A melting pot of glamour and prestige, the Monaco Grand Prix is one of Formula 1’s most iconic events.
Since 1955, the Monaco Grand Prix has been ever-present on the F1 calendar, though the race’s history extends further than that. The very first race around the principality was held in 1929, and was organised by Antony Noghes, who the final corner at the track is now named after.
Once likened to riding your bike around the living room, Monaco is an event like no other. An overtaking show is not what you’re going to get in the principality, but seeing the drivers on the edge between the tight barriers in the playground of the rich and the famous is a spectacle in itself. Highlights of the track include the Lowes Hairpin – the slowest corner on the F1 calendar – and the Tabac and Swimming Pool complex, the fastest part of the track taken at around 200km/h.
A win at Monaco is often deemed to be one of the most important of a driver’s career. Mastering Monaco is no easy feat, but the drivers who do excel here are usually well-remembered. Graham Hill was the original ‘Mr Monaco’, winning five races here between 1963-69, while Ayrton Senna was also difficult to beat here, taking pole five times and winning on six occasions; more times than any other driver.
Unusually, Free Practice takes place on Thursday in Monaco with a rest day on Friday – though in recent years Formula 2 has provided on-track action on Fridays. Formula E will return to Monaco for a second time in May, holding an ePrix on a shorter layout of the F1 circuit.
For the first time since 1954, the Monaco Grand Prix was not held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Major racing events at Circuit de Monaco, including the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix, were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Automobile Club de Monaco has already confirmed dates for 2021 events. The Monaco Historic Grand Prix and Monaco E-Prix, which normally take place on alternating years, will both be held in 2021:
Train: The Gare de Monaco is centrally located on the hill behind the Sainte Devote corner. There are regular trains connecting Monaco with both Nice (South) and Menton / Ventimiglia (North). Expect your journey to take around 20-30 minutes. Learn more on the SNCF website.
Bus: Bus number 100 travels between Nice > Monaco > Menton. Single tickets cost under €2 and the bus operates every 15 minutes between 6am and 8pm. Allow around 45-60 minutes for the Nice to Monaco leg and 30 minutes between Menton and Monaco. The service gets pretty crowded on Grand Prix weekend. Click here for the current timetable.
Drive: The A8 motorway is the quickest way to get to Monaco from either side of the principality. There is plenty of parking in the Monaco football stadium in Fontvieille, but we don’t recommend driving on Saturday or Sunday of the Grand Prix weekend. Browse car rentals with Rentalcars.com
Helicopter: By far the quickest way to get from Nice to Monaco is to take a helicopter. Heli Air Monaco offer ten minute journeys from €120 per person
Due to the eye-watering prices of hotels in the principality, for most fans, a trip to Monaco will mean staying in nearby Nice – only a short train journey from the track. Wherever you’re staying, booking well in advance is essential.
If you’re going all out, Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo and Port Palace are both located just a few steps away from the circuit, with the Metropole in close proximity to the casino and Port Palace situated in the harbour area. Expect both hotels to cost in excess of €4000 per night.
Other options include staying in the smaller towns of Menton (10km east of Monaco), or Ventimiglia and Sanremo, each on the Italian side of the principality.