Lewis Hamilton calls for two changes to bring back Monaco GP magic

All the focus in Monaco is on the qualifying with overtaking notoriously difficult on the streets of Monte Carlo

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Lewis Hamilton has suggested two major changes that could be made to the Monaco Grand Prix to help reinvigorate the race format, but admits he doesn’t know if they will ever come to fruition.

The Briton is a three-time winner around the streets of Monaco, where he spends most of his time living, and knows better than most how the track layout can make things tricky for F1 drivers.

With the 2022 regulations making cars wider and heavier than ever before, the 39-year-old conceded there isn’t much chance of overtaking during the race and put forward some ideas for the FIA and Monaco GP organisers to consider if they are willing to make changes.

“Monaco continues to be as Monaco is, it hasn’t really changed much. The cars are getting bigger and you kind of really have to take down things, without a huge risk of colliding,” Hamilton told the written media in Monaco, including Total-Motorsport.com.

Nyck de Vries of AlphaTauri, leads Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo during 2023 Monaco GP practice | Sam Bagnall / LAT Images
The Monaco circuit is the slowest on the F1 calendar. | Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

“I wish we had bigger roads for the car. The track would be wider, but I don’t think that’s ever going to be the case in more so because it’s just a small place. And the race is continuously pretty much the same. It’s a one-stop race, so I would say maybe having special tyres for this race – so you have more pit stops – would create more variability.

“You got the sprint things that are added. But for this particular weekend, I think they should come up with some new formula for it, rather than just be the same [as the sprint]. That’s just my opinion.”

Hamilton optimistic about Mercedes improvement

As for Mercedes‘ own chances this weekend, Hamilton is optimistic the Silver Arrows will fare better after securing top-six finishes in Miami and Imola. Hamilton is yet to finish in the top five in 2024 but there have signs of gradual – if not slow – progress being made after bringing upgrades to the Emilia Romagna GP.

The seven-time world champion has suggested their W15 car will benefit from the slower track layout in Monaco, more so than at Imola, as they look to close the gap on Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

“If you look at Suzuka, we were very slow in the slow-speed [corners]. If you look at Jeddah, we were fast in the slow-speed and slow in the high-speed. So I have no doubt about what I need [for setup] to get out there tomorrow. I think we should be a little bit better here,” Hamilton added.

“I think the car is in the window, it’s starting to open in terms of performance between high and low [speed corners]. I’m really hoping that we’ve got it in a bit of a sweet spot to be close. We weren’t that far off in qualifying last year, actually, with a much worse car. So I hope that’s something this weekend there.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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