It’s the slowest circuit on the Formula 1 calendar yet it’s anything but easy. Nelson Piquet once famously likened it to “riding a bicycle around your living room”. The challenge of threading a car between the barriers, combined with the surrounding glamour, is what makes the Monaco Grand Prix the most special race of the season.
This prestige also made Monaco one of the most secure races on the F1 calendar, but even that couldn’t prevent the 2020 edition from being cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time since 1954 that the race hadn’t been run.
The Monaco Grand Prix first took place in 1929, and the circuit layout remains fundamentally the same as the one used back then, with only minor modifications made since. Among the features to have lasted is the only tunnel to form part of an F1 racetrack, which also happens to be the fastest part of the circuit: the right-hand kink within it is taken at more than 260 kph. The slowest part is the hairpin, originally named after the adjacent railway station and now after the Fairmont hotel on the same site, which is taken at just under 50kph – making it the slowest corner on the entire F1 calendar.