Toto Wolff has no desire to see Monaco lost from the Formula 1 calendar – but insists it cannot afford to be complacent about its future.
The Monaco Grand Prix was race No.2 in F1 history on May 21 1950 and has remained on the schedule ever since 1955, apart from 2020 when not held because of the pandemic.
But its place is in doubt for several reasons, generally related to whether the Monte Carlo street circuit satisfies the demands of modern Formula 1 and its current long, wide cars.
The race’s contract is up for renewal and the organisational issues that surrounded this year’s edition, amid the downpour that delayed the start, did not exactly strengthen the Automobile Club de Monaco’s position in regard to negotiations with Liberty Media.
Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, sees the reasons why Monaco should remain part of the F1 fabric but also thinks the venue has to move with the times.
“I am biased because I live here, I love the city, and what Monaco has to offer is spectacular,” said Wolff, quoted by the PA news agency.
“Formula 1 is important for Monaco, and Monaco is important for Formula 1. But it needs a positive approach from both parties.
“Monaco has to embrace the new realities of what Formula 1 stands for and the impact it has on the world.
“Monaco will always be respected within the Formula 1 community as something that is special and if we didn’t race in Monaco, that would be a shame from my perspective as a team owner.
“But nobody should take anything for granted.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is also a fan of the Monaco event but says it is down to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali as to whether it should retain a place at the expense of other locations vying to find a way onto the calendar.
“For me personally, it’s one of my most favourite races here each year,” said the German.
“Always looking forward to coming here and simply like the history here, the atmosphere when you walk into the town in the morning.
“Personally I definitely hope the race stays on the calendar but at the same time, it’s Stefano’s task to work out the right calendar for Formula 1 moving forward.
“Stefano is a racing guy as well. I’m sure he will find the right mix between keeping traditional races plus opening up all the opportunity for new venues. There’s a huge interest in Formula 1.
“At the same time, there’s a limit of how many races per year we can do, so of course financial considerations are very important as well.
“But as I said before, I’m sure Stefano will find the right solution in the end.”