• The Monaco Grand Prix returns in 2022 for the 68th running of the race.
• Juan Manuel Fangio won the first Monaco GP in 1950, but Ayrton Senna won the most: six.
• The battle for the 2022 win will likely be decided between Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.
The premier event on the Formula 1 calendar returns this weekend. Teams and drives have made their way to Monaco for the 68th race around the Principality.
Though the 3.3km track has been in use since 1929, the first F1 race here took place in 1950 - coinciding with the first year of the F1 Championship - and was won by Juan Manuel Fangio. The Alfa Romeo driver came home in first place ahead of Alberto Ascari (Ferrari) and Louis Chiron, driving a Maserati.
Interestingly, Monaco only failed to appear on the F1 calendar on five occasions. It was omitted from 1951 to 1954 and again in 2020. With the latter, the race fell victim to Covid-19 and, like many others, had to be scrapped as a safety measure. Despite the absence, the event returned in 2021 and was won convincingly by Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen.
The winning outcome of the race's 2022 edition will likely be decided between Red Bull and Ferrari, with Verstappen and Charles Leclerc duelling for victory.
Monaco GP in brief
The most successful driver around Monaco is the late Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian won six times around the Principality and had one of his most impressive races here in 1984 in drenching conditions. Though he did not win on this occasion, it is the race widely regarded as the one that announced Senna's arrival in F1.
Senna also has the greatest number of pole positions around Monaco. The driver started on pole on five occasions in his career and made the race one that is closely associated with his name. Of the current drivers, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, and Daniel Ricciardo all have two pole positions. Hamilton has won here three times.
The design and layout of the Monaco street track do not allow for many overtaking opportunities, but race strategies are often set up in such a way that drivers get a jump on on-track rivals through pit stops. However, timing will be key, and one second can be the difference between a win and second place.
Ferrari and Red Bull head into the race as the favourites for the win, but any team who gets their setup right could be within a shot of the podium. Mercedes-AMG, languishing as the third-best team (if only just), could again make a surprise return to the podium, but it would depend on bad luck befalling the top teams and their drivers.