Christian Horner disagrees with Hamilton and explains why Monaco GP must change for ‘next 70 years’

The Red Bull boss has discussed the idea of making changes to the Monaco GP race to protect its future in motor racing

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Christian Horner has called on Formula 1 to consider making two major changes to improve racing at the Monaco Grand Prix for years to come, rather than just in the short-term.

As F1’s longest-serving team principal since 2005, the Red Bull supremo knows better than anyone how the cars have evolved over the last two decades. And with every new advancement in the regulations, the cars have become wider and heavier to manage around the streets of Monte Carlo.

The vast majority of teams and drivers have pointed to qualifying as the most important session of the weekend, which casts major doubts on whether race is fit for purpose if there is no chance for overtaking. Lewis Hamilton has put forward an idea for a one-off, Monaco tyre to make things more interesting.

Horner has suggested F1’s technical officers consider reducing the size of the cars if Monaco is to stay on the calendar – and admitted that with the 2026 specifications already established, it may be several years until Monaco sees an improvement.

“I think with the size of these cars and the weight of these cars, they’re so big now, arguably, they’re too big to be racing around the streets because you can barely get to side by side so that inevitably is going to cause cause issues,” Horner told the press in Monaco, including Total-Motorsport.com.

Max Verstappen during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“We race here because of the history, the heritage and it’s a phenomenal venue and there’s a great deal of prestige in winning this race. But by and large, this race will be won tomorrow afternoon in qualifying and we should always be open to [looking at] where can we improve.

“We need to make the cars considerably smaller, going forward for 2026 which isn’t really on the cards, to have a really entertaining race here.”

Differing opinions in the F1 paddock

Hamilton is one of several drivers to speak out about possible ideas to preserve Monaco from being removed from the calendar, with the Mercedes star conjuring an idea for a special one-off tyre that generates more jeopardy through multiple pit stops.

However, not all the drivers are in agreement, and Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris have called for the race to be appreciated for what as it is.

But Horner thinks F1 chiefs should be looking at a long-term solution such as modifying the track layout to conserve the Monaco GP for the “next 70 years”.

“We also look at at least the possibility of could we open up some areas [of the racetrack] that could potentially create at least an overtaking opportunity, and what would it all envelop to to achieve that,” Horner added.

“So I think that’s something that Formula 1 is acutely aware of and I’m sure Monaco as well. But to protect the next 70 years here, I think that there there needs to obviously be some evolution.”

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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