Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Monaco, 2022

“This isn’t WEC”: Magnussen says rain should not have delayed Monaco GP start

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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The start of the Monaco Grand Prix did not need to be postponed, says Kevin Magnussen, following a delay of more than hour before today’s race began.

The original start procedure for the race was aborted when light rain fell at the track. The formation lap began nine minutes later than planned, behind the Safety Car.

However further, much heavier rain then began to fall. The race director therefore summoned the cars back into pits and the start of the race was delayed. It eventually began an hour and five minutes after the original allotted time.

Magnussen believes the original start should have gone ahead, even though the rain which fell afterwards would have forced a stoppage.

“We could have started,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “Of course there was then a point afterwards that was torrential rain and the race would have been red-flagged.

“But that’s part of racing. So if the conditions are okay, they should start us. Maybe give us a crash course in wet weather driving or something, we can go and take some classes.”

Several new personnel were installed in F1’s race direction team during the off-season. Today’s race director, Eduardo Freitas, who has extensive experience in running World Endurance Championship races, was running a grand prix for the second time in his career.

“They’re new, so it’s big pressure for them, of course. I wouldn’t want to be in that position to take those calls.

“But of course I would bet my money that all 20 drivers wanted to go and were ready. We’re professional. We’ve done this before. If we can’t do it, nobody can drive in the wet.”

The FIA said the start of the race was delayed partly because drivers had not experienced the track in wet conditions earlier in the weekend. But Magnussen said it was “fine” to give the start. “This is professional drivers, Formula 1, it’s not WEC.”

Magnussen retired from the race with a power unit problem, shortly before his team mate Mick Schumacher crashed heavily.

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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15 comments on ““This isn’t WEC”: Magnussen says rain should not have delayed Monaco GP start”

  1. Well said, hope the other drivers/team principals make similar comments as well. There was no reason to delay the initial scheduled start time.

  2. RandomMallard
    29th May 2022, 17:46

    I agree there was no need for the initial delay. However, I think they were right to stop the race (well, start procedure) once the rain really came down at about 15.20 local time. Visibility looked atrocious and that was at SC speed.

    1. Indeed RandomMallard, as Magnussen says, the red flag would likely have come in any case, but at that point they could have run some 12-18 laps already, and the race might have gotten closer to its full distance (and those first laps after the restart illustrate that not much happening but going around isn’t a thing that would have detracted from the usual race here even if it was due to weather this time ;)

  3. I don’t understand how a race could be delayed, and then delayed further on “potential” weather issues. The red flag after the initial formation lap was fine, around the Piscine it was full of standing water. But before and after? a one hour delay seemed excessive. They were “watching for a good weather window to start”.

    I think the 2 hour limit from the race start does more harm than good. Nowadays they need to be 100% sure the weather isn’t going to get in the way in the next 5 minutes because otherwise, you’d have half the race effectively deleted by the time limit rule.

    There must be another way. Weather is inherently unpredictable, you can’t rely on the radars forever to decide when to start when it’s not actually raining that hard.

  4. He is spot on, and this is what I noted when these race directors were announced. Freitas does some things right, especially when it comes to track limits and generally making it clear what is allowed in overtaking, but he has decided many an endurance race with questionable FCY/red flag calls. You can sort of understand some of those as he had a duty to look out for both the pros in LMP1 and the rich amateurs in GTE Am. But that shouldn’t be an issue in F1, even if it arguably has a few rich amateurs as well.

    Freitas has made bad calls on the red flags both in qualifying and the race, and there was once again a situation where a VSC becomes a SC which then becomes a red flag. This just shouldn’t happen, as it is grossly unfair on teams making strategy calls based on either of those situations.

    Blue flag observance was also notably bad, Sainz being the most obvious loser of this poor enforcement of a rather simple rule to let leaders pass within a set amount of corners.

    1. I always wonder this. During their karting times, thy do race under wet conditions. Suddenly in F1, they become so precious that racing wet is a big no no.

  5. If they had started and then dropped a red flag after just a few racing laps what would have happened to the 2 hour rule?
    Would the clock keep ticking like it did mid-race?
    If so, the decision to delay was spot on. Otherwise we would have had even less running.

  6. This is professional drivers, Formula 1, it’s not WEC

    I see what you did there KMag ;)

    1. Well he is correct though, LMGTE AM is amateur drivers in WEC. The race should have had started.

  7. Kevin: We are professional drivers.
    Kevin also: We could use some classes for wet wather racing.


    1. the latter was clearly sarcasm

  8. Racing in the wet is one of the many things F1 has given up. I used to get excited about the rain, now I’m afraid of the race getting red flagged.

    1. Right? They have heavy wets but when there’s heavy rain they don’t race.

      What’s the point in even producing those tires at his point? :D

  9. Absolutely agree with Kevin. We have seen F1 races in far worse conditions. The race director’s lack of F1 experience was visible.

  10. Delaying a race because of potential rain?

    Massively capable wet weather tires and, nah. Of course, I’m no F1 driver, but Monaco must be the easiest track to spot breaking points in the mist from the car in front?

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