MAY 29, 2022
Monaco GP contract negotiations begin
Formula 1 team bosses are confident Liberty Media and organisers of the iconic Monaco GP will settle their differences and agree a new contract for 2023 and beyond.
Many in the paddock are stunned that the sport's commercial rights holder would consider axing what is arguably the most historic and unique of all the races on the calendar.
"What is also true is that we have more and more demands coming from everywhere in the world," Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur said.
"On our side, it's difficult to imagine that we will do much more than 24 races."
Indeed, with Liberty looking to expand the calendar to 24 races next year with Las Vegas, China's potential return and perhaps even Kyalami in South Africa, European venues including Monaco, Spa and Paul Ricard are in doubt.
Monaco is an easy target for F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, as the expiring deal - agreed under the Bernie Ecclestone regime - includes many privileges for the Principality.
For instance, Monaco controls its paddock club and the TV feed, while the contract also allows organisers to erect their own advertising - with the TAg Heuer signage clashing notably with F1 backer Rolex.
The opening round of negotiations between Monaco and Domenicali reportedly also mentioned the possibility of deleting the chicane and modifying the Tabac corner to aid overtaking.
"Seriously, it's important for everybody to find a deal," said Vasseur.
"But the show is rising up like hell and the demands of the teams are as well, so we have to find solutions. But I think everybody will agree on something."
Andreas Seidl also acknowledged the Domenicali-led Liberty Media's dilemma.
"I'm sure he will find the right mix between keeping traditional races plus opening up all the opportunity for new venues," said the McLaren boss.
"There's a huge interest in Formula 1, but at the same time there's a limit of how many races per year we can do. So of course financial considerations are very important as well.
"But I'm sure that Stefano will find the right solution in the end."