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The Monaco Grand Prix is the jewel in the crown of Formula 1 and the most famous on the world's motor racing calendar. It is also one of the most difficult circuits for drivers because of the narrow, winding roads that wind through the heart of Monte Carlo. With its combination of speeds and tricky turns, Monaco represents a unique challenge for drivers and engineers.
For five days in May, the frenzy around this Monaco's flagship event grips motorsports enthusiasts and the general public alike. Here is the ultimate guide to one of the most prestigious races in the world.
The very first Monaco Grand Prix was held in 1929 as part of the annual sports car racing event under the aegis of Prince Louis II.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, the race was held on the same circuit used for the 1958 and 1962 Formula One World Championship races. The circuit was slightly shorter and slower than the current version and ran counter-clockwise. The first F1 race to be held on the current site was the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix. The circuit was shortened again in 1990 and has remained virtually unchanged since then.
One of the great features of the Monaco circuit is the need to set up facilities in record time to accommodate the racers as well as a unique layout in the heart of Monaco's most vibrant neighborhoods, La Condamine and Monte Carlo.
Reputed to be the most difficult of the international automobile circuits, the Monaco Grand Prix requires special attention from the drivers as the slightest mistake can be fatal when approaching the rails installed in the city center.
19 bends for 3.34 km of track winding around Port Hercule make up the mythical Monaco circuit. Some of them have become legendary, such as Sainte-Dévote, the very first of the race, or the iconic hairpin in front of the Fairmont Hotel, the slowest turn of the circuit.
The most prestigious one is surely the one at the Place du Casino, the most glamorous area of the Principality. The must? Have lunch on the terrace of the Hotel de Paris and watch the single-seaters whirring around this mythical corner.
To attend this mythical event, it is necessary to make a reservation a long time in advance as the seats in the stands are bought from the first hours of the opening of the ticket office. The hotel rooms in the palaces are also taken by storm and generally reserved from one year to the next.
The most prestigious option is to watch the race from a terrace in one of the luxury residences with a spectacular view of the circuit. This choice allows you to benefit from a VIP welcome with tickets, passes, reception, cocktail, limousine rental or even the use of a yacht.
If Sunday is the most awaited day of the circuit for its program mixing races, Formula 1 parades and prize-giving, each day of the Grand Prix offers an electrifying show.
Right in the heart of the circuit, a meal at the 3-star restaurant Le Louis XV allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view of the most legendary and intense corners of the Monaco Grand Prix.
To admire the Formula 1 cars up close, at the end of the race, the La Rascasse bend is the ideal location at the beginning of free practice.
The area around Port Hercule is a strategic location to experience the intensity of the Monaco Grand Prix. The best places for an unforgettable view are between the pool chicane and the tobacco shop bend. Finally, the owners and charterers of yachts moored on the quays are also in the front row to watch the competition.
The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix is considered the biggest motor race in the world but also has the smallest capacity. Approximately 37,000 spectators of which 22,000 are in the grandstand. However, in total, nearly 200,000 people follow the event around the grandstands, on the balconies or on the roof terraces of luxury establishments.
Monte-Carlo is the country's most publicized sporting event with 900 hours of live coverage and nearly 1.2 billion viewers.
80 km/h is the average speed of the single-seaters, as the corners and overtaking are difficult on this urban circuit.
Alongside the Grand Prix, many parties punctuate this event, one of the most glamorous in the Monegasque calendar. Aboard prestigious yachts, in seaside palaces or in the heart of sumptuous apartments, the night celebrates motorsport with pomp and prestige during the whole weekend of the competition.
The most prestigious evening is the closing gala hosted by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene in the Salle des Etoiles at the Sporting. A prestigious setting for magical moments reserved for the Monegasque elite and celebrities.
For those who like to party, don't miss the nightly events organized by Amber Lounge, the most popular nightclub for racing drivers.
Organized by the International Automobile Federation, E-prix will celebrate its 6th year in 2023. This competition alongside the Grand Prix features exclusively 100% electric single-seaters and takes place in odd-numbered years.
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