From 26 to 28 May 2023, the Principality will once again play host to the most famous motor race of them all: the 80th Monaco Formula 1 Grand
Prepare to be thrilled…
In his efforts to obtain official recognition for the Automobile Club de Monaco from the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus, Antony Noghès, son of the ACM's President, drew on all his powers of imagination to create a street race in the Principality itself. The race satisfied the AIACR's requirement for an event held within the limited confines of Monaco (which at the time covered barely 1.5 km²).
With help from engineer Jacques Taffe and Louis Chiron, former personal driver of Marshals Foch and Pétain...
He did it!
No other country in the world would ever have a circuit quite like it!
On 14 April 1929, Prince Pierre officially opened the circuit of the 1st Monaco Grand Prix, doing a lap of honour in a Torpedo Voisin driven by race director Charles
That inaugural Grand Prix was won by Englishman William
Grover-Williams, nicknamed “W Williams”, driving a green Bugatti 35 B, with a time of 3'56’11. He completed the 100 laps at an average speed of 80.194 km/h.
From that point on, the Monaco Grand Prix took off and went from strength to strength.
Arrival of Formula 1 and the big names...
After the ninth Grand Prix in
1937, World War Two interrupted the event for more than ten years.
It was not until 16 May 1948 that the almost forgotten roar of the racing cars was heard once again in the streets of the Principality.
Things were back on track, so to speak, and the Formula 1 World Championship was created two years later, in 1950. On 21 May, an Argentine driver took the chequered flag in in the 11th Monaco Grand Prix. That driver was none other than the great Juan-Manuel Fangio.
In the 1960s and 70, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, and Niki Lauda all claimed glory in the Principality, before making way for a legendary duel between Frenchman and Brazilian in the 80s and 90s, as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna locked horns. Senna still holds the record for most race wins in Monaco, with six.
Michael Schumacher was also a winner of the Monaco Grand Prix. In fact, the "Red Baron" looked set to establish uncontested supremacy in the Principality, but a series of errors and technical issues limited the German legend to "just" five race wins, between 1994 and 2001.
One of the most challenging circuits…
“Driving in Monaco is like riding a bike in your house.”
The memorable remark by Nelson Piquet, World Champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987, perfectly encapsulates the difficulty of this Grand Prix.
Over the course of 78 laps of a 3.337 km circuit, featuring chicanes, a tunnel, and 19 tight corners between the protective barriers, the drivers need to be inch-perfect from start to finish!
The Fairmont hairpin, situated at the halfway point, requires the drivers to slow to 45 or 50 km/h, and is the slowest turn of the season.
It's a challenge that every driver wants to take on, but requires them to use every ounce of their talent and demands surgical precision.
There are no runoff areas between the track and the barriers, so cranes must be installed in various locations to remove retired cars as quickly as possible. The stewards of the Automobile Club de Monaco are viewed as being among the best in the world, for their speed and efficiency.
On home turf…
Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc knows every inch of the circuit better than anyone. Born in the Principality, it is always important for him to do well here. Contracted to Ferrari since 2019, he is the third Monegasque driver to compete in Formula 1, after Louis Chiron and Olivier
Other Formula 1 drivers have just a short walk from their front door to the paddock in Monaco, including Lewis Hamilton, from whom the Principality and its Grand Prix are a particular favourite.
Formula 1 set to stay in the Principality
The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix will remain on the calendar until at least 2025, under a new three-year deal between Automobile Club de Monaco and Formula 1.
Michel Boeri / President of the Automobile Club de Monaco
Who will emerge victorious in 2023, following last year's win for Sergio
Perez and Red Bull?
For more information
DR / Michael Alesi / ACM / Benjamin Vergély