Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most-anticipated events of the year for racing enthusiasts, celebrities and thrill-seekers the world-over. Every year, demand for Monaco real estate goes into overdrive as fans flock to the small principality to watch. But with a total of 21 Formula 1® Grand Prix to be held just this year, what is it about the Monaco circuit that makes this event so exhilarating? Below, we uncover the ten most memorable facts about the unique Monaco Grand Prix.
- Flying the Flag
The first Monaco Grand Prix took place in 1929, making it one of the longest-standing F1 racing events. It was organised by wealthy tobacco manufacturer Antony Noghes. The last corner before the start/finish line is still named after him today and it was also Noghes who suggested the international adoption of the checkered flag to end races, now a ritual in all Formula 1® events.
Special Agent Operations
The 1929 race was won by William Grover-Williams, a special agent who worked for the Special Operations Executive – a British World War II organisation – inside France. Tragically, he was later arrested by the Nazi Party and was eventually executed in 1945 at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
The Monte Carlo circuit is said to be the most technically demanding of all the Grand Prix. Despite being the shortest track, measuring just 3,340 kilometres, it involves the highest number of laps with a total of 78. It is estimated that by the time they reach the finish line, a driver will make around 4,200 gear changes.
Likely because of this, Monaco holds the record in the modern Formula 1® era for the least number of cars to finish a race. In both 1966 and 1996, only four cars made it to the finish line.
Monaco is the classic Formula 1® Grand Prix street circuit. The race takes place on the winding roads of the districts of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, which are closed to the public during the event (for obvious safety reasons!) However, this street location means those who have real estate in Monaco are in the prime position to spectate.
Despite the track’s close proximity to the coastline, only two cars have ever ended up in the Mediterranean from a Monaco Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari and Paul Hawkins are the two drivers who crashed into the sea, subsequently having to be picked up by rescue boats. Luckily, Ascari suffered only a broken nose whilst Hawkins escaped from the crash unhurt.
The oldest person to ever start a Formula 1 race was Louis Chiron in 1955, a Monaco local aged 55. He went on to finish sixth in his Lancia, only five laps down on the winner Maurice Trintignant.
The Triple Crown
Along with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix forms a ‘Triple Crown’ of the three most famous motor races in the world. Only one driver – Graham Hill – has ever won all three events, achieving a total of five wins at Monaco alone.
A Super-Heroes Welcome
In 2006, David Coulthard gave Red Bull their first ever podium finish when he came in third. Coulthard asked HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco if he could wear a Superman cape to celebrate, and his wish was granted. This makes him the first and only F1 driver (to-date) to wear such a costume on the podium.
Paying the Price
Due to the extreme popularity of the event, hotels for the race weekend are often fully booked for up to a year in advance. What’s more, rooms that are available at shorter notice are in such high demand that your three-night accommodation and race tickets could cost into the tens of thousands of Euros. That is why many make the longer-term investment of buying/renting a piece of premium Monaco real estate, ensuring a place track-side every time.
Brazil’s Ayrton Senna is the current record holder for the number of Monaco Grand Prix wins, coming in with a remarkable six. Senna’s success is closely followed by Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher, who are tied with five victories each.
The La Costa Properties Monaco team can’t wait to see what sensational records will be set at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix!