Cityscape view of Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix

Introduction

Monaco's streets hosts the best known Formula 1 Grand Prix and as well as a sporting spectacle it is one of Europe's premier social highlights of the year, with the best yachts in the world visiting the Principality and celebrities staying in the Monaco hotels such as the Hotel de Paris, the Columbus and the Grand, with many others staying in Nice.

Overview

The Grand Prix is 77 laps around the narrow, winding streets of Monte Carlo, making the Monaco Grand Prix the most exciting in the world, with little room for driver error.

History

Since the first Grand Prix on April 14 1929, organised by Monte Carlo resident and founding president of the Automobile Club de Monaco Antony Noghes, the average fastest speed has risen from 50mph (80 kph) to 88mph (143 kph).

Recent Winners

The 2006 race was held on May 28 and was won by Fernando Alonso in a Renault. Second place went to Juan Pablo Montoya, and third to David Coulthard.

2005 - Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren-Mercedes
2004 - Jarno Trulli, Renault
2003 - Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams
2002 - David Coulthard, McLaren
2001 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari
2000 - David Coulthard, McLaren

Dates

24 to 27 May 2007
22 to 25 May 2008
21 to 24 May 2009
20 to 23 May 2010

Tickets

Tickets for the Monaco Grand Prix are available via:
Automobile Club de Monaco
BP 464 - 23, blvd Albert Ier
MC 98012 Monaco
Principality of Monaco
Tel: +377 93 15 26 00
Web: http://www.acm.mc

Fernando Alonso Wins Monaco Grand Prix

Spain's Fernando Alonso moved into a 21 point championship lead after winning the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time.

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya and Red Bull's David Coulthard were second and third, benefiting from retirements.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen fought Alonso hard until his engine failed with 28 laps to go during a safety car period.

"The race was quite emotional from the start", said Alonso, dedicating the win to Michelin tyres chief Edouard Michelin, who died on Friday.

"Kimi put some pressure on me, which was quite tough, but it was good in the end. At Monaco you really have to keep your concentration and push to the limit all the time. It's a race that I put a cross against on my calendar at the start of the year, so now I have it. It's great for the team and me."

Last year's winner Kimi Raikkonen tracked Alonso closely up to their first pit stops, with the Williams never more than a couple of seconds behind.

The Renault driver was able to maintain his lead thanks to stopping two laps later than the McLaren, but Raikkonen wasted no time in getting back on to his rival's tail.

Alonso's lap times dropped off dramatically early in the second stint, allowing Webber and Raikkonen's team-mate Montoya to close right up. But the world champion speeded up as they hit heavy traffic from backmarkers halfway through the race, and only Raikkonen was able to stay with him.

Australian Mark Webber, though, was still within six seconds of the leaders - and still looking in contention for victory - when his engine failed as he headed into the first corner, Ste Devote, on lap 48.

He pulled over to the side of the track just after the corner with flames licking from the back of the Williams.

Race officials deployed the safety car to give them time to move the Williams from a dangerous place, and all the teams pulled their drivers in for their final pit stops.

Alonso just managed to make it out of the pits in front of Raikkonen, who appeared set for a final charge for victory before smoke began pouring from his McLaren leaving the Loews hairpin on lap 50 while the safety car was still on the track.

That left Montoya in second from Honda's Rubens Barrichello.

Brazilian Barrichello then lost the final podium position to Jarno Trulli after being given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, only for the Italian to retire with five laps to go and promote Coulthard, who is a Monte Carlo resident and part owner of a one of the hotels in Monaco .

The Scot, who took Red Bull's first F1 podium, was not far ahead of Barrichello in the closing laps, but Barrichello had to concentrate on holding off a charge from Schumacher.

The seven-time champion closed in on his former team-mate at more than a second a lap, and was right on the Honda's tail with two laps to go, but the Brazilian was equal to the challenge and held the German off.

Schumacher had spent a frustrating race attempting to pick his way through backmarkers following his penalty for deliberately stopping on the track during qualifying.

He made up ground quickly in the opening laps after choosing to start from the pit lane with a full fuel load, but came to a halt in 16th place on lap three when he came up behind Jenson Button's Honda.

But Button was able to fend off the Ferrari only until lap 20, and Schumacher shot off to join the back of another queue.

The Ferrari had the pace to battle for victory, and combined with his need for only a single stop, that put him sixth after the safety car's intervention, which became fifth when Trulli retired.

Button spent a lonely race never threatening to break into the top 10 and eventually finished 11th.

Monaco Grand Prix result:
1. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault one hour 43 minutes 43.116 seconds.
2. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes +14.567 secs.
3. avid Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Ferrari +25.598.
4. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda +53.337.
5. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari +53.830
6. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault +1:02.072
7. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1 lap behind
8. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1 lap
9. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1 lap
10. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1 lap
11. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1 lap
12. Christijan Albers (Ned) Midland-Toyota 1 lap
13. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1 lap
14. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BMW Sauber 1 lap
15. Tiago Monteiro (Por) Midland-Toyota 2 laps
16. Franck Montagny (Fra) Super Aguri-Honda 3 laps
17. (R) Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 5 laps
R Christian Klien (Aut) RedBull-Ferrari 56 laps completed
R Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Cosworth 51 laps completed
R Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 50 laps
R Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-Cosworth 48 laps
R Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 46 laps
Fastest lap: M Schumacher, 1:15.143, lap 74

High Performance = High Cost

The cost of grand-prix racing has been revealed in a set of figures reported by the F1 Racing magazine and it totals 1.5bn per annum. A breakdown of the sums spent by participants in F1's 18 annual races, which industry figures are said to be struggling to limit, has been revealed in an investigation published in the March issue of F1 Racing magazine.

"F1's annual spend is at a level that, in a post-tobacco world, can only be sustained by the car manufacturers", F1 Racing concludes. "And after they begin to drift away, as inevitably they will, things will change. In 2008, following rules changes by the sport's governing body, the FIA, budgets look like being much lower."

Toyota is shown to be the biggest spender with an annual budget of around £290 million, pushing Ferrari into second place with their £250 million fund. Renault, which won the constructors' title in 2005, spent £166 million.

The bulk of the money goes on engines, operating costs, research and development and team salaries, but all teams also spend heavily on travel, hotels and corporate guests and sponsors.

Toyota reportedly spent nearly £7 million on hospitality during last season, while the new team Red Bull Racing spent just over £6 million including setting up a floating 'Energy Station' in the harbour for the Monaco GP and a £1.2 million 'Chinese village' at the Shanghai GP.

At the bottom of the scale, the Minardi team's annual £29 million overall costs were just £2 million more than Ferrari paid in salaries to Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and their testing team.

The F1 cars running costs in fuel, tyres and brake wear amount to £720 per lap during testing - with some teams performing 8,500 test laps before the racing season even begins.