David Coulthard waded into the argument over the nature of racing in F1 by branding Sunday’s race “rubbish”.
The two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner, who is now an F1 commentator for the BBC in the UK, said the race was “not Formula One the way I think it should be”.
“I said in commentary that it was rubbish, and I stand by that,” said Coulthard in a column after the race.
“Normally, I’m the first person to defend F1. It is the fastest motorsport, with the best cars and the best drivers. It is a sport that attracts elite people in all areas, whether it’s the media, the catering or anything else.
“But when you have drivers clearly racing way below the pace they are capable of, that’s not right.”
Criticism has been building over the extent to which drivers have to back off to conserve their tires. Coulthard said it had gone to “extreme” lengths in Monaco.
Sebastian Vettel, who finished second, said: “I was a bit surprised by the slow pace in the opening laps”.
“Usually you expect two silver arrows in front of you and there were two buses today going for a cruise – at least in the first couple of laps.”
His team mate Mark Webber said his race consisted of “just driving around, saving the tires and waiting for the checkered flag”.