Since 1950 the Monaco Grand Prix has attracted interest around the world, but just why is that? Is it the demands of the course, the venue or just the romance of the race?
The winner of the first race was Jean Paul Trintigant, and his history tells us something about the race and why it holds such a place amongst F1 aficionados. One of the longest-serving pilots, 14 years after his debut in Monaco he also won the Le Mans 24-hour race. Add to that he was a vintner and you get an idea of how the race developed its reputation!
Technology has changed
The technology has changed over the years but this has been adapted to suit the drivers giving them comfy seating, more protection and even Vehicle Tracking allowing the teams to track the vehicle and performance. This is very important as they want to learn from every race. They could source this from sites like www.vehicle-accessories.net/vehicle-tracking/.
The fact that he drove a Cooper Climax adds to the international flavour of the race. As a winner he was followed by legends Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss in their Maseratis before winning again in 1954 in a Ferrari, giving the Tifiosi their first victory celebration.
It is not only the drivers that bring romance to the race but the street circuit itself, which in recent years has been copied around the world, bringing a different kind of experience for drivers and fans around the world. Even so, Monaco is unmatched as the ultimate street circuit, making qualification crucial and overtaking difficult for the drivers.
From the drivers’ point of view, the trophy is up there with the greatest pots they wish to hold aloft. Precision, technical brilliance and bravery are essential if the chequered flag is to be reached.
A place on the winners’ list of honour puts the driver up there with the all-time greats, and a multiple winner secures his place in the history of the sport.
So far as the circuit itself is concerned, the corner at Portie is essential to having a good lap after the Loews hairpin, which is taken very slowly. After this there is the tunnel by the harbour – which drivers tend to take flat-out. Even the greatest drivers have found the barriers during the Monaco race ending their races.
The organisers know that this is a key race in the season and promote it accordingly. Of the current field, few will top Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher as five-time winners.