Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monaco, 2018

Fans deserve refunds for “extremely boring” Monaco GP – Alonso

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso joined the criticism of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, saying fans who bought tickets should get some of their money back.

Alonso, who won the race in 2006 and 2007, described the 2018 edition as “extremely boring.”

“This is probably the most boring race ever,” he said. “Without a Safety Car, without yellow flags. I think the sport needs to think a little bit about the show because this is very disappointing.”

Drivers were not able to demonstrate the performance of their cars in the race, said Alonso. “There is no pace, there is no speed. You follow the cars in front of you.”

“I think probably we need to give something to the fans at the end of the car just to pay a little bit back the ticket,” he added.

A car failure prevented Alonso from continuing his points-scoring run. “Two laps before the [pit] stop we had some loss of power,” he said. “Then at the end we were stuck in fifth gear. ”

“I don’t know if it’s an engine problem or a gearbox problem or something in between. It was disappointing, obviously we were seventh at that point, we secured seventh because they aren’t overtaking in this place.

“They [would have been] good points for the team but unfortunately today we couldn’t see the chequered flag.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 47 comments on “Fans deserve refunds for “extremely boring” Monaco GP – Alonso”

    1. If there were any true racing fans there, I’m sure they knew what they were getting into with a Monaco GP, it’s not like they expected a sizzling race and were instead given a bait-and-switch.

      For the other kind of attendee (the wanting to be seen at the races crowd), they got what they wanted.

      Yes, the race was a typically boring Monaco snoozefest, but a refund? Hardly. The race ran, it was full distance, there was no farce like the 2005 US GP.

      1. Further, any criticism should be directed at the broader circumstances that brought about this – namely the presence of this processionary circuit in the championship, and possibly the tyres.

        1. @phylyp I agree we generally do not expect anything but Saturday being half the battle, and Sunday to be processional, at Monaco. I think the difference yesterday was the tires, which were terrible, and too limiting.

        2. it’s inaccurate to blame the circuit or the tyres. all the support events were great entertainment. the blame is that the current F1 cars are too big, & the engineers “drive” the cars from the pitwall. the drivers are upset because they can’t push but they aren’t allowed to and yet they can’t blame the team or they’ll get reprimanded. so here we are, again. a call to make needless changes when the real cause of the majority of issues in F1 are the engineers. where in the day’s gone past teams had but one or maybe two on staff, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how many they have on the payroll today. except, to say, way too many.

      2. @phylyp I agree. Monaco can be exciting only if it rains or someone does something really stupid. In my view, that is part of the magic of this place. I think it is kind of cool that Ricciardo was still able to hold on to win the race.

        As you say, different tyres might probably ‘spice up the show’ a little but it seems that Pirelli would then have to develop a unique tyre compound that could be used only at Monaco. I think it is unlikely.

        There have been similar races before, especially 2013 comes to mind. I believe that drivers are frustrated when they cannot push as much as they would like to. But it makes zero difference for the average F1 fan.

        1. @girts let’s be real, there were some drops of rain before the race started and Verstappen was starting last on the grid. We had both ingredients for exciting cirumstances, even if none materialized.

        2. The track just is not suitable in the modern era. It might be glamorous but it is a terrible race almost every year. The only time it gets exciting is if there is some weather issue or other problem that causes lots of crashes. Either the course needs changing or Monaco should be taken off the calendar.

      3. The true racing fans gave this race a miss and attended the historic gp two weekends before to see gp cars from pre war to the 70s dancing their thunderous forms of beauty for the princely sum of 60 euros. It was the kind of Monaco I dreamt of and I recommend you all to see it.

        1. I caught the YouTube live stream, and yes, it was quite interesting to watch!

      4. I was at the 2005 USGP and I think that was actually more entertaining than this race. At least that had something unique and unseen about it. And to see Tiago Moneteiro on the podium celebrate like he just became a WDC was absolutely hilarious, while Rubens and Schumi looked somber.

        Plus Michelin gave everyone a refund anyhow. Of course that didn’t help with costs of traveling from the west coast but it was still an enjoyable vacation despite that.

        I’d want to see a Monaco GP at least once just to see the cars in such an unusual venue. Maybe the snowballing bad press around the recent races will slap some sense into bringing the local prices to a reasonable level during GP week.

        1. And to see Tiago Moneteiro on the podium celebrate like he just became a WDC was absolutely hilarious, while Rubens and Schumi looked somber.

          LOL :-)

    2. I couldn’t disagree more with him. You can’t just give people refunds because of the quality of a show if they’ve sat through the entire showing. By his logic, people should get refunded for basically every single thing just because they didn’t like it. It just doesn’t work like that, LOL.

      1. @jerejj Of course. It is the language of populism. Monaco was supposed to be one of McLaren’s great opportunities this year so it is just frustration talking.

      2. I doubt he was serious. Just another throwaway criticism. Discussing it is kind of useless.

    3. Alonso, after winning the memorably boring 2010 Bahrain GP: “People who want extra show perhaps need to reconsider if they want to watch Formula One.” https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2010/mar/25/formula-one-boring-michael-schumacher-alonso

      1. LOL, now that’s a zinger of a comeback @girts

        1. Yeah, how dare he change his opinion eight years later. Who even does that?

      2. FlyingLobster27
        28th May 2018, 15:42

        How about offering a 1/12th refund for the 30 minutes of premeditated non-racing at Spa, Fernando? :S

      3. Trumpesque almost

    4. SparkyAMG (@)
      28th May 2018, 15:20

      Having been to the Monaco GP in 2016 – a relatively exciting race with the wet start and change of lead etc – I highly doubt anyone who attends in person would ever find the on track action exciting there.

      You can’t see much of the cars other than when they ‘fly’ past, but even then there isn’t a sense of speed and you honestly couldn’t see much of a difference between the F1 and support races.

      Monaco is about the glitz and glam, and the extra curricula stuff (track walking, track parties between sessions, the yachts etc) is where the value is.

    5. Why dont you give them their money back then Fernando.

    6. I think ALO wants F1 to close its doors together with his F1 career.

    7. The race was indeed really boring, yet that’s nothing unusual in Monaco. However I think his constant moaning at the sport is mainly caused by his car lack of competitiveness. Had he been winning, I don’t think he would complain much. He wants to fight for the championships and for the wins, but he is not even able to sneak a surprise podium, no wonder he is not happy. But was he talking like this in 2007 when there were two leagues in the field and boring Monaco GP? I don’t think, because he won that race and fought for WDC.

      1. Yeah, Michal. Monaco = same old, same old. It’s very sad really.
        This street track has such a mountain of F1 history behind it that you
        would think the organisers, year-on-year, would think the impossible
        and make radical changes so that the annual Monaco Procession was
        knocked severely on the head. How would they manage to make
        that work……? Haven’t a clue from where I sit ! But one thing is
        pretty damn certain…..if race organisers at any race on the F1 calendar
        ( not selecting Monaco specifically, Please Note ! )
        don’t read the runes, get the message, or whatever, then falling audiences
        will eventually remove them from the calendar. It has happened ! It will
        certainly happen again. And Monaco, for all it’s past glory ( and occasion-
        ally stunning racing ) is no exception to this caste iron rule.

        They simply have to see the light. Find a way ( NOT an artificial way ) to
        make the battles more alive, make passing a normal feature of the race.

        The answers are very far from simple. They must not lapse into the phoney either !

        Monaco has a big, big problem and it needs to act swiftly, decisively, and sure-footedly.

        I know I wouldn’t like to be making any of these extremely hairy decisions.

        Trotsky’s Ghost.

    8. For a fan watching from the stands, I doubt this race was a whole lot different than most that have taken place before it. They only get a quick glimpse of the cars as they zip by, and the odds of seeing any real (much less sustained) racing action during that glimpse are very low indeed. I’ve never been to the race, but if I ever did go, it would simply be for the uniqueness and spectacle of F1 cars on those famous streets. If I went to a race hoping to see exciting battles, I wouldn’t choose Monaco.

    9. Very disingenuous from Alonso just because he didn’t do as well as he expected.When was the last exciting Monaco race unless it rains? Almost Never!

      I will accept if he had said that the FIA should always be scheduling the Monaco GP for a weekend when they are sure it will rain. That I will accept.

    10. I am certain whoever bought Monaco tickets does not need a refund.

      We all know what Monaco race will be like, make no mistake, even MotoGP wouldnt have many overtakes there.

      Alonso was just sad not to be at indY500

      1. even MotoGP wouldnt have many overtakes there.

        @jureo I guess you don’t watch MotoGP then. Even in Jerez which is one of the tightest tracks on the calendar we had plenty of overtakes.

        1. @flatsix, I wouldn’t say that either MotoGP or the Jerez circuit itself are that good a comparison, given that they are rather different in nature.

          I’m not 100% certain, but believe that Monaco is a few metres narrower than Jerez is (the circuit operators state that Jerez is 11-12 metres wide). Furthermore, a MotoGP is substantially narrower than an F1 car – the maximum bodywork width of a MotoGP bike is 600mm (i.e. just 30% of the maximum permitted width of a current F1 car, and narrower than two front tyres from an F1 car placed next to each other).

          It means that you can theoretically fit three MotoGP bikes within the footprint of a single F1 car – the effective width of the racing line for a MotoGP bike is substantially larger than for an F1 car, so what would feel like a constrained circuit for a car would feel relatively less constrained for a MotoGP bike.

    11. I don’t watch Monaco expecting to see much overtaking or wheel to wheel racing because I know that just isn’t what you see at Monaco…. I watch & love Monaco because I just love watching F1 cars been driven around Monaco at speed, Inches from the barriers & the thrill/spectacle that produces.

      The problem with this year’s race was that due to how marginal the tyres were most of the field were driving around so slowly managing them that the one thing that I usually do find exciting about Monaco was also rather dull this year.

      Watching the OnBoards we had on Sky through the race it was like they were ‘racing’ while under the VSC or something, Braking super early, Cornering super easily, Staying well away from the barriers & getting on the throttle super, super carefully.

      I think that was probably the worst Monaco Gp i’ve seen due to that.

      1. I watch & love Monaco because I just love watching F1 cars been driven around Monaco at speed, Inches from the barriers & the thrill/spectacle that produces.

        @stefmeister – now that is a very nice viewpoint, and one that probably applies 100% to qualifying, and probably to varyingly lesser extents on race day.

        1. Watching the cars make the final right after the swimming pool was the highlight of the weekend, but of course no one pushed through that section the entire race like they did in practice and quali.

          This race reminded me of that awful race Coultard won going seconds slower than everyone behind him. Only difference is Dan, even with all his problems, had them covered. Danny Ric is hands down the most spot on driver of the year, his braking prowess is where he and the red bull really shines.
          Loved the fact they put Adrian on the Podium, he is definitely back building the best chassis again.

    12. It was the worst race I have ever watched. If it wasn’t Ric out front I would have gone back to bed.

    13. If only Alonso could get a refund for his years with Honda…

      1. I don’t think it was the Honda, it was McLaren.

        With the Renault engine they said Red Bull would be their measuring stick. Instead they are roughly where they were last year and since pre-season testing, they are still having reliability problems. Meanwhile, the Honda is doing fine in the STR.

        So yeah, the Honda wasn’t a Mercedes but McLaren’s woe’s over the last few seasons had more to do with McLaren building a poor car than anything else. Also, they already did poorly in 2013 and 2014 when they had a Merc engine. It’s not an incident.

        1. Do not know if it was entirely McLaren at fault, but I agree with you in general: my guess now is that it was McLaren’s fault mostly, and not Honda. Back in 2014, although they had the Mercedes engine, best case scenarios for them were battling Williams and Ferrari for the places next to the podium, the podiums being a Mercedes, RBR and Williams affair for almost the entire season.

        2. Mclaren may not have had the best chassis like they claimed. But saying that it was mostly their fault is just pure BS. You don’t make a bad car and end up more than 20kph down in the speed trap struggling with reaching 8th gear. So many mgu-h failures. And an awfully designed oil tank. That’s nqothing to do with mclaren. The fact is Honda had a new concept and it was bound to throw up issues. The concept matured this year and is decent.

          Drag on this years car shows how much deficit they have to other Renault powered cars. And it’s 5 or 6 kph at most. Also its interesting to note that in monaco they were the same distance away from the top as they were last year. We know for a fact that last year’s Honda engine was weaker than the renault. You can see this by their performances on tight circuits like Hungary when compared to power circuits like Japan and monza. Therefore they qualified the same distance behind the pole sitter means that they have a worse chassis now relative to the leaders than they did last year.

          In short, they’ve lost ground over the winter in chassis development and now they have to fix that.

          Also you say that ‘they’ve been having reliability problems since testing’. I must have been watching entirely different races because if I recall correctly their first, yes I repeat first race ending failure was in Spain. Who meat most if not all other teams have had loads of issues ranging from pitstop errors to gearbox and engine issues.

          Also have a look at how many engine components mclaren have used. Now go have a look at how many they had used this time last year. And also go have a look at how many Honda have used this year. Honda have improved but are still the least powerful engine. Gasly said he was being passed even before the DRS zone in Baku.

          The reliability issue with the mgu-k that Alonso suffered before his gearbox failure is the same problem ricciardo had. And also mclaren are now 5 th in the constructors and were on course to retake fourth and Alonso on course to retake 6th from verstappen in the drivers championship. So currently mclaren’s pace is on par with Renault (if not slightly faster), a team with a bigger budget and more workforce than them.

          Long gone are the days of huge Mercedes investment and funding. They are the țth largest team and should be expected to be 5th fastest. The fact that they have the possibility of being the 4th fastest team and perhaps if the talent is used correctly knocking on the door of the top 3 is an overachievement

        3. @jeffreyj, whilst perhaps Honda was given a bit too much stick, on the other hand I wouldn’t say that they are completely off the hook either.

          There were a number of issues with reliability in the opening races that you do have to put down to Honda, particularly since it seems that there were a number of problems occurring due to a new ignition system they were trying to develop, which did hurt the initial performance of the team.

          It also has to be said that, although reliability did improve, fuel consumption remained their weak spot – there were a few figures close to the team who conceded that the engine still had the highest fuel consumption rate in 2017. Speaking of fuel consumption, there is an indication that fuel consumption may still be a little bit of an issue this year – there was a rumour that the reason why Hartley immediately stopped the car at the end of the Spanish GP was because he didn’t have enough fuel to make it back to the pits and still provide the minimum fuel sample.

          Equally, at the moment Tanabe, the head of Honda’s development programme, did say earlier this year that Honda still believe that they are behind Renault. Although the performance differential between them and the leading engines was probably overstated, Honda themselves still seem to be publicly suggesting that they are still behind Renault (albeit closer to them than previously suggested).

          With that in mind, I would say that McLaren certainly had their failings, and indeed still have some issues, but equally Honda still had a number of faults in their own right. Things may be going better at Toro Rosso, though at the same time it looks like it is more of a lateral move at best for Toro Rosso.

    14. Monaco GP is one of my least favourite and the most disliked race track in the world. I would never go there to see a race. Even on television is boring.
      I have been watching and following F1 since 1995. But my goal is still go see a race. Next year I am planning to go see the Canadian GP.
      I hope Liberty Media will improve the race track or get rid of it for being too boring, dull races and for safety. Even in the rain it is boring.
      This is not a modern race track and it has to go.

      1. Wow, guess I’m an old dude, one of the real problems with F1 to me is the modern tracks. I will take watching quali at Monaco over just about any track on the calendar. Maybe the race is a procession, but that makes Quali all the more important. These guys want Monaco, it is a crown jewel for a reason. Nearly all drivers live in Monaco.

        This is hands down my favorite race day of the year, Racing never stops all day. Yes, this Monaco was right their with the worst of them, but never would I wish to have it removed from the calendar, it exemplifies what F1 is all about!

        The racing world is being over taken by the PC police. Racing is dangerous, that is a fact. They have been sanitizing F1 tracks for decades. I for one like to see the drivers face some consequences for mistakes at least a few times a year.

        Acting like this track is the most dangerous track they drive is just nuts, I can think of many places much more dangerous. By this logic, Spa must go.

        LeClerc continues to impress, watching the two young guns racing was a glimpse into the future.
        Each new F1 game that comes out, Monaco is the first place I go. It is

    15. jamesluke2488
      28th May 2018, 19:36

      I was there having paid a substantial amount of money to sit on a metal bench on top of some scaffolding to watch nothing other than cars go by following each other. Did I really care? no I was having the time of my life watching the Monaco GP live. That is the point of Monaco, the experience of been in the middle of a habour full of expensive yachts on a floating grandstand and taking in the atmosphere! Yes they could make improvements to the show but Monaco is never going to be more than an experience unless you are lucky to see an exciting race as well.

    16. Luke Harrison
      28th May 2018, 22:19

      I struggle to enjoy the Monaco Grand Prix. It really is a huge amount of hype and not much else. The race is generally always dull, even when there is a crash and a safety car. Which, when you scroll back through all the comments here, mainly focus on that being a point of excitement.

      Naff tyres didn’t bother me. I can’t see on TV the difference between a 1min 10 lap and a 1min 15. So, while the tyres probably did make it dull for the drivers. I don’t see it being a problem for the TV fans.

      Maybe they should scrap Sunday and just award points for qualifying?

    17. Maybe Monaco should be run in Karts.

      1. Yep- and they need to dress up as Mario Kart characters as well :)

    18. Monaco is all about Saturday. Viewed as an event whole it’s perfectly fine in my eyes. I have a theory though that the length of the cars, not the width, goes some way to explaining lack of overtaking here. Shame there were no Lowes lunges this year.

    19. The fans have been over-charged for the product of F1 way too long.
      Alonso should have noted the swathes of empty seats at the Spanish GP to see even his own fans know when to vote with their feet.
      Most people pay the Monaco fees pretty much to say theyve been there and experienced the atmosphere.
      I think this will change as there are so many forms of entertainment and hobbies that younger people will take up and be less impressed mingling with rich people watching fast cars. There are even fewer younger people
      into cars and driving these days.

    20. Did Alonso refund any of the teams who hired him to develop champion cars and he couldn’t deliver?

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