Glitz and glamour to the fore for F1 in Monte Carlo
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 May 2012   |  6:04 pm GMT  |  13 comments

The Monaco Grand Prix’s reputation as the most glamorous stop on the Formula 1 calendar is as long-established as the sport itself and for this year TAG Heuer, sponsor of the blue riband race and the McLaren team, pulled out all the stops in celebration of the race weekend.

The centrepiece of TAG’s Monaco events was a branded yacht moored in the port, where the Swiss luxury watchmaker hosted a weekend of events for VIPs and the F1 fraternity. One of these was to announce Lotus’s Swiss-born French driver Romain Grosjean as the company’s newest brand ambassador, along with the news that TAG had extended its partnership with the organisers of the Monaco GP, the Automobile Club de Monaco, which began last year. The watchmaker also launched its latest limited edition Monaco GP and Monaco Automobile Club chronographs.

France’s four-time world champion Alain Prost was one of many famous figures to pay a visit to the TAG Heuer yacht, along with celebrities from both Switzerland and France, while on Saturday evening Jenson Button and girlfriend Jessica Michibata were among the special guests and greeted by the president and CEO of the company, Jean-Christophe Babin.

The film director Ron Howard, whose movie credits includes Apollo 13 and Da Vinci Code, was also aptly among the star-studded guests with the American now currently working on the F1 biopic Rush which chronicles the extraordinary 1976 title battle between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.

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Before this year’s Monaco race I visited Monaco (No! not in person…I wish!!!) Rather, courtesy of Google Maps (satellite view) then zoom way down to street view:

Even this simple experience in itself is quite an eye-opener…to consider F1 cars going flat out through these narrow, twisty, bumpy, greasy, oily, everyday, city-streets. It is such a fascinating place and the thrill for the fans of being so close to the cars has got to be unparalleled, unequalled, anywhere else on the entire F1 calendar.

I am all for a Monaco race on the calendar every year, processional or not!


I say to all of you F1 fans who moan, constantly, that the Monaco GP is a boring, uneventful procession, please, just pay one visit to the principality during the race, itself, or visit the place any other time of year.

I guarantee, you will be simply astounded that any human being can lap that narrow, undulating, twisty and tortuous two mile circuit at up to speeds of 250 kph for 78 laps (not to mention another 30 of more laps during practice and qualification and not end up hospitalized in traction, or worse!

I attended the Grand Prix decades ago and have visited the place a number of times, since…. Nonetheless ,still, to this day, I’m completely dumfounded at even the thought of what skill and bravery it takes, as a driver, to complete a whole race weekend there, not to mention win the event 5 or 6 times in the manner of Graham Hill, Senna or Schumacher.

Watching the race on TV, I never lose fascination while admiring every driver’s accuracy and reactions as, lap after lap, they keep there cars between the barriers while constantly edging within an inch, or even swiping the armco.

Total respect goes out to all winners and podium finishers–hell, to anyone who ever made the grid during a Monaco GP. Moaners, I say, pay the place a visit and walk the race course. That move will cure your boredom forever–guaranteed! Viva Monaco Grand Prix!


Spot On, Wheels !

I’ve driven all of the track that you can drive that runs in the same direction as during the race and it’s awesome.

Driving through and coming out of the tunnel into the sunshine must be particularly difficult, even with the lights.

We’re planning on going next year, any suggestions on the best place to watch from ?

Other than Eddie Jordan’s new 155ft Sunseeker, of course.

It’s going to finished well before June 2013

How about an invite, Eddie ?


What’s up HFEVO2!!?

Hope you get this message. (sorry it’s so late) Back in the day when I attended the Monaco GP there were far less spectator stands. (All along the harbors edge, for instance, from the swimming pool to La Rascasse. That was all parked yachts in those days. Are you planning to hang out on a boat during race weekend, next year? (I took a quick look at your website)

I personally wouldn’t go for those seats on the harbor’s outside, across from the pits . The stands at Casino Square would be great, but they’re the most expensive (from what I understand) and they sell out real fast. (you, maybe, even need connections to get a couple of those spots.

I’d go for the stands inside of Tabac, right after the exit of that turn and before the first swimming pool chicane. That’s the best high performance section of the track. Or, then, try the stands inside of Saint Devote (the first corner) for the out-braking maneuvers. (only real passing spot, in my opinion) Anyway, I hope this info helps, but wherever you hang out you’ll have one helluva great time


Thanks for the Info, Wheels, very useful.

We had thought of Tabac so that’s definitely an option.

By the way, I enquired about places on a balcony and they seem to start at €1,000 per person and the sky is the limit !

We would love to hang out on a boat but even our largest Pursuit ( a minnow at 40ft and $500,000) wouldn’t get a berth in Monaco. Even had one in stock, getting it there from here by sea would cost a fortune as it’s powered by triple Yamaha 350hp. Each engine is a 5 litre V8.


I find it extremely amusing that we have fans complaining about lack of overtaking at this track yet two weeks ago they were complaining about too much overtaking this year due to the Pirellis. Therefore I take this as proof that the fans don’t have the slightest clue what they’re talking about.


Really? That’s a little harsh….

You can’t overtake around Monaco due to the width of the track and the nature of the accleration/braking zones. It would barely make a difference what tyre they used. Things would be different if there was space for the drivers to make moves etc.

There’s a fine balance between too much overtaking vs none at all. Surely you can see that when you can have dozens of overtakes in one race and then a pitiful amount in the next??? You know there’s a difference but I think you’d just like a dig at the fans….


Monaco may be glamorous but surely what really matters is the race and that is usually very processional and boring unless rain falls. It is close to impossible to pass and basically it all happens at the pit stop! Next year I will just watch for 5 mins each side of that and forget the rest of the race.


Great track, I love it. F1 should be all about bringing out the best in the drivers. That means hugely different styles of track (of which Monaco is a perfect addition), tyre management, fuel management, overtaking ability, no TC, no ABS, use of DRS & KERS etc.

I think F1 has most of that nailed at present, and if you have a good day at the office you’ll be at the sharp end of the order. Too many times in years gone by have we seen McLaren/Ferrari have a ‘bad day’ and finish 4th or 5th because of the huge pace advantage they had. That’s now changed, and it’s for the better.


I used to groan whenever the Monaco GP came on, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate the event for the driver skill. Victory does tend to go to the better driver, not the best car, and the tiniest of mistakes can have huge consequences.

I still won’t drive the track in F1 sims though. Too much stop-start for me – and in GP Legends (way back when) the Monaco track seemed to slow my PC to a slideshow 😉


Agree with you. Playing this track in f12011 is a complete mess. So will be in future racing sims.


Like I said commenting on a previous article. Monaco is mostly for the F1 circus.

It’s fab when I’ve been – for reasons such as above – but for modern F1 cars its a procession not a race – and dull for the TV viewer.

Maybe make it an exhibition event, or just a series of qulaification events – they’d be quite exciting.

Or stick mega super soft tyres that only last 10-15 laps on

Or just say goodbye to the old girl whose lost in the modern world of F1.


I think this years Monaco GP was a very exciting race. It may have been a bit of a procession at times but there was always a threat of some action at the end. One mistake and Mark Webber could have went from 1st to 6th.

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