• Monaco Grand Prix

Growing support for Monaco changes

ESPNF1 Staff
June 1, 2011 « Alonso leads Ferrari - Hamilton | »
Sergio Perez was hospitalised by his accident © Sutton Images

Formula One figures have been defending the Monaco Grand Prix, but agree that changes need to be made to the barrier at the Nouvelle Chicane following Sergio Perez's crash in qualifying.

Perez lost control of his Sauber after running slightly wide exiting the tunnel, and slid sideways in to the barrier at the bottom of the hill resulting in an impact of 80G. The concussion suffered by Perez ruled him out of Sunday's race and kept him in hospital for two nights in observation. Tonio Liuzzi and Nico Rosberg had a similar accidents exiting the tunnel, although neither hit the barrier with Rosberg having an especially lucky escape.

Asked why the situation seemed worse this year, Liuzzi told ESPNF1: "There was a mix of reasons. The tyres were reacting differently compared to last year's Bridgestones, the balance of the car was difficult to find and the tarmac had got a bit worse this year. These problems are exacerbated for a small team like us because we don't have as much downforce on the car and it's not as pinned to the ground.

"As for changes to the circuit next year, it's something that has already been discussed in a meeting and I think we will do something. But Monaco is one of our favourite circuits because of the way it is and I'm sure it will still be good whatever they do next year. Either way we always love to go racing there."

Ex-team owner Eddie Jordan said that there were many reasons for the accidents, and praised the FIA's work in improving the section following Karl Wendlinger's crash in 1994 that left him in a coma, but said that more needed to be done.

"It's probably a combination of things," Jordan said. "The new aerodynamics, the tyres, the asphalt. It's always been a tricky place. The FIA is required to protect the driver to the best of their ability. It has done a lot since then [1994] and it's doing its best: after Rosberg's crash they took away the kerbs. The place where Perez crashed is protected with special cushioning, but it needs to be considered now what more can be done."

BBC commentator and ex-driver Martin Brundle added: "I'm sure they will need to make changes yet again to the tunnel exit chicane run off area, but Monaco will remain one of the greatest sporting challenges. And that means it will remain dangerous too."

It is believed barrier will be moved further back for 2012, extending the run-off area.

"It's a tricky corner and it's an area where it's very difficult to do anything about in terms of safety because it is what it is," Jenson Button said. "It's Monaco, a street circuit, but I still think we need to look further as to what we can do with the run off there."

Nico Rosberg said after his incident on Saturday that he felt moving the barrier would be a relatively easy task, and that the bump in the braking zone also needed addressing.

"I was very fortunate this morning that I completely missed that barrier," Rosberg said. "That barrier has been there for a long time and a lot of things have happened there. Maybe it's time to reconsider because it should be pretty easy to get it out of the way and move it back 50 meters or something. I think it may be time to do that.

"Monaco is generally a dangerous track. It's because you have a very high speed and you jump. As you start braking you jump in the braking zone, and that's a bit of a concern obviously."