Why Monaco is still F1's most vital race

Why Monaco is still F1's most vital race

Cooked up in the late 1920s by a cigarette magnate to put the Principality on the international racing map, the Monaco Grand Prix is just as important today as it was then, writes STUART CODLING. So what is it that draws us back to an experience one world champion - who never won there - likened to riding a bicycle around your living room?

The driving challenge

"You have to feel you own the road"

Clinging like a limpet to a rocky hillside between two cliffs, Monaco is half the size of New York's Central Park and ranked among the least suitable venues on earth to host a motor race even when top-flight racing engines mustered little more than 100bhp. For race founder Antony Noghes it was a matter of pride: the forerunner of the FIA had bounced the Automobile Club de Monaco's membership application because it didn't host an international event within its borders. Noghes spent weeks walking the streets to come up with a layout that would enable him to host such a race and put one over on the governing body, which he did in 1929.

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