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Why The Monaco GP Race Is The Jewel In The F1 Crown

By raccars Published

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This weekend sees the Formula 1 juggernaut roll into the tiny principality of Monaco. But what makes it so special?

The Monaco Grand Prix - even the mere mention of the race sees the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. Not only is it the most evocative event on the motorsport calendar, it's arguably one of the most illustrious in world sport. Monaco is to Formula 1 what Wimbledon is to tennis and what Royal Ascot is to horse racing.

This weekend the eyes of the world will once again gaze upon this tiny principality nestled beautifully between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains that rise majestically behind it. The peace and serenity will be shattered as the Formula 1 juggernaut comes rolling into town. It's time for the Monaco GP, baby.

But what makes the Monaco GP so special? Even the most hardened of Formula 1 critics will find it hard not to get soaked in by the glamour and sheer spectacle of the world's most famous race.

For many fans it's all about the escapism. For one weekend the race is almost upstaged by what's going on around it. Put aside the stunning scenery and architecture for a second and get lost in the sight of some of the world's biggest superyachts moored just yards from the race circuit.

It's also where the rich, famous and beautiful people come to play - where else can you feast your eyes on bronzed and toned women sunbathing a few feet away from the F1 cars screaming around the two mile track? And at night, you get the opportunity to mingle with these people as the circuit transforms into a boulevard for the great and the good.

And then there's the race itself - so steeped in history. A place where Formula 1 greats have engaged in epic duels and the most courageous street fighting ever seen. Make your name at Monaco and you will have earned your place in Formula 1 folklore.

Just look through the list of winners - Moss, Fangio, Hill, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna and Schumacher - to name but a few. One name stands head and shoulders above the rest - the late and great, Ayrton Senna.

In winning six races, Ayrton Senna still holds the record for the most Monaco victories, including five consecutive wins between 1989 and 1993. Senna owned the Monaco GP - something which in itself helps to propel the street race higher than any other event.

Who can forget the fearless performance of Ayrton Senna at a rain-drenched Grand Prix in 1984. Despite the controversial end, everyone who witnessed that race knew they had just seen the birth of a Formula 1 legend. The rest, as they say, is history.

But it's the events that unfolded during the 1992 race that encapsulate all that is great about Monaco. The duel between Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna will live long in the memories of F1 fans. Leading from the start, Mansell was forced into a pit stop on lap 70, giving Ayrton Senna the lead.

Mansell emerged behind the Brazilian and, in a display of supreme talent, managed to cut Senna's lead from 5.2 to 1.9 seconds - in just two laps. And yet, despite Mansell's best efforts, he was unable to take the lead, giving Senna the victory.

It's exhausting even thinking about it, so just think what it's like for the drivers - 78 laps of total concentration. No margin for error - you make a mistake, you're in the barrier. The Monaco GP is an unforgiving and impatient mistress.

What makes it great? It's genuinely hard to put a finger on one single factor. So instead we'll leave you with some of the names you'll be hearing this weekend - Saint Devote, Casino, Mirabeau, Tabac and La Rascasse. If that doesn't set the adrenaline pumping, nothing will. And we haven't even mentioned the tunnel...

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