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Brawn: Naive to expect duels and passing in Monaco

NEWS STORY
30/05/2018

In the wake of criticism from fans and drivers of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, F1 technical boss Ross Brawn - who is increasingly looking to have moved into PR also - has leapt to the defence of the event.

As ever, the three drivers that lined up for the post-qualifying press conference were the same three drivers who lined up around 24 hours later for the post-race version, and while Fernando Alonso was in the McLaren motorhome explaining how boring he found the race, Lewis Hamilton used the official press conference to share similar views.

Indeed, the world champion had plenty of suggestions for the new owners of the sport, ranging from changing the track layout, creating safety car periods and maybe even changing race format into a couple of sprints.

Amidst all the negativity, Ross Brawn came to Monaco's rescue, using his official post-race summary to make it clear that the track is unique.

"I've heard and read a number of comments from drivers and F1 people saying the race was boring and it's true that it wasn't action-packed," he wrote, "all the more so as the tyres were the key factor.

"However, it's a bit na´ve to expect lots of duels and passing moves in Monaco!," he added.

"That's in contrast to the unique spectacle of Saturday's qualifying, as this is the only place one can get so close to the action as the 20 drivers brush the barriers (sometimes clipping them) at speeds that are just unthinkable for mere mortals: maybe we don't give enough credit to these guys who can lap the 3,337 metre track in around 71 seconds.

"Monaco is such a special race that it should not be judged by the same criteria as the others," he insists. "The atmosphere in the paddock and the town, the glamour that surrounds the event makes it unique.

"Having said that, one of the aims we have set ourselves for the Formula One of the future is to work together with the promoters and all stakeholders to ensure the new circuits provide more overtaking opportunities and that current ones are improved.

"Naturally, the opinion of the drivers is welcome and our door is always open. However, in Monaco you'd need to reclaim land from the sea to do something and that's definitely not up to us!"

Fact is that in none of the pre-race publicity, be it from broadcasters, F1TV or indeed F1 itself, was there any warning that the action would be confined to Saturday. Instead fans were promised the sort of action that they were subsequently called naive to have expected.

Furthermore, in terms of the fact that for 60 of the race's 78 laps, Daniel Ricciardo was 25% down on power. Indeed, to use one of those football analogies these guys are so fond of, try explaining to a casual fan or win over a total novice who wonders why the league leaders were unable to beat a team from lower down the league which was already down to 8 players after 20 minutes.

As for Ross, a man who has forgotten more about racing than the likes of Chase Carey and Sean Bratches will ever learn, how sad to see a man who has achieved so much in F1, often by pushing the envelope to the very limit (and then some), talking up the glamour over the racing.

Finally, assuming Brawn is still in PR mode, having apologised for the issues surrounding the numerous problems that plagued F1 TV's coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix, we were surprised to see no mention of the fact that the streaming service crashed just before the start of the race in Monaco... ironically, the one point of the race when one might (naively) expect some action.

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 03/06/2018 10:23

"It's hard to know where to start.
Like FQITW I think its clear that Brawn has 'lost the plot', of Formula1, anyway. Clearly he is well on target (and on-message) in his new role as Liberty's tame F1 guru. Sadly it appears that from his new, lofty perspective, the attractiveness of his salary is more important than making F1 attractive to we mere groundlings.

Nobody expects Monaco to be the scene of Lights-to-Flag ding-dong battles, but what made it so terribly dispiriting was how the event ('race' it was not) exemplified F1's current malaise. Whatever potential there might have been for some racing was completely kyboshed by tyres whose performance was a terrible embarrasement to all involved. Similarly the over-reliance on aero has bloated the cars, exacurbating the intrinsic limitations of Monaco as a serious GP venue.

The kindest solution would be to return to some of the ways of the 1960's. Monaco could be run as a non-Championship event, thus allowing all the beautiful people to experience the sound & fury at close hand, whilst preening & one-upping oneanother in the privacy of their own (tax) haven. We 'ordinary people' who are only interested in the banalities of "Sport" can safely ignore the whole pointless rigmarole, and, who knows, maybe return a proper Race-Track to the calendar? (OK I realise that will never happen).

In case Brawn, Liberty and and their accolytes haven't noticed it, the market for in-city open-wheel racing has been snaffled from under their noses by FormulaE.
In the USA (Miami notwithstanding) I see no reason why anyone should prefer to host a hugely unprofitable F1 event over a more exciting and popular IndyCar one, no-matter how much Liberty reduce their astronomical fees.

"

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2. Posted by FQITW, 31/05/2018 8:54

"It’s the ‘G’ word again but however you dress it up Monaco is just as tacky as Macau/Vegas etc

I do despair about Ross Brawn these days.

He just seems so smug and yes he is right about not expecting action at what is after all only a glorified high speed procession but at least have the honesty to say that this year’s Monaco was possibly the worst Grand Prix ‘Race’ EVER staged.

We might be na´ve but he should be grateful that the public have still got some sort of vain hope that there might be a few battles.
If you were considering getting Sky, you would think again after watching this wouldn’t you?

Yes it’s a spectacle for those lucky enough to be in front row seats but how many people were there in that position?

Had I gone, I would have wanted my money back.
"

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3. Posted by Ro, 30/05/2018 21:39

"This weekend I watched the coverage of the Historic F1 round Monaco and it was incredible how small the cars were and how much of the driver you could see. It was certainly more entertaining than the current cars. Media Liberty should change the aero regulations and make the cars simpler. Then you would have racing. I could have been watching double decker buses go round and round."

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4. Posted by Burton, 30/05/2018 17:17

"If instead of showing us through the "show' how special Monaco is, they need an army of people plus all the sycophantic mainstream journalists (excluding Pitpass) afraid to lose accreditation to endlessly parrot it..maybe it's not so special after all.
Then we have the no hosting fee while several GPs fall off the face of the earth because of costs, the safety standards that aren't applied while countless proper tracks were emasculated throughout the years.. this context makes it even worse. Maybe this oh so special event could associate itself with a special divine bloodline ruler for that extra bit of aristocrat....oh!!!"

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5. Posted by Tweek, 30/05/2018 15:58

"Perhaps it’s time to make Monaco a championship race (change the format), shrink the cars dimensions, lose the big ass wings that a teenager wouldn’t mount on his Honda , come up with a new tire, or change the track layout"

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6. Posted by nonickname, 30/05/2018 12:17

"I think that Ross has not only forgotten more than most will learn about F1 he has forgotten what a race constitutes.
Perhaps a safety car every time the TV cover crashes would be a brilliant concept"

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7. Posted by Rhaycen, 30/05/2018 12:02

"Make the cars much smaller, say 3m x 1.6m (9ft x 5ft) and maybe there will be a chance of passing ... the current cars are enormous which doesn't help the passing in Monaco, Australia or Hungary."

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8. Posted by Mad Matt, 30/05/2018 11:33

"I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed in the article. The only thing I'd add is that, in my opinion, the glamour left Monaco some time ago. Now it's just a tax haven with a harbour full of expensive boats and an air that it used to be somewhere."

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9. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 30/05/2018 10:22

"For those of us who choose not to pay for SKY coverage, a little bemused why this race is chosen as one of the live events out of 10 by channel 4? when pretty much it is follow my leader. "

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10. Posted by Lapps, 30/05/2018 9:34

"Just cover over the swimming pool. That would make Rascasse an out braking point (for drivers with BIG equipment)"

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