the perfect race track, but critics, can we please enjoy just some of the tradition that is left in F1?

    1. @troylongstaff

      Yes it is not the perfect race track, but critics, can we please enjoy just some of the tradition that is left in F1?

      Hear, hear.

    2. +100. COTD. Spot on.

    3. @troylongstaff I agree with you, I fail to understand what was is so wrong with Monaco.

    4. couldn’t agree more.

    5. Awesome comment. I couldn’t agree more, especially about the overtaking part. Also i rated this race with 8.

    6. petebaldwin (@)
      8th June 2013, 20:41

      My issue with the race wasn’t about a lack of overtaking at all. Monaco is special because of drivers having to race on the limit through the barriers. That didn’t happen though. Instead, it was drivers cruising round protecting their tyres. They could have driven on a track half the width and still had no problems going at that speed.

  3. In my mind there is no question whatsoever: that track should be banned for F1. It doesn’t matter how much tradition still survives there, the “track” (it’s not such a thing) is not suitable for modern F1 cars. Glamorous? Well, maybe, if you are there, and ONLY if you are rich enough to be in the right areas. If you are watching on TV, is as glamorous as taking an injection to the head.
    I remember having some hopes revived when Ayrton went faster and faster in qualy, only to crash during the race. But few years later, when I saw Mansell unable to pass the same Ayrton, even with a MUCH faster car, it was clear for me that the “track” is hopeless. Tradition? Well, this is gone from F1. They butchered Silverstone, they butchered Nurburgring, they butchered Spa, to add awful places like Barcelona, Bahrein, or Korea, but oh, we need to care about a circuit like Monaco, that doesn’t even have decent boxes. I was there as a reporter at a press conference in Sao Paulo when Ecclestone started to complain about the boxes in Interlagos, and someone from the japanese press asked “and what about Monaco, then?”
    This year’s GP was probably the worst I can remember in many years, but its qualities were fitting for a F1 with DRS, melting tires and Playstation-like Kers.
    Ok, rant over.

    1. the “track” (it’s not such a thing) is not suitable for modern F1 cars.

      In that case I would suggest that we change the cars to make them suitable for Monaco.

      For me the attraction of Monaco doesn’t come from overtaking, it comes from watching drivers bouncing off the kerbs and running as close to the barriers as possible: sadly this didn’t really happen this year as so many of the drivers spent most of the race conserving tires but that’s not a fault with the track: it’s yet another indication that the current tires are unsuitable for F1.

      1. Change the car designs to suit one track? Where’s the logic in that?

        1. @ivano
          Because the changes could also be beneficial at other tracks and as the cars get changed every season anyway it seems far more logical to change them than to change the track at Monaco or even drop the race from the calendar.

          Personally I don’t believe that Monaco is unsuitable for modern F1 cars, apart from the problems I mentioned above that have come about due to the tires I see no problem with running F1 cars at Monaco.

          1. @beneboy

            While I agree with your theory, like bring back the more compact cars of the early 80’s, I do feel the permanent solution would be widening certain points and corners of other tracks. Yes, I know this is impossible for Monaco unless bash down Lewis’s apartment block, but for all the other tracks, widen them, and then there won’t be any need for DRS either.

          2. PS, love the Butters profile pic!

  4. Although Monaco has it glamour and history, lets face it, Formula 1 needs to move on, I must admit that I do enjoy qualifying and practice as you see cars get so close the walls and its exciting. In fact Monaco is one venue where teams don’t have to think about tyre conservation during qualifying and ALL teams participate in ALL the qualifying sessions. However the race is always disappointing and lets face it, the order of cars that leave turn one are almost always that order when the race ends. Racing in Monaco has become how well the cars can replicate a train and thats it. There are very few overtakes but to me this is the most boring race of the season. I think the only way Monaco exists is its history and glamour and certainly not its races.

  5. This was one of the best Monaco’s ever.

    I think the low rating is proof that the old guard have left the building. We now have the new wave, immature football fan type now.

    F1 always had a different class of fanbase…it’s changing.

    1. the low rating is proof that the old guard have left the building

      For me, it proves just the opposite.

      It’s exactly the ‘immature football fan type’ who deems a couple of spectacular accidents and hare-brained kamikaze moves a good replacement for real racing, and will overrate a farce like this.

      This site is lucky to have all those users who will put a race like this in its proper place, defying all the superficial gushing about it.

      1. +1. Spot on.

      2. I reckon that you get really excited when the DRS opens. Perhaps your would like those Bernie’s sprinkles too.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    8th June 2013, 13:56


    Greatest. Comment. Ever.

  7. I think it’s a race you have to attend rather than watch on TV.

  8. There actually were worse Monaco races back in the late 80’s and 90’s, even during the Schumacher vs Hakkinen era, this race was made to cure insomnia. Only rain saved it’s on track grace, 96, 97 and 99. As horrible last Sunday’s race was, especially for Ferrari fans, it was one of the better ones in it’s history.

  9. Monaco will always belong on the F1 calendar because it is so completely different from all of the other tracks on the F1 calendar. It is the only track to still be virtually the same as when it was raced on in the 1930s. It is one of the only tracks left where you have to work so hard to get past someone, that overtaking means a LOT.

    Many F1 fans nowadays prefer a quantity of overtakes to a quality of overtakes. I would rather watch a handful of amazing overtakes than watch 50 highway style passes. If you want this I suggest becoming a NASCAR fan, then maybe you will respect the quality of overtakes.

    But Monaco isn’t even about overtakes, it about drivers pushing to the absolute limit. Drivers nearly crashing on almost every corner of the track. It’s about the legendary corners that are so unique to F1: The Hairpin, The Swimming Pool section, Sante-Devote & the run-up to Massenet, & The Tunnel (and I’ve probably left off 1 or 2). Monaco is so unique to F1, but that is what makes it so great, not so terrible.

    1. it about drivers pushing to the absolute limit

      That was the very thing missing from this particular Monaco GP. The thing is called ‘Rate the race’, not ‘Rate the track in a historical perspective’.

  10. lolwut o.O so many negative comments?! This is my favourite track of the year and yes this year it was a little worse because of the tyre situation. Nevertheless f1 for me never was about overtaking. It’s about pushing the limit and Monaco is one of the hardest (Singapore is more difficult) tracks of the year and this for me makes it one of the best. Also overtakes are really special here and it is amazing to see much slower guys successfully defending for a large part of the race.

  11. I said it then and I repeat it now. Monaco could be a great circuit in the past but not anymore. Monaco is just not suitable for F1 nowdays. “History” and “glam” are just “past” and “rich people drinking margaritas”, F1 is about racing and innovation not about cars following each other as a show for “famous people” amusement.

  12. The race is horrid and has been for as long as I’ve watched F1 (about 20 years). I had to work for the race weekend and recorded the race to watch later and boy was I glad I did. Liberal use of fast forwarding made the race tolerable.

    Scrap it and add a race at a track that has some overtaking. If I wanted a parade I’d watch the Santa Claus one out side my house at Xmas.

    Just because something is a “tradition” doesn’t mean it’s “good”.

  13. The intensity of the crying over race quality is getting unbearable.

    Do you want them to cater for the Xbox/UFC/spoilt manchild market? Because that’s where this is headed in the long run. You can’t have everything you want all the time.

    F1 is a thinking persons sport and long may it remain so.

    1. @spawinte

      F1 is a thinking persons sport and long may it remain so.

      I don’t think you can put that point across without criticising the current state of the sport. But don’t expect anyone to have much sympathy for your point of view as long as your equate other people’s criticism with “crying”.

      1. You have to be harsh or people will go on deluding themselves.

        1. @spawinte Hostility breeds contempt. If you want people to agree with you don’t abuse them, persuade them.

          I have criticisms about the quality of racing at the moment. For example, I think DRS too often acts to devalue overtaking. Perhaps that view is wrong, but if someone’s going to persuade me otherwise it won’t be because they’ve told me I’m “crying” about it when I have as much right to an opinion as anyone else.

          And I have a lot of sympathy for the view of F1 as a “thinking person’s sport”. Which is why I resent seeing it used by someone who thinks anyone will be convinced of its merits by telling them they’re “crying” if they express a contrary perspective.

          1. I participate in other communities that are a bit more free for all so maybe I should put a leash on that when I’m here. Sorry.

            Obviously we know because it gets repeated ad nauseam that everyone is entitled to their opinion. However there are certain situations where there is a very clear right and a very clear wrong and I think this is one of them.

            In these situations I think the point has to be put forward very forcefully and possibly with a touch of ridicule.

            I believe what’s being asked for will eventually lead to a disastrous dumbing down of F1 in order to placate the ADHD generation.

            Just to be absolutely clear here I’m talking about the overall quality of the product on offer taking in to account all aspects. I’d actually agree that DRS needs to go. What I’d be worried about are some of the ridiculous Berniesque ideas that get floated ending up as a reality.

          2. But when I try to persuade people that most of F1 problems stem from the changes that have been made to “improve the show” my reasoned, explanatory comments get deleted when they go against editorial policy.

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