Formula 1

Is the Monaco Grand Prix an outdated F1 venue?

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Every year F1 breaks away from its safety oriented ways and sends 22 cars hurtling around the tight, twisty streets of a small principality in the south of France.

Yet in recent years suggestions have been made that maybe Monaco is losing its special feel and extreme challenge as incidents became fewer and further between. Does this mean Monaco could possibly give way to the likes of Singapore or does it still deserve it's place on the F1 calendar?

Of course to the vast majority of F1 fans losing Monaco would be like losing a close relative with the glitz and glamour generated in the harbour still very difficult to replicate, as races in Valencia and Abu Dhabi have shown.

The only dwindling thought is that F1 is supposed to be predominantly about racing with the off track festivities completing the package. In recent years, however, it seemed that the atmosphere of the parties and the celebrities took centre stage as the on track action failed to deliver.

Last year the race was heavily dictated by safety car periods and the red flag, but in between action was pretty scarce as it was the year before as a one-stop strategy and the threat of rain kept action on track to a minimum.

Indeed over the past couple of years the man making most of the moves on track has been Sergio Perez with the Mexican producing several aggressive overtakes, notably last year against then team-mate Jenson Button.

The race has also become synonymous for incidents involving those drivers most question over their racing ability, Pastor Maldonado has had crashes in each of the last three races in Monaco, and while he may have lost the 'crasher' reputation, Romain Grosjean has had his fair number of collisions and accidents too.

Nowadays it may be the crashes that make Monaco such the unique race it is with the close confines and huge run-off areas at other tracks providing the perfect juxtaposition.

Normally the drivers are given situations that you see much less of at other venues, such as Safety Car's, but the DRS and Pirelli tyres have had a minimal impact on action on Monaco potentially making it one of the duller races on the calendar.

So if Monaco has lost its uniqueness and challenge for the driver's why bother risking a major accident at a track that wouldn't be allowed under current FIA regulations?

The answer to that is simple, because F1 without Monaco wouldn't be the same.

Michael Schumacher described the risk of racing on Monte Carlo's streets as "justifiable once a year" and the fact that you can watch the ultimate racing machines dodging the barriers and the sound of the engines echoing between the apartment blocks just makes Monaco unlike any other venue.

There is also the sense of not knowing what might happen next that makes Monaco incomparable to any other venue particularly with the number of shock winners the race has produced over the years.

One of the thrills of the new rules in 2014 has been the sight of drivers sliding around due to the lack of downforce and increased torque, because of that the challenge of Monaco will return as the drivers known slightly too much throttle will mean a one way trip to the barriers.

Overall then while the races in recent years may have been damp squibs compared to some races elsewhere, questions don't need to be asked about whether Monaco is still a valid F1 venue and, at the end of the day, despite finding increased competition from the likes of Singapore, Monte Carlo will always be F1's jewel in the crown.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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