Lewis Hamilton has claimed it would be a shame to lose the Monaco Grand Prix from the calendar as it is one of the sport’s ‘crown jewels’. He said everyone that attends the iconic race weekend ‘enjoys it’ and praised the circuit’s ‘prime location’.
However, the Brit addressed concerns the track was dull, claiming the race was ‘not that spectacular’. F1 boss Stefano Domenicali recently suggested that traditional pedigree was not enough for tracks to keep a slot on the calendar.
He hinted there were some tracks whose contracts were set to expire that may not be renewed for further years. Monaco is one of these with the organiser’s current deal ending after this year’s event.
F1’s new Las Vegas project was recently described as F1’s new ‘flagship’ event, raising even more rumours Monaco could be out. However, Hamilton spoke up to defend the historic circuit at last week’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
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The seven-time champion said: “I mean, it’s one of the crown jewels of our sport. So I’m not really sure it would be great to lose it.
“There are good bits… I guess that the difficult part is that the racing itself is not that spectacular. But everyone that goes enjoys it. It is a prime location. Adjusting the track is not easy, because it’s the second smallest country in the world. I think it’s the second or third smallest country? Second, right? And so, yeah, we don’t have a lot of space there.
“Many of us live in Monaco. But it is just that that icon status it has, the history that it has that is so appealing to drivers, but also I think to those that are watching.” Michael Boeri, president of the Automobile Club de Monaco, attempted to fend off rumours the race could come to an end in 2022.
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He said claims that fees required by F1 to host traces were too excessive for Monaco were ‘untrue’ and suggested a new deal was set to be agreed.
Boeri explained: “We are still in talks with them and must now seal the deal with a contract. I can guarantee you that the Grand Prix will keep taking place beyond 2022. I don’t know if it will be a three- or five-year contract, but that’s a detail.”
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018, also defended the iconic circuit.
He added: “There are those core F1 venues and circuits such as Monaco. It’s a special weekend. For sure, like the race, it’s one of the most tricky circuits to overtake so, you know, I’m not sure it provides like the ultimate viewing experience on a Sunday but the weekend experience and just everything that is Monaco is special and unique.
“And yeah, winning it or not, I think going there as an F1 driver and having that and experiencing all the emotions that go with competing in Monaco, it’s unique.”