Any speculation that Monaco’s Formula 1 future is at risk is rubbish, according to the president of the race’s organizing committee.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of racing’s most historic events and was first held around the streets of the principality in 1929. It was part of Formula 1’s inaugural World Championship schedule in 1950 and was ever-present through over six decades until its absence in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Monaco returned for 2021 and will feature in its usual berth this May 29. The race’s long-term fate, however, has been rumored to be a point of discussion as Formula 1 continues to explore new territories.
This year’s Formula 1 schedule is set to feature 23 Grands Prix—with a yet-to-be-announced race to replace Russia’s spot on the 2022 schedule. Next season, Las Vegas is joining, Qatar is beginning a 10-year contract, while China is slated to return subject to the country’s COVID status and protocols.
There had been suggestions that Monaco’s race could be in danger for a number of reasons.
As Formula 1 cars become larger and heavier, it makes racing around Monaco’s streets borderline impossible, leading to a Sunday procession. Another issue is that Monaco itself also pays a modest race fee. Monaco also has atypical perks including control some paddock club facilities, which negatively impacts on Formula 1’s revenue. Monaco also controls some of its own sponsor billboards trackside.
However, the president of Monaco Grand Prix organizer Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) has dismissed speculation that Formula 1 could be left off the F1 schedule after 2022.
“It was understood that Liberty Media’s asking prices were too excessive for Monaco, and that the Grand Prix would no longer be done. It’s wrong. We are still in discussions with them and we must now put them in concrete by signing a contract. I can guarantee you that after 2022, the Grand Prix will continue to take place. I don’t know if the contract will be for three or five years, but that’s a detail.”
Monaco will this year fall in line with the rest of Formula 1’s events by holding its practice sessions on a Friday. The Grand Prix had previously run the opening two sessions on Thursday, as part of a historical hangover that emerged as a tradition, which meant Friday was a day of rest. It effectively led to a five-day weekend, with pre-event media build-up held Wednesday, but it has now been shortened to reduce time away for paddock personnel.