MONACO GRAND PRIX
CIRCUIT DE MONACO - MONTE CARLO
Monaco GP: all you need to know
Monaco Grand Prix: those words are music to the ears of race fans. Monaco is associated with glamour, fashion, yachts, the Casino, but most of all, it is linked to F1 and has been since 1950, the first year of the Formula 1 World Championship as we know it.
The race has been held 69 times to date. The paradox of the most famous motor race in the world is that Formula 1 would not be as successful without it and yet, if it was to be proposed as a new race today, it would be dismissed out of hand on logistical and safety grounds.
Formula 1 and Montecarlo in history
Before the arrival of Charles Leclerc, the only Monegasque to have raced in Formula 1 was Louis Chiron. He was best known for his amazing antics waving the chequered flag, after he was appointed race director in the Sixties.
This is the only race that doesn’t have a proper podium as the top three drivers all get taken along to the Royal Box, at the side of the track, from where the ruling Grimaldi family has always watched the race and handed out the prizes.
Coming to this race also means experiencing the delights of the Cote d’Azur, which, in late May, is a really great place to be by the sea.
CIRCUIT DE MONACO
The first race on this track was held in 1929, when Antony Noghes and his friends in the Automobile Club de Monaco decided to organise a street race in the Principality. In 1950, it became a round of the Formula 1 World Championship and since 1955, it has been a permanent fixture on the calendar, with the exception of 2020 when many race were cancelled because of the pandemic.
The Monaco circuit effectively sees Formula 1 travel back in time, as the track has changed very little from the original 1950 layout. However, the level of active and passive safety has vastly improved, to a point far removed from the days when a couple of drivers ended up in the harbour!
The Monaco GP is the only round on the F1 calendar with a race distance of less than the stipulated minimum of 305 kilometres. At 3.337 kilometres in length, it is the shortest and slowest of the season, with the race held over 78 laps, a distance of 260.286 km. To describe the difficulty of steering an F1 car around Monaco, Nelson Piquet described it as being like riding a bicycle around your living room.