Of course, in some years, just keeping it on the road is enough for a strong finish. A damp, slippery track in 1996 caught out even Michael Schumacher. He topped the ever-lengthening list of retirements that drove Murray Walker to increasing levels of excitement, as he witnessed a scene that was unprecedented even to him.
In the end, Olivier Panis crossed the line first, ahead of just two other cars that made the chequered flag.
It was reminiscent of earlier years when the bumpy road course was a test of durability for F1 cars that weren’t built so tough. Retirements have always been on the high side, however, thanks to the close proximity of the walls that mean that a slight twitch can easily end in a race-ending crunch.
This year sees three major race weekends in Monte Carlo, beginning with the Historic Monaco Grand Prix, followed by the Formula E meeting, and then the Formula 1 race.
Construction work began in February, as miles of barriers and fencing were erected around the two mile circuit.
Read the May issue of Motor Sport for our pick of the six drivers who can truly be named Monaco masters, along with the view of more past racers and team members, plus 20 of the key races in its history.