260.52 kilometres, 78 laps, and in excess of 200,000 spectators spill on to the streets of the Principality every year to watch the most coveted race in the world – the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Immerse yourself in a thrilling race set against a backdrop of an Azur blue sea and roaring engines, the whole thing comes together to make the most exceptional competition in which the world’s best drivers go head-to-head winner takes all!
Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix – the history
British driver William Grover-Williams won the first ever Monaco Grand prix in his Bugatti on the 14th April 1929. He reached an average speed of 80 km per hour.
The race was an instant hit and became the phenomenon it is today, the very next year on April 6, 1930 50,000 spectators flocked to watch the race. The success spilled over into the city’s restaurants, clubs and hotels too. Today, the Grand Prix’s success is as strong as ever, you may need to book in advance but the restaurants make it a point of pride to never turn diners away.
World War 2 and the death of Prince Louis II saw the race suspended until 1955. Since then, the Grand Prix has been a major annual event attracting a discerning following amongst the worldwide elite looking to be seen at this wonderful venue.
The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix is the one race of the year that every driver dreams of winning, it stands alone as the pinnacle of driver achievements mastering this the most complex of Grand Prix Venues, almost distinct from the sport from which it was born and without a doubt the calender’s premier event. Needing a combination of precision driving, technical excellence and sheer bravery is required to win in Monte Carlo, The “Armco” barriers lining this winding street circuit leaves no margin for error. Demanding more concentration from each of the drivers than any other Formula One track. Cars run with the maximum down-force achievable and brakes are worked hard, overtaking is next to impossible so qualifying front of grid in Monaco is more critical than at any other Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Of all the corners Portier is key to achieving a good lap time around Monaco, it’s preceded by the Loews hairpin (now the Fairmont Hotel), the slowest corner in Formula One is then followed by the tunnel where the cars can finally run flat out – about the only place on on the track this is possible. Some great names have ended their races in the barriers exiting the tunnel, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher to name but a few of the legends of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix that retired from the race here .
Winning in Monaco places a driver’s name on a list that includes many of the sports greatest legends.
Both Graham Hill, nicknamed ‘Mr Monaco’, and Schumacher have won it five times while Alain Prost took four victories. Sir Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart each won the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix three times. But the record still stands with Ayrton Senna who lifted the winners trophy no fewer than six times.
The race has been the glittering fixture of the Formula 1 world championship since 1955, in that time the circuit has changed remarkably little – Slight alterations were made for the 2003 event, in particular a new, gentler entry to the Rascasse corner, with even bigger changes in 2004, with a new pit complex and increased spectator capacity.
No doubt the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix will continue to evolve and entertain all comers for decades to come.