For decades, the Monaco Grand Prix has been the crown jewel of the F1 calendar, but a new race is bidding to usurp Monte Carlo.
Iconic tracks such as Silverstone, Monza and Albert Park have always drawn flocks of fans, and they are prime locations for celebrity spotting.
The glitz and glamour, the celebrities, the sun-kissed marina and cars racing round the ultra-narrow street circuit, passing iconic landmarks like the Monte Carlo casino – it was the place to be seen.
On the track, drivers felt a sense of history on the legendary circuit, but in recent years, the race entertainment has failed to excite.
The Monaco GP serves up a drab affair, with qualifying essentially determining the final race position with precious few overtaking opportunities around the street circuit.
Since 2000, only 10 drivers have failed to win at Monaco after starting on pole position.
Charles Leclerc has started on pole in the last two seasons but struggled on race day, while six races in a row were won by the pole-sitter from 2009 to 2014.
F1 must continue to evolve
In 2022, Lewis Hamilton noted. “We all know what kind of race it is. It’s all about qualifying. So Saturday is the day.
"On Sunday, unless you luck-in with a bit of strategy, there’s not many overtakes here. Now the cars are bigger and heavier, and there probably won’t be any more. It’ll be the same.”
The drivers still unanimously still love the challenge.
“Without Monaco for me it’s not F1,” said Ferrari’s Monégasque driver Charles Leclerc last year. “There’s no track that comes close to the adrenaline we get in Monaco. It’s part of F1 history and should stay in F1.”
He reflects a view held widely, but there is a bigger picture.
"We accommodate Monaco because of its heritage and because of its history. That’s it,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “You’ve got to evolve. If you stand still, then you’re going backwards.”
The race is no longer untouchable, despite the track's contract being extended until 2025 last year.
From Monaco to Miami?
Glamorous cities such as Miami and Las Vegas have joined the schedule, with the promise of exhilarating action on the track and the world’s top celebrities set to descend on the race weekend.
At last year’s Miami GP, sporting royalty including David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady were caught rubbing shoulders with Hamilton, as Serena Williams also made her way down the paddock.
Pharrell Williams, Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, DJ Khaled, Ashton Kutcher...the A-list presence went on and on.
The increasing popularity of F1 in America, driven by Drive to Survive, means the sport’s bosses are increasingly pivoting to the US.
There were some teething issues in Miami's first appearance last year, but expect those to be ironed out this time out. The circuit runs around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.
According to SportsPro Media, last year's race racked up an average viewership of 2.6 million people in the USA, compared to just over 2 million for Monaco. The viewing figures show that, despite neither race being especially affordable for fans, Miami has already usurped Monaco on TV screens.
With further interest and intrigue in the Miami race and the potential for Monaco to become more about qualifying that the Sunday, it is clear why the Magic City race is the one fans will start looking for in the calendar.
The additional race in Vegas, the potential addition of Ford or Andretti, and a new era of fans itching to watch the best drivers in action, means Miami has all the hallmarks of becoming the new Monaco.
Monaco is losing some of its shine, and Miami is primed to take its spot as F1’s crown jewel.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.