The world-famous Monaco Grand Prix of the Formula 1 race circuit has sped through the streets of Monaco for more than 65 years. Here are some curious facts about this legendary race.
For starters, before the race starts, all the manhole covers have to be welded down. This is important because the extreme down force created by an F1 car can rip them off and cause deadly accidents–something all too common during car races.
Safety is one of the most important aspects of the race. Part of the Monaco GP track runs right along the sea and the safety of the spectators and drivers is provided not only by medics, first aid responders and security officials, but also divers.
But divers aren’t the only addition to the sea during race weekend. It’s no secret that during a racing weekend prices soar across the Principality, but the parking places for yachts in Port Hercule are incredibly high and some Formula 1 fans will do anything to get the best spot. A one-night stay at the prestigious port usually costs €1,500 per day. During the GP race, that same spot can cost around €15,000. Even the spectators set records!
And finally, a mystery with a Hollywood twist. For the 2004 Grand Prix, the Jaguar Racing team attached two precious diamonds from the Steinmetz collection on the nosecones of both their cars. This was a promotional deal to promote the Hollywood film “Ocean’s 12”. Guess what happened next? They lost one of them.
It could be argued that Monaco’s track was not the best place for precious diamonds, as car crashes are quite frequent. After the first lap, Jaguar driver, Christian Klien, hit the barriers and was out of the race. No one from the Jaguar team was allowed to examine the crash site until the race ended. The team later said that all they could think about was the diamond on the nosecone of the car.
Well, predictably, the €360,000 gemstone was nowhere to be found. Soon rumours spread that it was all part of a publicity stunt for “Ocean’s 12” as the main characters of the film are thieves. However, Hollywood fiercely rejected the allegation. “That will be the most expensive drive I’ll ever take around Monte Carlo,” said Klien after the race.