May 27, 2006

Horse 556 - Great Fun Wastes of Money

This photograph (from the BBC) can have only come from one place in the world, the small pricipality of Monaco and the City of Monte Carlo. Some people go for the glitz and glamour of a lot of rich people swanning about the place, still others simply like the idea of very very fast cars going on regular schmo streets.

The race has many elevation shifts, tight corners, and a narrow course that make it perhaps the most demanding and the most dangerous track still in use in Formula One racing. In many ways, the Monaco course is an anachronism unsuitable for the race category because the narrow streets make it near-impossible to overtake on the track. However, its history and the spectacle of the event are likely to guarantee the event's future for many years to come, as it is widely considered the jewel of the maximum category.

The most famous corner on the circuit if at Casino Square in which cars slow down to as little as 35mph. This gives you an idea of just how staggeringly fast Grand Prix cars are. Racing round the course has been likened to riding a bicycle round your bathroom or, in Nelson Piquet's words, Flying a helicopter in your living room.

The famous tunnel section is said to be difficult for drivers to cope with due to the quick switch from light to dark, then back to light again, at one of the fastest points of the course. The tunnel is actually the fastest corner on any current Formula 1 circuit, contrasting with the fact that the circuit typically produces the slowest average speed of any Grand Prix.

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