Wolff frustrated: We need to change Monaco layout


Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says it’s time to consider changing the Circuit de Monaco layout, following a race in which the lack of overtaking opportunities was painfully evident.

Wolff’s driver, Lewis Hamilton, joined a train of cars stuck behind Fernando Alonso for a huge portion or the race, with the Spaniard lapping up to five seconds slower than the leading group as he sought to preserve his tyres.

“I think what we need to look at is Monaco. If a car can really slow down by almost five seconds and hold everybody up, it’s just a shame for the racing here, so maybe we can look at the track layout, so we’re not having a procession,” said Wolff, speaking to select members of the media in Monaco, including RacingNews365.com.

“You can see another lesson that track position is everything in Monaco. Five seconds [slower] is like a Formula 2 car.

“[Monaco is] such a fantastic venue, and it’s always amazing to be here, but we need to maybe look at the layout [if drivers can lap] five seconds slower and you still can’t overtake.”

Wolff unsure on alternative layout

The Monaco circuit has remained largely unchanged since the Nouvelle Chicane was installed in 1986, and the track has long been known as one where overtaking is extremely difficult, even in times when F1 cars were considerably smaller than the current 2022 vintage.

The tight, undulating confines of the Monaco streets would appear to make finding an alternative layout difficult, and Wolff admitted that he was at a loss as to what form any changes to the track would take.

His comments come at a time when the sport is waiting to see if a deal can be struck to keep the event on the calendar, with Monaco’s current contract having now expired.

“We need Monaco and Monaco needs Formula 1, so with [changing] the track layout, maybe it’s wishful thinking,” said Wolff. “I wouldn’t know where else we can drive them around these roads.

“The tunnel is already fast, but I don’t know what can be done. Maybe we can just get rid of the chicane, exit the tunnel and make it a long straight.

“[But] then Tabac would be too fast, so maybe some braking there.”

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