Why Is There No Thursday F1 Action at the Monaco Grand Prix This Year?

In a break with long-standing tradition, there will be no Formula 1 action on Thursday at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. Why did F1 practice used to take place on Thursday in Monaco? And why will it not this year?

The Monaco Grand Prix is, arguably, Formula 1’s most iconic event. On the calendar since the inaugural World Championship season in 1950, there have been only a handful of seasons in which the Monaco Grand Prix has not taken place.

A long standing tradition of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend has been for the opening Formula 1 practice sessions to run on Thursday. At every other race on the calendar, the first two practice sessions take place on Friday. In 2022, Monaco falls into line with the other races.

Why did F1 practice in Monaco take place on Thursday?

Traditionally, the Monaco Grand Prix weekend coincided with Ascension Day, which is a bank holiday in the principality. It falls on the Friday of the race weekend, meaning that the Grand Prix weekend is paused to allow traffic to move through the principality’s streets.

The day remains a public holiday in Monaco but has become less celebrated by locals over time. Nevertheless, the tradition of F1 not running on Friday in Monaco continued through to 2021. Opening practice therefore took place on Thursday.

In the 1950s, an early morning practice session also took place on Friday, before the streets re-opened to the public. The lack of F1 action on Friday – and the re-opening of the public streets – also meant that local businesses were able to restock ahead of the busy race weekend.

Why is there no F1 action on Thursday in Monaco this year?

Ahead of the 2022 season, Formula 1 announced a raft of changes to condense Grand Prix weekends. The traditional media day, which took place on Thursday at most events, was moved to Friday morning. The opening two Free Practice sessions now take place later in the day on Friday to accommodate for this change.

In Monaco, media duties were carried out on Wednesday, with Free Practice on Thursday and a so-called ‘rest day’ – despite an onslaught of further media duties for the drivers – on Friday. In 2022, the weekend falls in line with every other race on the calendar. Media duties will take place on Friday morning and cars will hit the track for the first time on Friday afternoon.

Moving the opening practice sessions to Friday also aids the logistical challenge of the F1 circus moving by road from Barcelona to Monaco. This year’s Monaco Grand Prix is part of a double header of race weekends, with the Spanish Grand Prix taking place one week prior to the principality’s event. It’s only the third time that the Monaco Grand Prix has been run just one week after another race. It also happened in 2010 and 2011.

There will still be on-track action on Thursday in Monaco in 2022

Although Formula 1 cars will not take to the track on Thursday in Monaco this year, there will still be some on-track action. Three practice sessions for support races will take place on Thursday afternoon. FIA Formula Regional by Alpine, Porsche Supercup and Formula 2 are all on the support bill at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix.

Traditionally, the Formula 2 support race action has begun on Friday in Monaco, with the Feature Race being free to watch from the grandstands on Friday morning. However, like F1, F2 falls into line with the other races on its calendar in 2022. The Sprint Race will take place after F1 qualifying on Saturday evening, with the Feature Race following on Sunday morning.

May is Monaco’s month of motorsport

Monaco is very much motorsport central throughout the month of May. The first weekend of the month saw Formula E take to the principality’s streets for the fifth running of the Monaco E-Prix. The event was won by former McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne. It was the second time that Formula E raced on the full layout of Circuit de Monaco.

In mid-May, the popular Monaco Historic Grand Prix took place. Featuring everything from pre-war cars through to 1980s Formula 1 machinery, the weekend is a celebration of motorsport heritage.

Charles Leclerc attracted headlines following a demo run over the weekend. Driving Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari car, the Monegasque driver suffered a braking issue and crashed at La Rascasse. Despite taking pole here last year, Leclerc is yet to finish his home event in Formula 1.

The full weekend schedule, plus other information about attending the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix can be found in our Trackside guide.

5 thoughts on “Why Is There No Thursday F1 Action at the Monaco Grand Prix This Year?”

  1. I’m here at Monaco bought tickets for Thursday practice and there isn’t one.
    What a rip off

    1. Can u explain what takes place on thursday? And is it useful to get a grandstand on this day or not? (Just checking for this year)

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