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Sergio Perez wins Monaco Grand Prix

May 29, 2022

Wet weather made for a more exciting 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, but questions remain about how long Monaco in its current form can last on the Formula One schedule.

A photo of the two Ferrari drivers at the Monaco GP
Wet weather made a normally predictably race suddenly excitingImage: Christian Bruna/AP/picture alliance

The rain in Monaco might have resulted in a host of delays, suspensions and two rolling starts, but it also helped deliver much-needed excitement to one of the more stale races on the Formula One calendar.

Sergio Perez won after the wet weather caused havoc with teams' tire strategies, opening up opportunities on a circuit infamous for its lack of overtaking opportunities.

A stop-start race meant instead of the usual 77-lap limit the race was called at the end of the three-hour limit, and it was a thriller to the finish.

Perez, Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc drove bumper-to-bumper for the final five minutes, but the Mexican held on despite aging tires and heavy pressure from the Ferrari driver.

Leclerc, who was on pole, was left fuming as Ferrari's confusion over their pit-stop approach cost the Monegasque the win in his hometown. "No words, no words," Leclerc said on the radio afterward. "The season is long but we cannot do that, we cannot do that."

Pierre Gasly, who had been quick in practice but struggled in qualifying, made the most of being one of the first to change to intermediates to finish 12th.

Fading star

The noise around whether or not the Grand Prix, which has been around since 1929, should stay on the schedule has grown louder of late.

Perhaps the sport's most famous street circuit, Monaco's tight spaces and winding corners leave little room for error or overtaking. Drivers love it, but the real race here is qualifying, as Lewis Hamilton admitted ahead of this season's race.

"It's all about qualifying. So Saturday is the day. On Sunday, unless you luck in with a bit of strategy, there are not many overtakes here. Now the cars are bigger and heavier, and there probably won't be any more."

Mick Schumacher looks at his broken car
Mick Schumacher suffered a bad crash but walked away fineImage: Christian Bruna/AP/picture alliance

Monaco's contract with F1 is up this year, and although it is reportedly expected to be renewed the need for change remains. Small cars would be a start, although given the current powertrains in F1 cars that seems unlikely. Mick Schumacher suffered a heavy crash after misjudging the width of his car.

A change to the circuit would open up strategic decisions and potentially increase the chance of overtakes.

Even the glitz and glamor of the GP in Monaco has faded in recent years, as other races on the calendar have grown in popularity — see Bahrain, Abu Dhabi or any of the races in the US.

"It's part of F1, the glamor and although it's more chaotic here than elsewhere Monaco is a highlight," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said before the race.

The 2022 edition proved to be one, but F1 can't always rely on the weather to deliver excitement.