The Monaco Grand Prix (Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One race held on the streets of the Principality of Monaco. Run annually since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world alongside the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its history, the spectacle of the event, and the glamour associated with it result in the race being considered the jewel of the Formula One crown.
The Monaco Grand Prix predates the organised World Championships; the Principality's first Grand Prix race was organised in 1929 by Antony Noghes, under the auspices of Prince Louis II through the "Automobile Club de Monaco" (A.C.M.). That first race was won by William Grover-Williams (a.k.a. "Williams") driving a Bugatti. The event was part of the pre-Second World War European Championship and was included in the first Formula One World Championship in 1950. The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, whose many elevation changes and tight corners make it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. On the race weekend frogmen (divers) are employed to rescue any drivers who happen to crash into the harbour.
Brazil's Ayrton Senna has won the most Grands Prix here, taking six victories, five consecutive from 1989 to 1993, earning him the title "Master of Monaco". However it is Graham Hill, a 5-time winner of the race, who is known as the "King of Monaco"., predating Senna.
Like many European races, the Monaco Grand Prix predates the organised World Championships; the Principality's first Grand Prix race was organised in 1929 by Antony Noghes, under the auspices of Prince Louis II through the "Automobile Club de Monaco" (A.C.M.) of which Alexandre Noghes (Antony's father) was the founding president. The Grand Prix was the result of a challenge for the Automobile Club, which could be recognised internationally only if it could stage a race in the very limited territory of the Principality. The Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, organized by the A.C.M. since 1911, could not be considered as it used the roads of other European countries.
The inaugural Monaco Grand Prix was won by William Grover-Williams (a.k.a. "Williams") driving a Bugatti Type 35B painted in what would become the famous British racing green color. There is no relationship between "Williams" and the later Formula One team of the same name. The Monaco Grand Prix counted toward the European Championship from 1936 to 1939 (although the race was not held in 1938).
The Monaco Grand Prix was one of the races in the inaugural Formula One World Championship in 1950, with Juan Manuel Fangio winning that year. It was also Fangio's first win in a World Championship race. However, there was no race in 1951, and in 1952 the Monaco Grand Prix took place but was run to sports car rules. Since 1955, the Monaco Grand Prix has taken place each year and has been raced as part of the Formula One World Championship.
Notable Monaco Grands PrixEdit
- This was the first Grand Prix where grid positions were decided by practice time rather than the established method of balloting. Achille Varzi and Tazio Nuvolari exchanged the lead many times during the race and the race was settled in Varzi's favour on the final lap when Nuvolari's car caught fire due to over-revving.
- Graham Hill took pole position, and led from the start. On lap 25, Hill went up an escape road to avoid hitting a slow backmarker. Rejoining in fifth place, Hill set several new lap records on the way to winning. The race was also notable for the debut of Honda in the World Championship, and for Paul Hawkins' Lotus ending up in the harbour. A similar incident was included in the 1966 film Grand Prix.
- René Arnoux led the first 15 laps, before retiring. Alain Prost then led until four laps from the end, when he spun off on the wet track, hit the barriers and lost a wheel, giving Riccardo Patrese the lead. Patrese himself spun out and stalled with only a lap and a half to go, letting Didier Pironi through to the front, followed by Andrea de Cesaris. On the last lap, Pironi ran out of fuel in the tunnel, letting de Cesaris past, who also then ran out of fuel. In the meantime Patrese had bump-started his car and went through to score his first Grand Prix win.
- The race started 45 minutes late after heavy rain. Prost led briefly before Nigel Mansell overtook him on lap 11. Mansell crashed out five laps later, letting Prost back into the lead. On lap 27, Prost led from Ayrton Senna's Toleman and Stefan Bellof's Tyrrell. Senna was catching Prost and Bellof was catching both of them. However on lap 31, the race was controversially stopped. Later, FISA fined the clerk of the course, Jacky Ickx, $6,000 and suspended his licence for not consulting the stewards before stopping the race. The drivers received only half of the points as the race had been stopped before 2/3 of the total length had been run. If Prost had finished in second and the race been stopped after 2/3 of the distance had been run, he would had received 1.5 more points in the championship. At the end of the season Prost lost the title to Niki Lauda by half a point, the closest margin ever.
- Alain Prost took pole, but was penalised for jumping the start, and could only recover to fourth place. Ayrton Senna was victorious, breaking Graham Hill's record for most wins at the Monaco Grand Prix. Damon Hill came second and Jean Alesi came third. "If my father was around now, he would be the first to congratulate Ayrton," Hill stated after the race.
- Michael Schumacher took pole position, but crashed out on the first lap. Damon Hill led the first 40 laps before his engine expired in the tunnel. Jean Alesi took the lead but suffered suspension failure 20 laps later. Olivier Panis, who started in 14th place, moved into the lead, and stayed there until the end of the race, being pushed all the way by David Coulthard. It was Panis' only win, and the last for his Ligier team. Only four cars finished the race.
- The qualifying session was drawing to a close, with Michael Schumacher provisionally on pole position, when Schumacher stopped his car at the Rascasse hairpin, blocking the track. A result of this was that yellow flags were waved so that competitors were obliged to slow down, thus meaning they would not be able to beat Schumacher's lap time. Although Schumacher claimed it was a genuine accident, the FIA disagreed and Schumacher was sent to the back of the grid. The race proved to be a battle between Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen, which was settled when Räikkönen's McLaren caught fire. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second and David Coulthard took Red Bull's first podium finish in third.
- Main article: Circuit de Monaco
The Grand Prix of Monaco is held each year on the Circuit de Monaco, which consists of the city streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, which includes the famous harbour. It is unique in having been held on the same circuit every time it has been run over such a long period - only the Italian Grand Prix has a similarly lengthy and close relationship with a single circuit. The erecting of the circuit takes six weeks, and the removal after the race takes three weeks. The race circuit has many elevation changes, tight corners, and a narrow course that make it perhaps the most demanding track in Formula One racing. On the race weekend frogmen (divers) are employed to rescue any drivers who happen to crash into the harbour, although as of 2006 only two have done so, the most famous being Alberto Ascari in 1955. Despite the fact that the course has had minor changes several times during its history, it is still is considered the ultimate test of driving skills in Formula One, and if it were not already an existing Grand Prix, it would not be permitted to be added to the schedule, for safety reasons. To say that the Monaco circuit is an anachronism unsuitable for the race is not entirely correct as it was considered unsafe in 1929 when racing began at Monaco.
Monaco is approximately 20 minutes from Nice by train. There is a helicopter shuttle service to and from Monte Carlo, which takes roughly seven minutes. France's Nice Cote d'Azur is Monaco's nearest international airport, lying approximately 37km away. Monte Carlo can be reached by car by using the A8 highway. There are also rail links available from Nice and a shuttle-bus that runs every 15 minutes. Bus journeys to Monaco take around 45 minutes.
The Grand Prix of Monaco is organized each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also runs the Monte Carlo Rally and the Monaco Kart Cup.
The organisation of the Monaco Grand Prix differs in several ways from that of every other Grands Prix on the Formula One calendar. First practice for the race is held on the Thursday preceding the race, not Friday as for all other Formula One races. Monaco is currently the only Formula One race held in the centre of a town, so having first practice on the Thursday allows the streets to be opened to the public again on the Friday, helping ease the disruption caused by the event. Until the late 1990s the Monaco Grand Prix started at 3pm local time - an hour later than other European Formula One races. In recent years the race has fallen in line with the other races for the convenience of television viewers.
There is no podium as such at the race. Instead a section of the track is closed after the race to act as parc fermé, a place where the cars are held for official inspection. The first three drivers in the race leave their cars there and walk directly to the royal box where the 'podium' ceremony is held, a location much closer to the crowd than at other races.
Britain's Graham Hill won the prestigious race five times and became known as "King of Monaco"  and "Mr. Monaco". Hill, who badly damaged his legs in a crash at the end of the 1970 Formula One season, continued to compete, but after failing to qualify for the 1975 race he retired to run his Embassy Hill team. His son Damon Hill, himself a world champion and winner of 22 Grands Prix, never won at Monaco, although he managed 2 second places, a pole position in 1995 and was leading by over a minute in 1996 when a bolt in the oil pump broke.
Brazil's Ayrton Senna, has won the most Monaco Grands Prix, taking six victories, five of them consecutively from 1989 to 1993, as well as having a total of eight podiums in ten starts, with the other two starts being retirements, one from the lead.
Louis Chiron is the only native of Monaco to have won the race. He took victory in the 1931 race driving a Bugatti. Monaco also provided his best result in the World Championship era, as he took third place in the 1950 Grand Prix.
Stirling Moss won his first Monaco Grand Prix in 1956, but arguably his later victories are the most memorable. In 1959 he started from pole position but retired with axle failure. 1960 saw Moss' independent Rob Walker Lotus win in changeable conditions. The 1961 race saw Moss back in the Rob Walker Lotus, and he fended off three works Ferraris to win the race.
Alain Prost has won the Monaco Grand Prix more than any other French driver. As well as his numerous Formula One wins at Monaco, he also won the Monaco Grand Prix support race for Formula Three cars in 1979. The previous year he was arrested at Monaco, but released in time to start the Formula Three race, and he finished fourth.
The race forms one leg of the so-called 'Triple Crown' of the three most famous motor races in the world, the other two being the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 hours of Le Mans. Graham Hill is the only driver to have completed this Triple Crown, similar to Tennis' Grand Slam, by winning all three. The feat is rendered even more difficult by the fact that the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix both take place during May, with practice for the 500 lasting the duration of the month. Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix and the 2000 Indianapolis 500, is the only driver active in 2006 who has won two legs of the title.
In awarding its first Gold medal for motor sport to Prince Rainier III, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) characterised the Monaco Grand Prix as contributing "an exceptional location of glamour and prestige" to motor sport and this view is often repeated by journalists and companies promoting holiday packages for the Grand Prix. It has been run under the patronage of three generations of Monaco's royal family: Louis II, Rainier III and Albert II, all of whom have taken a close interest in it. A large part of the principality's income comes from tourists attracted by the warm climate and the famous casino, but it is also a tax haven and is home to many millionaires, including several Formula One drivers.
Monaco has produced only three native Formula One drivers, Louis Chiron, André Testut and Olivier Beretta, but its tax status has made it home to many drivers over the years, including Gilles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna. Of the 2006 Formula One contenders, several have property in the principality, including Jenson Button and David Coulthard, who is part owner of a hotel there. Because of the small size of the town and the location of the circuit, drivers whose races end early can usually get back to their apartments in minutes. Ayrton Senna famously retired to his apartment after crashing out of the lead of the 1988 race.
Winners of the Monaco Grands PrixEdit
Repeat Winners (Drivers who have won more than once)Edit
|Number of Wins||Driver||Years Won|
|6||Ayrton Senna||1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993|
|5||Graham Hill||1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969|
|Michael Schumacher||1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001|
|4||Alain Prost||1984, 1985, 1986, 1988|
|3||Stirling Moss||1956, 1960, 1961|
|Jackie Stewart||1966, 1971, 1973|
|Nico Rosberg||2013, 2014, 2015|
|2||Juan Manuel Fangio||1950, 1957|
|Maurice Trintignant||1955, 1958|
|Niki Lauda||1975, 1976|
|Jody Scheckter||1977, 1979|
|David Coulthard||2000, 2002|
|Fernando Alonso||2006, 2007|
|Mark Webber||2010, 2012|
Repeat Winners (Contructors) Edit
- Only Formula One championship races count; embolded teams are still competing in the Formula One championship
|Number of Wins||Constructor||Years Won|
|15||McLaren|| 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990,|
1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002,
2005, 2007, 2008
|8||Ferrari|| 1955, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1997,|
|7||Lotus|| 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974,|
|5||British Racing Motors||1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1972|
|3||Cooper||1958, 1959, 1962|
|Williams||1980, 1983, 2003|
|Red Bull||2010, 2011, 2012|
|Mercedes||2013, 2014, 2015|
By Year Edit
A dark background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Why not a Grand Prix in Monte Carlo?
- ↑ Super Aguri Inside Race Report:Monaco
- ↑ Ayrton Senna - Formula One McLaren Assist Point
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Complete Encyclopedia of Formula One, Page 262 Line 10 Carlton Books Ltd. ISBN 185868515X
- ↑ Graham Hill – All rounder extraordinary www.forix.com Retrieved 23 August 2006
- ↑ Henry, Alan (1985) "Brabham, the Grand Prix Cars" p. 237 Osprey ISBN 0905138368 Henry lists Pironi as having stopped with electrical trouble, but the official results show that the Ferrari driver ran out of fuel.
- ↑ The Chequered Flag Page 320, Lines 55-56 Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0297835505
- ↑ Derek Allsop Designs on Victory: On The Grand Prix Trail With Benetton. Page 109, Line 34-35 Hutchinson. ISBN 0091783119
- ↑ The Official Formula 1 Website 
- ↑ Derek Allsop Designs on Victory: On The Grand Prix Trail With Benetton. Page 96, Line 4-6 Hutchinson. ISBN 0091783119
- ↑ Monaco Grand Prix: Circuit Stats and Facts Cars.GrandPrix.com. Retrieved 23 August 2006
- ↑ GrandPrix.com Drivers: Paul Hawkins
- ↑ GrandPrix.com Drivers: Alberto Ascari
- ↑ In the Driving Seat Page 32, Lines 8-10 Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0091738180
- ↑ La Vie Automobile magazine, 25 April 1929
- ↑ Jean-Michel Desnoues; Patrick Camus & Jean-Marc Loubat Formula 1 99 Page 121, Line 6-8. Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1852916060
- ↑ Circuit Guide: Monaco Formula1.com. Retrieved 23 August 2006
- ↑ The Complete Encyclopedia of Formula One, Page 262 Lines 8-9 Carlton Books Ltd. ISBN 185868515X
- ↑ Alain Prost - Life in the Fast Lane, Page 36 Lines 1-5, Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0091744717
- ↑ 2003 Monaco Grand Prix diary www.usgpindy.com Retrieved 23 August 2006
- ↑ 2003 Monaco Grand Prix postscript www.usgpindy.comRetrieved 23 August 2006
- ↑ His Serene Highness Prince Rainier of Monte Carlo awarded the first FIA Gold Medal for Motor Sport. www.fia.com Retrieved 31 August 2006
- ↑ To the Monaco Grand Prix, by sea. travel.timesonline.co.uk Retrieved 31 August 2006
- ↑ Monaco Grand Prix. www.sportabroad.co.ukRetrieved 31 August 2006
- ↑ André Testut www.f1db.com Retrieved 31 August 2006. F1db identifies Testut as Monagasque, although he was born in Lyons, France.
- ↑ Scotch beef No.1 formula for Riviera restrauteurs www.scotland.gov.uk
- ↑ Ayrton Senna: The McLaren and Williams years www.motorsport.comRetrieved 31 August 2006
- Destination Guide: Monaco Formula1.com. Retrieved 23 August 2006
All race results are taken from:
- Monaco Grand Prix
- Automobile Club de Monaco
- Monaco Grand Prix Statistics
- Posters and photos of Monaco Grand Prix
- Satellite Map of Monaco Grand Prix track
- Monte Carlo formula 1 statistics
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