| Saturday, June 02, 2012 9:00 AM
The Monaco Grand Prix is a motorsport institution.
Ever since William Grover-Williams powered his Bugatti to victory in the inaugural event in 1929, the race around the streets of the principality has grown in stature year on year to become an iconic sporting event of the global stage.
So revered is this race in the eyes of Formula One fans, that the very mention of Sainte Devote, Massenet, Tabac or La Rascasse sends shivers of excitement up and down their spines.
I’ve been lucky enough to stand at the Grand Hotel Hairpin and all you can think as you look around, breathing in the history, is the plethora of motor racing gods whose mere presence added even more mystique to the immense legacy of the race.
Sadly that legacy has now become nothing more than a smoke screen, an intoxicating haze of glamour and style that hides the cold, hard truth.
The Monaco Grand Prix is boring and redundant, lacking in substance, and thus has become nothing more than a mid to high speed procession, where you’re best chance to overtake is in the pits rather than on the track.
If we’re being brutally honest, an in race passing manoeuvre at Monaco has become Formula One’s equivalent of Bigfoot.
Just look at these post race comments given to Formula One’s official website from the top five finishers in last Monday morning’s event.
Mark Webber – Winner - “a good friend of mine sent me a text this morning and said “You’re in charge, you’re in front”.
Nico Rosberg – 2nd - “I knew I could keep in touch with him but we all know how difficult it is to overtake around the streets here.”
Fernando Alonso – 3rd - “on this track where overtaking is almost impossible”
Sebastian Vettel – 4th - “It’s difficult to pass in Monaco, as I showed last year and Mark show this year”
Lewis Hamilton – 5th - “It was impossible to overtake”
Another former World Champion Jenson Button, who finished outside the points, added “if you position your car in the right place around here then it’s almost impossible to overtake”.
Comments like these have grown more and more common since the turn of the century, yet nothing has been done to eliminate them.
No moves have been made to widen the track at certain points, thus creating the possibility of overtaking.
It’s not like their short of a buck or two to put towards some road works.
This is all that is needed to restore the Monaco Grand Prix to its rightful status.
Turn the impossibility of overtaking into the possibility of overtaking.
If organisers do that, the drivers will take care of the rest, because as Formula One fans know, certain drivers in certain situations only need the smallest of opportunities to make the impossible possible.
** As published in the Waikato Times on Saturday 2 June 2012 **Photo: Getty Images