There are three types of Formula 1 fans. There’s the die-hard fanatic that loves learning everything about the sport, drilling down into the fine technical details of how each element of the cars work, and sitting at the side of a track (come rain or shine) watching drivers whizz past them.
Then there’s the casual fan. This is usually someone who’ll be happy to watch a Grand Prix on TV every now and then, but who isn’t interested in the minutiae of race strategy or understanding the way aerodynamics channel air over the car.
The other category of F1 fan is the one that loves the sport because of its exclusive image and its ability to attract sports legends, movie stars, royalty, and other A-list celebrities.
None of these fans are better or more important for the sport than any other, but they are all crucial parts of the Formula 1 ecosystem and they help to make the sport what it is today. However, certain groups of fans will typically appreciate different Grands Prix more than others.
For example, a die-hard fan is more likely to appreciate the history of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps or the complexity of the Maggots-Becketts sequence at Silverstone. Similarly, the F1 fans that love the glamour of the sport will be much more attracted to Monte-Carlo.
Being a unique race, the Monaco Grand Prix has always been an event that is as much a gathering of the rich and famous as it is a motor race. But with new venues being added to the calendar all the time, is the principality losing its monopoly on glamorous locations in F1?
“Half a World Championship”
Monaco is a unique track on the modern F1 calendar. It is shorter than the other circuits, it is also narrower, twistier, and logistically more difficult for teams. It has the tightest corner on the calendar and is the only race where the driver’s race is parallel to the Mediterranean Sea.
It was even stranger when it first hosted races in the early 20th century as this was a time when circuits were between five and ten times as long as they are today.
The unique challenge that this circuit presents to drivers has to lead many to say that winning the Monaco Grand Prix is the equivalent of half a world Championship. It is also for this reason that a win in Monte Carlo accounts for one prong on the triple crown of motorsport.
This status is why the Monaco Grand Prix is still one of the most-watched races. It is also one of the most bet on races, with many fans choosing to make wagers on who will get pole position or on in-race events like whether there will be a safety car. Because of this popularity, many bookmakers also run extra free bet promotions during the weekend of the race.
Not Alone Anymore
Monaco doesn’t have a monopoly on attracting the rich, famous, and powerful anymore. While royalty may present trophies to the drivers after the race in Monte Carlo, we have seen British royals on the grid in Silverstone and even more royalty while in the Middle East.
The glamorous mid-race parties in apartments and yachts are legendary in Monaco, with many of the world’s super-rich descending on the principality. But Grands Prix in Singapore and Azerbaijan have shown that Monte Carlo isn’t the only place that can host a race around a city.
Singapore, in particular, has proven to be capable of attracting the rich and the famous. The city’s iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, with its unique boat-shaped SkyPark, has become a popular location for wealthy and well-connected fans to watch the race from in style.
Other venues, such as the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas, have also become a calendar highlight. While not offering a place to park a superyacht or an exclusive viewing platform 207 meters in the air, the Texan circuit is a huge draw for celebrities including Billy Joel, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, and Britney Spears.
Despite this, the history and tradition surrounding Monaco still help it to keep some of its edges as the most exclusive, luxurious, and prestigious Grand Prix on the F1 calendar. While other tracks may excel in one particular area, such as attracting famous guests, Monaco has the full package.