THE MONACO CIRCUIT

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The Monaco Grand Prix circuit has the distinction of being non-permanent, as it is set up for the occasion in the heart of the city of Monaco. 3.34 km long, the race is run in 78 laps (making a total distance of 260.52 km) or 2 hours’ racing at an average speed of over 140 km/h.

The Monaco circuit winds around Hercule harbour in the streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, stringing together tight corners on a demanding and narrow track which makes overtaking difficult.

Driving on this circuit is a high virtuosity exercise, with few run-off areas and many blind corners. However a few short straights characterise a winding route involving an average of over 4000 gear changes during a Grand Prix.

After the starting line, the drivers climb Boulevard Albert 1er and crowd into the first right turn at St. Devote, the site of many bumps in the first lap. They then begin the very steep Beau-Rivage rise as far as the Casino very tight left-right turn. From there, the drivers come back down to the Mirabeau right corner, then comes the Fairmont hotel left hairpin, the slowest turn of the championship. The Portier section then leads them towards the sea and the drivers go through the tunnel leading to the chicane near the harbour. At the tunnel exit, the fastest section of the circuit, the cars verge on 300 km/h. After a short straight stretch on the Quai des États-Unis, comes the Tabac left corner, the Swimming Pool left-right section, and then a very difficult right hairpin at La Rascasse. Finally, the drivers approach the Anthony Noghès corner before the pit lane straight and the finish line.

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