#12STRangeFacts About Monaco

#12STRangeFacts About Monaco

May 24, 2017

Driving a Formula 1 car around the streets of Monaco has been described as being as difficult as riding a bicycle around your bathroom. But with one in three Monegasque citizens being classed as millionaires, perhaps there are some very big bathrooms in the Principality, where one could indeed ride a bicycle. That is just a guess, but here are 12 strange facts about Monaco, in the year of our STR12 car.


1. As an Italian team, we tend to refer to this race as the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. Why? Because in Italian, the city the rest of the world knows as Munchen or Munich, we call Monaco. In Italian, the word "monaco" also means a monk or friar.

2. A new part of Monaco is being built in Sicily. Or at least, Sicily is coming to Monaco in the shape of hundreds of thousands of tons of sand imported from the island, being used to create more dry land in the tiny principality. Work began a few months ago to reclaim 6 hectares from the sea in a project that will take almost a decade to complete and cost around 2 billion Euros.

3. Monaco has more police per head of population than any other country in the world.

4. Many of the F1 drivers live here in Monaco. When Ayrton Senna threw away certain victory in the 1988 race, by crashing at Portier, he went missing, until he was eventually found, inconsolable, in his own apartment not far from the track.

5. During GP week, the population of this the second smallest state in the world after the Vatican, increases dramatically. But even during the rest of the year, around 50,000 people from neighbouring France and Italy come to the Principality every day to work.

6. AS Monaco is the local top-flight football club, playing in France's Ligue 1. Slightly over half the Principality's population can fit into its stadium. Last week they won the Ligue 1 title for the first time since 2000.

7. Monaco's national flag is identical to that of Indonesia.

8. These days, the Monaco GP starts at 14h00, like most European races. However, for much of its life, the race began at 15h00, allegedly so that the Monegasque Royal Family could enjoy their Sunday lunch, before watching the race from the Royal Box.

9. Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi family, who originally came from Genoa in Italy, since the thirteenth century.

10. This race isn't just remembered for breathtaking driving from the greats of the sport. In 1995, Taki Inoue, by his own admission one of the slowest F1 drivers ever, was being towed back to the pits at the end of practice, when the Safety Car, driven by famous French rally star, Jean Ragnotti, crashed into the back of Inoue's Arrows, flipping it over – embarrassment and amusement in equal measure.

11. Monaco is the busiest event of the year for our Energy Station hospitality unit. It is actually assembled down the coast in the port of Imperia in Italy and then towed into place to float alongside the F1 paddock. It takes 6 days to make the trip. The structure weighs around 2500 tonnes, 30 of which come from the water used to fill the swimming pool.

12. This is the only race of the year where the engineers sit above the pits, rather than on the pit wall.