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The Monaco Grand PrixBack

MonacoThe Monaco Grand Prix is the next race on the Formula 1 calendar and will be held on the streets of Monaco between 21-24th May. In celebration of this iconic racing event, Trusted Dealers takes a look at the history and the facts surrounding the highly prestigious Monaco Grand Prix.

The history

Monaco is home to one of the most famous tracks on the Grand Prix circuit and the race has been running since 1929. Since the start of the modern Formula 1 Word Championship in 1950, the event has been held every year without interruption since 1955. Despite several revisions of the track over the years, remarkably the circuit has retained its basic layout from 1929! The last major change to the circuit came in 2004 when a permanent pit was erected in the swimming pool section of the track.

Monaco2The Monaco Grand Prix is widely considered one of the most important and prestigious car races in the world. Alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it forms the Triple Crown of Motorsport and is well attended by spectators and a vast amount of celebrities, all keen to catch a piece of the action in this famous, iconic setting.

The circuit is a narrow course laid out within the streets of Monaco and there are many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel to contend with. In fact, the race is one of the most demanding in the championship and a huge challenge for F1 drivers, not to mention the dangers of competing in the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA’s mandated 305 kilometres (190 miles) minimum race distance.

The tight and twisty layout of the Monaco circuit presents a unique challenge – Nelson Piquet famously compared driving at Monaco to ‘riding a bicycke around your living room’. Overtaking on the track is virtually impossible – there’s no room for error.

Monaco5Previous winners

The late Ayrton Senna currently holds the record for the most wins at the Monaco Grand Prix with six wins achieved over his career including five consecutive wins between 1989 and 1993. His most famous performance was in the rain-soaked 1984 race when he went on the achieve the title despite fears for the F1 driver’s safety.

Graham Hill also took five of his fourteen F1 wins at Monaco between 1963-1969, as did Michael Schumacher who took his five victories between 1994 and 2001. Alain Prost won four times in the 1980s and Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart each won three times.

Our very own Lewis Hamilton, who is currently storming the leader board at this year’s Formula 1 Championship, has only ever won the Monacao Grand Prix once in 2008 when he triumphed over Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa to claim the victory, despite wet conditions and a collision with a barrier in the early running. Now, having won 3 out of the 5 Grand Prix races in 2015, we’ve got all our fingers crossed he can clinch the Monaco title once again this year.

Monaco3Famous facts

  • Monaco holds the all-time record in modern F1 history for the least number of cars to finish a race – only four cars saw the chequered flag at Monaco in both 1966 and 1996 which saw unlikely winners such as Olivier Panis in a Ligier become the winner of the 1996 race.
  • Drivers must change gear 54 times per lap at Monaco, meaning there are more than 4,200 gear changes over the course of the race.
  • Just 42 percent of the lap is spent at full throttle, with the longest period of full-throttle running a mere eight seconds.
  • The oldest person to ever start a Formula 1 race was Louis Chiron, a local, who competed in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. He was 55 years old and went on to finish sixth in The Monaco circuit is the shortest Grand Prix track at just 3.340 kilometres.
  • The race distance of 260.520 km is the shortest of the season yet there are 78 laps – the most laps of any Grand Prix circuit.
  • McLaren have scored the most victories at the Monaco race with 15 wins.
  • Qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix is crucial as overtaking during a race proves very difficult.

Posted by Leana Kell on 13/05/2015