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20 - 23 May
FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2021
Circuit de Monaco
First Grand Prix
Number of Laps
1:12.909 Lewis Hamilton (2021)
In 1215, sort of – that’s when Monaco was first established as a colony of Genoa.
It was 1929 when racing engines first reverberated around the Principality, after cigarette manufacturer Antony Noghes decided to organise a race with his pals from the Automobile Club de Monaco. The race was part of the calendar in the first year of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1950, and hasn’t been off it since 1955.
Incredibly narrow and totally iconic. Nelson Piquet memorably described driving around Monaco as “like riding a bicycle around your living room”… which is fair. Despite that, it’s a challenge that nearly all drivers love, forcing them to put their skills on the line and rewarding millimetric accuracy. Overtaking on the tight streets is harder, however, with the 2003 Grand Prix witnessing a grand total of zero passing moves!
A holiday on the French Riviera, plus the chance to watch Formula 1 cars pounding past places where Monegasques usually go to buy a pint of milk? It really is as fun as it sounds. On top of that, the chance to walk the track after a day’s hard lapping – or even enjoy your dinner on it at one of the terrasse bars – is not to be missed.
Assuming you can’t get into one of the overhanging apartment blocks around the circuit (or onto a boat) shoot for anything from Grandstands L to P, which are clustered around the Swimming Pool section of the track, and where drivers hurl their cars through the tight chicane at 200km/h. Or, for a more spectacular vista, try Grandstand B, overlooking the ritzy Casino Square.
Charles Leclerc's Monte Carlo circuit guide
Monaco's 90th Anniversary: A corner-by-corner history
RACE HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 Monaco Grand Prix