Setting the scene for Monaco's magic

Setting the scene for Monaco's magic

There's nothing like the Monaco Grand Prix. Formula 1's prize asset gets underway in Monte Carlo this morning, and Edd Straw is there to report on the magic of the location

It's an oft-repeated cliche that if the Monaco Grand Prix did not exist and it were proposed, the architect of the idea would be laughed out of town (which, given the size of the place, would mean being laughed out of the second-smallest country in the world).

But the first staging of a race for the world's most advanced racing cars in the tiny city clinging to the cliffs of the Cote d'Azur back in 1929 would surely have drawn raised eyebrows from more than a few, even at a time when city-based races were in their heyday. But for all its absurdities both as a place and as a Formula 1 event, Monaco is astonishing.

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