2019 marks the 90th year of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Begun in 1929, the 77th Grand Prix begins on Thursday the 23rd May and ends on Sunday 26th May, causing the Principality’s 38,000 residents 4 days of magic or mayhem, depending on whether you love the sport with a passion and watch glued to the circuit from your terrace, or you flee the streets of Monaco before the invasion.
The first Monaco Grand Prix took place in 1929 and was organised by a wealthy tobacco manufacturer, Antony Noghes, who had set up the Automobiles Club de Monaco with some of his friends. The last corner before the start/finish line is named after him and is very popular with spectators. He also suggested the international adoption of the checkered flag to end races.
Brazilian racing car driver Nelson Piquet famously compared driving in Monaco to ‘riding a bicycle around your living room’. It is allegedly the most technically demanding race and the ultimate test of driving skills; by the time he reaches the finish line, a driver will have made almost 5,000 gear changes.
At just over two miles in total, the Monaco Grand Prix has the shortest lap distance of all Formula One races. F1 race length is defined as the smallest number of complete laps that exceeds 305 kilometres, but Monaco Grand Prix is the sole exception with a race length of 260.5 km. However, it also requires the most laps out of any circuit to complete the race – 78 laps in total.
What really makes the Monaco Grand Prix so fascinating is the sheer amount of people, and money, that descend on the coastal city-state for just four days of competition. 200,000 people attended in 2017, all of them packed into an area about the size of Hyde Park, or one square mile.
Tickets for the Grand Prix are, as always, in demand, and there are numerous ways of seeing it: in the grandstands, on a private terrace with limitless champagne on tap, or from a super yacht in the harbour. All have their attractions. And once the races are over, the party really begins, with Monaco’s array of bars and restaurants, chic nightclubs including the pop-up Amber Lounge, not to mention private parties abounding.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix isn’t only about watching a race after all: it is an entire weekend experience... A stay in Monaco’s brand new finest suite, the Diamond Suite Princesse Grace offers nearly 10,000 square feet of pure luxury on the 7th and 8th floor of the Hôtel de Paris. Multiple terraces and patios provide 180 degree views of the see and a private, heated infinity pool. It will cost you 40,000 Euros per night, but it does include a housekeeper, in-suite concierge, a tent at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club and helicopter transport to and from Nice Airport.
Wherever you will be watching it from, enjoy the ride!