Monaco is synonymous with superyachts, supermodels and supercars – and this week the chances of seeing a surplus of all three will be raised considerably when the 2018 Monaco Formula 1® Grand Prix rolls into town.
The electrifying race, which is widely considered the most exciting of the season, will take place on Sunday, May 27, with a number of other competitions being held on the iconic street circuit in the run-up to the main race.
Monaco, the second smallest state in the world after the Vatican City, is already gearing up for its biggest event of the year, with hotel capacity full to bursting and a huge number of Monaco Grand Prix helicopter transfers to the Principality booked.
Monaco Historic Grand Prix sets the scene
In fact, Monaco has been buzzing since the biennial Monaco Historic Grand Prix was held on the very same race track earlier this month. The weekend was attended by a record 40,000 spectators who came to watch the classic cars race around the circuit despite the inclement weather.
The evocative event is traditionally held two weeks before the modern Formula 1® Grand Prix and sees the classic car world descend on Monaco for some high-speed historic racing at the invitation of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM).
Formula 1®’s most daring race track?
The first Monaco Grand Prix was held in 1929, and quickly got a name for itself as one of the most daring of races due to the number of sharp bends or chicanes in the city-based circuit.
Perhaps the most challenging and famous bend of all is La Rascasse where drivers have to navigate a 180-degree bend in full view of crowds standing tantalizingly close on apartment terraces and superyachts moored in Monaco’s beautiful Port Hercules.
The racing cars roar around the gruelling circuit for a mind-boggling 78 laps, covering a total distance of 260km in a sovereign city-state which measures just 2km squared.
What’s new for the 2018 race?
This season, fans are rejoicing that the volume has been turned back up on the race cars and the new “halo” cockpit protection has made the sport even more secure for the drivers. For this race, in particular, the ACM has resurfaced around 40% of the track and extended the barrier at St Dévote by six metres for increased safety.
Local crowds have a new face to cheer for too. At 20 years old, Charles LeClerc is 100% Made in Monaco and racing in his first home Grand Prix for Sauber.
The beloved “grid girls” who accompany the drivers in the countdown to the race will now be known as “fan messengers” and will deliver selected messages from the spectators to the drivers. For the first time, they will be joined on the starting grid by a dozen lucky children, as well as the Prince’s Guards who will play the Monaco national anthem before the big race gets underway.
If you are attending the famous Formula 1® race, or one of the many parties that make Monaco the place to be seen this weekend, and would like to arrive in style, book your Monaco Grand Prix helicopter service from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to Monaco with Monacair today.