Grand Prix de Monaco
Monaco; Formula One’s showcase event and the jewel in its crown. Magnet for global superstars with film stars, rock stars and billionaires on every boat, Formula One motorhome, restaurant table and, of course, the Casino. The glitterati are everywhere and so is the world’s media and paparazzi.
The Grand Prix de Monaco is quite simply THE race on the Formula One calendar and is one of the must-attend events on your bucket list; whether you like motor arcing or not. It is more than a race; Monaco is Hollywood from start to finish. Indeed, it is a Who’s Who of the film world with thespians at the Cannes Film Festival one week and Monaco for the race, the next.
It is easy to forget that the reason for being in the Principality is a motor race but this year sees the 72nd running of the prestigious event. With Lewis Hamilton dominating the Championship with four wins out of five, his team-mate Nico Rosberg will be looking to repeat last year’s win round the famous streets and wrestle the Championship lead back from the Britain. Both have won in Monaco before but have a long way to go before breaking the records of race victories by Graham Hill, known as ‘Mr Monaco”, and Michael Schumacher with five wins and Ayrton Senna with six.
Mercedes have a good record in Monaco with four wins, albeit three in the pre-war era, but it is McLaren that dominates the number of wins with 15. The Woking team will be desperate to add a sixteenth although current form would suggest this will be unlikely.
First run in 1929, the race is unusual in that practice starts on Thursday with Friday being a non-F1 day in recognition of Ascension Day. Qualifying is as usual on Saturday as is the race on Sunday.
For many of the drivers it is their “home” Grand Prix; the Principality has traditionally been the home to many Formula One drivers over the years. Ayrton Senna famously went home after crashing in the 1988 event and only reemerged a day later to tell the team what had happened!
This year’s race takes place in the week that the sport lost one of its most prolific and famous World Champions. Sir Jack Brabham passed away in his native Australia on the 19th. He won round the streets of Monte Carlo in 1959 and was the first, and only, driver to win a World Championship title in a car carrying his own name and of his own design and construction. He will be remembered in Bahrain as one of the 18 World Champions who attended the 60th Anniversary celebrations of Formula 1 at BIC in 2010.
Yallabahrain will bring you up-dates and end of day reports throughout the weekend.