Monaco GP Experience
The Monaco GP experience is one the best things I have ever done. As an avid F1 fan I know that there are some races that must be done, Silverstone, Monza, Spa-Francochamps and the crown jewel Monaco. I had already been to Silverstone in 2011, it was great, I loved every moment of it, however you do feel distanced from the action.
Monaco is an F1 Fanatics dream, you end up being so close to the action wherever you go! Even walking around the city you can hear the V8 screams echo around the buildings making the experience all the more involved (I don’t know how the V6 turbos will sound there, hopefully the unique setting will amplify the sound). Monaco is the only track where practice is held on Thursday, the track is open to the public on Friday after a couple of support races are finished Friday morning. Walking or driving the track makes you appreciate how much the camera’s “flatten” the track out. Monaco’s circuit has many undulations and as its a road for the rest of the year it ends up being bumpier than permanent circuits.
The Leows hairpin is the slowest corner on the F1 Calender, taken at a pretty impressive 40 mph which considering the dimensions of an F1 car, is very impressive. Its unique in the fact that the cars have Monaco specific suspension to allow the lock to get around this corner, its great to see the cars being get forced to handle such different corners.
Another favourite corner of the track is the first section of swimming pool, on TV you can see how quick the change of direction in an F1 car really is. If you see it with your eyes it becomes even more impressive! Red Bull cars have dominated this section of the track in recent years.
On Thursday we spent out day on the main straight, alongside the braking zone for the first corner. The view made you really appreciate how quickly cars slow down. The ticket we got allowed us access to a small area by the first turn and even provided food (buffet).
Our tickets for the rest of the weekend were on the grandstand at the final corner looking down the main straight. The view was spectacular, the drivers get on the power so early and they don’t seem to care about the wheel spin created as the outside kerb rights the car. I went down to the front of the grandstand and felt like I could high five drivers as they went past, we were literally a meter away the track. You cannot get much closer than this!
You can see the drivers moving from the paddock (which is down by stars and bars) to the track, they would always wave to all the fans whilst walking around, it seems that they love the atmosphere that the enclosed Monaco brings.
The support races are brilliant to watch and you should definitely stay and watch them. The support drivers are much more eager to pass and it creates some great entertainment. It also helped get me a better seat and others around started to leave on Saturdays support races after qualifying.
The most unique experience of Monaco is the opening of the circuit after each day. Approximately 2 hours after the race the streets are open to the public and there are party’s on the streets, it is truly the pinnacle of race experience. There’s something very strange yet satisfying to think that just a few hour ago Formula one cars where going as fast as possible on this tarmac.
A bar to look at around Monaco is stars and bars. Its any sports fans dream, there’s tons of memorabilia around the place from all sorts of sports. Its a great place and the prices aren’t as steep as you would expect. Great Memorabilia like Superbowl and Motogp signed and some of it has been used, there’s a crashed bike there. Your ticket into here will gain you access to the marina around the paddock, it also brings you to the place where the teams have to go to get to the pits. Its the perfect place to go to gain autographs of your favourites.
If watching races isn’t your thing, or you want to go and look around other places on a holiday, you should consider looking over to the Cannes film festival. Its about a 40-50 minute drive from Monaco. Its a pretty cool event, you may even see your favourite celebrity. There’s also a lot of very nice cars cruising around the Cannes area!
Now onto predictions, I can’t look anywhere else but Mercedes, and unlike most races, this will be won on a Saturday, something that you would expect Lewis Hamilton to win, Nico Rosberg is no slouch around Monaco though. Expect the Red Bulls to be much closer than before as engines will not pose a factor. Sebastian Vettel expects his team to shine, Daniel Ricciardo will look to continue his brilliant streak. Ferrari is not good enough, Kimi will struggle as he is not comfortable with the car, Fernando Alonso will continue to put his car where it shouldn’t be, but don’t expect miracles. The best aero cars will shine this weekend, personally I can’t wait, I may not be there to experience it first hand, but its still great on TV
If you are an F1 fanatic you should go to Monaco, it will be the best experience you can have. The cars are close, you rub shoulders with the famous and they don’t mind talking to you, its one of the best holidays I’ve been on and I’ve been to Disney World
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