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  • Writer's pictureDavid Viney

The Monaco Grand Prix

Updated: Jun 24

Three-times Formula One champion Nelson Piquet famously said that racing at Monaco was "like trying to cycle round your living room", but he added that "a win here was worth two anywhere else". The circuit uses the streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, including the famous harbour, and - uniquely in Formula 1 - has remained almost exactly the same since the first race in 1929.

The narrow course has many elevation changes and tight corners; making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula 1. If it hadn't been an existing and famous Grand Prix before the emergence of the F1 competition (in 1950), it would not (today) be added to the schedule for safety reasons (if they were applying to be admitted for the first time). At the time of writing, two drivers have crashed and ended up in the harbour, the most famous being Alberto Ascari in 1955.

The Famous Hairpin at Monaco Grand Prix © Jon Wilde
The Famous Hairpin at Monaco Grand Prix © Jon Wilde

The circuit also divides opinion amongst fans, as it is a notoriously difficult place to overtake other drivers. This can mean the race becomes a sort of "procession" where the real competition is to see who can set the fastest lap time in qualifying and take pole position. But if you are actually there? Well that is a different matter. There is nowhere else in the world where you can get this close to the action, including walking the circuit in the evenings. And the setting just can't be beaten! So get yourself down there if you are in the area.

The 81st Monaco Grand Prix - 2024

The 81st Edition will be held on 23/26 May 2024. Max Verstappen is the defending drivers champion, both at Monaco and overall in Formula One. In fact, he is seeking a fourth championship in a row in 2024.

Poster for the 2024 Festival International du Cirque

The 2023 Monaco Grand Prix: Highlights

So Monaco is boring, right? No-one ever overtakes? It's just a procession. Well down came the rain in 2023 and it caused absolute chaos! As did the occasional rush of blood to the head of one or two drivers. There was lots of overtaking, tons of bumps, and a few crazy decisions. 2023 was certainly one of the better F1 races ever seen on the streets of the Principality:

2023 Monaco Grand Prix



Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing-Honda RBPT


Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin Aramco-Mercedes


Esteban Ocon


How to Get there

  • By train: Monaco Monte-Carlo station is located underground in the Condamine district, and passengers can reach all four corners of the Principality from one of its six access points. It is served by local trains (on the Marseille–Ventimiglia railway) and (in summer months) by fast TGV trains. Timetables here.

  • By car: Leave the A8 Autoroute at Exit 56 (direction: Monaco) if travelling towards Italy, or Exit 58 (for Roquebrune Cap Martin) if travelling away from Italy. From these exits, you can reach the centre in less than 20 minutes. Many locals instead prefer to use one of the three famous 'Corniche' roads which hug the coastline, have stunning views, and lots of hairpin bends and little tunnels.

  • Parking (important): Access to Monaco-Ville is restricted to vehicles that are registered in Monaco or to residents of the Alpes Maritimes region. So, as a tourist, you should instead park in the Parking des Pêcheurs car park, from which the centre of Monaco-Ville is just a few minutes’ walk.

  • By bus: Monaco is served, seven days a week between 7am and 9.15pm, by the seven bus routes of the Monaco Bus Company (C.A.M). The network covers all of the main tourist attractions, museums, the exotic garden, business centres, Casino, Stade Louis-II, and more. See here for timetables.



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