One of the biggest and most anticipated happenings in the French Riviera is undoubtedly the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO, associated with the glamour, fast cars and glistening sunshine.

As the Formula 1™ contingent comes to town, the streets are transformed into the most unique track of the year.  Monte Carlo and La Condamine are famous for their narrow, hilly and winding roads, many of which are closed off during the event to accommodate these powerful race cars. This is no small task, but the result is an interesting and challenging track for the drivers and a fascinating spectator event for those sitting on the grandstands and terraces put up across the city.

A Unique Circuit

The FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO is the most difficult track on the F1™ calendar with extremely narrow roads, tight hairpin bends, varied elevations and even a tunnel to negotiate. There really is little margin for error or overtaking. It is often the case that many drivers fail to complete the race, which is testament to how difficult it can be.

This year the qualifying stages and the race takes place on 22nd-25th May. The Monaco track is 3.340km long and consists of 78 laps. For the drivers there is little chance to absorb the stunning views surrounding them, even though this is the slowest race in the competition. Incredibly, the average speed is still 158km/h so this really is the ultimate test for drivers.  The top speed recorded during this race was 1:14,439 by Michael Schumacher in 2004. There has yet to be a challenger to this.

Perhaps the most famous part of the race is the harbour area.  Drivers exit the tunnel, and then need to adjust from darkness to daylight whilst taking on a chicane on the approach to the stunning harbour. There are many spectator grandstands set up in this area. In addition, the rich and famous sail their boats and yachts in to the marina. All around the high rise buildings the balconies fill up with excited onlookers everywhere you look for this much anticipated event.

A Mediterranean Paradise

The French Riviera offers incredible Mediterranean coastline in the south east corner of France. It is renowned for pristine beaches, turquoise crystal clear water, and of course a great climate. The beaches blend with beautiful marinas, palm trees and a combination of traditional orange-roofed French houses and modern high rise buildings, set in front of a back drop of alpine mountains. Anyone who has seen the televised event will know how stunning the scenery is.

As the hotels in Monaco reach capacity during Formula 1™ and many of the streets are closed due to the race, it is often an idea to stay in nearby Nice. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice offers private beach access, spa facilities and a rooftop outdoor pool, restaurant and bar with stunning ocean views.  The city is equally as beautiful as the neighbouring Principality of Monaco. Life here is also based around the sea, with another lovely marina and Promenade des Anglais situated on your doorstep. Nice is located within 30 minutes from Monaco and the race circuit, with excellent public transport links. It is the perfect base in the French Riviera when Formula 1™ comes to town.

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