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.
“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:
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.
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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