The Monaco Grand Prix was part of the first ever Formula 1 World Championship in 1950, but the circuit held races from 1929 Image Credit: Thinkstock

Race name Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2015 Round 6

Circuit Circuit de Monte Carlo First race 1950 Grands Prix held 72

Laps 78 Race distance 260km Circuit length 3.34km Lap record 1:14:439, Michael Schumacher, 2004

Chance of safety car High Tyre options Super-soft and soft compounds

Most wins by driver Ayrton Senna x6 Most wins by team McLaren x15

2014 result

1. Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes 1:49:27.661

2. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes +9.2s

3. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull +9.6s

2015 schedule

May 21Thursday practice 1 12pm to 1.30pm; Practice 2 4pm to 5.30pm

May 22 – No on-track action

May 23Saturday practice 3 1pm to 2pm; Saturday qualifying 4pm to 5pm

May 24Sunday race 4pm to 6pm

TV schedule Saturday's practice and qualifying, as well as Sunday's race will be shown live on BeIN Sports 6HD. Thursday's practice session coverage has not been confirmed.

All times stated are UAE. Gulf News is not responsible for any changes to schedule.

Best places to watch

Dubai The Underground Pub, Habtoor Grand, JBR (04 399 5000), The Locker Room, Golden Tulip, Al Barsha (04 501 6168), Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi (04 318 1313), Crown and Lion, Byblos, Tecom (04 448 8000), McGettigans (JLT 04 356 0000, DWTC 04 378 0800), Harvesters, Crowne Plaza Trade Centre (04 331 1111), Fibber Magees, Trade Centre (04 332 2400), The Huddle Sports Bar, Mankool (04 407 800) Abu Dhabi NRG, Le Meridien (02 644 6666), Heroes, Crowne Plaza (02 616 6166), Third Avenue, Sheraton Khalidiyah (02 666 6220), Coopers, Park Rotana (02 657 3333) Al Ain Horse and Jockey, Danat Hotel (03 704 6000), Pacos, Hilton (03 768 6666)

Phone ahead to check, Gulf News is not responsible for any changes

The atmosphere

Few Grands Prix have the prestige and vibe of F1’s original street circuit. The Mediterranean glamour that surrounds the Monte Carlo event draws the rich, famous, and outright orange from all over the world. The harbour is packed full of yachts, with each owner trying to out-do the next. Many of the bikini-clad and white-toothed jet-setters don’t have the faintest interest in F1, but no matter, their presence is what makes Monaco, Monaco.

Weather forecast

Monaco has a chequered history when it comes to weather. The coastal principality has seen some wonderfully sunny events, and some truly appalling rain. So much so that races have had to be stopped in the past.

This year the weather is expected to be warm and sunny, with a chance of rain in the mornings before any on-track activity. Although this will still have an impact.

Graham Hill was Mr. Monaco, winning the event five times: 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969. Image: YouTube

A bit of history

The Monaco Grand Prix is the shortest Grand Prix on the calendar, and the one with the slowest average speed. The circuit was first used to stage a motor race in 1929, and has been a near-ever present feature on the F1 calendar since 1950. Monaco is the only race that runs practice on Thursday, leaving Friday free for the drivers to engage in the customary parties and press events.

While there have been several notable winners of the Monaco Grand Prix over the years, there are only two drivers whose achievements stand out: five-time winner Graham Hill and record-holding six-time winner Ayrton Senna.

Hill, father of 1996 World Champion Damon Hill, was known as Mr. Monaco, on account of his dominance of the circuit in an era of hay bales, open-face helmets, and an ever-present chance of a fiery death. While Michael Schumacher also won five times around the principality, Hill acheived it under far more intense and competitive circumstances.

The circuit holds fond memories for Ayrton Senna’s vast army of fans, as it was here that he announced his presence to the world in 1984. In an uncompetitive Toleman-Hart, and in truly appalling weather, Senna reeled in McLaren’s Alain Prost and, had the race not been stopped, he surely would have won. He went on to win six times before his untimely death in 1994.

The circuit has seen massive upgrades and improvements over the years, certainly over the last decade, but the actual circuit layout remains largely unchanged since it was first used in 1929. While debate continues to rage about whether modern F1 cars have out-grown the narrow street circuit, it remains the jewel in the crown of the F1 calendar.

Best overtaking spots

There are few circuits where overtaking is as hard as it is at Monaco. With luck on a drivers’ side, though, the favoured place is on the run down to St. Devote, the first turn after the start line. The relative openness of it means there is marginal room for error… but only marginal.

Another popular place is going into Mirabeau, although a defending driver can hold position into Grand Hotel Hairpin – expect some bruised noses around here.

The exit of the tunnel on the run down to the Nouvelle Chicane is also a popular overtaking point, but a driver must be fully ahead to make it stick, otherwise the barriers will see yet more dents.

Writer’s winner

Lewis Hamilton found himself humbled by a resurgent Nico Rosberg in Spain, as the German notched his first win of the year and narrowly closed the gap to his World Champion teammate. But Monaco is all about the pole position. Rosberg has won the Monaco GP for the last two years - a massive accolade - but there’s something in the wind saying that Hamilton is going to want to choke the life out of his Mercedes here and reclaim authority over the title.

Guides says a Hamilton win, with Rosberg in close pursuit. Vettel a distant third.

Six of the best

Despite its guilt of producing some truly dull processions, on balance Monaco has also seen some great races over the years. We’ve chosen these five Grands Prix as all-time classics.

1. Senna announces his arrival, 1984

The unknown Brazilian rookie, in his first year in the sport, went about catching champion-elect Alain Prost at an eye-watering rate in appalling rain.

2. Olivier Panis takes his first – and only – win, 1996

Ligier's Olivier Panis took a surprise win around the street circuit in 1996 after Damon Hill's Williams expired and Michael Schumacher crashed out on lap 1. Jean Alesi, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard were all contenders, as was Martin Brundle. But Panis kept his head above water, literally.

3. Hamilton does it again, 2008

Lewis Hamilton out-witted the Ferrari's in wet weather in what would be one of his less-dramatic races...

4. Will we ever get a winner? 1982

One of the most extraordinary Formula 1 race finishes in history took place at Monaco. With two laps to go Alain Prost was leading before crashing out, allowing Riccardo Patrese to take the lead - he then spun it away. Didier Pironi lead for three corners before running out of fuel and handing the lead to Andreas De Cesaris - who broke down immediately. Derek Daly then briefly assumed the lead before crashing into the barriers, allowing Patrese to retake the lead!

5. Senna breaks Mansell’s stranglehold, 1992

Nigel Mansell went to Monaco undefeated and on course for a win, until an unscheduled tyre change dropped him behind title rival Ayrton Senna. Mansell drove out of skin to claw back the defecit but just couldn't get by the McLaren

6. Moss bloodies Ferrari's nose, 1961

Stirling Moss, racing for Lotus in 1962, used his genious to defy the Ferraris of Phil Hill and Peter Gethin. Maintaining a gap of 3-6 seconds for the entire race, Moss never tired.