Monaco Grand Prix: F1 heads back to the place the drivers call home

Formula 1

Get home from work and take the jet ski out for a spin. Just another day in Monaco

Five races down in 2018 and F1 is heading home.

Which is literally the case in Monaco, as many of the drivers have taken up residence in this billionaires’ playground.

Lewis Hamilton recently posted on Instagram: “I love my home, Monaco is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I mean, I still can’t believe I’m lucky enough to live here.”

Lucky indeed. When a place is dripping in the finer things in life, what’s not to love. A perfect example of the gargantuan wealth swimming around the principality is the 49-storey, concrete-and-glass tower called La Tour Odeon.

With 360-degree views of the Mediterranean sea, the five-storey penthouse – complete with rooftop infinity pool and a waterslide – went on the market in 2016 for an eye-watering £240m.

Small change for an elite F1 driver in 2018, surely?

How many F1 drivers would it take to buy the Odeon Tower penthouse?

And so on to the racing, and with a fifth title at stake for either Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel this season, skill and concentration will be crucial around the streets of Monte Carlo.

A qualifying disaster for Hamilton last year saw Vettel extend his lead at the top of the championship. This time the Mercedes man has the title lead heading to the track both drivers have celebrated victory at twice.

But despite two wins on the bounce, Mercedes are not confident their car will suit the twists and turns of this famous old street track.

The original Monaco kid: 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg knows these streets like the back of his hands having grown up here
Another famous Monaco resident, Jenson Button, chills in the principality back in 2001

Previously in F1… round five, Spain

74 poles and counting: Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole position since the opener in Australia, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas joining him on the front row. “I’m very happy. I needed this pole, I haven’t had a pole for a while.”
Mercedes podium takeover: Victory in Spain never looked in doubt for four-time world champion Hamilton, extending his lead in the title race to 17 points. “The car and myself, I felt that synergy that I hadn’t been feeling all year. This is when we are going to start trying to apply the pressure. A one-two for the team. Strength in depth.”

Flashback vote

The F1 archives have been prised opened once again for our memorable moment vote.

As always, the big hitters are in the mix: Michael Schumacher, Nigel Mansell and record Monaco race winner Aryton Senna.

We’ve also thrown in the Rosberg v Hamilton qualifying feud from 2014 for you to think about.

Choose your favourite from the options below and we’ll reveal the results online after the vote has closed.

The track

Back pocket facts

  • If you’re a resident of Monaco and want a quick game of blackjack in the casinos, then sorry, you’re out of luck. The law states Monegasques can’t set foot inside a casino unless they work there, never mind to have a cheeky flutter.
  • Monaco has more policemen per person than any other country, resulting in a low crime rate and your Bugatti Veyron still being intact.
  • Forget taking public transport to get around, an average person can walk across the width of the country in just 56 minutes.
  • A royal birth is a special occasion. When Prince Rainier and Princess Grace’s first child, Princess Caroline, was born in 1957, a national holiday was declared, with the people of the principality treated to free champagne and a gambling-free day.

Drivers’ social

A one-off grand prix in these beauties would certainly get the crowds excited
Daniel Ricciardo only needed one word to caption this photo with his mum Grace: “Unconditional”
Or the calm before the crystal clear blue skies

How to follow on BBC Sport

BBC Sport has live coverage of all the season’s races on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live online commentary on the BBC Sport website and mobile app – including audience interaction, expert analysis, debate, voting, features, interviews and video content.

All times BST and are subject to change at short notice.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage details
Date Session Time Radio coverage Online text & audio commentary
Thursday, 24 May First practice 10:00-11:30 BBC Sport website From 09:30
Second practice 14:00-15:30 BBC Sport website From 13:30
Saturday, 26 May Final practice 11:00-12:00 BBC Sport website From 10:30
Qualifying 14:00-15:00 BBC Radio 5 live From 13:00
Sunday, 27 May Race 14:00-16:00 BBC Radio 5 live From 12:30
Review 18:00-18:30 BBC Radio 5 live
Monday, 28 May Review (repeat) 04:30-05:00 BBC Radio 5 live

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