F1 in Monaco

A Brief History of F1 in Monaco.

Formula One, commonly called F1 racing is a very special class of car race conducted in a single seater. Following strict guidelines established by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the individual races or Grand Prix are some of the most exciting in the sport of racing and each year, attract a live and television audience of many millions of fans from around the globe. Although F1 races take place in different cities around the world, first held on April 14, 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix is considered the most legendary due to its scenic and glamorous location. Monaco is a port city with a rich history; Monaco is not only home to the famous Monte Carlo Casino Complex but a monarchy ruled by son of the beloved Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, Prince Albert II.

While the Indy 500 and The 24 Hours of Le Mans share Triple Crown prestige with Monaco’s Grand Prix, to many racing enthusiasts, Monaco is synonymous with Grand Prix. In fact, in the world of racing, the two words are almost inseparable. Luxurious yachts, romantic sunsets and the cosmopolitan atmosphere are just some of the aspects of Monaco’s Grand Prix that make it stand out to racing fans — but there are also the famously dangerous races that have taken place there.

A small city with sudden drops and steep climbs and the locale of choice for unusual holidays, Monaco swerves and is full of curves. Its streets are so narrow that if its reputation and designation as a Formula 1 racing site were not historically already in place, it would not meet contemporary safety standards. Though chicanes are created by racing circuit designers to prohibit cars from moving at riskily high speeds on certain areas of the course, it was when the Italian driver, Albert Ascari, the 2nd place winner of the 1950 Monte Carlo Grand Prix, missed one in 1955, when he went crashing into the harbour.

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The image above shows the famous harbour at Monaco. The grand prix passes through the streets of the harbour.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

As a result of rainy weather, 1984′s race was also full of drama, the Grand Prix that year was actually held up for almost an hour. Not that the suspenseful wait led to less slippery driving conditions. It was still raining when the race began, some believing the wet road responsible for Alain Prost, despite his early lead, losing a wheel and crashing into the barriers. At any rate, the year was considered a breakaway event in the sport because of the high number of injuries, spills and thrills.

Of course some argue that the most spectacular Monaco Grand Prix took place in 1970 when Jochen Rindt in the Lotus 49 advanced from substantially far behind Jack Brabham and won the race on the last corner of the last lap when Brabham lost control and collided.

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The image above shows a view from the stands, immediately before the Monaco Grand Prix in 2007.
Image Courtesy: mrmystery

Drivers who race the 3.340-kilometres Monaco Grand Prix circuit create new benchmarks every year, the fastest lap ever was by Kimi Raikkonen in 2006 with a time of 1m13.532s. Car design and technology is constantly evolving too. Built in just a few months during the 1920′s, the track, however, is mostly intact except for minor alterations to the final turns that were made in 2003. Of course, F1 in Monaco isn’t about change as much as history. Fans who flock here annually want to be part of its legacy — due to strict regulations; the speed at which drivers take the laps today is not much faster than they were in 1929 when William Grover-Williams won the first race in a Bugatti.
Why not try a holiday or mini-break to Monaco? It’s best when the Grand Prix is on but is also great to visit throughout the year. There is a large choice of accommodation including hotels and private villas.

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