The 72nd Monaco Grand Prix

By May 20, 2014Luxury Life

The Principality of Monaco, host of the most glamorous and prestigious race of the legendary Formula 1 sport, is to open its doors to the world on Thursday 22nd May, as the 72nd Grand Prix of Monaco roars into action.

It’s been a busy month in the Côte d’Azur!
To top the series of first-class events that have taken place over the last few weeks, starting with Monaco’s 9th Historic Grand-Prix (9th-11th May), in which Jaguar, Maserati, Ferrari and Aston Martin, are amongst the household names that showed off an outstanding display of traditional handsome racing sports cars from 1952 to 1955, and last week’s 67th Cannes Film Festival (14th-25th May), attended by some of the world’s favourite personalities in the movie industry, this week’s F1 race is sure to summon another hoard of bees to the Riviera. Whether they speed over by car, swarm over by helicopter, or line up their yachts in the harbour, Monaco’s hospitality industry is in pole position as, like every year, Monaco is to establish itself as the honeycomb for socialites this season.


The Circuit
“Driving round the Monte Carlo circuit is a seriously hair-rising experience”, says Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s 2008 Formula One World Champion, now racing for the Mercedes AMG team. “It’s like the most hardcore rollercoaster you can possibly imagine!” Indeed, “the circuit is very unforgiving”, explains Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate and German racing driver, Nico Rosberg, son of former Finnish racing driver, Keke Rosberg, winner of the 1982 Formula One World Championship. Despite its relatively low average speed, Monaco is the most challenging circuit of them all and, by far, the most exciting. With its narrow streets, sharp corners, tight chicanes, hairpin turns, and a dark tunnel to surpass, every second counts, as the slightest miscalculation could ruin everything.

Mark Webber explains the Monte Carlo circuit (Play this video in Creation 5)

Scoring Pole Position
A huge chunk of the victory starts before the race even begins. It all depends on the position in which the drivers qualify. Test days and practice runs are important, and qualifying at the front of the grid in the starting lineup is vital. Since overtaking is virtually impossible, getting pole position is key if you want a chance at being the next prince of Monaco, standing on the podium victorious, and spraying champagne past the finish line.


A Brief History
While the first race was held in 1929 and was won by William-Grover-Williams, driving a Bugatti, we’ve seen some of the greatest names in sport stand on that renowned podium over the years. The top 10 drivers in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix winner’s ranking are:


20.5.monaco-51.Ayrton Senna da Silva (1960-1994)
The “King of Monaco”, who has won 6 out of 10 races in the famous Principality. After having won his first race in 1985, his five consecutive victories between 1989 and 1993 have made him the most successful Monaco driver in the history of Formula One. He was tragically killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
20.5.monaco-62. Michael Schumacher
The German race-car driver who has teamed with Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes, won the Monte Carlo race in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001. Although mightily successful, his 5 wins, out of 18 attempts, signal the unpredictable nature of racing in the Monte Carlo circuit.
The retired seven-time Formula One World Champion, regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, is still currently in a coma under critical condition, following a tragic ski accident in December 2013. While Ferrari honoured Schumacher at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix last week, a group of current F1 drivers, including Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, posed by a sign that read: “Remembering your first win with us #forzamichael.” We continue to pray for Michael and his family and hope for a strong recovery.
20.5.monaco-73. Graham Hill (1929-1975)- – Norman Graham Hill OBE
A.K.A “Mr. Monaco” has an exceptional record, with 5 Monaco victories. He won in 1963, 1964, 1965 (in which he saw his first ever hat-trick), 1968 and 1969. The Brit has left quite the legacy in the Principality.
20.5.monaco-84. Alain Prost – Alain Marie Pascal Prost, OBE, Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur
The French racing driver won his first race in the Principality during the controversial 1984 race, deemed “too dangerous to continue” and put on pause half way through due to torrential rain. He took victory again in 1985 and in 1986, in which he recorded his only Monaco hat-trick. After Senna crashed in 1988, Prost inherited the lead and won.
20.5.monaco-105. Jackie Stewart – Sir John Young “Jackie” Stewart, OBE
Nicknamed the “Flying Scot”. Stewart competed in F1 between 1965 and 1973. During that time, he won three World Drivers’ Championships and won the Monaco Grand Prix three times: 1966, 1971 and 1973.
20.5.monaco-116. Stirling Moss
Known as “the best driver to never win the F1 World Championship”. Despite his ill-fated love story with the MC circuit, Moss won Monaco three times. While his Mercedes broke down in 1955, his 1957 crash and mechanical failure in 1959 both cost him the lead. Moss was “the most successful Monaco driver of his era”.
20.5.monaco-127. Juan Manuel Fangio (1911-1995)
The Argentinian won two out of four races in Monaco. Fangio won in 1950 and in 1957. He is the only driver to have ever had a 100% record of poles and fastest laps in Monaco.
20.5.monaco-138. Nikki Lauda
The Austrian has had a series of bad runs in the Principality. In 1974, he was forced out of the lead due to an ignition problem. Lauda won the following year (1975), despite an oil pressure problem, and the year after, in 1976.
20.5.monaco-149. Fernando Alonso
The Spaniard won his first Monaco Grand Prix in 2006, starting from pole and leading most of the race. The following year he won again.
20.5.monaco-1510. Mark Webber
The Australian won two races in Monaco. After qualifying third, he won his first F1 podium in Monaco in 2005, and won his second MC Grand Prix after inheriting pole from Michael Schumacher in 2012.

Out of the top 10 Monaco champions listed above, Alonso is the sole driver to be racing this year.

Top 3 Drivers of the 2014 F1 Championship
Standing in first place, with 100 points and 4 wins, is 2008 winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton (Mercedes). 29-year old Lewis has just been named the “most marketable athlete” by SportsPro Magazine and is one of the world’s wealthiest sportsmen, according to a survey published yesterday (May 19).
Falling behind him is his teammate, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 2013 winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, standing in second place, with 97 points and 1 win. Standing third in this year’s championship is Alonso, with 49 points and 0 wins.


The question is, who will rise victorious at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix?
After a close race between Mercedes teammates in Barcelona last week, we’re sure to witness some tough competition between Hamilton and Rosberg at the 72nd Monte Carlo Grand Prix. While Rosberg aims to turn tables this weekend, claiming Monaco is his, Hamilton seeks more speed and targets perfection at this year’s race. The Brit and the German are both hungry for the win and have declared amicable warfare on one another.

To sum it all up, it’s a close race for the top two Mercedes teammates, the highlight of the F1 season has finally arrived, and everyone is fighting for the winning title. According to Nelson Piquet, triple Formula One Champion, “a win here (Monaco) is worth two anywhere else!” But, Monaco is unpredictable… and no prophecy can be made.


Rainy Conditions
The weather forecast predicts rain on Sunday. There’s nothing more exciting than high speed, tight corners, and changing tires, during a Monte Carlo Grand Prix, under rainy conditions. A little drizzle will certainly spice things up, test the drivers’ skills and will render the race even more unforeseeable.

Here in Monaco, we expect nothing less than a weekend of screeching tires, buzzing restaurants, lavish partying and, of course, a race to be won.

72nd Monaco Grand Prix – 22nd- 25th May, 2014.

Programme for Sunday 25th May 2014
07:00 – Closure of track to road traffic
09:45 to 10:20 – Porsche Supercup – Race Start (16 laps)
11:10 to 12:00 – Formula Renault 3.5 – Race Start (44 mins + 1 lap)
12:30 – Formula 1 – Drivers parade
14:00 – Start of the 72nd GRAND PRIX AUTOMOBILE DE MONACO (78 laps)
19:00 – Opening of track to road traffic


In Memory Of…
After a long battle with liver disease, Sir Jack Brabham, ex-F1 Champion, passed away on the 19th May 2014. Brabham made his F1 debut in 1955, won his first race in Monaco in 1959, and won his last race in South Africa in 1970, before retiring from the sport that same year. Brabham won the Formula One World Championship in 1959, 1960 and 1966. “Australia has lost a legend”, says Tony Abbot, Australian Prime Minister. Jack Brabham’s son, David Brabham, mourns his father with great admiration and pride: “He lived an incredible life, achieving more than anyone would ever dream of. He will continue to live on through the astounding legacy he leaves behind”. May the great Australian driver rest in peace.


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