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Monaco GP left many disappointed and it will continue

Monaco GP left many disappointed and it will continue

3 June - 08:39
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The recent Monaco Grand Prix was set to be an incredible battle in the rain around one of the world's most difficult circuits. However, due to FIA indecision and excessive deliberation, the exciting spectacle was extensively delayed. We take a look at why the decision was made and how it will affect F1 in the long term.

What happened

There was no small measure of annoyance from the fans after the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. Many around the world were settled in, ready to view the spectacle of seeing all 20 of the new generation of cars racing in the rain at Monaco. However, a lengthy delay poured cold water on these hopes, with the racing action properly starting after almost an hour’s length of delays. 

While this was mostly down to race directors Freitas and Wittich’s decision to postpone the start due to the severity of the inclement weather, it was also exacerbated by the fact that a power outage caused the starting systems to be inoperable, ruling out the option for a grid start. Overall, the fans were able to sense and see the chaos through the screen, leading to overall disappointment in the management of the Grand Prix weekend.

Overall risk assessment

While it is true that the rain and spray would impair the driver’s visibility and cause them difficulty in accurate judgement, there are other factors worth considering. An accident in the rain would likely not pose as high a risk to the drivers, as all would be driving slower to counteract the lack of grip. Contact with another driver or a barrier would be a slow-speed impact. 

Furthermore, if the race started in a window before the rain, there would be a good chance that the standing water would not post a significant issue. With the extreme wet tyres capable of displacing 60 litres of water per second, as well as the ground effect pushing the air-water mixture under the car up into the air, most of the deposits would be non-existent. Considering other race series continue racing until the circuit and conditions are well and truly undrivable, F1 took the decision to postpone the start due to refitting the wet tyres and wait for whether if the weather could be undrivable.

Future

Inclement weather cannot hold such a significant sway on an event. Only in a case of true extremity and risk must it play a factor in deciding whether a postponement is in order. F1 has the responsibility not only to their viewers but also to their advertisers and tv partners to display the spectacle as closely to the times previously set.

If F1 continues to undermine itself and its own image, it will experience a more aggravated and depleting fan base. Rain has always been part of the sport. It adds a new dimension to see the very best teams and drivers fight against the elements to try and finish first. If racing under wet conditions becomes a rarity, the sport will lose a special part of its identity and DNA.

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