Monaco Grand Prix May 23-26, 2024

Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 poster for 2024Here’s a big insider secret:  The most glamorous and prestigious racing event in the world, the Monaco Grand Prix… has a discount day!

It’s not publicized, but the trials on the Thursday before the big race is just 30€ for any seat, and although it is not the Formula 1’s (their trials are Friday where all seats are 150€) but you’ll still experience all of the same noise, smells, vibrations, sensations, crashes, and excitement…

Here are the sessions being held Thursday, May 23th, 2024:

  • 1:30-2:15pm          Formula 3 Qualifying Trials
  • 3-3:45pm               Formula 2 Qualifying Trials
  • 4:30-5:15pm         Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Qualifying Trials

For 30€ you can choose the best seats that run up to 1000€ on finals day, and be sure to take your earplugs for the breakneck laps roaring through the just-over-two-mile-long course.  In 2010, the fastest lap of the weekend was 1 minute 15 seconds, and this was during trials, so you have constant action with each race car screaming by every minute or so (check out the video below for a driver’s seat web cam).

If the Thursday taster whets your appetite for the big weekend races, there is a bargain way to see those, too. The green striped area on the map is the cheap standing section on the steep slope coming down from the palace called The Rocher (Rock), where spectators sit on the hard sloping ground and straddle a clump of shrubbery to keep from sliding down the hill!  Fun comradery and a bird’s eye view inside the pits for those 10-second tire changes, for just 120€.

Monaco Grand Prix course mapThere is also a totally free (but jampacked) Grand Prix Fan Zone at Place des Armes (just inland from the pits) open from 9am-9pm daily on all race days, featuring live-transmission on big screens, driver interviews, simulator booths, pit stop challenge, and live concerts after the races on Saturday and Sunday.  You can watch the non-free-day races from here, but get in early as the entry closes once it reaches capacity.

After the streets reopen to the public at 7:30pm you are free to walk along the infamous 2-mile/3.3k circuit and even peek into the pits

This is the time to take a stroll around the harbor to check out the mega-yachts in for the races, and for fun you can google the boat names to see who they belong to and what kind of insane amenities they have…  Check out this article on the Monaco yacht show to get an idea.

While exploring the town, keep your eyes open:  many of the drivers have apartments in Monaco, and with the Cannes Film Festival happening just down the coast, the Principality will be packed to the gills with celebrity spectators of all stripes.

Here is the official Monaco Grand Prix Formula One site  with the schedules, map, seating areas and official ticket site.

Monaco Historic Grand Prix

Monaco hosts a series of Grand Prix type races in the course of the year,  but the best is The Historic Grand Prix on May 10-12, 2024, which uses the same circuit but with classic vintage race cars!

The Friday is totally free, and you can see the practice sessions of the Formula 1 cars from different eras (2024 program here).  Saturday is 50€, and Sunday is 100€, or get the 2-day package for 120€.

How to get there

To get to Monaco during the race, you can either take the train or take the bus, but even with both modes of transport reinforced to the max, it’s still sheer madness, especially on the way back.

…and finally, check out this great clip of James Garner racing the Monaco Grand Prix course in the classic 1966 film Grand Prix:

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