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Circuit de Monaco



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Circuit de Monaco

Automobile Club de Monaco
23 Boulevard Alvert 1er
BP 464

Tel: +377 931 52600

Fax: +377 932 58008

Official website:



3.340km (2.075miles)

Race laps:


2014 winner:

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)



First GP:


Lap record:

1:14.439 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)


Street Circuit

Total races:



Instigated in 1929, the Monaco GP has always run through the streets of Monte Carlo, the capital, and most of the territory, of the pocket Principality of Monaco. It has always been a slow circuit, but one which is unusually demanding on both car and driver. The presence of kerbs and walls require the utmost precision and there is very little room for even small mistakes.

One of the men behind the race originally was Louis Chiron, a noted driver with dual French and Monegasque nationality. Chiron last drove at Monaco in 1955, when he was placed sixth and, at 55 years and 276 days, was the oldest driver to start a WC Grand Prix. Chiron continued as Clerk of the Course up to his death in 1979. The narrowness of the track, however, means that overtaking has become exceptionally difficult.

The cynical take the view that Monaco continues as a race only because it offers unrivalled glamour and is an invaluable tool when it comes to massaging sponsorship deals. (Photographs from the 1950s show spectators looking decidedly unglamorous wearing headgear made from folded newspapers and knotted handkerchiefs!).

The romantic see Monaco as an overhang from the days when many of the most important races took part round the streets of a town which were given over to racing one weekend every year. Viewed in this way, the race has special historical significance.

There have been numerous changes to the circuit over the years, but it has retained its essence and frequently provides one of the most absorbing races in the calendar.

Two drivers have managed to finish up in the Monte Carlo harbour: Alberto Ascari in 1955 and Paul Hawkins in 1965 - in neither case was the driver badly hurt. There was a third excursion in the harbour, in the movie, Grand Prix, when Pete Aron (James Garner) dunked his Jordan-BRM.

The Circuit

Turn 1 is very tight and has been the scene of many incidents over the years. The drivers need to keep their wits about them to avoid any drama.

The bumpy track between Turns 4 and 5 means that the drivers need to modify their line to avoid unsettling their car unduly.

Turn 6 is the slowest corner on the circuit, and of the entire season. Suspension and steering mods have to be made to the car just to make it through this turn.

Taken flat-out, The Tunnel is the fastest part of the track. The contrast of natural, artificial, then natural light is a big challenge for the drivers. Track temperature is also different from the rest of the circuit.

Exiting the tunnel into the chicane is the scene of many out-braking manoeuvres. An opportunity to pressurise the car ahead, but a place where mistakes are often seen. The Swimming Pool is entered very quickly, before braking hard for Turn 15.

Turn 18, La Rascasse, is the second slowest part of the circuit with the cars running very close to the inside wall. A good exit is essential leading on to the start finish straight. High traction demands here.

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