How Much Do You Know About the Monaco Grand Prix?

By: Steven Symes
Image: FORMULA 1

About This Quiz

No man is an island, but one of the greatest races in motorsports history takes place on an island, stretching man and machine to the extreme. 

If the Monaco Grand Prix were proposed today, it would never be allowed under FIA regulations. And yet, it arguably is considered one of the most, if not the most, important races in the Formula One World Championship. it's been a part of the racing action since the 1950s, unlike some Grands Prix that are sometimes included, yet other seasons aren't. People watch the race in big numbers on television, while being able to see it in person is expensive, to say the least. 

There are other road courses in the F1 World Championship, but few make drivers and constructors push the limits of their capabilities quite like Monaco. Part of the reason why is the narrow streets on the island, and the fact that they snake about while gaining and losing elevation quickly. There really is no other circuit quite like it. 

Strap in, fire up the engine and make sure your tires are warm. Take this quiz now to see what you really know about the Monaco Grand Prix. 

What racing competition is the Monaco Grand Prix a part of?

It didn't start out as part of Formula One and the course wouldn't qualify to be included under current guidelines, but it's one of the most celebrated and watched F1 races.

What course is the race held on?

This tight, fast race is one of the most popular in the Formula One season and is steeped in history.

When there aren't racers, what purpose does the course serve?

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the few Formula One races held on public roads, and these are particularly narrow, with tight turns and sudden elevation changes to make the course extra challenging.

What was the first year the Monaco Grand Prix was held?

Antony Noghes was responsible for organizing this first race, with the blessing of Prince Louis II, using his presidency in the Automobile Club de Monaco to attract the necessary participation.

How long is the circuit?

The circuit is pretty short, but racers must go around it a total of 78 times. The standing record for the race was set by Max Verstappen in 2018 at 1 hour 14 minutes and 26 seconds.

How many turns are included in the circuit?

Many of those turns are particularly tight and challenging. The circuit also contains three sectors and a speed trap.

What modification must race organizers perform to the streets before each race?

Thanks to the precision required for this circuit, teams tune the aerodynamics on the cars for maximum downforce, which would be enough to suck the manhole covers right out of the road.

What turn on the circuit is considered the slowest in Formula One racing?

Named after the Fairmont Hotel, which sits over the famous tunnel section, drivers negotiate this hairpin at about 30 mph.

What kind of section of the track is the tunnel?

The Monaco Grand Prix is known for requiring extreme precision and patience, because there are precious few flat-out sections on the track.

How quickly do drivers take the turn in the tunnel?

This turn, which in reality is a kink, allows drivers to take it quickly, making it one of the fastest turns in F1 racing.

How many times did Michael Schumacher win the Monaco Grand Prix?

Schumacher won the race in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001, but also was hit by Montoya in 2004 in what was a controversial outcome.

What driver is nicknamed "Mr. Monaco"?

In his time, Hill was the only driver to have claimed five victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, earning him that nickname.

Who currently holds the record for the most Monaco wins?

Senna has won the Monaco Grand Prix six times, which is quite the accomplishment.

What was one modification made to the circuit for the 2004 season?

Monaco is a little difficult to see, unless you pay a ton to rent a yacht or hotel with a balcony view, so this addition was much-needed. A new pit complex was also added.

What controversial move did Michael Schumacher make in the Rascasse corner?

The Rascasse corner is a 135-degree right-hand turn that Schumacher appeared to deliberately stop in during the qualify round in 2006, blocking Webber and Alonso behind him.

What day of the week is the practice session for the race held?

Other Grands Prix have the practice session on the Friday before the race, but it's different for Monaco so residents can use the roads on Friday.

What challenge does the tunnel bring?

Drivers struggle to have their vision change as they enter and then exit the dark tunnel, especially since a tricky chicane is on the other side of it.

What unusual element was introduced to the race in 1972?

Thanks to Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One Constructors Association was successfully able to push for more racers, ballooning it from the usual 16 to 26. That number went down to 18 two years later.

Traditionally, where has the podium ceremony taken place?

Organizers close down a section of the track near the royal box and drivers park their cars there, then walk over for the ceremony, quite unlike other races.

How long does it take to set the circuit up?

It's a long process transforming public roads into a race circuit, but organizers have a lot of practice.

The Monaco Grand Prix is unofficially part of what grouping of three motorsport races?

If you can win in Monaco, plus the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, you've earned the crown.

When is the race held each year currently?

You can easily remember when the Monaco Grand Prix is by looking at a calendar and finding the last Sunday in May. This should stay consistent until 2020.

Why do so many Formula One drivers call Monaco home?

You'd think the big draw to living in Monaco is getting to know the circuit well, but while that does present a benefit, the fact that tax laws are looser on the island is the big draw.

What was the first year Armco barriers were used along the course?

The barriers were put in place as a way to boost safety, because before then race conditions were almost exactly the same as what civilians faced when using the roads every day.

When was a podium finally built for the race?

The old custom of going to the royal box for the podium ceremony was finally ditched in favor of a proper podium.

Who is the only driver to have won the Triple Crown?

Graham Hill, the legendary British driver, is the only one to have not only won in Monaco, but also taken the checkered flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500.

How long does the tear-down process for the circuit take?

Taking everything down and restoring the circuit to just the way it was before takes half the setup time.

What happened to Paul Hawkins' Lotus during the 1965 race?

It was the second and last time such a thing has ever happened. Hawkins crashed during lap 79 of the race.

Formula One races have been held in Monaco continuously since what year?

In the first few years Formula One didn't hold the Monaco Grand Prix each year, but that changed stated in 1955 and it has remained a constant fixture of the World Championship since.

What happened to the first scheduled Formula One race at the circuit?

Thanks to the death of Prince Louis II, the first F1 race that was scheduled in Monaco had to be canceled. Fortunately, the race in 1950 went off without a hitch.

Who is the only native of Monaco to have won the race?

Chiron took the checkered flag in 1931 from behind the wheel of a Bugatti.

What was the real reason for establishing the circuit?

FIA required that for a club to get national status, it had to have at least one major motorsport event exclusively in the country's boundaries, and so the Monaco Grand Prix was born.

What criticism did Hamilton and Alonso bring up for the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018?

Thanks to the many tight turns and few straightaways, the two drivers felt the Monaco Grand Prix was boring and overrated, drawing the ire of many fans for saying so.

What two times was the Monaco called the European Grand Prix?

Back in the day, calling a Grand Prix race once a year the European Grand Prix was an honorary thing, but the practice has since been abandoned.

What FIA mandate does the Monaco Grand Prix not adhere to?

FIA requires races to be at least 190 miles or 305 kilometers long, but this one has been grandfathered in, so it's the exception.

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