The beginning of the Monaco Grand Prix was delayed for a good hour as rain started to fall onto the track. A formation lap began, but as the rain started to come down harder, the race was further postponed. Not only was the track wet, but the water damaged equipment used by the F1 and FIA further pushing back the race.
Eventually the race began properly, but because of the confusion, stress was high and tension ran wild. Now, a day after the race, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner wants the chaos to be reviewed:
“I think that needs a bit of a review because it was a little chaotic, with tyres coming on the grid, off the grid,” he said.
“It’s a busy enough grid here, and it’s always a little dangerous to try and pre-empt the weather.
“You can argue it both ways. You could say we would have been better starting the race and then reacting to the downpour, and either putting the safety car out or stopping the race, but I think it needs a bit of a review after this weekend.”
He was then asked by Motorsport.com about a few weird decisions made during the race, including strange timings of tyre changes especially as the race began.
“You call it yourself, strange decisions,” he answered. “But I can only say that we were a team that was fully prepared on the grid. We had our extreme wet tyres fitted on the cars on time.
“And I think at the time, we were certainly in a strong position, and good for the team to show that at least we were organised, showing that we’ve got some great capacity as well.
“And sometimes we are doing the right way to say taking the right decisions, but unfortunate that the race control decided to postpone furthermore, the start of the race. Now why is it needed? Not clear to me. I think we should ask them for the reason.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff feels different however, noting that the delay to the start was the right thing to do.
“I think the rain at the beginning was torrential, I don’t think that you can start the race with thunderstorms moving into Monaco like this,” he said. “So I have no beef at all with the start having been delayed for a few times.
“And you need to give Freitas and the race directors the credit that this was a very difficult race to manage. I would have hoped for an earlier start when it dried up, but I think there was a problem with connectivity to Biggin Hill [F1’s digital HQ]. And that’s why they couldn’t get it going.
“So overall, the format how it was was more an American football game, so you can go for hot dogs and beer in between. But I think at the beginning there was nothing else that could have been done.
Chief of the McLaren team Andreas Seidl agreed with Wolff, adding that it’s important for teams to reduce the number of incidents on track as much as possible due to the budget cap:
“I would say in the end it was the right thing to do, what the race director has decided,” said Seidl.
“I think there was absolutely no need to start the race knowing how the weather forecast was and to rush it, because there’s simply no point ending up in taking a risk ending up in a lot of crashes, especially at this track. So from this point of view everything was done in the right in the right way. Safety first.
“I’m supportive of the decisions that have been made. There’s no point knowing how the weather forecast was to take these unnecessary big risks, and under those conditions there was no way to race.
“Cars were aquaplaning all over the place. Visibility was poor. From a team perspective, to be honest as well, knowing how low we all are on parts this year under the cost cap, one of the positives of this race day-to-day as well is that both cars are still in one piece.
“On our side it was clear with the weather forecast also that there was continuous rain predicted, and that’s why we simply had to wait until the window is opening again where the rain gets lighter or stops.”