Friday April 18, 2014 Full Website »
Photos

When a City Becomes a Race Track

It's the slowest Formula One race but it's also the most scenic. 

The Monaco Grand Prix was held over the weekend, as tourists from around Europe watched Mark Webber win for the second time in three years. Lucky spectators also experienced one of the most unique racing tracks in the world. Held on a narrow course on the streets of Monte Carlo, tight corners and elevation changes amount to a particularly dangerous race. And only the Grand Prix does not adhere to the FIA's mandated 189.5 mile minimum race distance (Monaco's Grand Prix is 162 miles long).

Held since 1929 (although infrequently during the 1940s and 50s), it creates unmatched imagery as everyday streetscapes of Monte Carlo are transformed into a racing playground. 

Below, via Reuters, scenes from the weekend's practice sessions and final:

Red Bull F1 Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia drives during a practice session on May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo 

Williams Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela has his car winched away after he crashed it during a practice session. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

The Caterham Formula One car of driver Heikki Kovalainen of Finland is removed from the track following his crash during a practice session. REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo

Ferrari CEO Luca Cordero di Montezemolo speaks on the phone during the race. REUTERS/Max Rossi 

Sunbathers are seen as cars take a corner during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix May 29, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Williams Formula One driver Bruno Senna of Brazil drives near the Casino during a practice session. REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo

Sauber Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Mexico drives during a practice session. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

A general view of Monaco port shows a part of the Grand Prix track with pit lane and grandstands. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain drives during a practice session. REUTERS/Robert Pratta 

Red Bull F1 Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia takes a curve during the qualifying session. REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco cover their ears due to the noise from cars as they wait for the drivers on the podium of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain takes a curve during a practice session. REUTERS/Max Rossi 

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain takes a curve during a practice session. REUTERS/Max Rossi 

Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil drives during a practice session of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

Lotus F1 Formula One driver Romain Grosjean of France takes a curve during a practice session of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia takes a curve during a practice session. REUTERS/Max Rossi 

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during a practice session of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Robert Pratta 

Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain takes a curve on his way to finish second in the race. REUTERS/Max Rossi 

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

Join the Discussion