People have a lot of reasons to come to Monaco. There are those who come to see the sights, there are those who simply want to engage in the city’s recreational activities, while there are those who come seeking for good entertainment. Enjoying some of Monte Carlo’s amusement can fulfill the last and the one preceding it. Failing that, visitors can always schedule their trip to that time of the year when the Monaco Grand Prix is held.
Racing is the one thing aside from entertainment that made Monaco famous. The fact that the Grand Prix attracts a multitude of spectators and racers every year is evident of this. Indeed, one of the first things that comes to mind whenever the words “Monte Carlo” or “Monaco” is mentioned is “Formula One”.
History of the Grand Prix and Formula One
The Prix was first organized in 1929 by Anthony Noghes. This was done under the patronage of the Automobile Club of Monaco. Soon after, the first Grand Prix was held, and the competitions went on until war broke out in 1939. The races resumed in September 1945, around four months after the war, a few years after which the Formula One category was introduced.
Significance of the Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is ranked among the most important and prestigious automobile races, the others being the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. The Prix is held yearly on the Circuit de Monaco. This circuit is laid out on the streets of the city, often in the municipality of Monte Carlo. The course tends to be narrow and twisty, often including a single tunnel.
This set up makes the race notoriously more complicated than any held in normal tracks. Thus, it takes a greater amount of care on the side of the driver, whose skill is deemed a lot more important than his vehicle’s power and speed. Hence, the Grand Prix is known as the slowest and yet the most difficult World Formula One Championship.
A Look into the Circuit de Monaco
To understand the intricacy of the race, we should start with the circuit. As previously mentioned, the Circuit de Monaco is laid out on the city’s streets. The course is narrow and has a great variety of features like slopes, tight corners, and seemingly random twists and turns.
The circuit is known to contain both the quickest and the slowest corners in racing. The Fairmont hairpin, the slowest, takes around 46 km/h to pass through, while the fastest corner located inside the tunnel can be taken at around 260 km/h. Speaking of which, the tunnel is known to add a lot more difficulty to the race. Passing through makes drivers undergo a disorienting switch from bright to dark environments, and vice versa.
The Monaco Grand Prix truly is a punishing test of skill for Formula One drivers, which is the very reason why many of them kept on coming back to compete. As for the spectators, well let’s just say they’ve just taken part in a very thrilling, one-of-a-kind experience.