Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo • 27 May
The Monaco Grand Prix has been going on for so long now that it’s sometimes easy to forget that it’s not just another on the list of 16 Formula One venues. There are other street circuits that stage motor racing events but Monaco is different. It doesn’t have the fourlane freeways of Adelaide or Phoenix or acres of side-walk and car parks on which to put grandstands. Monaco is tiny from all points of view and yet, every year, the Formula One quart is squeezed into the Monaco pint pot. The resulting contrast between the chic Hermes and Gucci shops and ugly armco, the elegance of the Casino and the forbidding wire mesh fencing is astonishing.
Monaco, especially Monte Carlo, is the jewel of the Riviera. Nestling below the sheer rock face of the southern Alps, the principality is a monument to the international jet-set with its collection of five star hotels, two casinos and yacht harbour, crammed with the most expensive fleet of floating ginpalaces you are ever likely to see in Europe. “Posing” in Monte Carlo is a serious year-round business, where you don’t walk your poodle unless pooch’s fur coat matches yours! At Grand Prix time, however, the art of posing reaches a higher plane and becomes reversed. Sitting on the armco in a tee-shirt drinking beer straight from the can outside Rosie’s or the Tip Top suddenly becomes chic! Elsewhere in the three-star restaurants and casinos, there is little point in being ostentatious looking casually rich will do.
Once the roads are closed the posing has to stop and the really serious business of Formula One takes over on the narrow, winding streets and avenues of Monte Carlo. With its limited overtaking opportunities you would be forgiven for thinking that the drivers have little chance of showing their skill. The opposite is true. For a start, qualifying here is more Important than at any other race because a place won or lost on the grid is vitally important. Practice sessions are fast and furious, made more interesting by the frequent traffic jams forcing drivers to go out yet again in search of that elusive clear lap. Secondly, keeping the car in tact and negotiating the traffic for 78 laps demands the highest level of concentration. Survival comes first, winning is almost an after-thought.
The Grand Prix is not just Monte Carlo and neither is the Riviera. Over Grand Prix week, all the resorts of the Cote d’Azur come alive with Formula One fever. As well as hotel accommodation in Monaco, Page & Moy offer hotels and apartments in all the best Riviera resorts including Villefranche, Juan les Pins, Villeneuve Loubet, Nice, Beaulieu and Roquebrune. For the first time in twelve years, new hotels have opened in Monaco and Page & Moy are pleased to be able to offer accommodation in the four star deluxe Hotel Metropole, right in the thick of it just down the road from the Tip Top. As well as hotels of course, we offer a variety of methods of transport and race tickets. Our Air France flights will, as usual, depart every week-day before the race and return the following Monday. Our ever popular holidays by coach using the bustling city of Nice as their base are featured once again. As the official U.K. ticket agent, appointed by the Automobile Club de Monaco, we have allocations of race tickets.
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