Was world's slowest GP really that boring? Up/Down in Monaco


The title fight now really is hotting up – and the 2024 Monaco GP was just the apéritif. Admit it, you were entertained

Charles Leclerc Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur 2024 Monaco GP

Is this what boring looks like to you?


Just because something seems inevitable on the surface, does that mean we aren’t entertained?

But a few races ago, the championship looked dead in the harbour. Now it turns out Verstappen’s RB20 actually handles like an old rental at Buckmore Park and the title fight’s back on.

Leclerc’s win appeared to be in his grasp throughout the race and indeed all weekend long, but he did it on tyres which had to go through a 572-lap stint – no-one knew if they’d last, or what those who pitted might get up to.

We’ve already had a greater number of winners than 2023, the races have been more engaging than the rest of last year put together and there was a genuine emotional bent to the win – Monegasque Charles Leclerc winning his home race at a venue where disaster has struck so often before, his first F1 victory in almost two years. Even as the final few laps ticked down you feared his old race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros might suddenly retake control on the team radio with a repeated chorus of “Question? We are checking? Plan Z?!” as the race immediately spiralled into chaos.

Verstappen vs Leclerc vs Piastri vs Norris (and maybe Sainz) – this could be the story for the rest of the season. Might F1 have finally come good again?

Here’s what was going up and down in the Principality.


Goin’ Down

Tyred and emotional

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2024 Monaco GP

Tyres the dominating factor – but in the wrong way

Grand Prix Photo

Poor Pirelli comes in for a lot of flak, but what truly is the point of producing hard tyres you can use for 76 laps?

It’s something F1/FIA needs to ‘get a grip’ on (sorry), rather than Pirelli.

If the tyres are supposed to degrade for the sake of good racing, then why allow for a compound which has the durability of the Monte Carlo cliffside?

If the championship is to be contrived enough to make two compounds mandatory, then why not just do it with all three?

And why let teams change tyres under a red flag? It’s been a problem for years which continually kills races. Useless.


High-speed incompetence

Sergio Perez Red Bull 2024 Monaco GP

Wrong way Sergio

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Magnussen shouldn’t have stuck his nose up the inside on Beau Rivage. Then again, Perez should anticipate he’ll have cars close all around him just feet into the Monaco GP.

It was correctly deemed a racing incident, but you could argue there’s a reason neither have been signed up for next year yet…


Kerb your enthusiasm

Max Verstappen Red Bull 2024 Monaco GP

Red Bull’s rough ride = ‘Nice’ for the rest of us

Red Bull

The F1 season has been saved by the fact the RB20 doesn’t really fancy kerbs, while other cars glide over them, turning it from a dominant grand prix machine into merely a competitive one (thank goodness).

“Quite a lot of focus will now take part on why have we had these ride issues?” said team boss Christian Horner afterwards. “Why is the car struggling on the kerbs?

“The VCARB car is running with our suspension from last year and didn’t seem to have the same issues. So we need to understand if it’s something that we’ve introduced.”

Let’s hope just fitting stuff from the old bits bin does nothing and we can continue to enjoy a good title scrap.


No direction

3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur 2024 Monaco GP

The race that wasn’t

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Apparently there were a grand total of… wait for it… four overtakes at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. And the television cameras showed not one of them live. Hmm.


If you can’t get to it, go through it

Pierre Gasly Alpine 2024 Monaco GP

Was Gasly’s point in Monaco light at the end of the proverbial? Err…


Well, at least Ocon tried to make the race exciting – deciding he could just drive over team-mate Gasly instead, instantly incurring team boss Bruno Famin’s wrath, who said in a live TV interview immediately afterwards that there would be “consequences”.

Ocon’s out of contract next year too. Maybe he doesn’t even want to drive for Alpine – is it all part of the plan?


Goin’ Up

King Charles

2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur 2024 Monaco GP

Well done the Ferrari press team


Having not won a race for two seasons, Maranello’s golden boy has soldiered on through triumph and tragedy to take a brilliant home win. Great to see.


The real smooth operator

Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur 2024 Monaco GP

Almost too smooth


Frederic Vasseur appears to have transformed Ferrari from calamity to killers in a short space of time. Nice work.


Fitting tribute

Oscar Piastri McLaren 2024 Monaco GP

A yellow F1 car and all is right with the (racing) world


We all love a yellow F1 car. Come on – the championship’s just better that way.