The Monaco Grand Prix
A motor race through the heart of the city
From May 20rd to 23th 2021, sport and glamor combine during the Monaco Grand Prix, a highlight of the year. As the engines start to roar, Monaco is brought to fever pitch. Organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious races in Formula One both because of its unique circuit through the city streets, which is renowned for its difficulty, and the champions who have made history there.
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Discover Monaco during the Formula One Grand Prix
The Principality bubbles with excitement for the Monaco Grand Prix, traditionally held on Ascension weekend (40 days after Easter Sunday). For four days, the circuit takes over the streets in the Port Hercules, Monte-Carlo and Condamine districts. The best hotels, restaurants and bars in Monaco can be found in this golden square, offering a ringside seat to experience the event to the full.
Visiting Monaco during the Formula One race means enjoying intense experiences in a unique atmosphere. The city’s population triples as more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world come to watch this highlight of the F1 calendar, bringing together motorsports fans and international jetsetters alike. In the daytime, admire the formula one cars, watch the practice sessions from the grandstand, and enjoy Monaco’s establishments in the Riviera sunshine. Outside the qualifying sessions and the race, you can even drive on the track. Take the chance to do some laps, see the stands and paddocks of the most prestigious F1 teams from a distance, and be a Formula One driver for a day. In the evening, attend spectacular, wild parties in the city’s bars and clubs. Sunday is the grand finale: Race day. After the Drivers’ Presentation and the Prince and Princess of Monaco’s lap of honor, the cars are off! From the starting grid to the waving of the chequered flag, enjoy a thrilling and exciting ride right up until the trophy is awarded to the winner by H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco.
The best places to stay to make the most of the Monaco Grand Prix
In the heart of the action, the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo are almost certainly the best places to stay during the Formula One Grand Prix. These luxury hotels right in the middle of the circuit, near the starting grid, promise an exceptional stay. Watching the race cars – Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and more – roaring around Place du Casino from the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is an experience like no other. Fully refurbished in 2019, this luxury hotel, an icon of the Riviera, offers truly luxurious rooms and suites. From the incredible sophistication of a superior room to the splendor of a Diamond Suite, your accommodation will deliver ultimate comfort for the duration of your stay. Choose a patio view to enjoy some peace and quiet, or a view of the harbor or the Place du Casino to have a ringside seat of the Grand Prix.
The Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is just a stone’s throw away. With its Belle Époque charm and timeless elegance, this five-star hotel will be your haven of peace in the heart of the event. Overlooking the harbor, its terraces offer one of the best views of the track. Each year, these prestigious establishments release special offers on dream stays during the Monaco Grand Prix.
The best bars and restaurants in Monaco for the full F1 GP experience
While the best F1 drivers fight over pole position, take the opportunity to enjoy the very best in fine dining. Enjoy a pit-stop in the heart of the circuit at one of three Michelin-starred restaurants. On the menu: Three-starred dishes at Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris***. Mediterranean flavors accompanied by a view of the sea and the track at Yannick Alléno à l'Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, with one star in the Michelin guide. Or the sophisticated special menu at the one-Michelin-star Le Grill*, on the eighth floor of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, overlooking the race.
L’Hirondelle, the restaurant at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, also boasts a panoramic bird’s eye view of the track. Enjoy its tasty, healthy food, before treating yourself to a day of relaxation in the luxury wellness center, listening to the purr of the engines.
If you’d prefer a front-row seat in the heart of the action, the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo’s terrace offers one of the most impressive trackside views in all of Monaco.
Every evening after the practice sessions, when the F1 cars are back in their paddock, the fun spills out onto the dance floor at La Racasse, a bar on the famous corner of the same name. Its memorable parties, with live music and dancers, are highlights of the F1 GP.
A VIP experience during the Monaco Grand Prix
Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer provides its guests with exclusive experiences during the Monaco Grand Prix. The Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is now the place to be if you don’t want to miss any of the action. Its terrace enjoys an unobstructed view of Port Hercules and the Formula One cars climbing up the hill through Beau Rivage, one of the fastest stretches of the track. It offers a finger food buffet and a giant screen so you can follow the race in real time. And to experience the thrills of being an F1 driver, take a seat in the virtual reality simulator to be pitted against world-champion drivers. Who will you pick to be your teammate?
Each year, the Resort also offers several exclusive offers to experience the event to the full. They combine accommodation in its luxury establishments, like the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo or the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, with premium services like access to a VIP terrace to enjoy the best viewpoint or seats in the grandstands. Choose the package to suit you.
The Monaco track: Strategic straights and corners
A temporary track set up in the heart of the city, the Monaco Grand Prix is truly legendary. At 3.34 km long, it is the shortest circuit in the Formula One World Championship. It is also one of the most challenging, with its tight corners and narrow chicanes. Overtaking is considered virtually impossible. It’s not necessarily the quickest drivers who come out on top, but the most agile. Strategic points to watch during a lap of the circuit include the first corner after the start, Sainte-Dévote, an accident hotspot. Further round, the Casino corner is one of the most iconic opposite the majestic Casino de Monte-Carlo. The grandstand there is a popular viewpoint for watching the race. After a long straight stretch, the drivers have to slow down to tackle the Fairmont corner. This hairpin is the slowest corner in F1. Later, the single-seaters enter the Tunnel, the fastest part of the circuit but not the easiest, at speeds of nearly 300 km/h! After the harbor, La Rascasse corner is one of the most complicated to negotiate. It is a spectacle to be enjoyed from the terrace of La Rascasse bar, where the excitement is guaranteed!
The Formula 1 champions who have left their mark on Monaco
Organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco since 1929 and part of the Formula One World Championship since 1950, great drivers have made history at the Monaco Grand Prix. These include Louis Chiron, the 1931 Grand Prix winner, who was the first and, so far, the only driver from Monaco to win the race. He was also one of the supporters of the creation of the Monaco Grand Prix alongside Anthony Noghès, who still lends his name to one of the circuit’s corners. Over the years, prestigious champions have triumphed here. In the 1960s, British F1 racing driver Graham Hill took five victories in the Principality. He held the record for many years, until Ayrton Senna won six times between 1987 and 1993, driving for Lotus and McLaren. The Brazilian’s spirit lives on at the Monaco Grand Prix. The golden age of the Monaco race was when Senna and Frenchman Alain Prost, his great rival and four-time winner between 1984 and 1988, hotly contested the podium. Another noteworthy figure, Michael Schumacher, won five times between 1994 and 2001, driving race cars for Benetton then Ferrari. More recently, Nico Rosberg, followed by Lewis Hamilton (both driving for Mercedes), have won three times apiece, with Rosberg winning in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Hamilton in 2008, 2016 and 2019. Sebastian Vettel isn’t far behind, having won twice for Red Bull and Ferrari in 2011 and 2017. Watch this space...
The other Monaco Grands Prix
Motorsport in Monaco also means the Grand Prix Historique. Organized since 1997 by the Automobile Club de Monaco, it is held every other year a few days before the prestigious F1 World Championship race. It takes place on the same circuit as the Monaco GP, through the heart of the city. The only sizeable difference is the speed! The single-seaters are collector’s items dating from the pre-war period to the 1970s, so the race is much slower. Split into eight series by category, it harks back to the days of great winners like Juan-Manuel Fangio, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. It is an unmissable event for classic car fanatics and lovers of the golden age of motorsports.
Also held biannually, the Monaco ePrix is dedicated to Formula E electric vehicles. With vehicles from Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, Venturi, and more, the greatest constructors all take part in this next-generation race, which uses part of the iconic F1 track.
Travel back in time or join the electric revolution: Two more reasons why you should book a spring vacation in Monaco!