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the Grand Prix de Monaco
"Anything can happen in Grand Prix racing. And usually does."
~ Murray Walker
The Grand Prix de Monaco takes place this Sunday May 23rd, over 78 laps of the 3.337-kilometre Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo! Formula One racing contests take place all over the world throughout the calendar year. But the glamourous and prestigious Monaco Grand Prix (with its many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel), is one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One racing. In a nod to the horse racing equivalent, the "Triple Crown" in motor racing is an unofficial designation, obtained by winning three of the most prestigious motor races: the Indianapolis 500; the 24 Hours of Le Mans; and the Monaco Grand Prix. Britain's Graham Hill is the only driver to have completed this Triple Crown of motorsports! Gentlemen, start your engines! 🏎️ 🏁
Grand Prix motor racing, a form of motorsport competition, began with organised automobile racing in France as early as 1894. Motor racing eventually evolved into formula racing (open-wheeled single-seater motorsport road racing), evolving into today's Formula One (a standard set in 1946). Each event of the Formula One World Championships is still called a Grand Prix, with the collective set referred to as Grands Prix.
The Monaco Grand Prix, run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world and, with the Indianapolis 500and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, forms the Triple Crown of Motorsport!
The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, the Monaco circuit is a dangerous race and often involves the intervention of a safety car, and if were not already an existing Grand Prix, would likely not be permitted to be added to the racing schedule today.
Britain's Graham Hill won the race five times in the 1960s, leading him to become known as the "King of Monaco" and "Mr. Monaco". As of 2018 Graham Hill is the only driver to have won the Triple Crown, by winning all three races.
Scotsman Jim Clark is one of the most highly regarded drivers in the history of the sport. He died on 7 April 1968 at an F2 race in Hockenheim after his Lotus suffered a tyre failure. His hall of fame entry on the official Formula One site summarises that "Few champions were as dominant. Fewer still are remembered so fondly." An Autosport survey taken by 217 Formula One drivers saw Clark voted as the fifth greatest F1 driver of all time just ahead of fellow Scottish driver Jackie Stewart, the "Flying Scot."
For more on British Formula One racers, click the race cars!