Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Experiencing the Monaco Grand Prix.

My cousin attended the Grand Prix a couple of years ago, and agreed to talk me through his experience there. I've been to Monaco a few times, once right before the Grand Prix whilst everything was being set up, so I know from first hand experience that it's an amazing place to visit. So here we go, a personal experience of the Grand Prix by my cousin, Damien Macdonald!

Whilst in Monaco, it's easy to get a little bit overwhelmed due to all of the amazing sights around you, so it's smart to take it slow and do all of the things on your cherck list. The Monaco beach is a beautiful place to explore thanks to its white sandy beach. There are a lot of cafes around for you to have a bite to eat, however, the prices are extremely varied, but thanks to menus set outside of all of the restaurants and cades, you can make an informed decision based on all of the different prices, although it was obvious that the cafes near the front of Monaco were more reasonably priced that ones further up.
One of the best places to go whilst in Monaco is the marina, there are aso many yachts it will make you think you're seeing things. All of the yachts are so beautiful and about the size of two small houses, you can very easily spend a couple of hours just wandering around the marina, admiring them all. The views are also pretty spectacular, so much so that you won't want to put your camera away for a second. You'll absolutely love walking through the town, as you'll be able to see all of the high rollers in their spectacular sports cars. If you enjoy seeing how the massively rich live, you should definitely walk around the town. You'll be gobsmacked by the amount of extremely posh cars and shops you'll see, especially at Casino Square. You can take a stroll down Promendade des Champions, where you can see the footprints of the likes of George Best, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona. If you're feeling adventurous, you can get to the race track via helicopter from Nice.

The experience of the race in itself is a whole other thing. First of all, the atmosphere will floor you. Every single person is in such high spritis and everyone is there to experience the same thing, it's honestly like you've been transported into a different world.

You should definitely try and park away from the centre, as most of the roads are closed and the ones that aren't are very busy. There is an undergrounf car park not too far from the centre, as well as a lot of other places on the street where you can park. The walk into the centre is lovely, so even if you're parked 30 minutes away, it will still be a fun experience thanks to the views.

Once you've arrived in the centre, it's time to take your seats. My cousin was sitting in Grand Stand K, and according to him it was one of the best places to be. His seat was overlooking the marina, he had a great view of the race cars coing out of the tunnel as well as a couple of big screens.
If you purchase the Grand Stand tickets, you're able to go to the track before the race (on a Friday) and walk along the pit lane free of charge; you also get to meet a lot of the racers, as well as a few celebrities if you're lucky. All you have to do is show your ticket to the security guard at the entrance and you're free to walk around as you please. The racers will be happy to take pictures with you and give you an autograph. However, as you can imagine it can get quite busy down there.

Once you've found your seats, it's time to sit down and get the day started. Before the race starts, there's a drivers parade which is when the drivers all sit on the back of a lorry and get interviewed whilst driving around the track. You can see this on the big screen and also on the track itself, depending on your seats. People seated in Grand Stand K could see this. The seats in themselves aren't the best, they're quite hard so its recommended that you bring a little pillow or something to sit on, but if you forget one then you can buy one from a few stands for around 5 euros. If you have sensitive ears, you should bring some earplugs as well as the usual hats, sunglasses and suncream. Binoculars are also quite helpful, as some of the stands don't have big screens visible to them.

Once the race kicks off, the atmosphere becomes even better. You can practically smell the wealth and seeing all of the different cars gives you goosebumps. A great thing about being so close to the track, is that you can smell burning rubber as the cars go past and you can smell the smoke when there's a crash.
It's advised that you take a packed lunch with you, although if you do fancy having something a bit more, the food isn't very pricey. A tip that can prove to be quite important, is that you take a toilet break before the interval, because if you wait until the interval, the queues will be massive. You should also bring some toilet paper, as towards the end of the day it's possible that the toilets run out (mainly the womens).

Once the race is finished, that's when all of the exciting partying starts. The yachts start sounding their horns, waving flags and playing very loud music, it becomes a big party down at the marina. About 2 hours after the race is finished, the track also turns into a party as it is opened up to the public, and bars emerge from nowhere and are placed onto the track itself!
You'll most likely find waitresses walking around with trays, selling you extravagant drinks, bubbles are blown everywhere and there are a lot of people dancing the night away and celebrating. You can also walk through the famous tunnel itself and see where the race cars were just two hours earlier.

Monaco is known to be one of the best sites of the Grand Prix thanks to its small size, as you can get very close to the track. So close that you can feel the vibrations as the cars whizz past you.

Hopefully thins review of the Grand Prix, from the perspective of someone who was actually there has helped you to form your own opinion.