Monaco Grand Prix Sun 29 May, 14:00

Get up to speed with everything you need to know about the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place over 78 laps of the 3.337-kilometre Circuit de Monaco

No race epitomises glamour like the Monaco Grand Prix. It might be the slowest race on the calendar, with the fewest overtakes, but to judge it on those merits alone misses the point. You go to the Monaco Grand Prix for the glitz, the glamour, the atmosphere, and F1 cars skimming metal barriers at 180mph! Your Grand Prix Package includes Monaco F1 Tickets (for race & qualifying), return flights the airport of your choice (plus transfers), and 4 nights hotel accommodation in the riviera city of Nice. For those that want to extend their stay, additional nights are available on request. And for those wanted to turn the glamour up to 11, we can arrange exclusive accommodation at the Fairmont Monaco with helicopter transfers and Nikki Beach access.

Monaco Grand Prix organisers insist race will retain spot on F1 calendar

However Monaco’s problem is the increasing strain of competition for places on a schedule already at bursting point – and there are other gaudy baubles vying for its crown.

Among them is the new Miami GP, also held next month, on 8 May. This is a city with matching bling (although whether that’s a positive is a matter of taste), and with a record 23 races due to be held this year, there’s a growing sense that something has to give.

Could it be Monaco? Let’s face it, as a sporting spectacle, a truly great Monaco GP relies either on rain, driver error or a crucial breakdown triggering drama. Perhaps Monaco should be left for the historic grand prix cars that visit for the biennial festival to be run on 13-15 May or, dare we say, Formula E, whose thrilling e-Prix on the same circuit layout last year far exceeded the F1 race for spectacle. The electric-powered series will visit again in 2022, this coming weekend.

But don’t drop it!

Still… I just can’t bring myself to agree that F1 dropping Monaco would be right. Others should fall first, if they really must.

The French GP is the most traditional of them all, given that the very first grand prix was held at Le Mans in 1906. But Paul Ricard and former venue Magny-Cours hold little charm – and the omission of a German GP, which has somehow fallen off the calendar during Mercedes’ hybrid-era domination, is a greater loss.

Beyond calendar congestion, well… it’s Monaco, isn’t it? It has always been an anachronism, even when Clark and Hill were around. It’s also still magical, especially on a hot qualifying lap. It would take a brave but foolhardy executive to drop the axe.

This year’s race marks the end of Monaco’s current deal, but Automobile Club de Monaco president Michel Boeri is adamant that a new one will be struck – plus some drivers still get it (thank you, Pierre Gasly). Racing on streets only lightly changed from the days of Rudolf Caracciola, Tazio Nuvolari, Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss still has meaning for some of us. I hope the Monaco GP survives.

The organisers of the Monaco Grand Prix have said the race will remain on the Formula One calendar as the sport looks to accommodate new meetings. The street circuit’s contract ends this year but the president of the Automobile Club de Monaco, Michel Boeri, is confident a new deal will be agreed.

Monte Carlo hosted its first F1 race in the series’ opening year in 1950 and has become globally recognised for its track laid out on the city’s winding streets. However, the course is no longer suited to modern F1 cars and the race is often an uneventful procession.

In the past, such was the prestige of the event, the race was not required to pay a hosting fee, an arrangement ended by F1’s new owners, Liberty Media. F1 recently concluded a deal to hold a race in Las Vegas next year and are expected to add one at Kyalami in South Africa soon. With a season capped at 24 races, there is increasing pressure on meetings to justify their position. F1’s chief executive, Stefano Domenicali, warned that the “pedigree” of a race would not guarantee its place and that some events could be rotated on and off the schedule.

With this year’s race scheduled for 29 May, Boeri maintained that Monaco would retain its spot. Speaking to race marshals this week, he said: “It was implied that the fees required were too excessive for Monaco and that the grand prix would no longer be held. That’s untrue. We are still in talks with them and must now seal the deal with a contract.

“I can guarantee you that the grand prix will keep taking place beyond 2022. I don’t know if it will be a three- or five-year contract, but that’s a detail.”

Meanwhile, the FIA has reacted to criticism from drivers about the speed of the Aston Martin safety car at the Australian Grand Prix. The reigning champion, Max Verstappen, was outspoken in his disapproval, noting that the drivers could not maintain tyre temperature behind it. “The safety car was driving so slow, it was like a turtle. Unbelievable,” he said. “It’s pretty terrible the way we are driving behind the safety car at the moment.”

Other drivers joined his complaints, if with a lighter tone. Mercedes’ George Russell pointed out that he believed the Mercedes safety car was five seconds a lap quicker, to which race winner, Charles Leclerc, noted that a Ferrari version would be even faster.

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