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The Monaco Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One Grand Prix held annually at the Circuit de Monaco in the latter half of May. It was first run in 1929, and is considered to be one of the most prestigious races on the motor racing calendar, being part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

Run on the tight streets of Monaco, it is the slowest race on the calendar. Due to these slow speeds, it is run to 260 km (161 miles) rather than the typical 305 km (190 miles). For a number of years, the race weekend oddly saw Thursday practice sessions instead of Friday, to accommodate for the Monaco nightlife.

The first race was organised by Antony Noghès and won by William Grover-Williams. Graham Hill won the race five times in the 1960s and Ayrton Senna won it six times, five of them in consecutive races, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Monaco Grand Prix does not have a title sponsor.

History[]

Origins[]

William Grover-Williams at the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix

Like many European races, the Monaco Grand Prix predates the current World Championship. The principality's first Grand Prix was organised in 1929 by Antony Noghès, under the auspices of Prince Louis II, through the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), of which he was president. The ACM organised the Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, and in 1928 applied to the Association Internationale des Automobiles Clubs Reconnus (AIACR), the international governing body of motorsport, to be upgraded from a regional French club to full national status. Their application was refused due to the lack of a major motorsport event held wholly within Monaco's boundaries. The rally could not be considered as it mostly used the roads of other European countries.

To attain full national status, Noghès proposed the creation of an automobile Grand Prix in the streets of Monte Carlo. He obtained the official sanction of Prince Louis II, and the support of Monégasque Grand Prix driver Louis Chiron. Chiron thought Monaco's topography well-suited to setting up a race track.

The first race, held on 14 April 1929, was won by William Grover-Williams(using the pseudonym "Williams"), driving a works Bugatti Type 35B. It was an invitation-only event, but not all of those invited decided to attend. The leading Maserati and Alfa Romeo drivers decided not to compete, but Bugatti was well represented. Mercedes sent their leading driver, Rudolf Caracciola. Starting fifteenth, Caracciola drove a fighting race, taking his SSK into the lead before wasting 4+1⁄2 minutes on refuelling and a tyre change to finish second. Another driver who competed using a pseudonym was "Georges Philippe", the Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Chiron was unable to compete, having a prior commitment to compete in the Indianapolis 500.

Caracciola's SSK was refused permission to race the following year, but Chiron did compete (in the works Bugatti Type 35C), when he was beaten by privateer René Dreyfus and his Bugatti Type 35B, and finished second. Chiron took victory in the 1931 race driving a Bugatti. As of 2022, he remains the only native of Monaco to have won the event.

Pre-war[]

The race quickly grew in importance after its inception. Because of the high number of races which were being termed 'Grands Prix', the AIACR formally recognised the most important race of each of its affiliated national automobile clubs as International Grands Prix, or Grandes Épreuves, and in 1933 Monaco was ranked as such alongside the French, Belgian, Italian, and SpanishGrands Prix. That year's race was the first Grand Prix in which grid positions were decided, as they are now, by practice time rather than the established method of balloting. The race saw Achille Varzi and Tazio Nuvolariexchange the lead many times before the race being settled in Varzi's favour on the final lap when Nuvolari's car caught fire.

The race became a round of the new European Championship in 1936, when stormy weather and a broken oil line led to a series of crashes, eliminating the Mercedes-Benzes of Chiron, Fagioli, and von Brauchitsch, as well as Bernd Rosemeyer's Typ C for newcomer Auto Union; Rudolf Caracciola, proving the truth of his nickname, Regenmeister (Rainmaster), went on to win. In 1937, von Brauchitsch duelled Caracciola before coming out on top. It was the last prewar Grand Prix at Monaco, for in 1938, the lack of profits for organisers, and demand for nearly £500 (approximately £34000 adjusted to 2021 inflation) in appearance money per top entrant led AIACR to cancel the event, while looming war overtook it in 1939, and the Second World War ended organised racing in Europe until 1945.

Post-war Grand Prix[]

Racing in Europe started again on 9 September 1945 at the Bois de BoulognePark in the city of Paris, four months and one day after the end of the war in Europe. However, the Monaco Grand Prix was not run between 1945 and 1947 due to financial reasons. In 1946 a new premier racing category, Grand Prix, was defined by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the successor of the AIACR, based on the pre-war voiturette class. A Monaco Grand Prix was run to this formula in 1948, won by the future world champion Nino Farina in a Maserati 4CLT.

Formula One[]

Early championship days[]

The 1949 event was cancelled due to the death of Prince Louis II; it was included in the new Formula One World Drivers' Championship the following year. The race provided future five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangiowith his first win in a World Championship race, as well as third place for the 51-year-old Louis Chiron, his best result in the World Championship era. However, there was no race in 1951 due to budgetary concerns and a lack of regulations in the sport. 1952 was the first of the two years in which the World Drivers' Championship was run to less powerful Formula Tworegulations. The race was run to sports car rules instead, and it did not form part of the World Championship.

No races were held in 1953 or 1954 due to the fact that the car regulations were not finalized.

The Monaco Grand Prix returned in 1955, again as part of the Formula One World Championship, and this would begin a streak of 64 consecutive years in which the race was held. In the 1955 race, Maurice Trintignant won in Monte Carlo for the first time and Chiron again scored points and at 56 became the oldest driver to compete in a Formula One Grand Prix. It was not until 1957, when Fangio won again, that the Grand Prix saw a double winner. Between 1954 and 1961 Fangio's former Mercedes colleague, Stirling Moss, went one better, as did Trintignant, who won the race again in 1958 driving a Cooper. The 1961 race saw Moss fend off three works Ferrari 156s in a year-old privateer Rob Walker Racing Team Lotus 18, to take his third Monaco victory.

Graham Hill's era[]

Graham Hill won five of his 14 Grands Prix at Monaco. Britain's Graham Hill won the race five times in the 1960s and became known as "King of Monaco" and "Mr. Monaco". He first won in 1963, and then won the next two years. In the 1965 race he took pole position and led from the start, but went up an escape road on lap 25 to avoid hitting a slow backmarker. Re-joining in fifth place, Hill set several new lap records on the way to winning. The race was also notable for Jim Clark's absence (he was participating in the Indianapolis 500), and for Paul Hawkins's Lotus ending up in the harbour. Hill's teammate, Briton Jackie Stewart, won in 1966 and New Zealander Denny Hulme won in 1967, but Hill won the next two years, the 1969 event being his final Formula One championship victory, by which time he was a double Formula One world champion.

Track alterations, safety, and increasing business interests[]

By the start of the 1970s, efforts by Jackie Stewart saw several Formula One events cancelled because of safety concerns. For the 1969 event, Armco barriers were placed at specific points for the first time in the circuit's history. Before that, the circuit's conditions were (aside from the removal of people's production cars parked on the side of the road) virtually identical to everyday road use. If a driver went off, he had a chance to crash into whatever was next to the track (buildings, trees, lamp posts, glass windows, and even a train station), and in Alberto Ascari's and Paul Hawkins's cases, the harbour water, because the concrete road the course used had no Armco to protect the drivers from going off the track and into the Mediterranean. The circuit gained more Armco in specific points for the next two races, and by 1972, the circuit was almost completely Armco-lined. For the first time in its history, the Monaco circuit was altered in 1972 as the pits were moved next to the waterfront straight between the chicane and Tabac and the chicane was moved further forward right before Tabac becoming the junction point between the pits and the course. The course was changed again for the 1973 race. The Rainier III Nautical Stadium was constructed where the straight that went behind the pits was and the circuit introduced a double chicane that went around the new swimming pool (this chicane complex is known today as "Swimming Pool"). This created space for a whole new pit facility and in 1976 the course was altered yet again; the Sainte Devote corner was made slower and a chicane was placed right before the pit straight.

By the early 1970s, as Brabham team owner Bernie Ecclestone started to marshal the collective bargaining power of the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), Monaco was prestigious enough to become an early bone of contention. Historically the number of cars permitted in a race was decided by the race organiser, in this case the ACM, which had always set a low number of around 16. In 1972 Ecclestone started to negotiate deals which relied on FOCA guaranteeing at least 18 entrants for every race. A stand-off over this issue left the 1972 race in jeopardy until the ACM gave in and agreed that 26 cars could participate – the same number permitted at most other circuits. Two years later, in 1974, the ACM got the numbers back down to 18.

Because of its tight confines, slow average speeds and punishing nature, Monaco has often thrown up unexpected results. In the 1982 race René Arnoux led the first 15 laps, before retiring. Alain Prost then led until four laps from the end, when he spun off on the wet track, hit the barriers and lost a wheel, giving Riccardo Patrese the lead. Patrese himself spun with only a lap and a half to go, letting Didier Pironi through to the front, followed by Andrea de Cesaris. On the last lap, Pironi ran out of fuel in the tunnel, but De Cesaris also ran out of fuel before he could overtake. In the meantime, Patrese had bump-started his car and went through to score his first Grand Prix win.

In 1983 the ACM became entangled in the disagreements between Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) and FOCA. The ACM, with the agreement of Bernie Ecclestone, negotiated an individual television rights deal with ABC in the United States. This broke an agreement enforced by FISA for a single central negotiation of television rights. Jean-Marie Balestre, president of FISA, announced that the Monaco Grand Prix would not form part of the Formula One world championship in 1985. The ACM fought their case in the French courts. They won the case and the race was eventually reinstated.

Era of Prost/Senna dominance[]

For the decade from 1984 to 1993 the race was won by only two drivers, arguably the two best drivers in Formula One at the time – Frenchman Alain Prost and Brazilian Ayrton Senna. Prost, already a winner of the support race for Formula Three cars in 1979, took his first Monaco win at the 1984 race. The race started 45 minutes late after heavy rain. Prost led briefly before Nigel Mansell overtook him on lap 11. Mansell crashed out five laps later, letting Prost back into the lead. On lap 27, Prost led from Ayrton Senna's Toleman and Stefan Bellof's Tyrrell. Senna was catching Prost and Bellof was catching both of them in the only naturally aspirated car in the race. However, on lap 31, the race was controversially stopped with conditions deemed to be undriveable. Later, FISA fined the clerk of the course, Jacky Ickx, $6,000 and suspended his licence for not consulting the stewards before stopping the race. The drivers received only half of the points that would usually be awarded, as the race had been stopped before two-thirds of the intended race distance had been completed.

Prost won 1985 after polesitter Senna retired with a blown Renault engine in his Lotus after over-revving it at the start, and Michele Alboreto in the Ferrari retook the lead twice, but he went off the track at Sainte-Devote, where Brazilian Nelson Piquet and Italian Riccardo Patrese had a huge accident only a few laps previously and oil and debris littered the track. Prost passed Alboreto, who retook the Frenchman, and then he punctured a tyre after running over bodywork debris from the Piquet/Patrese accident, which dropped him to 4th. He was able to pass his Roman countrymen Andrea De Cesaris and Elio de Angelis, but finished 2nd behind Prost. The French Prost dominated 1986 after starting from pole position, a race where the Nouvelle Chicane had been changed on the grounds of safety.

Senna holds the record for the most victories in Monaco, with six, including five consecutive wins between 1989 and 1993, as well as eight podium finishes in ten starts. His 1987 win was the first time a car with an active suspension had won a Grand Prix. He won this race after Briton Nigel Mansell in a Williams-Honda went out with a broken exhaust. His win was very popular with the people of Monaco, and when he was arrested on the Monday following the race, for riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet, he was released by the officers after they realised who he was. Senna dominated 1988, and was able to get ahead of his teammate Prost while the Frenchman was held up for most of the race by Austrian Gerhard Berger in a Ferrari. By the time Prost got past Berger, he pushed as hard as he could and set a lap some 6 seconds faster than Senna's; Senna then set 2 fastest laps, and while pushing as hard as possible, he touched the barrier at the Portier corner and crashed into the Armco separating the road from the Mediterranean. Senna was so upset that he went back to his Monaco flat and was not heard from until the evening.Prost went on to win for the fourth time.

Senna dominated 1989 while Prost was stuck behind backmarker René Arnoux and others; the Brazilian also dominated 1990 and 1991. At the 1992 event Nigel Mansell, who had won all five races held to that point in the season, took pole and dominated the race in his Williams FW14B-Renault. However, with seven laps remaining, Mansell suffered a loose wheel nut and was forced into the pits, emerging behind Senna's McLaren-Honda, who was on worn tyres. Mansell, on fresh tyres, set a lap record almost two seconds quicker than Senna's and closed from 5.2 to 1.9 seconds in only two laps. The pair duelled around Monaco for the final four laps but Mansell could find no way past, finishing just two-tenths of a second behind the Brazilian. It was Senna's fifth win at Monaco, equalling Graham Hill's record. Senna had a poor start to the 1993 event, crashing in practice and qualifying 3rd behind pole-sitter Prost and the rising German star Michael Schumacher. Both of them beat Senna to the first corner, but Prost had to serve a time penalty for jumping the start and Schumacher retired after suspension problems, so Senna took his sixth win to break Graham Hill's record for most wins at the Monaco Grand Prix. Runner-up Damon Hill commented, "If my father was around now, he would be the first to congratulate Ayrton."

Modern times[]

Formation lap for the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix The 1994 race was an emotional and tragic affair. It came two weeks after the race at Imola in which Austrian Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna both died in crashes on successive days. During the Monaco event, Austrian Karl Wendlinger had an accident in his Sauber in the tunnel; he went into a coma and was to miss the rest of the season. The German Michael Schumacher won the 1994 Monaco event. The 1996 racesaw Michael Schumacher take pole position before crashing out on the first lap after being overtaken by Damon Hill. Hill led the first 40 laps before his engine expired in the tunnel. Jean Alesi took the lead but suffered suspension failure 20 laps later. Olivier Panis, who started in 14th place, moved into the lead and stayed there until the end of the race, being pushed all the way by David Coulthard. It was Panis's only win, and the last for his Ligier team. Only three cars crossed the finish line, but seven were classified.

Seven-time world champion Schumacher would eventually win the race five times, matching Graham Hill's record. In his appearance at the 2006 event, he attracted criticism when, while provisionally holding pole position and with the qualifying session drawing to a close, he stopped his car at the Rascasse hairpin, blocking the track and obliging competitors to slow down. Although Schumacher claimed it was the unintentional result of a genuine car failure, the FIA disagreed and he was sent to the back of the grid.

In July 2010, Bernie Ecclestone announced that a 10-year deal had been reached with the race organisers, keeping the race on the calendar until at least 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIA announced the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix's postponement, along with the two other races scheduled for May 2020, to help prevent the spread of the virus. However, later the same day the Automobile Club de Monaco confirmed that the Grand Prix was instead cancelled, making 2020 the first time the Grand Prix was not run since 1954. It returned in 2021, on 23 May, where Max Verstappen won his first Monaco Grand Prix. The 2022 event saw the Monégasque driver, Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari, achieve his first Monaco Grand Prix pole position at the Circuit de Monaco (he had taken pole the previous year but could not start due to driveshaft failure). However, a critical strategical errormeant Leclerc would drop to fourth, with Verstappen's teammate Sergio Pérezwinning the race. The race was delayed due to heavy rain; two formation laps were completed before the start procedure was suspended and further delayed an hour from its 15:00 local time intended start. In addition to a red flag due to a big crash from Mick Schumacher, this dropped the laps completed from the intended 78 to 64.

In September 2022 the Grand Prix signed a new race contract to remain on the F1 calendar until the 2025 season.

Title Sponsors[]

Years Title
1950, 19561959, 1961, 19641965, 19731974 Grand Prix Automobile
1955 Grand Prix d'Europe Automobile
1960, 1962 Grand Prix
1963 Gd Prix d'Europe
19661968 Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco
19691971, 1975 Monaco
1972, 19761986, 20142015, 2018 Grand Prix Monaco
19872013, 20162017, 2019, 2021–present Grand Prix de Monaco

Winners[]

All races run at the Circuit de Monaco.

Key
World Championship
European Championship
Non-championship
Year Driver Constructor Report
1929 United Kingdom William Grover-Williams France Bugatti Report
1930 France René Dreyfus France Bugatti Report
1931 Monaco Louis Chiron France Bugatti Report
1932 Italy Tazio Nuvolari Italy Alfa Romeo Report
1933 Italy Achille Varzi France Bugatti Report
1934 France Guy Moll Italy Alfa Romeo Report
1935 Italy Luigi Fagioli Germany Mercedes-Benz Report
1936 Germany Rudolf Caracciola Germany Mercedes-Benz Report
1937 Germany Manfred von Brauchitsch Germany Mercedes-Benz Report
1938–1947: Not held
1948 Italy Giuseppe Farina Italy Maserati Report
1949: Not held
1950 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Alfa Romeo Report
1951: Not held
1952 Italy Vittorio Marzotto Italy Ferrari Sports car race
1953–1954: Not held
1955 France Maurice Trintignant Italy Ferrari Report
1956 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Italy Maserati Report
1957 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Italy Maserati Report
1958 France Maurice Trintignant United Kingdom Cooper-Climax Report
1959 Australia Jack Brabham United Kingdom Cooper-Climax Report
1960 United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom Lotus-Climax Report
1961 United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom Lotus-Climax Report
1962 New Zealand Bruce McLaren United Kingdom Cooper-Climax Report
1963 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom BRM Report
1964 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom BRM Report
1965 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom BRM Report
1966 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom BRM Report
1967 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Brabham-Repco Report
1968 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth Report
1969 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth Report
1970 Austria Jochen Rindt United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth Report
1971 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth Report
1972 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom BRM Report
1973 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth Report
1974 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth Report
1975 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari Report
1976 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Ferrari Report
1977 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Wolf-Ford Cosworth Report
1978 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth Report
1979 South Africa Jody Scheckter Italy Ferrari Report
1980 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth Report
1981 Canada Gilles Villeneuve Italy Ferrari Report
1982 Italy Riccardo Patrese United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth Report
1983 Finland Keke Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Ford Cosworth Report
1984 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Report
1985 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Report
1986 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-TAG Report
1987 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom Lotus-Honda Report
1988 France Alain Prost United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
1989 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
1990 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
1991 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
1992 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Honda Report
1993 Brazil Ayrton Senna United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth Report
1994 Germany Michael Schumacher United Kingdom Benetton-Ford Cosworth Report
1995 Germany Michael Schumacher United Kingdom Benetton-Renault Report
1996 France Olivier Panis France Ligier-Mugen-Honda Report
1997 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
1998 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
1999 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
2000 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2001 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
2002 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2003 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom Williams-BMW Report
2004 Italy Jarno Trulli France Renault Report
2005 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2006 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault Report
2007 Spain Fernando Alonso United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2008 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2009 United Kingdom Jenson Button United Kingdom Brawn-Mercedes Report
2010 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
2011 Germany Sebastian Vettel Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
2012 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
2013 Germany Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes Report
2014 Germany Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes Report
2015 Germany Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes Report
2016 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
2017 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Ferrari Report
2018 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Austria Red Bull-TAG Heuer Report
2019 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
2021 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda Report
2022 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-RBPT Report
2023 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda RBPT Report
2024 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari Report

See also[]

Notes[]


External links[]

V T E Monaco Monaco Grand Prix
Circuits Circuit de Monaco (1929–present)
Circuit Monaco 2007
Races 19501951–1954195519561957195819591960196119621963196419651966196719681969197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020202120222023
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