An iconic circuit where the high virtuosity of pilots has been revealed since 1929.
Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda or Michael Schumacher. So many drivers who have appeared on a circuit with almost unchanged layout in 90 years. Yes, this 2019 edition marks the 90th anniversary of the Monaco Grand Prix. A GP where the Formula 1 cars have been buzzing since 1950 – a circuit where the tracks, winding, narrow and lined with rails, require absolute concentration. “We have the impression of traveling at 1000 km per hour in the middle of the buildings. It’s very simple: Monaco has zero errors”, to believe the very words of Alain Prost. If the Monaco Grand Prix is today an iconic event beyond the world of motor racing, it is because May 26 has become a must for A-listers around the world. And that, the Grand Prix owes a lot to its layout and its idyllic setting!
“Monte-Carlo is a very physical circuit because it is bumpy and it hurts a lot, the shoulders, the neck etc. It really hurts, but I won, I am happy” stated Ayrton Senna. From the start, the track opens onto the Saint-Devote bend. A funnel is still considered one of the most dangerous passages in the world. Pilots, launched at more than 300 km/h are forced to slow down and, disembarking from a straight line, feel drawn into a very open and is highly impressive! Another key point on the route is the Casino turn. The Casino de Monte-Carlo, known to have been the lair of La Belle Otéro, but also the meeting place of geniuses such as Coco Chanel, Serge Diaghilev and others, borders on one of the iconic points of this circuit. “It’s the fast turn of the circuit. During the above climb, we shift gears gradually, until the 7th. It’s a very exhilarating feeling: you have the impression of taking off, only seeing the sky. We arrived on a platform and, there, we put our foot on the brake so as not to “hit” on the rail. There is a left turn that you go blind and you have to stay inside to continue with a right turn. It is one of the only curves that gives a real feeling of speed on the circuit, ”says French driver Franck Montagny. There is a left turn where you go blind and you have to stay inside to continue with a right turn. It is one of the only curves that gives a real feeling of speed on the circuit, ”says French driver Franck Montagny.
From 1983 to 1993, Monaco was the battleground for two F1 titans: Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Between performances, exploits and victories, they helped to forge the legend of this circuit, winning together the greatest number of victories. Six for Senna, four for Prost. “It is a real challenge to stay extremely precise on this track, it is much more interesting than simply having to drive fast.” Michael Schumacher, with five victories in the Principality, rose to second place in its history. This shows the importance of this circuit for the wonders of F1.
The new generation is not to be outdone. Lewis Hamilton, in 2008, claimed his first victory for Mercedes – enthusing himself of his success at the Monaco Grand Prix: “It was my greatest victory, on my favorite circuit, the one where I wanted to win more than any other than the other. “At 21, the very promising Charles Leclerc, a native of Monaco, intends this year to put the finishing touches” It’s been a dream since I was a child and that’s why we work. This is where Ferrari deserves to be. It’s not going to be an easy Grand Prix but I hope of course a victory in the end. Each edition brings its share of moments and images that have become cult in the history of the F1 Championship. From Ayrton Senna’s crash to his neck and neck final with Alain Prost.