McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo hopes that Monaco still has a place on the Formula 1 calendar as the sport evolves and continues to shift towards new markets.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously spoken of his plan to open out the racing schedule to 30 rounds as the pinnacle of motorsport seeks to re-establish its place in Africa and Asia, as well as adding more races in the United States.
The added demographics are a source of excitement for the drivers – Ricciardo has expressed his enthusiasm for the resurrection of a race in Vegas – but the changes do mean that some fan favourites are in danger of being cut.
Belgium, Austria, France Mexico and Monaco all look under threat as their contracts expire soon, and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon has vowed to “do everything” to keep his home race at the Circuit Paul Ricard alive.
His compatriot Pierre Gasly said it would be a “shocker” if Monaco were to be axed and Ricciardo, who has finished on the podium four times in the principality, does not want to see the iconic and historic race disappear from the calendar of which it is a foundation.
“Monaco is special,” said Ricciardo.
“I think the thing is, I love the addition of some of these new circuits, new cities that we’re going to.
“I’m all for it, because it’s also like new experiences and engaging another audience which is fun, and it keeps the sport growing.
“I like sharing the sport with more of the globe, and ultimately sharing our passion with more people.
“There are those core F1 venues and circuits such as Monaco. It’s a special weekend.”
The race in Monte Carlo is notoriously difficult to overtake at, and this is even more prominent now that the cars are so wide and so heavy, but the combination of the atmosphere and the idiosyncrasy of the event is something the 32-year-old wants future generations to be able to experience.
“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,” he added.
“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.
“I’m very, very happy to have that, and have experienced that in my career. I guess I would wish, you know, call it the next generation to also experience that because it is special.”
Ricciardo took victory in Monaco with Red Bull in 2018, securing his third consecutive podium at the 3.3 kilometre circuit, but his last two visits with Renault and McLaren have yielded just two points for the Australian.