The weekend of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix is one of the most anticipated by Formula 1 lovers. It is much more than a race, it is prestige, glamor and luxury . The urban circuit of Monte Carlo has been part of the Formula 1 calendar since 1950, each curve has become legendary and tells a part of the history of this sport.
Monte Carlo, the urban circuit curve by curve
First curve after the traffic lights. It is a curve to the right that gradually tightens, which makes it considered normal to see cars touching each other uphill.
Beau Rivage and the Casino
This corner is on the left and the riders arrive at a great speed, so they have to do some hard braking. Like the previous corner, this one too has a funnel effect and has no way out, thus turning into another trap for the drivers.
At this point of the circuit there is a hole, located right at the exit of the casino. The single-seaters have to sharply maneuver the steering to avoid it. Curiously, far from wanting to repair it, this hole has turned into a symbol of the urban circuit of Monte Carlo.
Named after the hotel located at this point of the circuit, Mirabeau Haute is a 90-degree curve to the right and downhill. A few meters later there is the most famous corner of the whole circuit.
Named after the hotel that until a few years ago was located at this point of the circuit, Loews is one of the most famous corners. A 180-degree hairpin where drivers must cross their arms to turn the steering wheel as far as possible and make the turn correctly.
After decreasing the speed to tackle the Loews corner, the riders return to accelerate to face the Portier corner. This curve is to the right and is located before the tunnel.
Over the years this corner has become safer as the riders have to face it as far outside as possible, where there are protections and immediately after the sea. An anecdote: in 1955 Ascari, while he was facing this curve, ended up in the sea. Fortunately they managed to extract him alive.
The tunnel is another symbol of the Monte Carlo urban circuit and is the fastest point. In case of an accident it is a very dangerous place. Here, in 2004 Fernando Alonso and Ralf Schumacher collided: he ended up with the two cars destroyed.
Created to force the single-seaters to brake as they exit the tunnel at a very high speed. Located near the port, it is the best place for overtaking, although it is well known that gaining positions on this circuit can be considered a mission impossible. Also in this chicane there were great accidents like that of Sergio Pérez in 2011.
Tabac is the most technical corner of the circuit where mistakes are expensive. It is a fast corner where the best drivers make the difference.
Chicane of the swimming pool
It’s a fast and aggressive chicane for single-seaters. For some years it has had a wider loophole but in any case there are many riders who end up colliding with the protections, taking it too fast.
Penultimate corner of the circuit. There is a sharp braking with a considerable incline for which the cars have to put their brakes to the test. Getting out of this corner correctly is essential for completing the circuit in an optimal manner.
This curve was the center of attention during the 2006 classifications, when Michael Schumacher stopped the car at this point to cause a yellow flag and prevent his rivals from improving their time.
And we arrive at the last corner of the circuit. Antonhy Nogues was the president of the Automobile Club de Monaco and this corner was named after him. It is a technical curve where it is easy to end up against the protections.
After this great tour of the urban circuit of Monte Carlo you will certainly be much better prepared next time you attend the Grand Prix.