The magic of Monaco remains at the heart of Formula One

An iconic scene, with up-to-date cars - and F1 2014 will get the Monaco treatment once again this weekend. An iconic scene, with up-to-date cars - and F1 2014 will get the Monaco treatment once again this weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2014
11:03 AM

I know for a fact I’ve written these sentiments before, but it feels like something that needs to be said – if not a belief that needs to be reinforced – every single year: It’s Monaco time!

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Sure, some will think the extravaganza of Singapore is rivalling the weekend in Monte Carlo.

Plus with a raft of new races being added to the Formula One calendar across the globe, maybe some think Monaco has either had its time or lost its lustre. But I’m not buying a penny of it. The fact is, when Formula One turns some of the most expensive streets into the most demanding, impractical and tight circuit in the world, the season lights up with it. And yes, that is without the use of any floodlights.

It’s the circuit that is almost impossible to drive on most computer games – and in your own car when you go for a visit. Certainly at anything more than 5mph.

Often, it doesn’t even produce great races. No surprise there, given it’s as easy to pass on as the A17.

Good week, bad week

Pole position – Ferrari: Fernando Alonso is buoyed by the hope Ferrari can take advantage of a “vulnerable” Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton around the streets of Monte Carlo.

Stalling – Everyone but Mercedes: Renault aren’t so sure though – unlike Alonso’s bullish quotes, they feel it will be the status quo and yet more domination from the Silver Arrows around Monaco.

But that misses the point too. Formula One in Monaco is about much more than that. It’s about the almost impossible spectacle. And it’s about protecting a jewel in the calendar. Something that has to endure, for the simple fact no one could come up with, put on and actually coordinate something similar in modern day racing.

The majestic footage of Ayrton Senna clawing and clutching his McLaren around the streets of Monaco is a work of art every F1 fan should study. But in some ways, it is so arresting because it’s the same circuit now – pretty much. The history lives in every race. That’s why it’s so special – and why it should exist.

Of course, this year’s race could be one of the classics.

What this season’s five races so far have proved is that the 2014 cars are racey. They step out and they make drivers fight to stay between the white lines. Well at Monaco, it’s the barriers rather than white lines they need to worry about.

Still, at least there’s a ready-made teaching video with Senna’s name on it to help them prepare.

There have been so many glowing tributes paid to Sir Jack Brabham following his death this week – and boy are they fitting.

The Australian was a truly iconic figure in motorsport and it’s a shame there isn’t still some representation of the Brabham name in Formula One today. I’m pretty sure its return came close once or twice in the recent past.

The tribute from his family said it all: They may have lost someone dear to them – but what a legacy he leaves behind.

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