F1 News: Drivers Call for Last-Minute Monaco GP Change

F1 drivers advocate for stricter penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct during Monaco GP qualifying.
Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco Grand Prix / Mercedes Press Image

Ahead of the iconic Monaco Grand Prix, Formula 1 drivers have reignited calls for stricter penalties for drivers causing red flags. These concerns have been spurred by past incidents where crashes have potentially manipulated qualifying outcomes.

As the Formula 1 circus descends upon the streets of Monte Carlo, a fresh wave of debate surrounds the sport’s qualifying rules. The narrow, winding streets of Monaco's circuit have historically played host to some controversial moments where drivers are suspected of intentionally causing disruptions to gain a competitive edge during qualifying sessions.

The issue of unsportsmanlike conduct in these moments is not new to the sport. Notable incidents that still stir debate include Michael Schumacher's infamous stop at Rascasse during the 2006 Monaco GP, Nico Rosberg's qualifying mishap in 2014, and a more recent disruption by Sergio Perez in 2022.

Currently, penalties for causing yellow and red flags during qualifying in F1 can vary, but do not usually involve the deletion of the fastest times, a practice that some argue would serve as a stronger deterrent.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz has been a vocal advocate for adopting stricter penalties during street circuit events. Sainz shared his thoughts on the matter, voicing his desire for an overhaul in regulations, as quoted by Motorsport.com:

"There have been very clear cases in street circuits where, between us drivers, we've spotted people on purpose generating red flags.

"The FIA hasn't been maybe as convinced about them being on purpose, because as drivers we know what's on purpose and what's not.

"So, it will be interesting to see what approach they take into this weekend.

"It's always a topic around Monaco. I just hope that for the benefit of the show and the fair play and fair racing, we all go out there in Q1 and Q3, giving it all without taking unnecessary risks."

Several other drivers support Sainz in his call for reform, including Mercedes' George Russell and Alpine's Esteban Ocon. The latter reiterated the need for better oversight, stating:

"That should be something sensible to be doing, because we've seen in the past drivers causing issues and the others not being able to do a lap.

"That should be something that the FIA monitors, I think."

Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez also chimed in, expressing frustration over the lack of action in previous years despite repeated calls for change.

"Yeah, definitely. I think it is how it should be. We've been trying to do that sort of push in the last few years, but it doesn't seem to happen."

Lydia Mee


Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.