JANUARY 18, 2002
Changes planned for Monaco circuit?
For some time now there have been worries about the safety of the Monaco racing circuit, particularly the section of track which runs around the famous Swimming Pool.
Work has been going on for the last year to extend the Monaco harbor out into the sea with new sea walls under construction which will increase the size of the harbor by about 50%. This will also reduce the amount of ocean swell for boats moored in the harbor.
When this work is finished it is thought likely that there will be a certain amount of rebuilding around the Swimming Pool, which could lead to the creation of a much-needed new pit and paddock complex. This would probably involve a new section of road between the current Tabac Corner and the sinuous Tabac Corner. This would wipe out the high-speed section of track round the Swimming Pool but, if carefully designed could create new overtaking possibilities and a new pit and paddock area. Monaco has long been out of step with other F1 circuits in terms of facilities and safety and there is no doubt that eventually change will be forced if the Principality does not take the initiative.
Much of this is currently speculation by the long-term aim appears to be to improve the track to ensure that Monaco retains its most famous promotional tool - the Grand Prix. Changes to the road layout might also help the normal flow of traffic in Monaco which is often congested.