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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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