Monaco’s place on the FIA Formula 2 calendar has been a key topic of debate over the past week as F1 has no contract beyond 2022. Monaco fans need not worry, however, as Felipe Drugovich, Théo Pourchaire and Jüri Vips are not ready to wave goodbye to the Monte Carlo circuit just yet.
Monaco is a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult, frustrating some fans with the lack of wheel-to-wheel action. During Saturday’s F2 Sprint Race, only one overtake was made; when Pourchaire dived up the inside of Jack Doohan at Mirabeau.
During the Feature Race, overtakes were at a premium once again, but the tension created as the two championship leaders went nose to tail at the head of the race made for a thrilling spectacle.
In the post-Feature Race press conference, InsideF2 asked the drivers for their take on Monaco’s future. Both Vips and Drugovich admitted that while the racing in the principality is less significant, Qualifying is a special occasion.
P3 finisher Vips explained: “I enjoy qualifying in Monaco for sure. It’s probably my favourite Qualifying of the year… racing not so much. It’s almost impossible to overtake!
“That part I don’t really like – that if you have a big pace difference to the guy in front you can’t really do anything.”
Drugovich agreed, saying: “Qualifying is much more important than the Race here. If nothing goes massively wrong for you, you’ll finish where you start. I really like Monaco, especially Qualifying.”
The MP Motorsport driver took his third win in a week with his victory in Monaco’s Feature Race, surviving some intense pressure from Pourchaire.
The Monte Carlo streets represent Pourchaire’s most local race, and the Frenchman was passionate in his defence of the historic track:
“For me it’s crazy to think that some people are asking themselves if we need to keep Monaco in the calendar. It’s the most beautiful track on earth.”
The ART Grand Prix driver, who himself struggled to pass Drugovich during the Feature Race despite having more pace than the Brazilian, argued that the lack of overtaking was actually one of the reasons why Monaco should stay:
“In Monaco, it’s almost impossible to overtake and that’s why it’s also very special. You need to have a good strategy, you need to have a bit of luck and not make any mistakes.
“42 laps with the pressure Felipe had and he didn’t make any mistakes.”
To remove any doubt as to his opinion, he added: “This track… we need to keep it forever, there’s no question.”
Even Jüri, despite his frustration with the lack of overtaking, said Monaco should remain on the calendar: “I definitely want to keep it on the calendar, because it’s one of the more iconic races, it’s part of the DNA and history of F1.”
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd