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Circuit de Monaco facts for kids

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Circuit de Monaco
Monte Carlo Formula 1 track map.svg Grand Prix Circuit
Location Monte Carlo, Monaco
Time zone UTC+01:00
Capacity 37,000
FIA Grade 1
Major events Formula One
Monaco Grand Prix
Formula Two
Monaco Grand Prix
Formula E
Monaco ePrix (odd numbered years)
Historic Grand Prix of Monaco
(even numbered years)
Grand Prix Circuit (2015–)
Length 3.337 km (2.074 mi)
Turns 19
Race lap record 53.822 (Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 2017)
5th variation (2003–2014)
Length 3.340 km (2.075 mi)
Turns 19
Race lap record 1:14.439 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
4th variation (1997–2002) (Redesigned swimming pool section)
Length 3.370 km (2.094 mi)
Turns 25
Race lap record 1:18.023 (Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2002)
3rd variation (1986–1996) (Nouvelle chicane added)
Length 3.328 km (2.068 mi)
Turns 25
Race lap record 1:21.076 (Michael Schumacher, Benetton-Ford, 1994)
2nd variation (1976–1985) (Using smaller, faster Chicane du Port)
Length 3.312 km (2.058 mi)
Turns 23
Race lap record 1:22.637 (Michele Alboreto, Ferrari, 1985)
1st variation (1973–1975)
Length 3.278 km (2.037 mi)
Turns 20
Race lap record 1:27.9 (Ronnie Peterson, Lotus-Ford, 1974)
Original circuit (1929–1972)
Length 3.145 km (1.954 mi)
Turns 14
Race lap record 1:22.2 (Jackie Stewart, Tyrrell-Ford, 1971)
Formula E circuit (2015–)
Race lap record 53.822 sec (Sam Bird, Virgin, 2017)

Circuit de Monaco is a street circuit laid out on the city streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine around the harbour of the principality of Monaco. It is commonly referred to as "Monte Carlo" because it is largely inside the Monte Carlo neighbourhood of Monaco.

The circuit is used on two weekends in the month of May of each year to host the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and Formula E Monaco ePrix (odd years) or Historic Grand Prix of Monaco (even years). Formula One's respective feeder series over the years – Formula Two, Formula 3000 and today the GP2 Series – also visit the circuit concurrently with Formula One.


The idea for a Grand Prix race around the streets of Monaco came from Antony Noghès, the president of the Monegasque motor club, Automobile Club de Monaco, and close friend of the ruling Grimaldi family. The inaugural race was held in 1929 and was won by William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti.


Entrance of the Fairmont Hairpin
Exit of the Fairmont Hairpin

The building of the circuit takes six weeks, and the dismantling after the race another three weeks. The race circuit has many elevation shifts, tight corners and is narrow. These features make it perhaps the most demanding track in Formula One racing. Although the course has changed many times during its history, it is still considered the ultimate test of driving skills in Formula One. It contains both the slowest corner in Formula One (the Fairmont Hairpin, taken at just 48 km/h or 30 mph) and one of the quickest (the flat out kink in the tunnel, three turns beyond the hairpin, taken at 260 km/h or 160 mph).

Due to the tight and twisty nature of the circuit, it favours the skill of the drivers over the power of the cars. However, there is very little overtaking as the course is so narrow and dangerous. Nelson Piquet likened racing round the course to "riding a bicycle around your living room". Prior to 1987, the number of cars starting the race was limited to 20, compared to 26 at other circuits. The famous tunnel section (running under the Fairmont Hotel, marked in grey in the circuit diagram above) is said to be difficult for drivers to cope with due to the quick switch from light to dark, then back to light again, at one of the fastest points of the course.

The circuit is generally recognised to be less safe than other circuits used for Formula One. Driver and former winner Michael Schumacher stated before the 2012 Grand Prix that the additional risk is "justifiable once a year". If it were not already an existing Grand Prix, it would not be permitted to be added to the Formula One schedule, for safety reasons.

In January 2009, the circuit was voted top of the "Seven Sporting Wonders of the World".

Deaths from crashes

  • 1948 – Norman Linnecar
  • 1952 – Luigi Fagioli
  • 1962 – Dennis Taylor
  • 1967 – Lorenzo Bandini

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Circuito de Mónaco para niños

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