The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the best processional overtaking vacuums on the Formula 1 calendar. It’s also one of the most unusual races of the season with its own quirks and foibles, not least of which is that first practise takes place on Thursday giving the teams a day off on Friday. But why is this? Sniff Petrol decided to find out…
‘It’sh perfectically shimple,’ said one senior F1 engineer we spoke to. ‘There’sh shome short of, like, market… thing. It’sh like, a market and shit, you know, on the, on the, on the Friday. That’sh why. Ish that your drink? What? Oh. It musht be mine. Cheersh!’
The Friday market sounded like a plausible reason, but surely Monaco could cancel the market for one week when the Grand Prix is in town? Sniff Petrol decided to investigate further.
‘What did you shay mate? Meerkat?’ said another high ranking team official we questioned. ‘Oh, market. Yea mate, shome old bollocksh about a market. But that’sh not the real reashon for no, you know, no, erm, no driving, erm, on… on… on… what day ish it? No mate, it’sh… shorry, is that your drink or mine mate… right… sho there’sh no drivinging ‘cos of the laws, right. It’sh quiet day in Monatecarlo… or shomething. Yea. Laws mate. LAWS. Cheersh!’
With the Monegasque royal family so closely involved in the race it seemed odd that they couldn’t change the regulations to allow F1 to run on Fridays. In our quest to find the real answer, Sniff Petrol approached a well known former driver who asked for us not to a) name him or b) talk about how much vomit came out of him just after our interview ended.
‘No one’sh on track on Friday becaushe… erm… Oi! Miguel! Miguel! Get us another one of theshe mate. Cheersh!’ he said. ‘Right, what you’ve got to remember, right, is that Formormula 1, right, is very, very, very, veeeeeery… erm… complimacated. Right? So, the teamsh, right, they need the exschtra day, right, to, you know, erm… do teeeeam thingsh. Right? Are you called Steve? No? Oh, someone told me you were called… erm… is that your drink or mine? It’sh mine ish it? Ah! Cheersh!’
With the music still blaring from the many yachts in the harbour, Sniff Petrol retired for the evening still none the wiser as to why the whole Formula 1 circus might need Friday off in Monaco.