An interested fact about the casino is that the Monegasque (citizens of Monaco) are not permitted to gamble in the Monte Carlo Casino. Generally, fees are in the range of $20-$50 per transfer. A steep hill takes the drivers down into the chicane – where they are required to brake heavily before entering. The circuit takes the drivers around the most famous building in Monaco – the magnificent casino, its water fountain and gardens. After the drivers have accomplished this final corner – they race back down to the start/finish line at Sainte Devote. This corner used to be a hairpin named Gazometre – until the 1970s when it was redesigned and renamed after Antony Noghes, the founder of the Monaco Grand Prix. The difficult, slow and (relatively) short track through the stunning streets of Monte Carlo – is what makes the Monaco Grand Prix arguably the most iconic on the Formula One calendar. But after the construction of the stadium, the track was resigned to adapt around it.
The difficulty lies in the lighting and aerodynamic conditions – that differ to the rest of the track. It is a good job that the drivers are so focussed – as they will not be distracted by all this beauty surrounding the track. Named after the nearby Hotel Mirabeau this corner is in two parts – the high (haute) and low (bas) corners are either side of the famous hairpin bend. Now there are two chicanes that take the cars around the swimming pool. It could take anywhere from a day or two up to a week or two for the money to actually become available in your bank account. Unfortunately, the view of this beautiful chapel is mostly obscured on race day by the crash barriers and temporary advertising structures. Its name means ‘beautiful coastline’ because it boasts exceptional views of the Cote d’Azur – except on race day when multiple glamourous yachts line up in the harbour for an unmatched viewing experience. Named after an old fisherman’s bar in Monaco (now a high-class restaurant with the same name) this is the penultimate corner of the race. Previously known as the ‘Station,’ ‘Fairmont’ and ‘Loews’ Hairpin (the name changes based on the name of the nearby hotel) this is one of the most recognisable corners of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Portier is probably most remembered for when Ayrton Senna crashed in the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix. Portier also means (in English) the lowest order of Roman Catholic seminarians. Named after a small tobacco shop beside the track, this corner has seen some heavy impact crashes. Because of the difficultly manoeuvring – this corner often sees pile ups, drama and crashes. This recognition is perhaps because it is the slowest corner of a notably slow track. But it is a challenge on track. Despite this, it is a challenge that the drivers relish. Drivers tend to seize the opportunity to ‘put their foot down’ through the tunnel. This chicane was previously called the Chicane du Port, before being renovated and renamed the Nouvelle (new) in 1986. As indicated previously, this part of the track allows a rare overtaking opportunity. Probably the most iconic part of the track. The circuit’s first turn is an awkwardly tight right-hander and behind its barriers is a small chapel – built to commemorate an early 4th century martyr – Saint Devota the patron saint of Monaco.
The first chicane – Virage Louis Chiron – was named after one of Monaco’s Formula One drivers. The ‘corner’ itself is high speed and uphill – as drivers attempt to pick up the pace away from the first corner before hitting Massenet. If it is a sunny day, there is a danger that when the drivers emerge from the darkness of the tunnel – they will be hit with a distracting beam of light. Fans and drivers tend to adore the occasion, the scenery, the decadence of the surroundings. This long left-handed corner is named after the French opera composer Jules Massenet. The opera house and a bust of Massenet run alongside the turn. Casino players in the USA, just like players anywhere else, will run into varying withdrawal (and deposit) limits at different casinos. Before 1973 – when the Rainer III Nautical Stadium was built – there was a straight run from Tabac to the final corner.