02 June 2012 13:27 Filed in: auto
This time last week, the F1 paddock was bustling with the activity of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, and I was lucky enough to be there filming the aftermath and the drivers thoughts for ESPN Star Sports.
As my first time in Monaco for the F1 circus, I was amazed at how all logic goes out the window there. In practice, the entire concept should not work at all. It’s a tiny harbour side town with no major access roads in and out with a maze of backstreets and tunnels linking everything together. The fact that they can accommodate the entire F1 paddock, three support races and the world’s media including a large TV component is a not only a tribute to the organisers but the will of the place itself.
With both the F1 and WRC looking to modernise and move to new circuits and rallies, we should not be neglecting or forgetting the reasons these places are so classic. The fact that everything shut down on the Friday because of Thursday night partying should even more flag this place as one to keep!
I am not saying that Monaco is going to fall out of the F1 calendar anytime soon, but if I had have told you ten years ago that the Monte Carlo rally was not going to be included in a WRC season, you would call me crazy. It can happen, and possibly will for numerous political and business reasons. Sure, there are more exciting circuits than Monaco but it is the lighting in a bottle that Monaco has which is so very hard to find on any fancy new events.
Long may atmosphere reign, however I fear that hard currency is going to win this in the end. Sad, but true. Let’s hope for a happy middle ground.