Formula One is willing to alter the circuit layout at the Monaco Grand Prix if there is a chance it will improve racing.
Sunday’s race in Monaco featured just one overtake in 78 laps when Mick Schumacher barged past Haas teammate Nikita Mazepin at the Fairmont Hairpin on the opening lap.
All other position changes during the race were either a result of pit stop strategy or retirements.
The 93-year-old street circuit has hosted increasingly processional races in recent years as F1 cars have become wider and faster, making overtaking difficult on such narrow streets.
The layout of the Monaco track has evolved with the development of the principality’s harbour area over the decades but has remained largely unchanged since minor alterations to the Swimming Pool section for safety reasons in 2003.
F1’s managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, said his team of circuit designers would look into possible changes for future events with the aim of improving overtaking.
« We’ll take a look, » Brawn said. « But it won’t be the first time someone has taken a look at doing something like that and no one has come up with a solution so far.
« But we do have tools now. We have built our overtaking simulation tool and we will certainly have our people take a look at it, but it’s pretty challenging.
« People often say why don’t you change the tyre strategy, or things like that, but the teams adapt.
« They just find tactics to overcome it, so I don’t think tyres or strategy is going to make a lot of difference.
« We’ve got new cars [as a result of a new set of regulations] next year, so it will be interesting to see what evolves with that.
« It’s a brilliant event, but we all know the limitations of the track. »
At 2.1 square kilometres, Monaco is the second smallest sovereign state in the world after the Vatican City, making it difficult to extend the track beyond its current layout.
Formula E recently raced on the same layout and included its « attack zone » — an area off the racing line that drivers must use twice during the race to gain a power boost — on the outside line around Casino Square.
Brawn ruled out including a similar feature in F1 to encourage overtaking, saying short cuts and gimmicks are not part of F1’s plans.
« You need to avoid the trickery, like having bits that you have to go on several times a race, » he said. « There is some racing where you have to divert and go through an overtaking lane, I don’t think we should do any of that type of thing.
« But we will certainly look at it [other ways of improving racing]. »
Asked if a dull race each year at F1’s flagship event was damaging for the sport, Brawn replied: « No.
« The thing this demonstrates is how you can build a huge spectacle around the race.
« It’s a great event, massive history, massive atmosphere and it’s a race every driver wants to win.
« It’s a different sort of racing and I don’t think variety is a problem. »