People choose their Grand Prix circuit based on different aspects, and what may be a big circuit event for one person may not be so for another. There are various circuits that have featured widely in the favourites list around the world. The Grand Prix Monaco continues to attract a lot of attention for both the drivers and spectators. It’s no wonder it features at the top of iconic circuits in the history of Grand Prix motor sporting.
It may not be because of its history, glamour, or glitz, but the kind of challenge it presents to those willing to take Monaco’s sporting battle. While the track is said to have streets that are outgrown by the cars, Monte Carlo has still survived in hosting Grand Prix events.
However, every circuit has its own challenges, and this may probably be one thing that has kept Monte Carlo in the list of challenging circuits. The lack of runoff areas implies that there is little room for error, and drivers have to be very smart and keen when they negotiate corners.
Precision and skill have to be at the heart of every driver, and this is what makes the circuit a real challenge for the drivers. And as a Murray Walker, a former commentator once said, his favourite corner was the left hander just at the top of the hill situated at Massenet.
Murray Walker described the experience of racing at that left hander as where the tires of racing automobiles kiss the Armco barriers before the cars speed around into Casino Square. This is also where you find the slowest corner in Formula One races – the iconic Fairmont Hairpin. This is where everyone gets the opportunity to see all the cars slithering their way like a giant colourful snake downhill. The right bending tunnel speeding underneath the Fairmont Hotel is also an unforgettable feature.
Nelson Piquet, a former Brazilian racing driver and businessman, once said that racing in Monaco was like riding a bike at full speed through your house. Nelson was trying to emphasize the narrowness of the street circuits that are sometimes perceived as preclusive to excellent racing.
Drivers here need to have exceptional skill for them to overtake their competitors and ensure they keep their cars in the race. All in all, Monaco is quite a unique circuit and it deserves its slot in the top circuits of the Grand Prix.
If you watched Nico Rosberg win the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix on 10th May, you will concur that it was an emotional affair. This is considering the fact that the German has been struggling for his best form since the beginning of the season at Melbourne.
It was a sporting event that has enhanced the fortunes of Formula One by instilling more competition and thrill. While this is one of the most outstanding aspects of this year’s action at Circuit de Cataluña, the history of this Grand Prix will excite you even more.
If you are an F1 diehard, you do appreciate the importance of such a background; it helps you enjoy more from every race. Here are some of these highlights:
1. 1913: This year forms the origin of the Spanish GP as you know it today. On your way to Valladolid near Madrid, organizers set up a 300-kilometer circuit that features racing under touring cars rules.
2. 1923, Sitges-Terramar circuit: This new circuit became the site of the 1923 Spanish GP and with financial difficulties a few years later the race moved to Lasarte.
3. Formula One Proper: The differences between Madrid and Barcelona helped revive racing in Spain with Pedralbes circuit becoming the site of the World Championship F1 race in 1951.
4. Jarama vs. Montjuic Park Rivalry: The 1960s and 70s featured increased rivalry between the two circuits in Barcelona and Madrid. Big names such as Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart were racing on these tracks thus increasing popularity of the Spanish GP. Montjuic Park was abandoned after a 1975 tragedy and Jarama dominated with James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve among other F1 legends starring.
5. Jerez, 1985-1991: After the mayor of Jerez built the popular Circuito Permanente de Jerez, racing shifted South near Seville. Racing over the next 6 years featured amazing battles between more F1 legends such as Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mansell among others.
6. Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, 1991 to date: This amazing circuit still hosts Spanish GP to date where Michael Schumacher still holds the record of six wins.
Fernando Alonso is credited with much of the success enjoyed by the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona as a home boy. He has also won twice on this track in 2006 and 2013. Other multiple winners of the Spanish Grand Prix include Louis Chiron, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakkinen, all with three wins.