History of Monegasque motor racing – Flux Magazine
Al Woods words
Home to beautiful beaches, luxury real estate and a harbor filled with the most impressive superyachts, Monaco also boasts a long and storied motor racing history. Despite its small size, the principality has become a motor racing paradise for nearly a century, inviting the biggest names in motor racing to its shores every year.
Even better, the principality has several places to see these races, including the deck of the yachts, the balconies of the luxury apartments and the grandstands. Come aboard for a yacht party, socialize at gala events and dine at some of Europe’s finest restaurants. Read on to find out everything there is to know about Monaco‘s motor racing history.
In 1929, on April 14, under the Honorary Presidency of HSH Prince Louis II, the Monaco Grand Prix was born. Antony Noghès’ idea was strongly supported by Prince Louis II and was made possible thanks to his motivation and the support of the famous Monegasque pilot, Louis Chiron.
Motor racing began as a car rally for enthusiasts and could only be experienced by invitation. At an average hourly speed of 80.1 km/h, 16 competitors set off for a race of 100 laps of the circuit. A Bugatti won the first competition with an average speed of 48 mph, driven by William Grover-Williams.
In 1933, competitions were a sight to behold and offered truly memorable experiences for the public. However, with war looming, motor racing in Monaco was suspended for six years.
The Grand Prix resumed on September 9, 1945 in Paris when Monaco found itself in a difficult financial situation. In 1949, the Monaco Grand Prix was again canceled due to the death of Prince Louis. After multiple cancellations, it was not until 1955 that Monaco joined the Formula 1 world championship.
In the early 1970s, motor racing in Monaco entered another turbulent period, with several events canceled for safety reasons. After the barriers were introduced, the track changed significantly. Today, the streets of Monte-Carlo, La Condamine and the famous port include tight turns, drops, a tunnel and short straights, making it a demanding but exciting race.
The years 1984 and 1993 are remembered as highly competitive decades. Two rivals, Alain Prost of France and Ayrton Senna of Brazil, dominated this era of Monaco motor racing. However, after Senna’s career ended in 1994 when he died in an accident, Michael Schumacher quickly cemented his number one position with seven trophies.
Today, the Monaco Grand Prix is considered one of the most prestigious racing events in the world, steeped in a rich and significant history.
Graham Hill is the first and only driver to have won the Triple Crown of motorsport: 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship. He also became known as “Monsieur Monaco”. after winning the Monaco Grand Prix five times in the 1960s.
Since 1929, Senna has held the record for most Monaco Grand Prix victories, with six victories and five consecutive victories between 1989 and 1993.
Alain Prost held the record for most wins for almost fifteen years until Michael Schumacher surpassed Prost’s 51 wins in 2001. Prost won the Monaco Grand Prix four times, more than any other French driver .
When he retired in 2012, Michael Schumacher held the record for the most victories (91). Schumacher also won the Monaco Grand Prix five times and a record 12 of the first 13 races of the season.
Sir Lewis Hamilton, a resident of Monaco, holds the current record for most wins (95). He won three Monaco Grands Prix.
Monaco has produced four native Formula 1 drivers: Louis Chiron, André Testut, Olivier Beretta and Charles Leclerc. Louis Chiron is the only Monegasque to have won the Monaco Grand Prix, claiming victory in 1931 at the wheel of a Bugatti.
With tight hairpin bends and scenic roads, the Circuit de Monaco has also been used for other famous motor races, including Formula E and the Monte Carlo Rally. The principality was chosen to be on the calendar for the first season of the FIA Formula E World Championship in 2015. Ten teams took part in the electric car competition, including Renault, Virgin Racing, Audi and Venturi.
Another prestigious race on the circuit is the Monte-Carlo Rally. Created in 1911 by Prince Albert I, the Monaco Rally is the oldest and most renowned rally race in the world. The Monaco Rally is organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco, with the starting block taking place on the Place du Casino in front of the spectacular Monte Carlo building park.
The Monaco Rally and Monaco Grand Prix did not come without many eventful moments and achievements. In fact, 82 different drivers have made the Monaco Grand Prix podium over the past 70 years, with McLaren having led more laps of the Monaco Grand Prix than any other team.
During the 10 seasons between 1984 and 1993, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were the only drivers to win the Monaco Grand Prix.
A British driver has not won the Monte Carlo Rally for over half a century.
Monaco holds the modern F1 era record for the fewest cars to finish a race – only four cars saw the checkered flag in Monaco in 1966 and 1996.
In 2018, Charles Leclerc became the first Monegasque driver to contest his home race since Olivier Beretta in 1994.
A 300,000 euro diamond is lost after a marketing operation that went wrong during the release of “Ocean’s Twelve”.
If you are looking for a property with a breathtaking view of the exceptional circuit of Monaco, contact a trusted professional Monegasque real estate agent and enjoy year-round access to the world’s top motoring events.