Danielle from Brazil travelled to the 2013 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, read about her Monte Carlo experience here.
Photos courtesy Danielle, all rights reserved.
Why did you decide to go to the Monaco Grand Prix?
If you love Formula 1, it is so much better to see the race live, at the circuit, listening to that inspiring sound. After going several times to the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, I decided to attend my first F1 race abroad. Monaco was my first choice because the design of the track is such a challenge to the drivers, the principality is such a glamorous place and my hero, Ayrton Senna, won there six times.
One day, I had to stay late at work for a meeting and started reading a website about the race in Monaco and couldn’t put it off any longer. I immediately talked to a friend who loves the sport as much as I do and a few days later he agreed to go with me.
Where did you stay?
We booked a hotel in Nice, as it’s very easy to get to Monaco from there. The train takes around 15 minutes and you can see beautiful beaches along the way. Nice is a pleasant city. It offers great restaurants with delicious French and Italian cuisine and amazing bakeries (boulangeries).
The Promenade des Anglais, the boulevard along the sea in Nice, is fantastic place for a walk or to enjoy views of the stunning Mediterranean Sea. Like Monaco, Nice gets crowded during GP weekend. The only downside was that on race day, the queue at the train station was huge and required lots of patience.
Where did you watch the action?
We selected the K-High grandstand for the weekend. This is a really big grandstand and the views are good. You can listen to the noise of the start but you can not actually see it. The atmosphere there is fun. There are people of all ages from all over the world and everyone was so happy to be at Monaco for the race.
On Thursday, we also followed the practice sessions on the Rocher hill (general admission). Since Monaco is so small and the track so tight, it is difficult to get an unrestricted view of the track. But when you are at Rocher, you have a great view of the pit lane, the main straight, the Rascasse and the Hercule Port part of the circuit. It is not a seated area, tough. If it rains, it is definitely not the best place to be.
[If you are planning to view from Rocher on the weekend, there are many more fans than on Thursday and you will need to get there very early to have any chance of a good view. Ed]
Le Rocher is also great because within walking-distance there are several restaurants, shops and places to visit – the palace, the oceanographic museum, the cathedral… If you have time, be sure to explore this area after the practice/qualifying sessions or race. You will have a magnificent view of Fontvieille, the Mediterranean Sea, La Condamine and the Hercule Port.
How was the atmosphere?
I had been to Monaco before and I must confess that I love that place. But during the Formula 1 race, it gets even more magical. The principality gets really crowded and F1 is all you breath. Monaco is also famous for its nightlife. Apart from the casinos, there are parties in bars, hotels and on boats – so many options to have fun that it gets hard to decide where to go!
How much did you spend?
For the whole trip, I spent around €3500. I also visited Paris and Lyon. If I have the opportunity to go again, I would spend a few more days on the Côte d’Azur and attend more activities related to the GP.
Just go! If you really love Formula 1, Monaco is a must. The circuit is open after the activities in the afternoon. Take your time to visit every single inch of the track and take many pictures!