Bottas says he's not in favour of "shaming" Monaco

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W09.
© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas has defended Monaco from criticism that it is no longer a suitable venue to hold a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

His own Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton said that the historic track layout needed to be rethought or extended for future races. McLaren's Fernando Alonso dubbed last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix "probably the most boring race ever."

But Bottas didn't want to see a knee jerk response to the criticism which could wreck the allure of the iconic track.

“It’s a difficult one,” he told Autoweek. "There’s so much history with this track layout.

"It would be a shame to shame it, because it is so iconic.

"But on the other hand, with the current cars as they are, they’re getting quicker and bigger," he admitted. "Overtaking is getting more and more difficult.

"It’s a tricky one," said the Finn. "I have mixed feelings about changing the track.”

Former F1 driver turned commentator David Coulthard shared Bottas' concerns, and said it was unlikely that Monaco would ever be significantly changed.

"We've just come off the back of Monte Carlo," he told BBC Radio 2's Graham Norton Show. "It's historically not a great race in terms of lots of overtaking.

"It's because it's the streets of Monte Carlo. It's very tight and twisty. It's hard to ride a bike round there, never mind race a car.

"I understand a lot of people would like to see it opened up somehow," he acknowledged. "But it would need to be a massive reclamation project to eat into the Mediterranean to make the circuit wider."

The top six on the grid last Sunday started in the same order that they finished. Bottas himself spent the day trapped in fifth place despite gambling on a different tyre strategy to those around him.

However, Red Bull's Max Verstappen did manage to battle his way back to ninth place despite starting from the back row.

"I think this year was unlucky for the fans, that there was not that much happening," said Bottas, who hoped that the situation would prove to be a one-off.

"That's Monaco - sometimes a lot of things happen; sometimes nothing happens and you get a pretty uneventful race

"The only negativity is the lack of overtaking," he acknowledged. "I could put pressure on the cars ahead. I had more pace than the cars in front of me.

"And yet there was nothing I could do," he sighed. "Even with the pace difference overtaking was impossible.

"It’s on the limit but I still love it," he added. "I still love driving there."

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