As the peloton switched to slicks in a wet to dry race, Hamilton was stuck behind Alonso in the battle for seventh place, and the Briton remained on Alonso’s gearbox until the race was called early after 64 laps as time has elapsed.
Much to Hamilton’s frustration, Alonso drove so slowly that McLaren’s Lando Norris was able to pull away from the duo by more than 30 seconds, giving him a free pit stop window to enter for fresh tyres. and attack the fastest lap.
Alonso explained that he had to reduce his pace to ensure his medium tires would last until the end of the race, saying Hamilton’s misfortunes were not his problem.
The incident was reminiscent of Arrows famed Enrique Bernoldi holding off David Coulthard for 35 laps after the McLaren driver was forced to start from behind in the 2001 race.
According to Wolff, Hamilton’s inability to find a way through despite being up to five seconds per lap faster underscored once again that F1 must consider tweaking the historic street circuit.
“You can see another lesson is that track position is everything in Monaco,” Wolff said. “Five seconds is like F2, but yeah, I think we have to watch.
“It’s such a sight here, such a fantastic and still amazing place to be here, but maybe we have to look at the layout, where we can basically lap five seconds slower and you still can’t overtake. “
Layout change could be “wishful thinking”
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
The layout of the narrow, winding streets of Monaco, as well as other organizational and commercial aspects of the grand prix, remained virtually intact for decades, its position on the calendar coming under increased pressure in the face of Liberty Media’s desire to expand. in new markets and places. which he can make better use of.
Wolff is hopeful a deal can be struck to renew Monaco’s expiring F1 contract, but admitted a change in layout could be ‘wishful thinking’, acknowledging there is virtually no scope for creating opportunities of overtaking in the principality without taking drastic measures.
“I think there is a commercial debate to be had but both parties will clearly find a compromise because we need Monaco and Monaco needs Formula 1,” said Wolff.
“With the layout of the track, maybe it’s wishful thinking. I wouldn’t know where we can drive other than on these roads, and the tunnel is already fast, but I don’t know what can be done. “
“Maybe we can just get rid of the chicanery [after] the tunnel and make it a long straight line. And then Tabac, I don’t know… Tabac would be too fast. Maybe [add] some braking there but this is the track designer talking here who has no idea…”