Immerse yourself in the history of the five iconic corners of the Monaco Grand Prix
From the famous Sainte-Dévote corner at the start to the final straight which crowns the new king of the track, this article looks at these five corners rich in history and tribute.
The twenty drivers entered on the Monaco circuit today will have to take nineteen turns 78 times, making it the second circuit in history to have been covered by Formula 1 cars in 1950. But behind these figures hidden stories which, over time, have made the most famous of urban tracks sacred. A track on which the slightest mistake can be fatal and where the turns can pose challenges for racing champions.
The Fairmont bend
Depuis sa création en 1929, ce virage a changé de nom à maintes reprises. Surnommé la courbe la plus lente de la saison, il était initialement associé à la gare de Monte-Carlo, inaugurée en 1869. En 1958, le prince Rainier III a réorganisé la ville, récupérant des terres autrefois traversées par les voies de chemin de fer. La gare a été rasée en 1965 et remplacée par l’hôtel Loews. Le virage a été rebaptisé plusieurs fois, notamment “virage du Grand Hôtel” en 1998, puis “virage Fairmont” en 2005, en référence à l’hôtel situé en face de lui. Il est également marqué tout au long de l’année par les couleurs rouge et blanche distinctives des vibreurs du circuit.
The New Chicane Tunnel
This is the only real tunnel on the season calendar. It poses several challenges for drivers, including the sudden change in light at the exit, the transition from dry terrain to potentially wet terrain in the event of rain, and the considerable change in speed approaching the new chicane, which is one of the rare places favored for overtaking, but where incidents are also frequent. Several accidents have occurred in this tunnel, including those of Alberto Ascari in 1955, Paul Hawkins in 1965 and Lorenzo Bandini in 1967. More recent incidents involving Sergio Perez in 2011 and Charles Leclerc in 2018 have also taken place. Although the chicane has been remodeled several times throughout the Grand Prix to slow down this portion of the race, it remains a passage to watch.
The Tobacco Turnis one of the most famous businesses in the world of motorsport. Located on a fast and complicated turn in the princely route, it was the scene of a scene from a Marvel film – a fight between Iron-Man and Blacklash.
The Louis Chiron turnwas redesigned in 1997 and named after this local interwar hero – and one of the creators of the circuit. This is a chicane which was not present at the origin of the route. In fact, the Monegasque government decided to build a swimming pool at the location of the start of the Grand Prix in the 1950s, forcing the course to be redefined. At the time, the single-seaters ran along the modern start, before heading just above the Rascasse. Today, it is a popular place for photographers, particularly to capture drivers changing direction while flirting with 200 km/h.
The Antony Noghès turnowes its name to the founder of the Grand Prix. This is also where the statue of Juan Manuel Fangio is located, emblematic driver and forever the first to win in the streets of the Principality during an official Formula 1 championship race.