Monaco Grand Prix – Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting describes the FIA’s role in making sure Monte Carlo is a fully fledged safety compliant race track for the Grand Prix.
In an interview with Mobil 1, the FIA’s Charlie Whiting talked about the work involved in putting the circuit together. As Safety Delegate as well as Race Director, it is Whiting’s job to inspect circuits prior to events to ensure they comply with grading standards necessary for Formula 1. With Monte Carlo being a temporary street circuit and one that is still used by normal traffic over the course of the F1 weekend, one might think it would be one of the trickier circuits to get right, something that Whiting refutes:
“Monaco is one of the easy ones really, they’ve been doing it for so long. They know exactly what to do. It’s a massive job. Every guardrail and post has a number on it and it corresponds with a number on the ground where the hole is in the street.”
“All the temporary buildings have to be assembled and taken away, but that’s not actually something we really get involved with. At this stage, we basically turn up and it’s done. Unlike a new street circuit like, say, Baku, which requires much more input from us – same as Singapore ten years ago. There is amazing too, they can show you a block and tell you where it was last year and where it will go for this year.”
“Monaco is mostly done by the same guy every year and he’ll come along and say “bang bang bang, bolt up and that’s done”. It’s not as simple as that, of course, but that’s how it looks.”
Monaco has constant criticism levelled at it every year, due to the fact that races tend to be processional. With zero room for errors and even less room for overtaking, it’s very such an idiosyncrasy from yesteryear that remains on the calendar for reasons of tradition. Whiting says that the round remains essential for the sport:
“We know racing is very difficult there, and we all accept that, but fans turn up there for the atmosphere and it can be very spectacular. I believe it’s very important for the championship.”