McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has suggested that some adaptations need to be made to the Monaco circuit in order to adapt to modern Formula 1 cars.
In the last week, F1 has confirmed a return to Vegas for the first time in over 40 years in 2023, meaning that there will be six street circuits on next season’s calendar.
Monaco is the most historic of them all, but the cost of that is the fact that the winding streets and the layout’s lack of capacity to hold many marketing activities puts it behind other venues.
Furthermore, Monaco, unlike all other circuits, does not pay a fee to be on the calendar, so Brown has indicated that they should be offering more from a marketing standpoint.
“Monaco always stood for the most glamorous part of Formula One. I think Miami, Singapore, Las Vegas are starting to add some pretty glamorous markets,” Brown told Reuters.
“I think Monaco needs to come up to the same commercial terms as other grands prix and also maybe needs to work with ways they can adapt their track because as our cars have become bigger, the racing has become more difficult.”
The American laments that the 3.3 kilometre track does not offer a tremendous amount of racing, and indicates that the sport would not be sent into disarray were it to be removed.
“You do need to take into consideration history but then I think you need to take into consideration how’s the show that it puts on,” he added.
“There is also an element, which shouldn’t drive our decisions but should be part of our decisions, of what’s the economic contribution to the sport.
“I’d much rather have Monaco than not… but just like the sport is bigger than any one driver or team, I think it’s bigger than any one grand prix.”
A two-kilometre run down the strip rivals the home straight at Baku, and is longer than the home straights at both Monza and in Mexico.
It is set to make for a glamorous spectacle, especially since the race will be held under Vegas’ famous lights on a Saturday night.
Brown is excited to travel to the entertainment capital of the world for a championship grand prix, and affirms that racing on a Saturday night is a good advancement for F1 as it begins to reach more and more demographics.
“It looks very proper and all the right people are behind it. I think it’s going to be stunning for Formula 1,” he explained.
“We want to respect the history of the sport but there’s not many sports that haven’t changed in recent times to adapt to a changing world. I think a Saturday night race in Vegas is the obvious thing to do.”
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has recently stated that the calendar may be extended to 30 races, putting an enormous strain on the teams.
Further, with Spa Francorchamps out of contract at the end of this year, the pinnacle of motorsport is in danger of losing some of its most historic racetracks.
Brown’s solution would be to hold “something like 21 or 22 races,” before adding in rotational races so that, be it only sporadically, we still get to see a variety of circuits.
“Seventeen or 18 as permanent fixtures and seven or eight that rotate because I do think to continue to grow the sport the more quality markets we can be in the better. I’d love to see us be in 30 markets but race 21 or 22 times a year,” he said.
“I think there are A markets and B markets that we race in. Maybe your B markets (should be) every other year.”
As it stands, Monaco is officially out of contract as of 2021, but a deal was agreed to hold the race in the Principality again this year. Its future heading into 2023 is as yet unknown.