Hamilton among drivers calling for changes to allow overtaking in Monaco

<span>Lewis Hamilton has questioned the entertainment value in <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Monaco;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Monaco</a>: ‘Do you guys not fall asleep on Sunday watching the race?’</span><span>Photograph: Federico Basile/IPA Sport/</span>

Several Formula One drivers, ­including Lewis Hamilton, have called on the Monaco Grand Prix to adapt to ensure the race ­weekend offers a more entertaining ­competition given the current cars make overtaking all but impossible on the streets of Monte Carlo.

The race is often little more than a procession, but the drivers still ­relish competing at Monaco, the ­unforgiving challenge a test like no other. From the cockpit it remains a thrill ride. However, the circuit that held its first grand prix in 1929 is no longer suited to modern F1 cars, ­especially since 2017 as they have become increasingly unwieldy on the ­narrow track.

Hamilton, who has won here three times and is a huge fan of the track as a driver, nonetheless suggested F1 should examine ways of adapting to improve the show for fans.

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“They can definitely come out with a specific weekend, for this ­particular weekend,” he said. “They should come up with some new ­formula for it rather than it just be the same. Do you guys not fall asleep on Sunday watching the race?

“The cars are ­getting bigger. You can’t really overtake without the risk of colliding.

“I wish we had more, bigger roads and the track could be wider, but I don’t think that’s ever going to be the case in Monaco because it’s just a small place. I would say maybe ­special tyres for this race, so you have more pit stops that create more variability.”

His view was echoed by McLaren’s Lando Norris who also noted that the modern cars were particularly unsuited to the track. “The cars just need to be smaller and they need to be lighter,” he said.

“The reason we can’t race now is because the cars are too big and too heavy. They are so wide it’s almost like half the track is taken up by just one car. To overtake it’s almost impossible.”

The cars will not become ­significantly smaller or lighter any time soon, although there is an ­expectation there will be some ­reduction in 2026 but not of the ­drastic nature required.

Last season Red Bull’s team ­principal, Christian Horner, ­suggested the track layout needed to be changed to build in at least one place where overtaking was possible and he reiterated this view in Monaco this year.

“With the size of these cars and the weight of these cars, arguably they are too big to be racing around these streets because you can barely get two side by side,” he said.

“By and large this race will be won on Saturday afternoon in ­qualifying, so we should always be open to where we can improve. To have a really entertaining race here we ought to look at least at the possibility of could we open up some areas that could potentially create an ­overtaking opportunity.”

In first practice Hamilton was on top for Mercedes, two-hundredths clear of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri with George Russell in third but in a session where neither Red Bull nor Ferrari ran the softest tyres. In the second session Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was quickest with Hamilton two-tenths back in second, Fernando Alonso in third and Max Verstappen fourth.