Red flag, Monaco, 2022

Power cut caused by heavy rain delayed start of Monaco Grand Prix

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Heavy rain caused a power cut which contributed to the delayed start of the Monaco Grand Prix, and led to a rolling start being used later in the race.

The original starting procedure for the race was halted when moderate ran fell on the grid. The cars were sent off to begin their formation lap behind the Safety Car, nine minutes after the originally scheduled start time.

Heavier rain then began to fall. This prompted FIA F1 race director Eduardo Freitas to abandon the initial start, summoning the drivers back into the pits.

The downpour also interfered with the electrics at the circuit. Among the hardware affected were the starting gantry and the lights panel. This delayed efforts to start the race. The cars were eventually sent from the pits at 4:05pm local time, 65 minutes after the scheduled start, to finally start the race.

Due to the wet conditions, the race began with a rolling start. Following the later stoppage, after Mick Schumacher’s crash, by which time drivers had switched to slick tyres, a rolling start was performed again.

The decision not to use a standing start was made partly due to concerns over whether the starting system was functioning correctly due to the earlier downpour. The race direction team also took into account the likelihood there would be significant variations in grip across the racing surface which was dry in parts and damp elsewhere.

The various disruptions meant that only 64 of the scheduled 78 laps were completed, in a race which is already 45 kilometres shorter than others on the calendar. The second red flag was necessary in order to repair the TecPro barrier Schumacher hit.

After Schumacher crashed a Virtual Safety Car was used at first to immediately neutralise the field. That meant the Safety Car could be sent on track once the leader reached the pit straight and did not need to wave any cars by, which would have delayed the recovery work at the crash scene.

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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16 comments on “Power cut caused by heavy rain delayed start of Monaco Grand Prix”

  1. Stuff didn’t work because it got wet?

    The FIA really need to look into how this event was managed.

    1. Bit of a gaffe, right. Nobody expected it might be wet or what? I was wondering why it took so long to get any news after they got back into the pits. I guess this explains it.

      Solid decision-making by the race director overall in this situation, but this really shouldn’t happen!

    2. Shocking.

      I tuned in and quickly decided I’d watch the replay later. There’s no way a top tier sporting event should have these issues. They should have communicated that there were issues as well! Looked like amateur hour, which I may have been more sympathetic about at the time if they had been open about technical issues. Instead it seemed like we were making new rules made up on the spot because someone was afraid there might be rain. Very disappointing performance by race management and far from the standard F1 should be at.

  2. Why do we have the three hour rule? It seems like it totally unnecessarily denied us 14 more exciting laps of Monaco. I believe it was brought in as a response to Canada 2011, but given that is considered by many to be one of the greatest races of all time I’m not sure why that caused this rule change.

    Apart from that, a great Monaco GP!

    1. I think the 3 hour rule is pretty sensible. If they’d started at the right time and then red flagged when the rain was too hard and then restarted promptly they’d have fitted it into the 3 hours.

      If you go too long then you end up with issues linked to sunset.

      1. @Kris Lord The sunset time yesterday was 21:02, so this aspect was never an issue, but for circuits on which race begins three full hours before, yes, in certain scenarios.

    2. Exciting laps? When the track dried, it was a typical Monaco procession.

    3. @f1frog The previous 4-hour limit was a response to the 2011 Canadian GP, while the present 3-hour one came for last season.
      I guess the absolute upper limit got reduced by an hour to make things easier for broadcasters, as with 60 min less, the scope for excessive long races is minimized & thus, their broadcasting & programming schedules are more unaffected.
      Overall, nothing wrong with the present absolute maximum.

    4. Many of those rules go back to the early days of F1 tv broadcasting and gave certainty to the broadcasters who purchased satellite time for the live feed and needed to schedule other programming in.
      Niki Lauda mentioned the race timings as a reason why the very wet 76 Japanese gp was started even though he felt it was too dangerous and retired.

      Obviously it’s been amended over the years.

      Another view on the timings.

  3. The race began with a standing start


    Altogether, a hodgepodge of an article.

  4. Interesting how they covered this up at the time. Probably cos they know they’ll get slaughtered (in particular by David Croft).

    I’m more curious about the running of the 2hr race clock and when they actually started it. If like Martin Brundel claimed, they started it before the cars left the pit lane following the 1st red, then we appear to have lost some laps that we should have had? You know right at the end, when it was actually tense.

    1. They didn’t start that 2 hour clock at all though @eurobrun. Instead they went for a normal “start behind the SC” start procedure, then added another installation lap (as is allowed in these circumstances). Then the SC led them into the pitlane with “0 laps” of the race ran and they got going for a rolling start behind the SC again after the red flag, which got the lapcount started. The race was then back to green on lap 3 of the race.

      The timer that was on was the 3 hour limit – since they restarted the race (behind the SC and from the pitlane) at 5 past 4 that had already ticked down to 1:55 minutes (of the 3 hour limit) so it was clear they would be limited on time to less than 2 hours for the rest of the race. The Schumacher crash only cut off more of that time and made it tight to see whether it would be a full points race.

      1. I thought the 3 hours start from the moment the race begins. The race didnt officially begin at 2pm therefore why stop at 5pm?

      2. So Brundel was wrong then?
        I hate the fact that we have a 2hr clock and a 3hr clock now. Its so dumb. Just do away with the 2hr one. Makes no difference today, but less confusion, cos when the commentators don’t know (excluding Croft, he never knows anything), then how on earth are the viewers meant to have a clue??

  5. Fair enough for not having a single standing start.

  6. José Lopes da Silva
    30th May 2022, 20:13

    Try to explain to an 11-year-old kid with a smartphone why a race start had to be delayed for an hour.

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