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Trackside – 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Filed in Monaco F1 Travel Guide by on 59 Comments

Useful information and tips to help you get the most out of your trackside experience at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. The next race takes place on May 25-28, 2017.

The Monaco on-track program, unique on the current Formula 1 calendar, sees the first two F1 practice sessions happening on Thursday, rather than Friday. Entrance is actually free on Friday; it’s worth going for the feature Formula 2 (ex-GP2) race mid-morning before doing a track walk and the fan’s pitlane walk in the early afternoon.

Monaco circuit entry

  • Given that the Monaco circuit is located on the cramped streets of a functioning city, access is a little different than at other F1 races. The circuit itself is closed to traffic and pedestrians each morning on Grand Prix weekend between 6-7am, then reopened after the on-track finishes, between 18:30-19:30 (apart from Friday when the track is opened earlier.) When the track is closed, five entry gates provide access.
  • When the track is open, you are free to walk around much of the circuit. A series of bridges, walkways & tunnels provide access to the grandstands as well as bars, restaurants and hotels dotted around the track. Ample signage will help you find the way. When there is on-track action, access to some bridges and tunnels is restricted to fans holding a ticket for the relevant section.

Thursday May 25, 2017

  • 06:00: Track Closed
  • 08:15-09:00: Eurocup Formula Renault practice
  • 10:00-11:30 Formula 1 practice (FP1)
  • 12:00-12:45: F2 practice
  • 14:00-15:30 Formula 1 practice (FP2)
  • 16:15-16:55 F2 qualifying (two groups)
  • 17:30-18:15 Porsche Supercup practice
  • 19:30 Track Open

Friday May 26, 2017

  • 06:00 Track Closed
  • 08:00-08:45: Eurocup Formula Renault qualifying (two groups)
  • 09:45-10:15: Porsche Supercup qualifying
  • 11:15-12:20: F2 – Race 1 (42 laps or 60 mins)
  • 14:30: Track Open

Saturday May 27, 2017

  • 07:00: Track Closed
  • 09:10-9:55: Eurocup Formula Renault – Race 1
  • 11:00-12:00 Formula 1 practice 3
  • 14:00-15:00 Formula 1 qualifying
  • 16:10-17:00 F2 – Race 2 (30 laps or 45 mins)
  • 18:30 Track Open

Sunday May 28, 2017

  • 07:00 Track Closed
  • 09:45-10:20 Porsche Supercup race (16 laps or 30 mins)
  • 11:10-11:40 Eurocup Formula Renault – Race 2 (25 mins + 1 lap)
  • 12:30-12:45 Formula 1 – Driver’s Parade
  • 14:00-16:00 Formula 1 – Race (78 laps or 2 hours)
  • 19:30 Track Open

2017 Monaco GP on-track schedule

  • The packed track program on Thursday features 3 hours of Formula 1 practice, plus practice sessions for all three support categories, and F2 qualifying.
  • Whilst there’s no F1 action on Friday, it’s worth going along for the first F2 (ex-GP2) race of the weekend. In the afternoon, the track is opened early, which is the best time to do a proper track walk and soak up the unique Monaco atmosphere. You can also take part in the pitlane walk for fans.
  • It’s a busy schedule on Saturday with the final F1 practice session and qualifying. There’s also the first Formula Renault race in the morning and the second F2 race in the afternoon a
  • You’ll need to arrive early on Sunday morning to catch the Porsche Supercup race, which is followed by the second  Formula Renault race. The main event, the 75th Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco, starts at 14:00.

 

Monaco entertainment

The trackside atmosphere at Monaco is fantastic and there is plenty to do in the principality, particularly when the racing has finished for the day. If you are not too tired after a day at the track, then its worth staying around after dark as Monaco comes alive on Grand Prix weekend with a great party scene, much of it on the streets. The main entertainment hub can be found in the Harbor area, where the best bars and restaurants, not to mention the super yachts, are located. Even if you don’t know the right people to get into the VIP parties, spending a few hours on Friday or Saturday night in Monaco is an experience not to miss. Make sure you don’t leave Monaco before you have had a drink at the famous La Rascasse bar on the corner of the same name near  the pits entrance. Click here for a selection of Monaco’s best drinking spots.

Free entry on Friday!
Entry to the track and grandstands is FREE on Friday. There’s no F1 action, but the morning does include Formula Renault and Porsche Supercup qualifying, plus the F2 (ex-GP2) feature race.  Get there early if you are keen to bag yourself a seat in one of the smaller grandstands, as ‘full is full.’ The track is then opened around 14:30, which is the best time to do a proper track walk, or participate in the Pitlane Walk.

Pitlane walk for fans

This takes place on Friday afternoon after the track is opened. Entry is from the pits exit area. Although it is supposed to be only for fans holding weekend tickets, you should still be able to take part without such a ticket, but may have to wait a little longer.  As with everything at Monaco, there is not too much room in the pitlane so don’t take part if you don’t like crowds. There is plenty of room at the slower end of the grid, but a real crush of people in front of the top teams, particularly when the drivers are signing autographs.

Amenities

If you are on a budget, its no problem to bring your own food and drinks into the circuit (just avoid bringing in any glass bottles.) The quality and choice of trackside food stalls is not too bad in Monaco. Most grandstands have catering stalls right behind which are reasonably price; you’ll pay around €5-6 for a large beer and a similar amount for a baguette. There are also supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and bars located all around the circuit. It is a city after all! If you are on a budget, keep walking and you will find cheaper places to eat and drink a little further afield, such as ‘over the hill’ in Fontvieille. Both temporary and permanent toilet facilities are also dotted around the circuit, though their number is limited and you will need to queue at peak times.

Parking

If you are staying with most other fans in either Nice, Menton or Ventimiglia, taking the train is the easiest way to get to Monaco on Grand Prix weekend. each day. If you do decide to drive yourself, then Thursday and Friday are the best days to do this, when there are less fans and less traffic. (We don’t recommended driving on the weekend.) There’s underground carparks aplenty close to the circuit, but it’s a good idea to pre-book to be sure of a space in your preferred location. We recommend parking at the Stade Louis II football stadium in the Fontvieille area of the principality (click here for map link). A day of parking costs around €20 and you shouldn’t have trouble finding a space, even on race day.

Have you been to the Monaco Grand Prix? Leave a comment with your trackside tips!

May 6, 2017

Off-Track Activities – Monaco Grand Prix

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May 5, 2017

Travel Basics – Monaco Grand Prix

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April 15, 2017

Trackside – 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Useful information and tips to help you get the most out of your trackside experience at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

February 19, 2017

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December 23, 2016

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Up to date advice on the best ways to get to Monaco plus getting to the circuit and general transport advice for the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

November 12, 2016

Accommodation – 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

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November 7, 2016

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Comments (59)

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  1. Darren upward says:

    Hi

    I’m attending the Grand Prix next week, is there an f1 village at the circuit or merchandise stands to buy team gear?

    Thanks

    Darren

    • Editor says:

      Hi Darren, thanks for your question. There is not an actual F1 village at Monaco. The closest thing is at Place d’Armes, a square close to La Rascasse where there are various demos, a small stage etc and merchandise for sale. You will also find merchandise stalls on all the main roads close to the circuit (such as Rue Grimaldi, Rue Princesse Caroline). Some of them sell official team gear, others sell ‘Monaco style’ t-shirts etc. It’s no more expensive than at other circuits. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Antonello Abela says:

    Hello

    I will be attending to the Monaco GP 2016 together with my friend, any good tip re where we can meet drivers, ex-drivers, pundits etc apart from the Friday Pitlane Walkabout?

    Thanks in advance

    • Editor says:

      Hi Antonello, lucky you. Monaco is a small place and if you keep your eyes open as you walk around, you will definitely run into famous F1 people all over the principality on Grand Prix weekend. If you want one particular spot, then you will see everyone if you hang around near the harbor next to the Rascasse corner (opposite side of the street from the bar of the same name). This is the main exit point for the paddock. Good luck!

  3. Jeanne says:

    Hi,
    Is there any official driver’s autograph signing sessions in Monaco?

  4. Karla carter says:

    Hi I am going to Monaco this year for the first time. Will I need to take my small camping chairs as on previous Grand Prix

    • Editor says:

      Hi Karla, if you will be sitting in the Rocher (general admission) section, it would be worth taking along your small camping chairs. Many regulars in fact put their chairs in place several days before the weekend starts to make sure they get a good spot. Good luck!

  5. Alex says:

    Hi.
    1. Do you know if with the Sunday ticket (race) I can see all the previous races (Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, GP2 Series, Renault Series 2.0)? I want to book a train ticket and I don`t know if I`m allowed to enter at ~9:00.
    2. Can I bring my own water and food (in a bag) on the circuit ?
    Thank you!

    • Editor says:

      Hi Alex, yes you can see the support races on Sunday. Porsche Supercup and Renault Series 2.0 have races on Sunday morning (not GP2, unfortunately.) I suggest getting there as early as possible on race day! Yes, you can bring water and food (but make sure in a plastic bottle). It’s also a city, so there are supermarkets in and around the circuit where you can stock up cheaply. Have a great day!

  6. Michael Han says:

    Hi,

    I have the ticket for Sunday but not for Saturday. Can I go to Monaco on Saturday after the qualifying ?

    Michael Han

    • Editor says:

      Hi Michael, the track is opened after the racing at 18:30 on Saturday. After this time, you will be free to enter and walk around. It’s a great opportunity to soak up some of the atmosphere and maybe even meet some drivers or famous people. Have a great time! If you are around on Friday, the track is opened from around 14:00.

      • Emma says:

        Hello what time does the track stay open on today as we are currently delayed at CDG and won’t arrive until 20:00 now instead of 18:00 :(

  7. Jeanette says:

    We live in south of France and are debating to take the train or drive ourselves tomorrow. What’s your advice?

    • Editor says:

      I don’t recommend trying to drive all the way to Monaco on race day. Instead, why don’t you go to one of the neighboring towns (Nice, Menton etc) and get a train from there. The earlier the better to miss the crowds and don’t be in a hurry to return right after the race. Enjoy the day!

  8. Leon van Gasteren says:

    Great travel guide again! After my first vist in 2015 I wanted to return for a longer visit. We just booked tickets for the Monaco Grand Prix 2017 for saturday (tribune N) and sunday (Z1).

  9. Steph says:

    Hi, just wanted to know what the earliest is to enter on the Thursday practice?

  10. Esrher says:

    Hi,

    Great to read a lot of tips. But I maybe I have a strange question. I cannot find anything on a map where toilets are. I have searched a lot but nothing to find.
    Can you tell me if there is one in the area nearbij grandstand T?

    • Editor says:

      Hi, don’t worry it’s not a strange question! All the grandstands at Monaco have portable toilets nearby – either individual portaloos, or larger portable buildings.

      • Esther says:

        Thanks for your answer. It will be the first time at monaco gp. Do you have any tips for taking with us to the circuit?

        • Editor says:

          Hi Esther, what to take to the circuit? Make sure you check the weather forecast and pack accordingly for rain/sun. It can get quite warm in the south of France in May, so hat/sunscreen is recommended. Also take along a spare battery for your camera and a phone charger – you will take more photos and use more battery life than you expect!

  11. Dina says:

    Hello, we have tickets for Saturday for X2 Grandstand. Are we able to walk around e.g. the park in front of the casino or go up to the palace for some sightseeing during the day? Or does our ticket restrict us? Also, shall we pre buy train tickets from Nice or do we get them last minute? Thanks for your help

    • Editor says:

      Hi Dina! There are some restrictions in place on Saturday between 07:00-18:30. During that time when the track is closed, you won’t be able to Casino or some other places. But you can still get up to the palace, no problem. After 18:30 when the track is open, you can walk anywhere you want, apart from the paddock! It’s a good idea to pre-purchase tickets, especially for the return trip from Monaco. Otherwise it will take a little longer to queue up and buy them, but it’ not a big wait unless at real peak times. One more piece of advice – go on Friday if you can. Entrance is free to the grandstands, and there’s a good Formula 2 (ex-GP2) race on around midday. After that, they open the track in the afternoon at around 14:00; it’s a good time to do a track walk. Enjoy Monaco! Andy

  12. Jo says:

    Hi, we have general admission Rocher tickets, are there any food/ bars in that area? Can we roam about onece we’re in or are we restricted to that area? Also is there much opportunity to buy better tickets outside.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Jo, as you are probably aware, the Rocher area is on the hill leading up to the castle. There are food/drink stalls nearby, especially at the bottom of the hill. Monaco is a city, so you can walk around quite a bit without restrictions, though you probably won’t be able to see the track from anywhere else. Buying better tickets? There are touts everywhere on GP weekend, but don’t hand over any money before you know exactly what you are getting.

  13. Akul Rastogi says:

    Hi! I have bought tickets for this year’s Thursday event. What time should I reach Monaco? I am coming from Cannes via train. And should I go back immediately after the races for the day are over or wait a few more hours for any extra events?

    • Editor says:

      Hello Akul. I would try and get to the track as early as possible. The F1 cars hit the track at 10:00, so be there for that! At the end of the day, it’s definitely a good idea to stay around and explore the streets. The track is open from 19:30 and you can walk around and explore. There’s also lots of nightlife and bars, a great atmosphere. Don’t forget that Friday is free as well, if you can make it. Have a great time!

  14. Fiona joned says:

    Wondering if you can help me, going to the Monaco Grand Prix with my husband and doing a pit walk on qualifying day. Done this 3 years ago and we had a lap around the track. When we went the year after they had stopped it complementary. I am just enquiring if you are still able to do this. (Doesn’t matter if there is a charge). This would be fantastic if you could help as it is my husbands 50th birthday.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Fiona, sounds like you had Paddock Club tickets? These are pretty expensive, but you do get daily pit walks. I’ll put you in touch with our ticket supplier in Monaco to discuss.

  15. Marliza says:

    Hi there, i require something quite special and was wondering if you would be able to assist? Good friends of ours are going to the Monaco F1, we are from SA and Friends for almost 20 years now. I would like to arrange something special for them if possible as it is a once in a lifetime experience. We were ourselves blessed to visit the indy 2011 motogp and managed to get a special tour of the Yamaha garage – i will never forget that experience. Is there any way for them to be able to visit a top team’s garage or be involved in a team experience through special access? Your assistance will be greatly appreciated as I would like to make their trip extra special with a surprise – iknow I’m shooting high but Ferrari, McLaren or Red Bull will be super awesome! Baie dankie!

  16. Sarah says:

    Hi

    We have tickets booked for Grandstand N on the Saturday only, just wondering do you need to arrive at a certain time, or are stands accessible throughout the day? We are happy to arrive early as want to make the most of it but wondering what the best time to get there would be and also if you can leave the stands and come back at any times?

    Also, we are staying in Nice and considering booking private transportation, it is quite expensive, and wondering is it worthwhile or are we likely to just be stuck in traffic?

    • Editor says:

      Hi Sarah, grandstand N is a good choice. I would aim to get there for around 9am, in time for the first Formula Renault race. You can come and go from the stands during the day, no problem. From Nice, your best bet is to take the train – the only tip is to buy your tickets ahead of time if possible (even the day earlier). That will save you lining up to buy tickets, especially when returning from Monaco. And don’t be in a hurry to go back at the end of the day. The track opens at 18:30; you can then do a track walk or just explore, and have a few drinks in the harbor. Enjoy!

  17. Frederick Jensen says:

    Hi, Thank you for great information about F1 in Monaco!
    I’ve got tickets for Grandstand K4 on saturday and I’m also going on friday.

    On friday I’m looking forward to the pitlane walk for fans. When does it start/end? what are the chances of getting an autograph from one of the drivers? do you know the F1 teams’ garage allocation? (would be great to see some kind of map)

    • Editor says:

      Hi Frederick, the pitlane walk begins from around 14:30 on Friday, when the track opens. You enter from the pits exit, so you start with the ‘slower teams,’ where there will be less fans and more chance of an autograph. By the time you get to the end with the ‘fast teams’ it gets pretty crowded and you will have less chance of getting an autograph (and more chance of getting crushed). If you are really keen to get a particular driver’s autograph, then try to be one of the first in line and hang out in front of his team’s garage. Good luck!

  18. Herb says:

    My wife and I are going and I have been trying to find out if SLR cameras with removable lens are prohibited. Is there someplace I can find the list of prohibited items that cannot be brought into the stands? We have tickets by the “pool” and if we can bring in our camera gear we want to.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Herb, sorry but I don’t have a list of prohibited items for the grandstands at Monaco. You should be fine with your SLR camera, provided the lens is smaller than 400mm. You also shouldn’t bring in any glass bottles or anything obviously dangerous, but that’s common sense. Andy

  19. Neil Draper says:

    Hi

    You mentioned that the entrance for the pit lane walk is the pit exit. What is the best way to get there so as to get to the head of the queue?

    Thanks

    Neil

    • Editor says:

      Hi Neil, I am not 100% sure, but this is directly behind the K grandstand. So I would suggest going near the back of the K grandstand, there should be an entrance on to the track and to line up for the pitlane walk. Good luck!

  20. Hi

    We went to the Monaco GP last year.
    All day friday was an open track with no activity and cost nothing to get in and you get the vibe and can walk the track and stop at the temporary bars that spring up.
    However there appears to be races on the friday so is entry free ? Will they still have the bars spring up ?

    Thanks

    • Editor says:

      Hi Anton, maybe you went last year on Friday afternoon? There’s always on-track action in the morning on Friday, including the F2 (ex-GP2) feature race. Entry is free, including the grandstands (but the smaller ones do get full, so get there early.) The track is opened from around 14:30, then you are free to do a track walk and go for a beer near the harbor. Enjoy!

  21. law says:

    Hi,

    thanks for your info! It was an excellent source when I attended Montreal in 2014.

    Going to Monaco Thursday. When the track re-opens in the evening, can we drive our rental vehicles onto the circuit? Or is that evening completely packed with pedestrians doing the track walk?

    Thanks.

    • Editor says:

      Hi, thanks for the compliment! You should be fine, but be aware there could be lots of traffic right after the circuit opens. Best to wait an hour at least after the track opens before you leave if possible. More people do the trackwalk on Friday afternoon, so I don’t think this will be a cause of delays.

  22. tony mann says:

    hi Im coming on sunday for the race
    grandstand k – thinking of arriving around 11am. How do you get to the grandstand from the train station – is there an underpass –

    thanks for this site

    tony

    • Editor says:

      Hi Tony, you will find the way, it’s well signposted. The train station is actually right up on the hill above Ste Devote, which is not far from grandstand K. There’s lifts/escalators to get down the hill, then an underpass under the track to get to K. It should take you around 20 minutes, unless there are delays from too much foot traffic.

  23. Tony says:

    Hi,

    We are attending the Grand Prix on Sunday and from what you said if we decided to drive from Cannes we should be able to find a parking spot at the football stadium even on race days ?

    Thanks!

    Tony

    • Editor says:

      You should be ok getting a park at the football stadium on race day, but worth getting there fairly early (before 10am if possible) to be sure. And don’t let your GPS try to take you through the center of Monaco!

  24. Hendri says:

    Hi,

    How is the accessability (how to get to) of the hotellobby of the Fairmont after the tracks closes down (07 am – 07pm). How do I get from the K Grandstands at Quai to the Fairmont. The only way, it seems the Fairmont has a second entrance at the back of the Casino de Monaco because the Av. des Spelugues and de Blv. Louis II seems to completely been closed down.

  25. Sarah says:

    What would be the best way to get to Nice airport after the race on Sunday? I can already buy a ticket online for Monaco Express Bus #110 but I’m just wondering whether their normal service would be affected on race weekend? Does anything much happen once the F1 race has finished or is there immediately a mad rush to leave the stands? Many thanks :)

    • Editor says:

      Hi Sarah, the bus is a good bet and I don’t think will be too affected by the race. What time does your flight leave? I suggest no earlier than 20:00. It’s nice to not be in a hurry after the race. You can walk the track and take in the atmosphere.

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