Juxtaposed with the glitz and glamour of Monaco is the gritty and grizzled layout of Circuit de Monaco, which has remained relatively unchanged since 1929 when Anthony Noghes, son of a wealthy cigarette baron, proposed a grand prix through the streets of Monte Carlo.
Challenge is the key word, for there is no more challenging venue than Monaco. The 78-lap race features many elevation changes and the tightest corners on the series’ 21-race calendar. It also lays claim to having the only tunnel in Formula One, which forces drivers to adjust their eyes from glaring sun to shade every lap.
Monaco is the shortest circuit in Formula One and home to the sport’s slowest corner – the hairpin turn six – which drivers navigate at a pedestrian 50 kph (31 mph) while in maximum steering lock. It’s why three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet said racing at Monaco was “like trying to cycle around your living room”. Monaco is the smallest and most densely populated country in the world, so it’s only appropriate that its racing circuit emulates the locale.
Join us later in the afternoon for the latest updates, news and results from the Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo as the qualifying session for the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel of the SF71H, ready to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull for pole position, which as usual is crucial at Monaco.