Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Grand Prix de Monaco

The principality of Monaco is an amazing place and there are many things to see and do. There is the Palace, the Cathedral with beautiful stained glass paintings, gardens, interesting museums (like the museum of arms, museum of automatons and dolls) and of course, the casinos. Located on the French Riviera and an attractive destination for the wealthy because it levies no income tax, it is a perfect place for a permanent holiday. Monaco is also known for its famous Grand Prix Formula One race event and that is what I think of when I remember my visit to Monaco.

I was visiting a few days before the Grand Prix weekend some years ago and although I was not staying on to witness the exciting race, it was fascinating to see the principality getting ready to host the grand event.

The circuit stretches over 3.3 kms along Monte Carlo and Le Condamine municipalities and even includes a stretch under the tunnel.  Being one of the most demanding street circuits with hair-pin bends, narrow lanes and inclines, it is an ultimate testing ground for strategy, technique, skill and speed. The narrow lanes do not give much room for overtaking and at some bends the drivers have to slow down considerably. The sight-seeing tour which I had taken took us along the race circuit and one could see the preparations being made in full swing. This included newly resurfaced streets and marking them especially for the race by erasing all the earlier road markings, placing advertisers’ billboards, welding the manholes so they do not get thrown up with the speed of racing cars, and setting up viewers’ stands along the route. The amount of preparation and work that goes behind the scenes to make the race both smooth and thrilling is enormous. Although the circuit does not meet the safety standards, it is still the most spectacular places to race and hence the event continues with the backdrop of the harbour.

Having watched F1 races only on television, it was terrific to walk on the circuit and get a sense of how electrifying the atmosphere must be with cars racing at unimaginable speeds, expertly negotiating the twists and turns without room for even a slightest error. I imagined the action that would unfold in the next few days- right from the pits stop to the circuit, among the rivals Schumacher and Alonso (Alonso went on win with Renault) as well as among the strategists and the spectators. More recently, when I read a little about F1 and what actually goes on with the driver and the entire team- before, during and after the race, my admiration for the teams grew immensely. I realized that it is not only about speed, it has much to do with technology, engineering, strategy, intricacy and sheer fearlessness. And what can be a better location to witness these in action other than the glamorous Monaco.

1 comment:

  1. wow...a drive around wat is the monaco circuit wud be such a thrill!