History of The Monaco Grand Prix • Art de Vivre
History of The Monaco Grand Prix

History of The Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the oldest and most prestigious motor racing events in the world. It is held on a city circuit designed in 1929 by Antony Noghès, son of the President of the Automobile Club of Monaco, under the patronage of Prince Louis II.

This incredible race is made much more interesting when one considers the thorny path the founders had to walk. Find out more here! 

A unique track requires a unique approach

As chairman of the Automobile Club of Monaco, Antony Noghès had a burning desire to create the "Grand Prix of Monaco". However, he was disappointed upon his arrival in Paris. 

The International Association of Automobile Clubs recognized that the Monegasque club at that time already organized sports competitions, but in that era, they did not take place entirely on the territory of Monaco. The vanity of thirty-five-year-old Antony was hurt and he set off to achieve a rather lofty goal: to create a car race that would be held right in the middle of the city. 

For two years, Antony Noghès weighed all the pros and cons of his dream. In the end, he decided to entrust the project to people whose expert opinion he was sure of. He recruited Louis Chiron who overlooked the sports component and Jacques Tuff, who agreed to help with the technical part. Shortly after the approval of the route project, he managed to convince the Société des Bains de Mer to finance the project. Manager Rene Leon assessed the prospects of the project and allocated the necessary funds.


© Shutterstock - Eleonora KYCHAKOVA
© Shutterstock

Six months later, on April 14, 1929, Prince Louis II inaugurated the course of the first Monaco Grand Prix. Charles Faro, the race director drove around the Torpedo Voisin.


The race gained steady popularity until the war. In 1958, the Prince of Monaco and Princess Grace attended the opening of the new championship headquarters at 23 Boulevard Albert 1er. Later in the 70s, the royal couple unveiled a plaque placed at the last turn of the track called "Virage Antony Noghès ". It was dedicated to the memory of Antony Noghès. During these years, famous drivers such as Jackie Stewart and Jean-Pierre Beltoise won many races. Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Riccardo Patrese dominated the 80s, and the 90s became the era of Michael Schumacher.


Today, the Monaco Grand Prix is a source of delight for a large number of viewers around the world. It is one of the most unpredictable races of the Formula 1 season on a prestigious track with an equally distinguished history. The fame also results from the fact that Monaco is part of the Cote d'Azur of the Mediterranean Sea - the most elite resort area in the world. It was here that for the first time in the Old World, a beach type of recreation gained popularity. Nice and Cannes are located just a few kilometers away, so it is easy to get there by car. 



© Shutterstock - Eleonora KYCHAKOVA
© Shutterstock



How can such a small country become so prosperous? 

The recipe is simple: allow rich people to do here what they are not allowed to do elsewhere. Precisely gambling and (almost) not paying taxes. As a result, Monaco has become a country where the rich, and especially the very rich people prefer to relax and spend their money. You can always find a lot of celebrities from the film industry and show business here, watching the race from the balconies of luxury hotels, villas, or from their yachts, conveniently moored in the port area.

In addition, a special awards ceremony has always been a distinctive sign from other stages of the championship. The winners are always awarded by the princely couple themselves. 


© Jay Hirano Photography


But why has this year's race been a test of endurance and strength? Read our article The Monaco Grand Prix 2022 to find it out.

Credits for the Main photo: © Bob Culinan on Shutterstock


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