'F1 is bigger than Monaco GP' — Zak Brown says circuit must adapt in face of Vegas glamour


Monaco must change with the times and modern F1 cars, says McLaren boss Zak Brown, following the announcement of the Las Vegas Grand Prix and other "pretty glamorous" races


Under threat? F1 has new and similarly glamorous locations, says Brown

Grand Prix Photo

The Monaco Grand Prix needs to adapt to modern cars and pay a higher race hosting fee because it’s no longer essential to Formula 1, McLaren team principal Zak Brown has said.

The announcement of the Las Vegas Grand Prix next year, along with other races such as Miami and Singapore, means that the series now has several glamorous venues in addition to Monte Carlo, Brown told Reuters in an interview.

The Monaco Grand Prix was first held in 1929 and has been held up as one of racing’s crown jewels. Up to now, this has enabled it to pay significantly less to host the race than other locations, and to fend off increasing criticism over the processional nature of races on the narrow street circuit

But with F1 rapidly evolving in a changing world, Brown says that Monaco must do the same, with its contract up for renewal.

Related article

“Monaco always stood for the most glamorous part of Formula 1,” he said. “I think Miami, Singapore, Las Vegas are starting to add some pretty glamorous markets. I think Monaco needs to come up to the same commercial terms as other grands prix and also maybe needs to work with ways they can adapt their track because as our cars have become bigger, the racing has become more difficult.

“I’d much rather have Monaco than not… but just like the sport is bigger than any one driver or team, I think it’s bigger than any one grand prix.”

Under Formula 1’s current commercial rights deal, teams earn a share of F1’s revenue, which means that it is in their interests for circuits to pay more.

The announcement of a third race in America, a ten-year contract for the new Qatar Grand Prix, and the expected return of the Chinese Grand Prix next year has led to growing speculation that traditional races will be dropped from the championship.

Last week Stefano Domenicali, F1’s CEO, said that there was enough demand from circuits around the world to host 30 F1 races a year. In the Reuters interview, Brown suggests that this could be met with a two-tier calendar, featuring permanent venues that are visited each year and a B-group, which rotate, holding races every other year.