Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix: An incredible race track in the heart of the Principality

 

260.52 kilometres, 78 laps, over 100,000 spectators: every year, all eyes are firmly set on Monaco’s Formula 1 Grand Prix. Immerse yourself in a thrilling race set against a backdrop of screeching tires, in an exceptional competition in which the world’s best drivers go head-to-head.

Once upon a time, there was a legendary automobile club…

1911. The Club Sport Automobile et Vélocipédique de Monaco organized the very first rally in Monte Carlo. In keeping with its international spirit, the Principality welcomed competitors from around the globe. In 1925, the Club Sport Automobile et Vélocipédique de Monaco changed its name to the Automobile Club de Monaco. In 1928, its application to join the Association Internationale des Automobile Club Reconnus (AIACR) was refused, as the Principality had no motorsport event held within its borders. Alexandre Noghès and his son Antony then had the ambitious idea of creating a race track that would take over the streets of the Principality. The Monegasque driver Louis Chiron helped the two men design the plans, and thanks to funding by the Société des Bains de Mer, major works began. The race track was officially opened by Prince Pierre six months later on April 14, 1929.

An exceptional Grand Prix was born – and the rest, as they say, is history…

British driver William Grover-Williams won the first race in his Bugatti. He reached an average speed of 80 km/h! The race’s popularity was an instant phenomenon, and the very next year on April 6, 1930, 50,000 spectators flocked to watch. This incredible success spilled over into the city’s restaurants, too, and that year visitors were hard pushed to get a table. Today, the Grand Prix’s success is as strong as ever, and 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.

An exceptional track for exceptional drivers

The circuit winds its way through Monaco’s streets, from the Boulevard Albert 1er to the Casino de Monte-Carlo via the Quai des Etats-Unis and the La Rascasse bend… The entire city is brought to a standstill in preparation for the race. The Monaco circuit is the slowest of the Grand Prix tracks, yet also the most prestigious, and the most dangerous, too. Each driver seems to outperform the next as they navigate their way along a technically demanding circuit. World-class drivers have made names for themselves here, from Fangio in the 1950s to Schumacher in the 1990s. Ayrton Senna won this iconic race six times, thus securing his place in the legend that is the Monaco Grand Prix.

 

Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, partner of the Grand Prix

Every year for 4 days in May, the Société des Bains de Mer’s establishments open their doors to fans from around the world. The highlight of this unique event is the Sunday of the race itself, when over 100,000 spectators gather in Monaco! Throughout the day and night, the array of restaurants here serves up exquisite gourmet dishes. From cocktails at the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo during the tests and Michelin-starred menus at the Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris while watching the race from the first row, to booking a luxury room with incredible views of the track at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to taking part in this fantastic event. The cars whizz past mere meters away from spectators. It simply has to be seen to be believed. At the Sea Lounge Monte-Carlo, the Rascasse or the Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo, the night is long and the festivities continue in the bars and on the race track itself, which is transformed into a giant dance floor for one night only…