The Monaco Grand Prix presents drivers and teams with a unique challenge, best illustrated by the fact that in 1996, only four cars took the chequered flag. One would be hard pushed to find a labyrinth of streets less suited to the current Formula 1 cars. But the appeal of the Principality is unique and winning this race is up there with taking the world title. The majority of corners are taken in low gear, but the Monegasque track is also home to the fastest corner on the calendar, the tunnel, which has such a slight curve that, for most drivers it is regarded pretty much as a straight. On the 3.337 kilometres of the streets of the Principality, Ferrari has won nine times, but more importantly, this was the venue of the team’s Formula 1 debut, in the second round of the 1950 season. The first win came in 1955, thanks to Maurice Trintignant, the last was in 2017 with Ferrari one-two with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
Tales and anecdotes are myriad here and many of them involve Ferrari. There was the first win in 1952, which wasn’t billed as an F1 race at all, but was contested between Sports cars, then Ascari’s dive into the harbour, the tragedy of Bandini in ’67, the brilliance of Villeneuve in 1981 and the magic Michael Schumacher years, right up to the one-two finish for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen two years ago.
Ste. Devote (Turn 1)
There’s no single place where one can win the Monaco Grand Prix, but there are several where the race can be lost. One of these is Turn 1, where there’s a risk of overshooting the braking point and hitting the barriers at the exit.
The harbour chicane
A key place for overtaking, as it’s the least difficult point on the track for this. Getting past isn’t enough though, because you also need to get through the chicane. It’s been the scene of many accidents in the past, including 1955, when Alberto Ascari ended up in the sea.