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F1 urged to improve overtaking chances at Monaco GP

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F1 urged to improve overtaking chances at Monaco GP
Sport

Sport

F1 urged to improve overtaking chances at Monaco GP

2024-05-24 23:46 Last Updated At:23:51

MONACO (AP) — Red Bull boss Christian Horner added his voice to those calling for ways to improve overtaking at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Formula 1's wide and heavy cars have almost nowhere to pass, and often follow each other around the tight and sinewy 3.3-kilometer (two-mile) street circuit.

“They’re so big now, arguably they’re too big to be racing around these streets because you can barely get two side by side," team principal Horner said on Friday. “Could we open up some areas that could potentially create at least an overtaking opportunity, and what would it (take) to achieve that? I think that’s something that Formula 1 is acutely aware of."

F1's iconic race has been part of the principality’s history since 1929 and remains a firm driver's favorite; with huge status for sporting and historical reasons.

The late Ayrton Senna won Monaco a record six times; Michael Schumacher and Graham Hill did so five times each. Other multiple winners include Lewis Hamilton, Stirling Moss, Alain Prost, Juan Manuel Fangio — all F1 greats.

The race is arguably as much engrained in Monaco's identity as Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier; as the famed casino, or Prince Albert’s grandiose palace perched high over the start-finish line.

Film and sports stars still flock to Monaco on race weekends, some dashing over from the nearby Cannes film festival. Filmmaker George Lucas, for example, has been a regular attendee over the years.

It's the place to be seen for the rich and famous, with huge yachts bobbing around the harbor, glamor on display, and Champagne flowing.

“We race here because of the history, the heritage, and it’s a phenomenal venue. There’s a great deal of prestige in winning this race," Horner said. “But to protect the next 70 years here, I think that there needs to obviously be some evolution.”

That's mainly because the race often has an anti-climactic and processional feel to it.

There is almost nowhere to launch an attack, cars slow down heading into every anxiety-inducing turn close to a crash barrier, and strategy is reduced to a minimum.

The most exciting action is usually on Saturday, when drivers get the pure thrill of tackling Monaco at higher speeds and where getting pole position makes such a difference.

“By and large this race will be won tomorrow afternoon in qualifying," Horner said. “In these cars now, you’ve got to be very lucky to pull off an overtake."

Horner's comments echoed those made by seven-time world champion Hamilton. While the Mercedes driver has a great fondness for Monaco, which he has won three times, he says the skinny course nullifies racing.

“I wish we had bigger roads and the track could be wider,” he said. "But I don’t think that’s ever going to be the case in Monaco, because it’s just a small place.”

Hamilton agrees the spectacle needs be improved.

“They should come up with some new formula for it rather than it just be the same,” he said. “Maybe having special tires for this race so you have more pitstops would create more variability."

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr. offered his view.

“If there’s an opportunity to create an overtaking spot around Monaco, have a look at the city, have a look at the layout," he said. “Make an effort to make that happen.”

AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during the first free practice ahead of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah says its intensified attacks along Israel’s northern border this week demonstrate to Israeli leaders that an all-out war would be costly, senior official Sheikh Ali Daamoush said in a sermon during Friday prayers.

Iran-backed Hezbollah militants launched dozens of rockets Friday in a third day of retaliation for the killing of a senior commander. The Israeli military said approximately 35 projectiles were identified.

Cross-border attacks by Israel and Hezbollah have been taking place almost daily since the war in Gaza began in October. The escalation comes as some Israeli leaders have threatened all-out war to silence Hezbollah’s rocket fire, and as the militant group seeks to pressure Israel during the cease-fire negotiations in support of its Palestinian ally Hamas.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday he doesn’t expect to seal a Gaza cease-fire deal in the near future, as an American-backed proposal with global support has not been fully embraced by Israel or Hamas.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. Palestinians are facing widespread hunger because the war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies. U.N. agencies say over 1 million in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by mid-July.

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Currently:

— What are the main sticking points in the cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas?

— Israelis and Palestinians are hopeful but cautious over the latest cease-fire plan.

— Report by UN-backed experts cites crimes by Israeli forces and Palestinian militants starting 0ct. 7.

— Israel-Hamas war roils a congressional race outside New York City, testing Democrats in pivotal clash.

— Suspected attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels sees missiles strike ship in Gulf of Aden, sparking blaze

— Hezbollah vows to intensify attacks against Israel after an airstrike kills a senior commander.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here's the latest:

BEIRUT — A senior official with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said its intensified attacks along Israel’s northern border will make it difficult for Israel to stage an all-our war on Lebanon because it knows the conflict would be costly.

The attacks are also pressuring Israel to end the war in the Gaza Strip, said Sheikh Ali Daamoush in a sermon during Friday prayers. His comments came as Iran-backed Hezbollah claimed it fired rockets into northern Israel in a third day of barrages, saying it struck several military posts including two in the towns of Metula and Misgav Am.

The Israeli military said approximately 35 projectiles were identified crossing from Lebanon into the areas of Kiryat Shmona and Kfar Szold in northern Israel earlier Friday. The army said that as a result of the launches, a fire broke out in the area of Kfar Szold. Israeli army artillery fired toward the sources of the launches, it said.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported an Israeli airstrike Friday on the border village of Kfar Kila. Late Thursday, an Israeli strike on the south Lebanon village of Janata killed two women and wounded 19, according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.

Hezbollah's intensified attacks come after an Israeli strike late Tuesday killed the most senior military commander with the group since fighting began along the Lebanon-Israel border in early October.

These cross-border attacks have been taking place almost daily. This week's escalation comes as some Israeli leaders have threatened all-out war to silence Hezbollah’s rocket fire, which has displaced tens of thousands of Israelis, and Hezbollah seeks to exert pressure in support of its Palestinian ally Hamas during back-and-forth negotiations over a cease-fire in Gaza.

More than 400 people have been killed in Lebanon, mostly fighters, but they include over 70 civilians and non-combatants. Tens of thousands have also been displaced. On the Israeli side, at least 15 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed.

JERUSALEM — Two high-ranking Israeli officials will visit the U.S. next week, said an Israeli official Friday, as a U.S.-backed ceasefire proposal to end the grinding Israel-Hamas war hangs in the balance.

Israel’s strategic affairs minister Ron Dermer and national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi will fly to Washington next week, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject matter.

The meetings come as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the Middle East to try to bridge gaps between Israel and Hamas over the proposal, which U.S. President Joe Biden announced earlier this month. It’s the latest serious attempt to wind down the war in Gaza.

Biden said Thursday he doesn’t expect to cement the deal in the near future, as it has not been fully embraced by Israel or Hamas.

DEIR Al-BALAH — An Israeli airstrike on a home in the central Gaza city of Deir al-Balah killed two people and wounded several others including children, hospital officials said.

The bodies of the two men were brought to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

The seven wounded, including three children and one woman, were also brought for treatment at the hospital.

Earlier in the day, the bodies of two fishermen were brought to the hospital after they were shot by Israel’s navy, the officials said.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

The Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel killed that sparked the war killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and militants abducted about 250.

BORGO EGNAZIA, Italy — U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday he doesn’t expect to reach a cease-fire deal for Gaza in the near future, as Israel and Hamas have not fully embraced an American-backed proposal with global support.

Biden said international leaders at the Group of Seven summit in Italy had discussed the cease-fire, but when asked by reporters if a truce deal wound be reached soon, Biden replied simply, “No,” adding, “I haven’t lost hope.”

Earlier Thursday, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan pushed back against assertions that Israel isn’t fully committed to the cease-fire proposal with Hamas.

“Israel has supplied this proposal. It has been sitting on the table for some time. Israel has not contradicted or walked that back,” Sullivan said. Hamas responded to the plan by offering amendments, and Sullivan said the goal is “to figure out how we work to bridge the remaining gaps and get to a deal.”

Hamas says the requested changes aim to guarantee a permanent cease-fire and complete Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza. The cease-fire proposal announced by Biden includes those provisions, but Hamas has expressed wariness whether Israel will implement the terms.

At a news conference later Thursday, Biden said, “The biggest hang-up so far is Hamas refusing to sign on, even though they have submitted something similar.”

He said it remains to be seen whether a deal comes “to fruition.” But he said he remains committed to pushing for the two sides to come together on the three-phase deal he publicly outlined late last month.

A plane uses a fire retardant to extinguish a fire burning in an area near the border with Lebanon, in Safed, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Scores of rockets were fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel on Wednesday morning, hours after Israeli airstrikes killed four officials from the militant Hezbollah group including a senior military commander. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A plane uses a fire retardant to extinguish a fire burning in an area near the border with Lebanon, in Safed, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Scores of rockets were fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel on Wednesday morning, hours after Israeli airstrikes killed four officials from the militant Hezbollah group including a senior military commander. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Smoke rises to the sky as a fire burns an area after a Lebanese shelling, in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Smoke rises to the sky as a fire burns an area after a Lebanese shelling, in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Palestinian medics treat a wounded youth in the Israeli bombardment on a residential building owned by the Jabr family in Bureij refugee camp, at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Palestinian medics treat a wounded youth in the Israeli bombardment on a residential building owned by the Jabr family in Bureij refugee camp, at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

An Israeli Police officer and paramedic remove a body found at the Sha'ar HaNegev junction in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024, an area besieged by a cross-border attack by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, 2023. Israeli Police say that the body, found alongside a combat vest and a shirt with Arabic writing, will be sent for forensic investigation. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

An Israeli Police officer and paramedic remove a body found at the Sha'ar HaNegev junction in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024, an area besieged by a cross-border attack by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, 2023. Israeli Police say that the body, found alongside a combat vest and a shirt with Arabic writing, will be sent for forensic investigation. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Students march towards The Knesset, Israel's parliament, to call for a deal to release hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Students march towards The Knesset, Israel's parliament, to call for a deal to release hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

A woman holds posters of Kfir and Ariel Bibas, who are in Hamas captivity with their parents in the Gaza Strip, as students march towards The Knesset, Israel's parliament, to call for a deal to release hostages, in Jerusalem, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

A woman holds posters of Kfir and Ariel Bibas, who are in Hamas captivity with their parents in the Gaza Strip, as students march towards The Knesset, Israel's parliament, to call for a deal to release hostages, in Jerusalem, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli soldier check a tank near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli soldier check a tank near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Palestinian medics treat a child wounded youth in the Israeli bombardment on a residential building owned by the Jabr family in the Bureij refugee camp, at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Palestinian medics treat a child wounded youth in the Israeli bombardment on a residential building owned by the Jabr family in the Bureij refugee camp, at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Israeli soldiers are seen near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israeli soldiers are seen near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Thursday, June 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

A firefighter walks near fire burning an area after a Lebanese shelling, in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A firefighter walks near fire burning an area after a Lebanese shelling, in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Smoke rises to the sky as a fire burns an area after a Lebanese shelling, in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Smoke rises to the sky as a fire burns an area after a Lebanese shelling, in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

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