Monaco Grand Prix is held annually on a street circuit fringing Port Hercules and the Principality and is the most hotly anticipated race on the Formula 1 calendar.
This year’s event is held from Thursday 26 May to Sunday 29 May with the main race day on Sunday 29 May, and is a truly spectacular event with a backdrop of a bustling port filled with superyachts, Monegasque high rises and famous landmarks such as the Casino de Monte Carlo and Fairmont Monte Carlo.
The 74th Monaco F1 Grand Prix will take place from Thursday 26 May to Sunday 29 May 2016 and will see the Principality welcome the most highly anticipated event in the Formula 1 calendar.
Monaco F1 Grand Prix is an unmissable annual event which attracts major influencers in Formula 1 racing, celebrities, supermodels and luxury yachts – many staying on in the region after the Cannes Film Festival, and this year, the biennial Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is also hosted on the same circuit two weeks prior to the F1 event.
The Monaco Grand Prix 2016, the 74th edition of the prestigious event, is sure to be the ultimate fixture on this year’s Formula 1 calendar. Each and every stretch and corner is steeped in history, from Casino Square to the world’s most renowned hairpin, the Fairmont, past elegant yachts and through hillside tunnels.
The first practice laps take place at 10am on Thursday 26th May with the second coming later in the afternoon at 2pm. Although this means arriving in Monaco a full two days before the actual race, this is a great opportunity to see the cars in action and to take in the atmosphere of the track.
Overtaking on the Monaco circuit is notoriously difficult; qualifying is therefore more important in the Principality than at any other Grand Prix, and is definitely not to be missed. The qualifying begins at 2pm on Saturday, with the race itself starting at 2pm on Sunday, although be advised to arrive early to navigate the crowds.
Cars have been clocking exceptionally quick times this year so there is a quiet confidence among automotive fans that the circuit’s lap record of 1:18:0.63, set by Daniel Ricciardo in 2015, may be broken in 2016. Unlike most other Grand Prix races, you’ll have to book a grandstand seat to gain a first-hand view of the action, as the tight streets make it very difficult to walk from corner to corner. For this reason, a portable radio can be a good addition to the experience, so you can hear what’s going on even when you can’t see it.
The nearest airport is Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport, from where it is possible to reach Monaco by train with the journey taking around 40 minutes. But which automotive racing fanatic ever took the train to such a prestigious automotive event? A more exhilarating way to arrive would be to hire a supercar and drive via the autoroute, which would take around the same time. It’s one way to turn an already incredible experience into a life-long memory.
But a hired luxury vehicle isn’t just useful for the journey into Monaco itself. The Grand Prix is unique in that there is a rest day between the practice laps and the race, which gives you a day to put a supercar through its paces on the very same picturesque streets that will later host the grand prix, and even explore the surrounding area. Envisage a trip through the streets of Monaco in a Ferrari 458 Italia – an icon of automotive design!
Spring, or printemps, is an ideal time of the year to visit the French Riviera where people are feeling invigorated with the start of longer days after daylight savings moved the clocks forward the last Sunday in March.
Yachts are preparing ahead for the busy Mediterranean season, with many crossing back from the Caribbean, and the last remnants of winter in the south are slowly fading with dusk.
Spring on the French Riviera
The French Riviera had origins as a winter resort, where convalescing patients would stay for the health benefits of the mild climate, and aristocrats would visit to forget the grey skies of the northern winter. Almost one hundred years ago, luxury yachts were not common place here with the preferred transport being trains especially the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée (PLM) expresses.
The PLM launched their first-class-only service to the French Riviera in 1922 and Le Train Bleu opened up the region and brought with it distinguished passengers over the years including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Somerset Maugham.
The attractions of good weather and sunny skies flipped the coin for the French Riviera as hotels began to extend their season to cater for wealthy visitors – Gerald and Sara Murphy convinced the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc to stay open in summer, and Coco Chanel startled everyone with her suntan when she stepped ashore in Cannes in 1923 from Flying Cloud, the yacht belonging to Hugh Grosvenor, the Second Duke of Westminster.
Today, the French Riviera’s popularity continues – it’s a great destination to charter a luxury yacht year round and while summer is often handed the glory of ‘best time of the year to visit’, spring is just as ideal with less traffic than summer, luxury hotels having off-season specials, attractions reopening after Easter and clear, crisp days perfect for cruising the Mediterranean coast.
The French Riviera is a great destination for driving with over 300 sunshine days a year it’s no wonder one of the main highways feeding into south-eastern France, the A7 from Lyon to Marseille, is christened the ‘Autoroute du Soleil’.
Some of Bespoke Yacht Charter’s favourite self-drive road trips are located not far from the French Riviera’s ports and marinas meaning a spectacular journey on wheels is easy to combine with your Cote d’Azur yacht charter – imagine rambling into vineyards to buy wines direct from the producer, visiting perched villages for a leisurely Provençal lunch beside a heritage-listed fountain and traversing beautiful National Parks with wildflowers and wildlife.
The prestigious Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes, between Cannes and Nice, is one of the finest 5-star hotels in France and epitomises the style and elegance of the French Riviera, featuring regularly on Tatler and Conde Nast Traveler lists as one of the best hotels in the world.
Part of the Oetker Collection of elite luxury hotels, it is set amidst 22 acres of gardens with palms, Aleppo pines, citrus, cypress and olive trees, wisteria, roses and magnolia. The hotel grounds embrace the coastline and offer marvellous views of the Mediterranean and the Íles de Lérins.
Monaco, the second smallest independent state in the world after the Vatican, has a big reputation as a place of Chanel and champagne, palaces and Grimaldi Princes and superyachts alongside supercars.
But underneath the veneer of sophistication, lie the secrets of what makes Monaco so appealing – the charming narrow alleyways in Monaco-Ville, quiet spaces in public gardens with sub-tropical flowers, award winning cosmopolitan restaurants and sea views Jacques Cousteau would rave about.
As the weather turns autumnal, a road trip in a convertible might not be top priority that is, unless it’s to have a spin in the new Huracan Spyder sports car, launched in September by Lamborghini.
This head-turning roadster was the star attraction of the Frankfurt motor show, where it was unveiled by Lamborghini’s CEO, Stefan Winkelmann, at the VW group preview night.
More formally known as the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder, due to its metric horsepower output and its four-wheel drive, this sensational supercar succeeds the Gallardo Spyder, to date the best-selling open-top car in the manufacturer’s history.
However the Gallardo Spyder’s success is not expected to last. “We expect the Huracan Spyder to exceed its predecessor in every way,” says Mr Winkelmann.
What’s so special about this particular soft-top supercar? It’s 5.2-litre V10 makes 610 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 413 pound-feet or torque at 6,500 rpm. The ten-cylinder engine torpids the Spyder from zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph.
But it is not just the wheels on the roadster, which turn superfast. The Huracan Spyder also has a fabric roof, which is electrically operated at speeds of up to 31mph. According to its manufacturers, it takes just 17 seconds for the soft top – available in black, red or brown – to disappear behind a discrete cover.
The interior of this sensational new Spyder is very similar to the Huracan coupe, although it does benefit from innovative ducts that reduce air turbulence in the cockpit, as well as detachable glass rear windows. These lateral wind guards allow the driver and his companion to talk even when the top is down, or can be opened to let the guttural sounds of the engine pour into the cabin when the roof is on.
The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder is, like its coupe version, a four-wheel drive with the driver being able to choose between three driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa. A simple switch of a button on the steering wheel, known as Anima (advanced network intelligence management), will allow the motorist to select the mode he wishes.
The Huracan Spyder, which has been built out of aluminum and carbon fiber ensuring it is as light as possible, is scheduled to go on sale next spring for approximately £205,000.
If this has wet your appetite to drive a Lamborghini, Luxury Car Rent has three from which to hire: An Adventurer Roadster, an Adventurer Coupe and a Huracan LP 610-4. Luxury Car Rent hire elite, supercars in Monaco, the French Riviera and the Alps. You can also reserve the new Lamborghini for 2016, or perhaps a new Mercedes or Ferrari, from Luxury Car Rent, in Cannes, Monaco or Saint Tropez.
The French Riviera is famous the world over as the summer playground of the international jet-set and celebrities. From the beaches of St Tropez to the exhilaration of the Monaco Grand Prix, here are 5 Things You Must Do On The French Riviera!
1. Experience the Monaco Grand Prix
The most famous race on the Formula 1 calendar takes place on the streets of the Principality of Monaco during the last weekend in May. Whilst the race may not appeal to racing purists, there is no doubt that this is a spectacle not to be missed. For five days, the F1 circus completely takes over this glamorous micro-state. The race itself can be watched from various stands around the circuit or from the balconies of hotels and apartments trackside, but the ultimate way to experience this legendary event is from the deck of a luxury yacht berthed in the Port of Monaco! Imagine the fastest cars and drivers in the world flying past at huge speeds, literally metres from you, whilst you sit on the deck of a glamorous superyacht experiencing some of the finest service and cuisine known to man. If you are lucky enough to be on a yacht charter at Monaco Grand Prix, you’ll also experience some of the best parties that take place on GP weekend. Also be sure to visit Amber Lounge, the star studded club owned by Sonia Irvine (sister of former Ferrari driver Eddie) that sets up shop in Monaco each year for the Grand Prix. Book a table and mingle with drivers past and present and the world’s international jet-set!
You simply haven’t lived until you’ve stayed at this temple to all that is luxurious on the stunning Cap d’Antibes peninsula, between Nice and Cannes. Set in stunning landscaped gardens with panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the hotel consists of two distinct parts, the palatial Hotel du Cap and the seafront Eden-Roc pavilion. Both buildings feature lavish rooms and suites offering the ultimate in luxury and unparalleled standards of service. Dine in the fabulous Eden-Roc restaurant, recently voted as one of the 100 best restaurants in the world by Elite Traveller, or at the more casual but equally glamorous Grill by the pool. Sip cocktails on the terrace of the hotel’s fantastic new champagne bar, or pamper yourself in the divine Sisley Spa. This hotel is incredibly famous, and not just because it is here that stars flock during the Cannes Film Festival, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc is truly the definitive luxury hotel experience on the French Riviera and one of the best hotels to be found anywhere in the world.
The French Riviera is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world and what better way to appreciate it in all its’ glory than to see it from the air! You get some amazing views from your plane as you come into Nice Airport, but to really appreciate the amazing scenery of the region, you need to get into a helicopter. Regular helicopter flights operate between Nice Airport, Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez offering stunning views of the Côte d’Azur and reducing journey times greatly. It can take hours to get from Cannes to St Tropez by road in the middle of the summer, by helicopter, it takes less than 20 mins and offers fabulous views over the Esterel mountains. The helicopter service from Nice Airport to Monaco takes just 6 mins! It’s also surprisingly good value at €130 per person, only slightly more than a single taxi fare.
Luxury yachts are synomous with the French Riviera, but you don’t need to be a billionaire to enjoy one! Yachts of all sizes can be rented for the day, week or longer and there is something to suit (almost) all budgets. From a 20m motor yacht for the day to a 50m for a two week family holiday. As one of the most famous stretches of coastline anywhere in the world, it goes without saying that the very best way to experience the French Riviera is from a luxury yacht charter. Imagine arriving in such famous ports as Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez on your very own yacht, with a crew there to spoil you, and only you. No other method of travel offers such sublime luxury, privacy and the possibility to have breakfast in Antibes, lunch off Cap Ferrat and dinner in Monte-Carlo! All luxury yachts are fully crewed and offer service equal to that found in the world’s finest hotels and restaurants. Book your yacht with a charter broker specialising in the French Riviera. They will help you plan the perfect Cote d’Azur yacht charter itinerary and use their local knowledge and contacts to secure the best berths and get you reservations at all the best beach clubs and restaurants.
Those looking for the ultimate Côte d’Azur holiday often choose to rent a villa in the Golf of St Tropez. This area encapsulates what the French Riviera is all about, from the superyachts and restaurants in the Port of St Tropez to the legendary beach clubs at Plage de Pampelonne, a luxurious villa makes the perfect base to experience all that the area has to offer. The best villas are located in St Tropez itself or in nearby Ramatuelle, Pampelonne, Gassin or La Croix Valmer. It goes without saying that these villas do not come cheap, but there are villas available at all price points. Consider renting in June or September to get the best deal. These months either side of the High Season are the perfect time to holiday on the French Riviera with great weather but without the huge crowds found in the major holiday months of July and August.
The Principality of Monaco is one of the most popular ports of call on any south of France yacht cruise. This tiny country is renowned as one of the most glamorous yachting destinations in the Mediterranean and fans of gastronomy will not be disappointed, with everything from 3 Star Michelin cuisine to simple hearty Mediterranean food on offer in Monaco’s restaurants. Monaco is home to some legendary restaurants including the 3 Star Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris in Casino Square and the 2 Star Joël Robuchon at The Metropole in Monte-Carlo. In this article, we are going to focus on three of the best restaurants in Monaco which we highly recommend visiting when in town on a luxury yacht charter!
Le Blue Bay
The Blue Bay is located in the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort on Avenue Princesse Grace in the Larvotto beach area of Monaco. Whilst this large hotel very much has a Vegas feel to it, this restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and is something of an oasis of calm in the middle of Monaco. Chef Marcel Ravin hails from Martinique in the French Caribbean and has brought to Monaco his unique take on traditional French cuisine with strong Caribbean and Asian influences. Delightful flavours abound and the style of cuisine is perfectly suited to Monaco’s hot summers. Standout dishes include Foie Gras with Candy Flos and a dessert of Dim Sum made with tropical fruits! Ravin’s cuisine has received universal acclaim since the restaurant opened and he has been awarded one Michelin Star! The interior is stylish, light and airy but the most coveted tables are on the terrace and offer stunning views over the Mediterranean. Blue Bay offers surprisingly good value for Monaco with exquisite tasting menus available from €88 per person. Watch the wines though as they can do some serious damage to the wallet!
Le Blue Bay, Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, 40 Av. Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco – Tel. +377 98 06 03 60
Venice comes to Monaco via Mayfair and New York City… Cipriani offers classic Italian cooking in a fun and wonderfully glamorous atmosphere. Arriving at this restaurant, you will be greeted by a parade of Bugattis and Bentleys being dropped off with the valet by ultra chic diners. The menu will be instantly recognisable to anyone that has visited a Cipriani restaurant before. Standout starters include the stellar King Crab Salad and the delightfully simple “Pasta e Fagioli”. Mains are all the Italian classics, fantastic grilled fish, meat and of course truly exceptional pasta! You have not lived until you’ve tried “Tagliardi with veal ragù”! The dessert menu is delivered “live” at the table with all the sweet delights paraded around your table in a swirl of waiters’ arms! This is Italian restaurant theatre at its’ best and it works very well in Monaco! Cipriani Monte-Carlo is owned by the equally flamboyant Flavio Briatore, one time owner of the Benetton F1 team and longterm resident of Monaco. Briatore also owns the excellent Twiga nightclub nearby and it is here that many diners head to after dinner at Cipriani. Located under the tunnel that you’ll instantly recognise from the Monaco Grand Prix, Twiga offers a fantastic waterfront location to enjoy a glass or six of champagne and sets from the world’s superstar DJs, the glimmering lights of assembled superyachts providing a stunning backdrop! Twiga is without a shadow of a doubt the best nightspot in the Principality of Monaco!
Cosmopolitan is an excellent restaurant in the vibrant Rue du Portier area of Monaco. This delightful establishment utterly disproves the theory that it is impossible to eat in glamorous surroundings in Monaco without breaking the bank! Cosmopolitan is owned by an Italian/British couple and that is reflected in reflected in the menu, superb Squid Ink Pasta sits comfortably alongside Roast Beef and Fish and Chips! The food is consistently good and offers exceptional value for money in this prestigious location. Guests can dine either inside in a modern, funky interior or outside on a fabulous terrace enjoying the parade of supercars that are a constant feature in this street!
Cosmopolitan – 7 Rue du Portier, 98000 Monaco – Tel. +377 93 25 78 68
The glamorous Principality of Monaco and the stunning perched village of Eze are two places everyone should visit when holidaying on the French Riviera! From the glitz of Monaco’s Casino Square to the stunning food on offer at Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze, these two destinations have plenty to offer even the most discerning of travellers.
The French Riviera is renowned for its exclusive lifestyle consisting of grand villas and luxury superyachts. However, it wasn’t always the attractive destination it is nowadays. Dating back to the Middle Ages, there have been numerous rivalries, battles and wars. Therefore, a selection of fortresses and castles were constructed at the peak of many of the perched villages to protect the region. These strategic fortifications offer an insight into the French Riviera’s history and culture and provide some of most awe-inspiring panoramic views along the dramatic coastline. Rent a luxury supercar and explore the best defensive fortresses in the region whilst driving one of the world’s finest coastal routes in style. Ferrari always seems to be the most popular option in the region.
Chateau de La Napoule – Mandelieu La Napoule
Begin your driving tour along the French Riviera in Mandelieu La Napoule, a beautiful unspoilt coastline resort situated east of Cannes. The 14th century castle is a famous landmark in the region, which looks onto the beautiful Golfe de la Napoule. It has a fascinating history stretching back over hundreds of years. Constructed in 1387 by the Countess of Villeneuve, it stood for many years as a medieval fortress. However, after being dismantled and transformed into a glass factory during the French Revolution in 1789, the castle was bought and restored by American artist and sculptor Henry Clews and his wife Marie. Henry focused on the architecture of the castle and his wife designed the impressive gardens. The castle is now open to the public under the management of The Henry Clews art foundation and Henry’s collection of art is on display to visitors.
Chateau de Villeneuve-Loubet – Villeneuve-Loubet
The next destination is Villeneuve-Loubet. Take your supercar rental for a magnificent coastal drive through the prestigious cities of Cannes and Antibes until you reach Villeneuve-Loubet, a historical, traditional town sitting on the hillside with stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Constructed in the 13th century by the Romée of Villeneuve, this historic medieval fortress boasts an incredible history, experiencing war, occupation and revolution. Owned by the Panisse-Passis family since 1741, the castle has been inhabited, maintained and is now open to the public. Surrounded by immense gardens, the 33m watchtower offers a picturesque view of dramatic coastline.
Chateau-Musée Grimaldi – Cagnes-Sur-Mer
A short drive and you will arrive at the next historic castle, in the beautiful perched village of Cagnes-Sur-Mer. Towering over the small historic town, this ancient stronghold was built in the 1309 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Cagnes-Sur-Mer, and transformed into a Baroque-style palatial home in 1620. At the summit of the hill, featuring grand towers and a triangular courtyard, this castle offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. These days, the castle hosts a variety of international contemporary art exhibitions and also has a museum of modern art. An absolute must-visit on your French Riviera road trip!
Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or – Eze
The final castle on this driving tour is in the ancient commune of Eze. In the traditional hilltop village, within the old fortress walls and amongst the ruins is the luxurious Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or. Featuring breathtaking views of St Jean-Cap Ferrat and the Med, resides a world-class hotel with many terraces and a deluxe swimming pool. Enjoy an exquisite meal in the courtyard and watch the sunset on the horizon.
To finish the evening in style, drive round the winding roads into Monaco, taking in the phenomenal views. To round off an ideal day, pull up in front of the world famous Monte Carlo Casino, in your Ferrari rental and enjoy an exclusive evening in Monaco.
Check out this great footage of Monaco filmed from a drone. Featuring the beaches at Larvotto, Casino Square, the Hotel de Paris, Superyachts in Port Hercule, Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel and everything else that the Principality of Monaco has to offer!
St Tropez on the French Riviera remains for many the quintessential luxury yacht charter destination in the Mediterranean. Every summer, luxury yachts on charter fill the Port of St Tropez. St Tropez is so popular with luxury yachts, that in July and August, there are often many hundreds of yachts anchored in the bay outside the port and at nearby Pampelonne beach. Berths inside the Port of St Tropez are like gold-dust and those wanting to visit St Tropez on their luxury yacht charter need to book many months in advance in order to guarantee that all important berth inside the harbour. St Tropez offers it all to guests holidaying on a luxury yacht, great beaches, restaurants, shopping and nightlife but beautiful quiet anchorages are only a short cruise away! Since it rose to fame in the 1960s, St Tropez has remained the ultimate summer playground for the world’s jet-set, and despite competition from other destinations around the Mediterranean, St Tropez shows no signs of relinquishing its’ crown!
As the summer gets off to a warm start this June, travelling by road around the French Riviera becomes more and more frustrating. With so many tourists arriving on the French Riviera by car, what better way to begin your yacht charter in the south of France than to arrive by helicopter! Avoiding all the motorway nonsense, the slow procession of cars through the winding roads of the Var en-route to Pampelonne beach and the chaos of La Croisette in Cannes! Whether arriving by plane to either Nice, Cannes or St Tropez, a helicopter transfer is simply the best way to stay relaxed and take the most direct route and enjoy stunning views to begin your luxury vacation or business event on the French Riviera.
There are several helicopter transfer services running between Nice, Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez and the cost of flying by helicopter is surprisingly low, in many cases no more expensive than a regular taxi!
HELI AIR MONACO operate out of the Monaco Heliport in the Principality of Monaco. Running a complimentary shuttle service, HELI AIR MONACO will collect guests direct from their Monaco hotel or apartment and whisk you straight to your helicopter before departing for Nice, Cannes or St Tropez. For regular scheduled flights, HELI AIR MONACO operate over 50 flights per day between Monaco and Nice Airport. Taking off on the hour and every half hour from Monaco and quarter past the hour and every half hour afterwards from Nice, with each flight taking only 7 minutes! Road transfers are included in the cost but advance booking is recommended for this service. HELI AIR MONACO also offer bespoke French Riviera panoramic helicopter flights, ski packages and private charter flights throughout the year. They also offer a helicopter aerial filming service.
Please contact HELI AIR MONACO for further details:
HELI SECURITE are predominantly based out of Nice, where most international flights arrive into, but they also have hubs at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport and at La Mole airport in St Tropez and run regular flights out of all three. HELI SECURITE also arrange special helicopter transfers during all of the major events that take place in Cannes. So if you’re arriving for a MIPIM yacht charter or a yacht charter at Cannes Lions, why not avoid the traffic and arrive relaxed direct into Cannes Port by helicopter! After a hectic round of business meetings, why not extend your yacht charter and take a steady cruise along the coast to Portofino for the evening before heading back to Nice by helicopter? HELI SECURITE also operate throughout the winter season and run regular flights to the French and Swiss Alps for ski enthusiasts.
AZUR HELICOPTEREoperate flights mainly into Cannes, but also to major cities such as Lyon, where they maintain a hub for transporting guests around the Rhône-Alpes region and for helicopter transfers to the French Alps. They also run helicopter flights between Milan and Geneva as well as hopping across the Mediterranean to the beautiful island of Corsica! Offering a totally bespoke service AZUR HELICOPTERE can arrange helicopter transfers for special dinners, concerts, sailing regattas, boat shows and all of the Cannes events. And should you ever wish to sit up front and take the controls, AZUR HELICOPTERE also operate a fully licensed professional flying school at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport!
For further details please visit AZUR HELICOPTERE:
The F1 circus is set up and ready to go for another great round of racing in what is perhaps the most eagerly awaited race of the season – the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix. Following huge thunderstorms overnight, track temperatures had dropped significantly from yesterday and this morning saw drivers tentatively easing their cars around the circuit in damp slippery conditions. All except Lewis Hamilton who flew around his local track as if conditions were perfect. He was a massive 4 seconds faster than the rest of the pack, until the tarmac dried out a bit and the other drivers gained their grip. This afternoon saw more downpours and loyal fans sadly didn’t get to see much action as the rain set in. However, the end of the session still has Hamilton as the fastest driver with Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso second fastest in his first time around this demanding track. Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest in his Red Bull, followed by Vettel for Ferrari and then the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. Pastor Maldonado had a great first run finishing sixth, ahead of the second Red Bull driven by Kvyat who was followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari. Nico Rosberg or Mercedes finished the session in 9th with Felipe Massa completing the top ten. Great news for McLaren with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button ending the session 11th and 12th fastest, after a troubled start for Jenson.
With many yacht guests already installed, this evening will be a more sedate affair as guests take time out to relax, head in to town for dinner and soak up the electric Monaco GP atmosphere whilst yachts and clubs prepare for tomorrow evening’s kick off to the biggest party weekend of the year!
Ever wondered what it’s like to charter a luxury yacht on the French Riviera. In just seven days, take in such fabulous destinations as St Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Cap Ferrat and Monaco, as well as visits inland to Eze Village and St Paul de Vence.
Things are excitingly poised for the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix in just under two weeks following Nico Rosberg’s victory in Barcelona at the weekend! Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton finished second with Sebastian Vettel in the resurgent Ferrari in third place. With three wins to his name so far this season, Hamilton leads the Championship on 111 points. Rosberg is on 91 points and Vettel in third on 80 points. Following the drama last year in qualifying where Hamilton’s fast lap was cut short as Rosberg went off the circuit, the British driver will be keen to dominate qualifying and secure that ever important pole position in Monaco! It is notoriously difficult to overtake on the streets of the Principality of Monaco and securing pole goes a long way to ensuring victory.
The world’s first all electric racing series comes to Monaco next weekend. 20 cars and drivers from the FIA Formula E series will take part in the inaugural Monaco ePrix on a shortened version of the legendary Monaco Grand Prix circuit featuring such infamous corners as Tabac, Rascasse and the Swimming Pool. The event forms part of the 2014/2015 Formula E championship, which aims to bring electric power to the forefront of motorsport. The series is already causing a great deal of excitement in the motor racing world. Formula 1 already makes extensive use of electric power and perhaps it is only a matter of time before the pinnacle of motorsport also relies totally on electric power! Monaco will be the seventh race of a total of ten, races having already taken place in such places as Beijing, Miami and Buenos Aires. The drivers must be incredibly excited at the thought of getting to drive their incredible electric machines capable of speeds in excess of 220kmh on the famous Monaco street circuit!
The 2015 Monaco ePrix takes place on Saturday 9 May 2015
Monaco, the very name conjures up images of incredible displays of wealth, of supercars and palatial white yachts glimmering under the blue skies of the Côte d’Azur. Visitors to Monaco will be pleased to find that this tiny Principality more than lives up to all that you’ve heard about it! If you’re coming to Monaco, here are 10 great things to do whilst you’re there:
1. Visit Casino Square and The Casino de Monte-Carlo
When most people think of Monaco, they think of Monte-Carlo and its Casino, and with good reason. It is this square and the temple to gambling that crowns it, that typifies what Monaco and Monte-Carlo are all about! Dress to impress, you’ll feel just like James Bond as you climb the steps of the legendary Casino and head to one of the fabulously ornate gaming rooms. Whether you like gambling or not, a visit to The Casino de Monte-Carlo is a right of passage for any visitor to Monaco, unless of course you’re Monegasque, who are not even allowed in the building! The Grimaldi family that rule Monaco decided it was prudent to take this step to protect their citizens from potential ruin!
2. A glass of Champagne at the Café de Paris
The Café de Paris is the place to be in Monaco! This gorgeous Belle Epoque brasserie is reminiscent of the finest establishments in Paris, with perfectly presented waiters dressed in black and white, holding silver trays of drinks. Pick a table on the front terrace and sit down for a glass of champagne. An hour of people watching here will give you the entire Monaco experience distilled into the time it takes to enjoy a glass of champagne, or two! If you love cars, you’ll be in heaven as the parade of supercars right in front of you will be more impressive than even the finest motor show. Ferraris in their hundreds, fail to even turn heads, only the latest exotics from the likes of Pagani or Bugatti will cause a Monaco regular to look up from his drink.
3. Cocktails in the American Bar at the Hotel de Paris
The lobby of the Hotel de Paris is one of the most lavish lobbies found in any hotel anywhere in the world. It is truly majestic, with its marble columns and crystal chandeliers. Head to the American Bar in the hotel for a cocktail or two. Entering this bar is like stepping back in time, the photos of the likes of Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra that adorn the walls remind you that you’re in a little piece of living history. A Vodka Martini, shaken-not-stirred will match the mood perfectly!
4. Play a game of tennis at the Monte-Carlo Country Club
The Monte-Carlo Country Club hosts the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament every April in Monaco that brings the most famous faces in tennis to Monaco each year. Enjoy a game of tennis with the most spectacular backdrop of any tennis club in the world. Scores of glimmering megayachts sparkle on the Mediterranean sea and the view of the spectacular Villa La Vigie perched above the water is utterly beautiful. This is where many of the world’s top tennis players that reside in Monaco get to train regularly.
5. Walk the Monaco Grand Prix Circuit
Monaco is known the world over for its annual Grand Prix where elite drivers and machines live on the edge as they race around the streets of the Principality. Of course, the best thing to do is to come here for the race! But you can walk the circuit at any time of year and see all the famous corners, from Tabac Corner to the tunnel, Casino Square, the Swimming Pool and the Loews/Fairmont Hairpin. If you’re too lazy to walk the circuit, why not rent a supercar and do a few laps. You’ll likely get stuck behind a Monaco bus or two, but even they drive around Monaco like racing drivers and you’ll be going a lot faster than you think you are!
6. Visit the Old Town of Monaco and the Prince’s Palace
Le Rocher (the Rock) is the old town of Monaco and walking the narrow streets packed with little restaurants and shops is a wonderful way to while away an afternoon. Dominating Le Rocher is the grand Place du Palais, where you find the Palace that is home to Monaco’s Prince and the ruling Grimaldi Family. You can watch the changing of the guard if you arrive at the right time. A walk to the nearby Monaco Cathedral that is the final resting place of the late Princess Grace is also worthwhile.
7. Visit Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum
Also on Le Rocher, we find Monaco’s fabulous Oceanographic Museum. Built in 1910, this temple to all that lives under the sea clings to a cliff above the Mediterranean in dramatic fashion. The museum was built by Prince Albert I of Monaco, who was passionate about marine life. It is without doubt one of the finest museums of its type anywhere in the world.
8. Visit the yachts in Monaco’s Port Hercule
The Port of Monaco may not be home to the very largest yachts in the Mediterranean, that honour goes to Port Vauban in Antibes, but nevertheless, the sight of some of the finest yachts in the world on display in the amphitheatre like port is mighty impressive. A walk around all the yachts is a great way to spend a few hours, and there are plenty of excellent bars and restaurants to enjoy whilst you do.
9. Spend the day at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo Spa
The Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo is a spa owned by the SBM who also own many of the finest hotels in Monaco such as The Hermitage and the Hotel de Paris. A day spent at the spa here is truly a way to pamper oneself. There are myriad of amazing treatments on offer and a pool with a panoramic view over the Port of Monaco. It is the perfect way to spend the day before hitting Monaco’s various nightspots!
10. Dinner at Alain Ducasse at The Hotel de Paris
For lovers of gastronomy, Monaco’s restaurants have been awarded no less than 8 Michelin Stars! From the exquisite Japanese cuisine at Yoshi to the fabulous creations of Chef Marcel Ravin at The Blue Bay, there is no shortage of fabulous places to dine in Monaco. But the one place that draws food lovers the most is Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris, formerly called Le Louis XV. With 3 Michelin Stars, this lavish temple to gastronomy is truly of the finest restaurants on the planet and a dining experience you will remember for ever.