Round eight of the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship takes place in the south of France for the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix.

The race is the most famous on the calendar and is one every driver wants to win at least once in their career. It dates back to 1929, when the first race was organized by Antony Noghès, whose name is featured on the final corner of the current circuit.

Monaco was also on 1950’s inaugural F1 calendar, and has been a regular fixture since 1955. The layout of the 2.1-mile street circuit winding through Monte Carlo, officially the Circuit de Monaco, has remained largely unchanged over the years, the biggest updates taking place in 2004 when a new pit complex was built.

Because of the circuit's narrow streets and tight turns, just 34% of a lap is taken at full throttle and overtaking is also extremely difficult, so qualifying is more important than for any other round. A race lasts 78 laps, which is also more than for any other round.

Circuit de Monaco, home of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix

Circuit de Monaco, home of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix

However, the slower speeds don't mean drivers can relax. In addition to constant gear changes each lap, close walls mean there's no margin for error. Braking as little as seven feet too late can ruin the entire weekend. If a driver's lucky, they'll end up on an escape road. If not, the car is wrecked.

Grip levels are also low since the circuit fully consists of public roads that open to normal traffic in the evening after Friday's practice and Saturday's qualifying, meaning there isn’t much rubber left on the surface by the time of Sunday’s race. As a result, cars run a special high-downforce configuration in Monaco to help maximize grip.

The slippery surface in combination with slow speeds mean minimal wear and degradation for the tires. As a result, Pirelli has nominated its softest compounds: the C3, C4, and C5. Since overtaking is so difficult, a good position in the field is everything, which is why practically all the teams will opt for a one-stop strategy.

Going into the weekend, Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen remains in the lead in the 2024 Drivers' Championship with 161 points. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is second with 113 points, and Red Bull's Sergio Perez is third with 107 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull leads with 268 points versus the 212 of Ferrari and 154 of McLaren. Last year's winner in Monaco was Verstappen, driving for Red Bull.