Monday, 15 May 2017

Monaco Grand Prix: Yachts, Millionaires and F1

The sight of huge million dollar yachts moored in the Harbour of the tiny independent city-state of Monaco, which adorns France’s Mediterranean coastline, is widely commonplace. It’s the summer resort for the uber rich, nothing in Monaco is done by half measure. 





Monte-Carlo, which is Monaco’s major district, is home to the world-famous Place du Casino a gambling haven for billionaires with never ending bank accounts and has been quoted as making Monte-Carlo as “an international byword for the extravagant display and reckless dispersal of wealth”





Monaco is also famous for another reason, the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, which since 1929, has been held annually through the streets of Monaco. The Circuit de Monaco takes six weeks to complete which then takes a further three weeks to completely remove. It is an incredibly challenging circuit with viciously tight corners, elevation changes all coming together on a very narrow track, again going by the extravagant and outlandish nature of this city-state a boring, easy, run of the mill race just wouldn’t do.


(Source Image: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/start_3_monte_2010.jpg)

Getting tickets to this event can cost up to £3,000 for the higher tier ‘Yacht VIP Package’, although there are more reasonable ticket prices hovering around the £50-100 mark for more standard viewing locations, either way for visitors from across the pond the trip as a whole, including; flights, accommodation, dining out etc. will not be a cheap one. (Looking at current package deals a 3 night break from London will cost £1299 which includes travel, hotel and the ticket)

It is in most people eyes a once in a lifetime trip, and of course for F1 fans the ultimate experience, forget Silverstone from the British Grand Prix, this is the track you want to see people like Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel manoeuvring those gruelling corners and narrow straights. Also for the 2017 F1 Monaco GP Jenson Button will be returning as a on-off, which will be an exciting treat for fans. 

The 2017 F1 Monaco Grand Prix will take place from Thursday the 25th of May until Sunday the 28th of May with the following Practice/Qualifying/Race times;

Practice 1 Thursday 10:00 - 11:30
Practice 2 Thursday 14:00 - 15:30
Practice 3 Saturday   11:00 - 12:00
Qualifying Saturday    14:00 - 15:00
Race Sunday              14:00 - 16:00

The track itself is 3.337km long, of which 78 laps will be completed at total distance of 260.286km, the fastest lap from the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix was set at 1:17.939 by Lewis Hamilton driving for Mercedes.



                                         (Source Image: https://www.formula1.com/en/championship/races/2017/Monaco.html)


The history of this world renowned circuit goes back to the first Grand Prix on the Circuit De Monaco which took place in 1950 ,which was won by Juan Manuel Fangio racing with Alfa Romeo. Some other notable winners include the late Ayrton Senna who won it six times, Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher who won 5 times and more recently Nico Rosberg who won the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, and last year which was won by Lewis Hamilton.


(By Instituto Ayrton Sennaderivative work: Karpouzi - This file was derived from:  Ayrton Senna with toy car.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28920168)


Ultimately The Monaco Grand Prix is a massive deal in the world of auto-sports, an event every F1 driver dreams of winning and a must for any F1 / motorsport fan to visit at least once, and even for non-motorsport fans just experiencing the sheer atmosphere and spectacle of monstrously fast machines speeding past ludicrously expensive hotels and yachts with the price tag worth more than the GDP of some smaller countries is something you cant see anywhere else.

France has a wealth of other events, museums and places of interest, if this is something that you would like to explore more extensively you may want to pick up the recently released 'France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts – New Edition' for £14.99 + P&P


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