The Monaco Historic Grand Prix
The Monaco Historic Grand Prix pays beautiful tribute to motorsports
Organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco, the Monaco Historic Grand Prix is a true testament to the Principality’s passion for motorsports. The first event back in 1997 was designed to mark the 700th anniversary of the Dynasty of the Princes of Monaco. It returned for the new millennium in 2000, before becoming a regular event held every second year. Initially, thirty or so racing cars were presented. Now, more than 200 come to dazzle the assembled spectators, reflecting how the Monaco Historic Grand Prix has grown in stature in motor-racing over the years.
Grand Prix and sports cars
The biannual Monaco Historic Grand Prix is usually held two weeks before the famous Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. The cars are collectibles dating from the pre-war era up to the 1980s, and have all taken part in international races. Major motor-racing names are all present and correct on the starting grid to provide an exceptional retrospective that includes Ferraris, Maseratis, Bugattis, Lotuses, Matras and more. But this is much more than just a show, with each car there to race in its category. Pre-war voiturettes, front- and rear-engined Grand Prix cars, sports cars, F1 and F2 models and more are divided into 7 or 8 series. These are then sub-divided into classes according to construction years and technical characteristics such as engine type. This is the kind of diversity befitting a major event.
The 2024 Monaco Historic Grand Prix route
These rare (and sometimes iconic) motorsport vehicles have the privilege of competing on the famous Monaco track. This circuit in the heart of the city has been the setting for some of motor racing’s finest moments for almost a century, particularly during the prestigious F1 Monaco Grand Prix. Today, it still uses almost exactly the same route as when it started in 1929. Winding around the port and the La Condamine and Monte-Carlo districts, it has 19 turns including Sainte-Dévote and La Rascasse, which are reputedly the most difficult to drive. At 3.3 km (or just over 2 miles), it is one of the shortest, most technical circuits in motorsport, with a tricky narrow track. At the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, classic cars follow this route in front of the Principality’s iconic sites such as Port Hercule or the Place du Casino, sprinkling extra magic over the event.
The Monaco Historic Grand Prix’s schedule for 2024
The 14th Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the first day, Friday, is for training laps. Each series gets thirty minutes to test the track and make adjustments to the cars. Saturday is for the qualifying rounds that determine pole position. Finally, on Sunday, the first race starts at around 9 am. Single-seaters compete for a maximum of 45 minutes in each series. From 1950s sports cars to 70s F1 racers, every engine roars and every tire squeaks in its own unique way, summoning happy memories for nostalgic motor enthusiasts. Every day includes a parade of beautiful cars for visitors to marvel at.
Rubbing shoulders with great champions
Beyond the competition and its winners, the Monaco Historic Grand Prix is first and foremost a great opportunity to share good times around motorsports’ most beautiful feats of engineering. It is a real pleasure to discover or rediscover legendary cars in a relaxed atmosphere. There are also former racing drivers on the track, in the grandstands and in the stands. From Alain Prost to Mika Häkkinen, Jacky Ickx and Jean Alesi, they come to relive all the adrenaline of the race and soak up the paddocks’ unique atmosphere. The Monaco Historic Grand Prix brings together everyone who loves motorsports, whether they are champions, collectors, keen amateurs or simply fans.
The best places to watch the 2024 Monaco Historic Grand Prix
The stands are the best place to make sure you don’t miss out on the fabulous spectacle offered by at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix’s vintage car races. For example, the gallery opposite Sainte-Dévote church is a strategic location on the first turn after the starting line. The grandstands on Quai Albert Ier have a breathtaking view of the famous Bureau de Tabac corner, while La Piscine also offers a view of the stands.
Other choice locations for those of us who wish to combine adrenaline-fueled thrills with a touch of elegance at a Monaco Historic Grand Prix include the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo in the Carré d’Or area by the start of the track. Their balconies and terraces offer an excellent viewing experience.
All our Resort’s bars and restaurants welcome visitors passing through the Principality for the race. The Café de Paris Monte-Carlo, opposite Place du Casino, and La Rascasse bar number among the most popular establishments during major motorsports events in Monaco. Their terraces are close to the circuit. For a gourmet meal, the Louis XV - Alain Ducasse*** at the Hôtel de Paris or Pavyllon Monte-Carlo a restaurant by Yannick Alléno* at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo are also ideally located. Both are great locations for getting into the spirit of the race.
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