I Love/Hate Monaco Because…

I Love/Hate Monaco Because…

Two years ago, when BlogF1 was in its infancy, I asked readers to tell me why they loved the Monaco Grand Prix so much. The answers were great to read, so after a couple of years and with an increased readership, I thought I’d ask the question again. This time however, to balance the conversation, I would like to include those who don’t like the race. For whatever reason, Monaco sparks passion, and now its your turn to tell others about what the Monaco Grand Prix means to you.

For me, I love the race. I’ve never had the opportunity to attend, but the Monaco Grand Prix is perhaps the most glamorous and heritage-filled event on the calendar. From the casino and its blind and bumpy corner to the yachts in the harbour, the Times 100 Rich List walking around their town and the drivers commuting from their homes to and from the paddock each morning and evening. The audience hanging over private balconies to catch a glimpse of the cars, the marshals standing so close to the cars they could almost reach out and touch them. The drains and manhole covers, the speed limit signs and lamp-posts all featuring the same frame as a 150mph machine.

The flip is perhaps the lack of action. Monaco has given us some truly tremendous races, but all too often, the tightness of the track means overtaking is a premium. Many races are won and lost the day before in qualifying, and that can lead to a monotonous parade of flash motors. I’m sure the teams don’t get on too well with Monaco either, being squeezed into the cramped pit garages with nowhere for their lavish motorhomes and PR centres. Although the pits have been re-designed this year to accommodate more luxuries, it is still the tiniest of pitlanes on the calendar.

But what about you? I love/hate Monaco because…

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12 comments

  • It’s funny, Monaco used to be my favourite, but the more I come to appreciate the sport, the less I seem to look forward to it.

    The thing about Monaco is it has things that other tracks do not, and probably will never, like the ridiculously tight hairpin, and the tunnel. It has all the history that is forever being added to, like La Rascasse.

    But like you say, the action leaves a lot to be desired. It’s up there, but I can’t say Monaco is my number 1 track anymore.

  • I was there in 2004, luckily enough to be corporate on the stand above the princess grace theatre, and the thing that amazed me above any other grand prix was the volume. I think it’s the only grand prix that is actually worth being there over the TV coverage….discuss…

  • A lot of people say the noise is the one thing that stands out when they go to a race. I think through the TV cameras the noise is not always transferred to the viewer on the sofa, but when you’re standing in close proximity to a Formula One car (let alone 20), the noise is simply, well, it’s deafening.

  • I can go with the “deafening” description of the sound an F1 car makes, Ollie. As for Monaco itself, love/hate is about right for what I think of the place. I love certain aspects of the track (mistakes are punished, things often happen due to the difficulty of judging spaces and strategies) and hate others (the “glamour” angle, the lack of overtaking or anything close to overtaking for three years out of five).

  • “Dare I ask what your favourite track is these days?”

    I’m undecided, but leaning towards Turkey. I’d say Spa, but I like to be different πŸ™‚

  • I worry about Monaco. While we have circuits being told to spend countless millions building scale models of the Sahara desert to stop stray cars contacting anything at all it seems insane to allow a race where it is easily possibly for a car or a large piece of a car to get into the crowd. Imagine a car launching over the back of another into the grandstand at the entry to Casino Square etc.

    I have spent a lot of time working on safety and my bottom line question is always ‘what are you going to do after the accident?’ followed by ‘so why not do it now and prevent the accident ever happening?’. Monaco is way too dangerous to be on the calendar and it is a safe bet that as soon as THE accident happens there will be much wringing of hands followed by enormous repercussions including no more Monaco. So why not do it now and avoid the accident? Of course F1 being F1 nothing will change until after the accident. The same as nothing changed at Tamburello until after the accident. Until Senna’s death it was impossible to make changes to the track to make it safe. That is what Berger was told after his accident and he regrets to this day that he wasn’t more persistent in getting the changes any sane person would want because the inaction resulted in the death of his mate Senna.

    BUT

    There is no more impressive sight than a great driver threading the needle at Monaco. I have no interest in the race because there is no racing there any more. The enjoyment is to be had watch the Gilles Villeneuves and Ayrton Sennas of this world going beyond the possible into the place only a few are ever allowed to visit. This weekend we get to see another of those who can take a car beyond the possible and I will spend Sunday hoping for as much coverage of Lewis Hamilton as possible because watching him thread the needle will probably be the only entertainment available during the so called race. But it will be magnificent entertainment.

    Apologies for going a bit poetic. It just happens sometimes.

  • This time last year I was enroute to Monaco. I arrived afternoon on Thursday, I was still in the bus from Nice but I could already hear the cars roaming around in the free practice … Great welcome πŸ™‚ And from then on it only got better. In Monaco you are always so close to the action … Bumping into Hamilton in the lift, into Button on the street, seeing half the grid around at breakfast buffet, getting into the pit lane without any problems, getting to the Paddock area by mistake and not being able to get out of there without the pass required to get in :-), sitting at the final turn in first row just meters from the cars – awesome …

    Not a cheap trip at all, but once in a while (or just once πŸ™‚ ) worth it !

  • I can take Monaco or leave Monaco. The prestige of the race is interesting and the history. The unpredictability of the race keeps me watching, but a normal race with no extraordinary events is one great big procession through the city. That’s what I don’t like about Monaco.

  • I love Monaco because of the ambiance, the glamour related to it, the fact that is an anachronism and because the driver that dares to blink for a second will end up in a wall.

    I hate Monaco because most times you can go get a drink and five minutes later everything’s the same.

  • Next time you go to Monaco Milos, can I tag along? πŸ˜‰

    I certainly didn’t bump into anyone at the breakfast buffet or the lift, and most definately wasn’t able to sneak into the paddock ! I need to learn from the master.

    I love Monaco because it’s a great circuit and even if nothing much happens during the race (admittedly I have never seen a race there that happened to, but I am sure it must be the case sometimes), it still seems exciting.

    Why I don’t like Monaco. Don’t get me wrong, I like the glitz and glammour – a bit – but it does seem to attract a lot of hangers on who wouldn’t know their Hamilton from their R28. They clutter up the streets and harbour for the rest of us ! And push the prices up so much that a visit for the ordinary fan means remortgaging the house….

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