Former F1 driver-turned-pundit Martin Brundle has revealed heated arguments were heard in Race Control before the start of last weekend's Monaco GP in Monte Carlo.
The race in the Principality was initially delayed when rain looked imminent just before the formation lap was supposed to start. It was then red-flagged after an intense rain shower and only got underway when it subsided.
The uncertainty around the start of the race had left drivers, teams, and fans in the grandstands and those watching back home confused. Martin Brundle shared insights into what went down at Race Control while making the pivotal decision last Sunday.
In his column for Sky Sports F1, the Briton cited 'reliable sources' before writing:
“Holding up a race in anticipation of incoming weather is not necessary. We have virtual and real safety cars, red flags, pit stop crews who can change tyres in two seconds, and two types of wet weather tyres to cover those challenges. That’s what Formula One racing is all about.”
Brundle went on to add, stating:
“A couple of reliable sources tell me that there were heated arguments in Race Control during the impasse as we all looked on unsure of what was happening. This presumably explains the periods of inaction and lack of information, and the reason why the Safety Car was not out exploring track conditions as usual.”
The race did not run for its intended distance of 78 laps owing to a time constraint of two hours after the GP clock started. The race was further shortened after Haas F1 driver Mick Schumacher suffered a massive crash at the Swimming Pool Chicane.
"I think it belongs on the calendar" - Max Verstappen speaks in favor of F1 Monaco GP
Max Verstappen has admitted that the Circuit de Monaco would not have been permitted on the F1 calendar had it been introduced in the present day but feels the venue's historical cache is enough to keep its place for seasons to come.
The Dutchman made the comments after reports emerged suggesting the Monaco GP may be on borrowed time as they try to negotiate a new deal with F1 to keep hosting the event.
It is believed that F1 wants the Automobile Club de Monaco to pay hosting fees consistent with the other venues on the calendar.
When asked to share his thoughts on the matter during a pre-race press conference, Max Verstappen said:
“Let’s say like this, I think if they would propose the plans nowadays with how the track layout is, probably it would not be on the calendar. But I think because of the historic value to it, and I mean… well, I think the amazing weekends we’ve had, you know, throughout the years, I think it belongs on the calendar. And of course, with the cars we have now, they’re a bit too big, a bit too long, a bit too heavy for the track layout, but it is something special. And I do think yeah, we should continue.”
Earlier, Michael Boeri, the president of the Automobile Club de Monaco, had guaranteed that the race would remain on the calendar ahead beyond 2022.