Even now, Monaco is still regarded as one of the world's most prestigious races. A win in Monaco is every racer's fantasy because it is one of the three competitions necessary to claim the triple crown. But only a select few—those with steely hearts—get to take home the crown prize. And only exceptional drivers, such Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, were able to win it repeatedly. Despite this, why is the Monaco race seen as dull?
Monaco is a 2.074-mile-long street circuit. The street circuit nature of the track means that the barriers are up close to the track. And that corners are not made keeping the cars in mind, so instead of the exit getting wider, it remains the same and even gets narrower. As this is a risk factor, with the walls being this close, the drivers have to be tentative and tend to take less of a risk, making the spectacle somewhat boring.
Monaco is the slowest circuit on the F1 Calender with Singapore(also a street circuit) being the second slowest track. The Average speed around Monaco is 94 mph. A lap around the track feels very broken as a lot of the corners are slow speed. Minimal fast-speed action makes the race tedious to watch.
The next to no overtaking opportunities at the track due to the boring nature of the track. Monaco being one of the oldest races on the F1 calendar still follows most of the old layout with a couple of changes made to keep up with the new regulations. While the history and culture were kept in mind to keep Circuit de Monaco the same, it meant that the track was suitable for the cars in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but not for the newer cars.
The newer F1 cars are far wider than what they were back in the day since aerodynamics have taken over. Back in the day, two cars could’ve easily gone side by side through some of the most dangerous corners, like Nouvelle Chicane and La Rascasse. Not saying that modern cars cannot, but 90% of the time it would end up in a crash. Sainte Devote is the prime overtaking spot at Monaco, after the long start-finish straight, a heavy braking zone. But even this corner is hard to overtake with these new cars.
Monaco GP is unique in another way that it’s the shortest GP on the calendar. The race is only 161.734 miles long, whereas a regular F1 race is around 190 miles long. This characteristic of the shortest race is because of a combination of the slow average speed, the constant threat of a safe car, and weather changes. To finish the race in time, the length of the GP had to be cut short. Although, even with these measures, the race still is pretty long and tedious.
Even Lewis Hamilton felt that the 2022 Monaco GP was long and boring. According to express.co.uk, Lewis Hamilton said, “Thank God that’s over, that was the most boring race I’ve ever participated in. Our car is very long and struggled with the graining. But yeah, to go away here after such a long race, it felt like the longest race I’ve ever done, probably, it was quite a long race! I’m looking forward to the following races, hopefully, they’ll be more fun.”
What can be done is for F1 to reduce the dimensions of the cars. While the new ground effect rules did reduce the length a bit. But compared to the late 1900s cars, they’re still huge and bulky. While we understand that layout cannot be changed, one change can introduce a better opportunity at overtaking. If the Nouvelle Chicane is removed, the tunnel would then directly lead to Tabac, making it a very long straight. Also, Monaco is usually a one-stop race with the track being very kind on tires. So if a new set of tires that degrade faster can be introduced, multiple pitstops with a huge variation in strategy can lead to spice up things.