Neither rain nor chaos save the Formula 1 race in Monaco

Heavy rain and chaos caused by delays at the start were characteristic of the last Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco. Time has long since passed on the slowest track in the World Series, and now the settlement in Monaco could be in serious danger. Why did we have to delay the start for an hour? Why is it dangerous to have fear for just one moment during a race? At Sportrádió we spoke about this with Péter Faluvégi, competition director of the Hungarian Grand Prix, as well as TV commentator Ferenc Várhegyi and journalist István Simon.

In the unforgettable Grand Prix of Monaco, the sky fell a few minutes before the start and it started raining. At first it seemed that the field could start, but in the end, the field had to wait an hour for the start of the start – which was not from the usual standing position, but from behind the safety car – the so-called flying start.

According to Peter Valvegyi, director of Hungarian competitions, and Ferenc Várhegyi, commentator for Eurosport, there was no indication that the competition management was afraid, and therefore they were not allowed to start the competition.

On the other hand, journalist Istvan Simon believes that fear also played a role in this decision. “Pilots don’t usually reach high speeds on this track, but there is a section they do. This happens outside the tunnel where the cars are approaching 300 km/h.

Heavy rain floods Monte Carlo Avenue ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix of the Formula 1 World Speedway on May 29, 2022Source: MTI / EPA / Christian Bruna

In the tunnel, they take a drier path and then exit from the drier path to the wet path, where soon there will be a section that the large part will have to chop. There can be huge accidents here if someone gets it wrong. That’s why regulators can think about what they should do. But that uncertainty is detrimental to the sport.”

“The situation in Monaco was only partly exceptional,” explained Peter Valovigi. “It should be noted that the weather has completely changed in recent years. This could have been predicted with great accuracy in the past, but this is not always the case today. .

Peter Valovigi, Director of Competition for the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand PrixSource: BLIKK / Tumbász Hedi

Unexpected extreme weather changes may occur in the future and will affect racing. However, if you have at least one rainy-water workout on a given weekend, it will be easier for the teams to make the decision. In Monaco, it rained only in the race and only at the beginning of the race, which put the field in great difficulty.

The question is, if this situation does not happen in Monaco with its narrow urban path, will the same decision be made? According to Ferenc Várhegyi, a lot depends on the exchange capacity of the selected routes. “There are also tracks where rain like this would not have been a problem. Monaco is not.

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In Belgium, Formula 1 cars can start smoothly even in heavy rain. The photo was taken at the 2017 Belgian Grand PrixSource: DPPI via AFP / Florent Gooden

There is very little space here, and the path is so narrow that it was impossible to risk it. In Belgium, they also intervene when aquaplaning develops in the field. It’s already an emergency, but in the rain we saw in Monaco, the Belgian Grand Prix is ​​going smoothly.”

“A lot of people in Monaco did not understand why they were so afraid that it started raining. It could have started on time,” added Estefan Simon.

“No one questions the decisions of the race director, but there is no description of what to do in the event of rain. I am the local director of the Hungarian races, but the FIA ​​is also sending a travel race director. He can overtake me and the last word is his.”

This current rainy race has not benefited the future of Formula 1 racing in Monaco, even if many people think so now.” Ferenc Varhegyi said. “Monaco is synonymous with splendor, brilliance, perfection, you can’t go wrong there, you have to go there.

Technical equipment was also destroyed in the rain at the 2022 GP in MonacoSource: Agence France-Presse / Christian Bruna

I wouldn’t stop the pitch because of the rain, the other problem is that it can’t be done because of technical and diving issues. Everyone knows that this race is slow and boring. It does not reach the level of stimulation set by the viewer today.”

From 1970 on, there were almost no examples in 52 years of dangerous overtaking to be seen in Monaco, which affected the competition. You can only find an override when the driver in the race has ruined something. In 1970, Australian Jack Brabham drove almost all the way and then made a fatal error on the last lap, hitting hay bales due to late braking, so the lap win fell to Austrian Jochen Rindt behind him. But it was also an overrun when one of the contestants ruined something.

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George Russell, a British Mercedes racer in torrential rain at the Monaco Grand Prix of the Formula 1 World Fast Car Championship on the Monte Carlo Street track on May 29, 2022Source: MTI / EPA / Christian Bruna

However, overtaking on this track cannot be seen when, in the case of a real race, the first precedes the second. In 1984, Brazilian Ayrton Senna drove a Giant in Tolliman Hart’s car. He appeared to be ahead of French leader Proust on the last lap. Until then, torrential rain hit the track and the race director dropped the race on lap 33. This was the lap that Cena had passed, but to no avail, because the final result of the race was not determined yet where lap 33, but after lap 31, and at the time Proust was still ahead. “This is a track like that, we almost don’t see excesses here, and that is the case on the other tracks,” said Estefan Simon.

“It was also very harmful from a television point of view, which is what happened now in Monaco, but it should be noted that television sets cannot dictate to the competition director. At least not in Formula One. In the case of a 24-hour motorcycle race, the televisions can Television can ask for the race to start around this time or so, and you usually get in. “This is not the way things work in Formula 1,” Ferenc Vargiyi said, and Peter Faluweggi responded that the media could only ask, but not decide anything. . The audience is above all else, but when the race begins, they have nothing else to say. Only then the race director can decide. This is indeed a security issue and there is no discussion. There, the FIA’s local travel race director could decide, no one else. After the start, the sports administration can make it work, and no one can put pressure on us.”

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Many people are excited about what the future of the Monaco races will be like. The track contract expires this year, and so far no one can know what’s next.

It is a fact that time has passed on the very narrow track in Monaco. This route has to be rebuilt again and again every year because the city provides its framework, there is almost no room for it due to the very limited facilities, Monte Carlo is in the grip of the sea and mountains. At the same time, the Saudi track proves that they also built a narrow track there, although they had as much space as they wanted. That is why Monaco hope that there will be competition in the future,” said Peter Faluveggi.

“In the case of the Formula 1 race in Monaco, we know that the driver who is in first or second place can win the race – and that is the case in 90% of cases,” said Ferenc Varhegy. Worker. In 1996, Olivier Banes says he won the race with a total of seven cars that finished the rainy race. But it happens once every 50 years in Monaco, so he can’t count on that. People had the threshold of stimulation so high that they no longer watch the Formula 1 train race. At the same time, the luxurious environment, the beautiful sea and the beautiful city can provide a framework that can save Monaco.”

Many also fear Monaco because there will be a race in Las Vegas in 2023, which will create the same luxury conditions as Monaco so far. “Formula 1 is slowly but surely moving away from Europe,” said Peter Valovigi. Old tracks are no longer so interesting and attractive. Let’s say if there are 20 races in a year, that fits into a traditional race. But it does not matter what the viewer sees in the background. If it was a desert, this race would not produce as many spectators as a race that gives a nice tire like Monte Carlo.”

Spectators wait in the rain at the 2022 Formula 1 Grand Prix in MonacoSource: Agence France-Presse / Sebastien Buzon

The important question is to what extent these changes inspire us, the profession of Hungary. “I always feel the field is happy to come here” when you see a picture of the village behind the race, said Peter Valovigi. The competition between the tracks is relentless, and when it comes to balancing our chances with an oil cell portfolio, we may not be in the winning position. This competition is terribly fierce.”

Ferenc Varhegy added: “In addition to the popularity of the Hungarian track, sponsors also love Budapest, as our competition takes place at a very good time, in the middle of summer, during the holiday period. The Hungarian track has a stable audience. These are values ​​that the Arab world does not possess in emerging competitions. Until now. At the same time, the Hungarian track should intervene, we need to rebuild, just so we can maintain our competitive edge.”

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