Verstappen calls for Monaco circuit changes

Max Verstappen believes Formula 1 should investigate changes to the circuit layout at the Monaco Grand Prix to make racing better on a Sunday, rather than exploring a different format.

Many races see little overtaking in Monaco due to the size of the cars and narrow circuit, but there was even less action this year due to the red flag on the opening lap that allowed all teams a free tire change and removed the need for pit stops. Without that strategic variable and tension around the pit stop phase, Charles Leclerc could back the field up to make sure there wasn’t a pit stop window for anyone close behind him, leading to a slow pace and no overtaking.

Verstappen says it’s only the race that needs addressing and slightly increased overtaking opportunities would have a big impact on the excitement levels.


“First I would like to try to, if there are possibilities, change a few things, because it’ll make the excitement even better,” he said. “Overall the weekend is really cool, just the Sunday is a little bit boring unfortunately, but the scenery is still great. If we can find a way to race a bit better, why not? That would be my preferred solution.

“Yes [a layout change is needed], because you cannot pass at the moment. If they ask for my opinion I will try to see what is possible but it also depends what roads you are going to take.”

The championship leader himself had a dull run to sixth place behind George Russell despite being able to make a pit stop for fresh tires — after Lewis Hamilton did the same behind him — and he says the bigger issue for Red Bull leaving Monaco is the car’s performance rather than the lack of overtaking.

“After the red flag our strategy was ruined as we had to put the medium on to the end, as everyone had a free stop and that meant that we had to save a lot,” Verstappen said. “I just tried to follow George and we were so off the pace trying to manage the tires.

“That is quite boring out there, driving literally half throttle on the straights in some places, a gear higher than you would normally do and four seconds off the pace so that is not really racing.

“We all know that at Monaco it is like this. I have to say over the last few years, compared to the years before, it is even more difficult, because of the weight of the cars. But it is nothing new, we all know this happens in Monaco.

“Overall it has been a really bad weekend for us. I guess the only positive out of it is we really know what our weakness is and if we can improve that by only a little bit we will gain a lot of lap time. There is a lot of room for improvement and if we can sort that out then our car really comes alive again.”

Story originally appeared on Racer