For the third time in its history, Formula E arrives in Monaco for a race that has it all: glamour, action, and history. Editor Andrea Perilli narrates her experience in the Principality and explains why this is an unmissable spot in the calendar.
My first racing memories, take me to Monaco. Not to Monaco literally as to the geographical place, but to the image of cars racing through the Principality streets on my living room tv, back when I was a toddler. Since a very young age, I had an idea of what the Principality was and where it was located –my weird obsession with atlases and maps had to do with this too– and it was always linked with racing.
So almost ten years later, when racing had become a clear interest of mine, the thought of travelling to Monaco to experience a race in the narrow streets and gleaming coastline, was something I would dream of quite frequently.
When Formula E came into my life, it gave me a reason why I wanted to make it to the Principality. After ups and downs, moments when Monaco seemed closer and further, on May 2017 I was boarding a plane to Europe to make my dream of experiencing a race in Monaco come true, with the plus that I would be working and living the E-Prix from inside.
The 12-hour turbulence-filled flight to Madrid and the later connection to Nice were worth it –even for someone like me who is not the most adept of fliers. As soon as I stepped out of the plane and into the bus, I was astonished. And if the first couple of days I spent in the neighbouring town of Menton blew my mind, what was left for Monaco?
Out of the many things I recommend people to do when they travel to the French Riviera is taking a train. The train journey from Menton's relaxed, southern France vibe station to Monaco's glamour-filled one does not take more than ten minutes, but the views are breathtaking: the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea shimmering through the train's windows as it passes through narrow cliffs.
Then boom! You are in Monaco, where you always wanted to be in. If the station provides you with a sneak peek of the glamour this country has, then wait to go outside and find yourself walking through the streets of that Principality you used to see on tv when you were a kid.
From Cartier to Miu Miu boutiques, via Ferraris and Bugattis parked in the streets, there was luxury everywhere, and walking down the steep streets is an experience I will never forget. The moment I went to pick up my media pass, and entering the circuit with it, had me continuously pinching myself as I couldn't believe I was living it.
The days prior to the race, confirmed me that racing is not just about race day, but the days previous to the main event are equally important. Meeting up with journalists from all over the world, hanging on a yacht in Port Hercules next to the Tabac corner, interviewing the series' most notorious personalities, and walking by world-famous people such as Prince Albert of Monaco or Naomi Campbell, were just some of the things I got to experience.
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No one can deny the importance this race has for racing. It's part of the so-called triple crown of motorsports along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500; it's a race everyone wants to win in every series; and in Formula E particularly, it shows that EVs can go full throttle too as the cars race through the iconic corners and straights.
The race as a whole is unmissable. Not only it contains a good amount of strategy, the key to taking home an important result; but also provides stunning views, has a deep-rooted meaning for any racing fan and brings along personalities from all areas: call it racing, film and music industry, or sports in general. The Monaco races are always a spectacle to watch, and having experienced it myself, it became the one I always recommend people to live themselves.
Formula E, with its fan approach and sustainable bases, makes something sometimes so surreal as witnessing a race in the Principality, an experience anyone can do. As the fully-electric championship's cars race through every iconic part of the circuit, the fans are able to see the hard-fought series in one of racing's most famous spots.
Even for my mother, who accompanied me in this crazy journey, who was in her second visit to Monaco, as she had previously been there in the early 90s, it was an unforgettable time. It was her first time at a Formula E race, and since then, she has not missed any of the ones I have worked in.
Now that Formula E lands once again in Monaco, it is time to let ourselves be mind-blown by the race's unique spirit, and impatiently wait for what is to happen once red lights go out.