Hamilton disagreed with decision to delay start of Monaco Grand Prix

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton questioned the decision not to start the Monaco Grand Prix on time when rain fell before the beginning of the race.

The starting procedure for the race was aborted after a suddenly downpour covered the circuit. The cars were eventually sent away for formation laps behind the Safety Car nine minutes after the scheduled start.

Soon afterwards, very heavy rain began to fall which led the race director to postpone attempts to hold the start. The drivers were brought back into the pits and the grand prix eventually began once the rain had eased, over an hour after the original scheduled start time.

However, Hamilton believes the conditions were adequate for the race to start on time. “I don’t really know the reason for them not sending us out at the get-go,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

The FIA said part of the reason for the delay was the fact no laps had been completed in wet conditions during the weekend.

“We’re Formula 1 drivers,” said Hamilton. “That’s definitely not a good reason.

“That’s why I was [saying] ‘let’s go’, when it was just drizzling a little bit at the beginning. I’m sure when we talk in the drivers’ briefing we’ll discuss it, but we should have started the race.”

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo said the conditions were not too dangerous for the race to have started on time at 3pm.

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“Sure it would have been sketchy but that’s what we should be able to do,” he said. “I don’t think it would have been dangerous.

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Monaco, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
“It would have been difficult, certainly, but this is what we’re supposed to do. So I would have got it started then, but that’s not my job.”

“Sure it was raining but those conditions were good enough,” he added. “So I wasn’t too sure why we didn’t initially get going.”

However he agreed with the decision to red-flag the race when heavier rain fell.

“Once we got out and then red-flagged it, that was 100% the right decision,” he said. “But if you ask me why we didn’t start at three [o’clock] then I’m not sure.

Nicholas Latifi said it was “clear we could have started the race” on time, but the later downpour was comparable to last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, where no racing laps took place.

“Then, obviously, the conditions were too dangerous in that sense once we did start. It was almost as bad as Spa, for the speed we were going you couldn’t see anything. So definitely the right decision to red-flag it then.”

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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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22 comments on “Hamilton disagreed with decision to delay start of Monaco Grand Prix”

  1. One day, the FIA will need to tell us exactly why we cannot have proper wet races as we used to.
    Is it risk aversion? Is it the tyres? The cars set up? Or to avoid the costs linked to (inevitable) crashes?
    They must tell it soon or later.

    When they finally started, there wasn’t a single DNF in the whole wet portion of the race! Back in 84 or 97, there was a retirement every one damn lap. And the races went ON!

    Wet races have made the history of F1.

    1. Absolutely, fully agree with this and I can’t stand that they don’t give us proper wet races any more, especially when conditions are up for that.

    2. The FIA has also admitted that the rain caused a power cut to the electrical system that controlled the grid starting systems – which is also the reason why the FIA had to opt for rolling starts after that point.

      As Anon said Strange they didn’t told us these things can happen but why try to hide it?

  2. I think after the Bianchi accident, F1 has decided to err far more on caution then have a wet race. Do I agree completely with their mindset, I don’t know. The Spa Q3 session last year when Lando had his major accident, suggests they do sometimes let them try.

    1. @furkmyster it seems that the delays weren’t purely down to just the track being wet.

      The FIA has also admitted that the rain caused a power cut to the electrical system that controlled the grid starting systems – which is also the reason why the FIA had to opt for rolling starts after that point.

    2. Goes back a lot further than Bianchi @furkmyster. Korea 2010 and qualifying for Australia in (I think it was) 2013 are two examples that spring to mind of a ridiculously conservative approach to wet conditions.

      Regarding Spa, I think they are generally a bit happier to allow wet qualifying sessions because there can be bigger separation between the cars, mitigating some of the visibility problems that you get when they run close together.

      1. I’ve been saying for years, we ever only ever had these safety car starts & so many issues racing in the rain ever since Pirelli came in to F1. We have seen so many drivers loosing control even behind the safety car at low speeds only since Pirelli.

  3. MB (@muralibhats)
    30th May 2022, 17:46

    Why not. He had not much to loose.

    1. Could not get around Alonso … and complained! Needs a faster car.

      1. this is monaco. unless you have a car 15 secs a lap faster you cant do much. there is effectively only one questionable straight for drs if you can even call it that… whoever is leading dictates the pace here… any other track, hamilton drives around alonso anyday fine. alonso being sour he drove as he did

        1. Like he drove around Alonso in Hungary last year? Couldn’t pass Alonso for 11 laps in a way faster car!
          Or like he drove around Perez on old tyres last year in Abu Dhabi?

          1. Isn’t Hungary also referred to as “Monaco without the buildings”?

  4. Obviously this interview was before anyone informed Hamilton about the shenanigans with the start light infrastructure.
    Sounds like the rain was used as the perfect excuse for the embarrassment of failing equipment

    1. Sounds like the minor technical issue was an excuse for being hyper-cautious.

  5. Ofcourse he did not agree. Neither did Max. They are true racers. It was a farce and again a sign the sport is not in good hands currently

    1. There are increasing calls to bring Masi back.
      Better the devil you know, as they say…

      1. The RC director of Monaco was for the first time as head normal he was the deputy the first 6 races so a green one.

  6. its like the FIA don’t trust the drivers in wet conditions, even latifi behaved in the wet

  7. I think the trouble is the FIA have set a sort of precedent for what they deem safe and unsafe. Reversing this is a no-go now. Obviously nobody wants to suggest they’ve gone too far with safety; what happens if a driver is killed racing in conditions that the FIA previously deemed to be too dangerous?

    I hate rain delays as much as anyone, but if I were in race control I wouldn’t let them race in those conditions either. The only change I’d make is get them back on track (behind the safety car) much sooner. The track will improve way faster with cars running, the drivers get a feel for the track, and they can go racing as soon as it’s suitable (as opposed to giving a 10-minute warning as red-flag procedure presumably dictates).

  8. Next, the FIA will be telling us that the Monaco GP was delayed because a load of Liverpool fans stormed the gates with fake tickets.

    I have a strong feeling that F1 and the FIA are moving in different directions.

  9. ian huntington
    31st May 2022, 12:08

    These people are too scared of their own shadows, whimps…….. he americanisation of f1 obviously comes with the american liability and sue culture…..not so great days ahead then. I urge everyone to youtube Monaco 1984 when an unkonwn driver called Ayrton Senna was suddenly the fastest car on track, overtaking absolutely everyone and would have won if Prost hadnt done a typical Prost and called for a race stop just to preserve his win, two more laps and Senna would have easily won…….. IN CONDITIONS TEN TIMES WORSE than Sunday, That was the arrival of Ayrton Senna to quote the great Murray Walker……..pffft, the stewards are getting far too soft, There was NO reason to stop the race or for the pace car

  10. Prashanth Ramadas
    4th June 2022, 22:19

    I think Vettel and Hamilton should not help the waste brands as a proxy because of the future.

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