Monaco Grand Prix Preview

One of the most popular races on the calendar, the Grand Prix of Monaco has been around for nearly nine decades.  [Photo courtesy of]

Of all the races on the formula one world championship calendar, none is more prestigious than the Monaco Grand Prix. With only the interruption of World War II, the race has been held on these glamorous streets since 1929, and on this important race weekend, which includes the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Coca Cola 600, this race in the south of France, is part of a group of events which makes the Memorial Day weekend begin the summer events calendar.

Monaco is a full street circuit, with pretty much all the same names of the track as it always has been. With the exception of the Rascasse turn, which used to be called Gasworks Hairpin, the circuit still remains intact just like it has always been year after year. This event has always coincided with the magical Cannes Film Festival which concludes this week, and all the celebrities that participate in that event sometimes travel a few hours to see this spectacle, and for this event, it is the most celebrity attended event in the entire racing year. Boats fill the harbor, and fans line up on the street, in the stands, and sit up on the hill and on the top floor of a balcony of a major hotel just to witness this event.

And the press box, which holds the Monaco Royal family of Prince Albert and his wife, Princess Charlene, is filled to present the trophy to the top three finishers. This is also the only grand prix race which has free practice on a Thursday instead of the traditional Friday. On that day, the circuit this time is free for everyone to walk around. On Saturday and Sunday as usual like with the other tracks, the qualifying and race takes place.

The grand prix race itself has no major sponsor like the other tracks and the major speed of the circuit goes no higher than 90 miles an hour on the 2.8 miles track. Three time world champion Nelson Piquet always used to say about this street circuit stating: “It is like riding your motorcycle in your living room.” There is absolutely no run off on the track, and many have crashed on this circuit, making it probably the most vulnerable places to race.

At this moment, the Mercedes team of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have dominated the season, but this race is so much like a lottery that their chances are just as good as the others. Rosberg himself, who lives in the principality, won this event last season and is looking for more luck this season so he can retake the lead in the world championship from the Briton. It will always be interesting on how this race will unfold, but like it is every year, it is a classic race to always remember for all the right reasons.

Share Button