The Monaco Grand Prix race brings hundreds of thousands of fans to the French Riviera in Monaco every year. Set against the charming Monaco harbor, spectators flock to witness professional motor racers speed through a narrow course that weaves through the streets. Alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500, it forms the prestigious Triple Crown of Motorsport.
An audience of 934,000 people watched the motor race from their televisions in 2021 — but viewing from home doesn’t provide the same invigorating experience as watching the race live while surrounded by the beautiful French culture of Monaco. Why not check off your bucket list and plan a trip to Monaco to witness the Grand Prix race in person? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about this Grand Prix.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Grand Prix?
- What’s the History of the Grand Prix?
- Why Go to the Monaco Grand Prix
- Experience the Excitement With Windstar Cruises
What Is the Grand Prix?
Referred to as the pinnacle of motor racing, the Formula One series attracts millions of fans. It’s the highest class of international auto racing, consisting of 22 cars that compete in 19 Grand Prix races across the globe. Every year at the end of May, renowned racers from around the world gather to race across 78 laps of winding streets in Monaco.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious motor racing events in the world. It’s held annually on the Circuit de Monaco, a race track that spans across the neighborhoods of Monte Carlo and La Condamine. Also known as the “Monte Carlo,” this track spans 3.337 kilometers, which is slightly over 2 miles. While it’s the shortest Grand Prix in terms of distance, the course is one of the most challenging in Formula One. It takes extreme skill and precision to maneuver corners and tunnels at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.
The Circuit de Monaco is iconic for taking place on twisted and narrow city streets. The surrounding area quickly fills up with celebrities, raving fans and even the Royal family of Monaco to witness the race. The Grand Prix weekend is a massive celebration that spans three days. Monaco is a country with a population of just over 30,000 people — in other words, an area roughly three times the size of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., must accommodate hundreds of thousands more for the Grand Prix. This transformation usually takes nearly two months.
What’s the History of the Grand Prix?
The Monaco Grand Prix’s history spans back to 1215, when the colony of Monaco was first established. Although the first race would not take place for another 714 years, the first settlers began developing the rich culture that makes the city so enchanting.
The Grand Prix didn’t start as the glamorous event we know it as today. The first official motor race across the streets of Monaco was planned in 1929 by Antony Noghes, who wanted to compete with fellow members of the Automobile Club de Monaco. There were no race tracks at the time, so they took to the roads. William Grover-Williams was the Prix’s first champion, driving a dark green Bugatti. Several more races took place on the streets of Monaco over the years, and in 1950, it was included in the first Formula One World Championship. The Monaco Grand Prix has been a staple of the F1 series ever since.
When it comes to the track’s layout, only a few changes have occurred over the years. That said, some adjustments have been made for safety reasons. Before 1969, almost nothing was standing between the race track and the fans and neighborhood around it. Today, the race track is outfitted with safety measures — 13 miles of safety rails, 0.621 miles of barriers, 215,278 square feet of wire netting and a fire extinguisher for every 50 feet of the race track. Accidents can happen on the narrow raceway, so these precautions protect the people and structures surrounding the course.
As far as surrounding observation points go, Ranier III Nautical Stadium is the one to beat. It’s stood next to the track since 1949, and is the subject of many iconic images taken during the race. The swimming pool area was modified in the early 70s to improve the racing area in front of the stadium. This structure houses fans and has remained an important symbol of the Monaco Grand Prix throughout history.
The Monaco Grand Prix is extremely challenging, and every Formula One driver wants to win. There’s a rich history of champions, some of who have won more than once. As a well-known example, British driver Graham Hill was the first to win five times from 1963 to 1969. His record-setting streak earned him the nickname, “Mr. Monaco.” This record would eventually be broken in 1993 by Ayrton Senna from Brazil, with his sixth win.
Over nearly 100 years, the Monte Carlo has become the ultimate test for the most elite drivers in F1 and remains one of the world’s most famous Grand Prix locations.
Why Go to the Monaco Grand Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most exhilarating F1 experiences. The difficulty level of the course makes an exciting race every season, and it’s a spectacle to behold while being surrounded by the breathtaking coastal village of the French Riviera. Whether you’re an avid F1 fan or a traveler passing through, this event is one of those ultimate bucket list items. There’s simply nothing like it.
That’s especially true when you’re cruising around the area on an elegant yacht with an attentive crew. Soak in the European way of life as you travel across the coast with Windstar Cruises. With us, you’ll gain access to exclusive Windstar Grand Prix events and enjoy a taste of the celebrity lifestyle. Experience the thrill of F1 world-class motor racing race day from the stands and enjoy an exclusive tour of the storied pits. Then, immerse yourself in Monte Carlo nightlife during your overnight stay in the glamorous city.
By the end of it all, you’ll have memories that will last a lifetime.
Experience the Excitement With Windstar Cruises
The Monaco Grand Prix is a highly anticipated event that attracts fans and travelers from across the globe. Engross yourself in the electric energy of race day surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of Monaco when you join Windstar for an exclusive immersive experience only offered to a limited number of guests.
Our yachts allow for access to unique destinations that larger cruise ships can’t reach. These vessels also carry a limited number of passengers for an intimate and welcoming ambiance that makes it easier to connect with fellow guests and the crew. Our crew is dedicated to providing a personalized and immersive experience for our guests.
Join us for the ultimate journey to the Monaco Grand Prix. After the race, the adventure continues across the unique small ports of the Mediterranean. Stroll along the streets of Europe, lounge on the beach, sip wine at an Italian cafe or shop from first-class boutiques. Experience all this and more with Windstar Cruises. Contact us for more information and reserve your spot on an unforgettable getaway today!