The 2022 Monaco Grand Prix gets into gear with qualifying at 3pm this Saturday, 28th May. Having lost out to Max Verstappen last week, Charles Leclerc will be keen to take back control of the championship. The race is on Sky in the UK, on ESPN in the US and free-to-air on TV in a few other places. Away from home at the moment? Follow our guide below to watch a Monaco Grand Prix free live stream from abroad with a VPN.
The street race around the streets of Monte Carlo had long been viewed as F1’s jewel in the crown, and a weekend when sponsors were wowed and more eye balls were on the sport than any other.
Charles Leclerc put in a dominant display at home to take pole position for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, his sensational lap keeping team mate Carlos Sainz at bay by 0.225s on Saturday – a red flag stopping proceedings early...
This all-important qualifying session, given how essential a front-row start is at Monaco, saw Leclerc top Q1, Q2 and Q3 on the way to take Ferrari’s 12th pole position in the Principality with a sensational time of 1m 11.376s.
The Monegasque was on course to improve – but a red flag at the end of Q3 saw the field essentially set, Perez taking third with a gap of 0.253s to Leclerc, and Verstappen fourth by 0.290s.
The Q3 red flag was caused by Perez’s spin just before the tunnel section, Sainz then collecting Perez having seen the yellow flag too late.
But times have changed and, under new owners Liberty Media, big-hitting additions like Zandvoort and Miami have ticked all the boxes that F1 chiefs want for fans and commercial interests.
It has meant that, as F1 begins its contract discussions with the Automobile Club de Monaco over a new deal, it is approaching things with the mindset that if it doesn’t get what it wants then it will walk away.
There are some key factors that will be at the heart of these talks and it will be up to Monaco and F1 to either come to a compromise if they want to continue, or agree to disagree and call it quits.
And insiders suggest that, however sceptical some are that F1 would go the full distance and ditch the Monaco GP, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is absolutely determined for Monaco to fall into line with his vision for what grand prix events need to deliver.
There was a long-held urban myth that Monaco was so essential to F1 that it never paid a race hosting fee. That was not quite the case, as organisers do pay a fee – although it is not quite at the same level as other races.
The fee, believed to be somewhere in the region of $12 - $15 million dollars, is around half that which many other venues provide – and well short of some eye-watering deals like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that are more than three times as much.
While F1 will not expect Monaco to match the best of what it gets elsewhere, it does want to see some movement on what has been paid so far.
And it will also likely demand Monaco be more flexible with its race date, as F1’s regionalisation of its calendar makes it want to run Miami and Montreal together in May which could have knock-on implications.
F1 TV production
One of the big frustrations for F1, and something shared by fans, is that Monaco is the one race of the year where the TV direction is not done by the regular director.
Instead, Monaco takes control of the broadcast, and in the past this has sometimes resulted in a television package that has fallen short of what is normal elsewhere.
Important incidents have been missed (TV cut away from Sergio Perez's spin in qualifying and missed Fernando Alonso's off), the key battles of the grand prix can be overlooked to follow local or French drivers racing around alone, and some of the angle choices are not the best.
F1 wants Monaco to fall in line with other venues and relinquish its control of the broadcasting.