F1 Racing (UK) - - PRO -

Be­ing a tax-free en­vi­ron­ment with a short­age of real es­tate, Monaco is con­stantly re­mak­ing it­self in the im­age of its present res­i­dents. The com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor is wealth.

“We had a very good time boat­ing around the var­i­ous beaches dur­ing the day,” wrote the so­ci­ety colum­nist, Taki, of a sunny day in 1960 spent in the com­pany of the Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Janet Leigh. “Danc­ing in Monte Carlo in the evening, Monaco be­ing not only Rus­sian- and vul­gar­ian-free back then, but also look­ing like Ru­ri­ta­nia-sur-mer rather than Las Ve­gas-on-the-sea.”

Change may not have uni­ver­sal ap­peal, but com­merce and its bold­est ex­po­nents are drawn here like the prover­bial moths to a flame. Monaco, tra­di­tion­ally, is where teams lav­ishly en­ter­tain spon­sors and do deals.

“It’s still the most colour­ful, glam­orous and ex­cit­ing lo­ca­tion we visit,” says Sir Jackie Ste­wart. “Chair­men, CEOS and pres­i­dents of ma­jor auto com­pa­nies and fi­nan­cial ser­vice providers have been com­ing here since 1929. It’s got the best of ev­ery­thing. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace brought glam­our and colour to this lit­tle Prin­ci­pal­ity, and Prince Al­bert has de­vel­oped that.”

It’s cer­tainly the only race that fea­tures a float­ing hospi­tal­ity unit, Red Bull’s no­tion of their own sta­tus far ex­ceed­ing the amount of space ac­tu­ally avail­able in the pad­dock. But Monaco now has com­pe­ti­tion.

“Other des­ti­na­tions are equally sig­nif­i­cant from a com­mer­cial stand­point, such as the US GP and Sin­ga­pore, be­cause they are im­por­tant mar­kets,” says Mclaren CEO Zak Brown, For­mula 1’s pre-emi­nent spon­sor-roper in his pre­vi­ous ca­reer as head of mar­ket­ing agency JMI. “But Monaco, as a brand, rep­re­sents what F1 stands for more than any other grand prix be­cause of the glam­our, the pres­tige, the his­tory. Our hospi­tal­ity is sold out this year. And it’s tough to get into ho­tels and restau­rants – it’s busier than ever.

“Things have changed to the ex­tent that the days of CEOS want­ing to be seen fly­ing into Nice by pri­vate jet and then he­li­copter­ing over to Monaco to get on a 300foot yacht are over. That used to be to­tally cool, to­tally ac­cept­able, but these days more dis­cre­tion is ex­pected.”

The glitz. The glam­our. The yachts. The money. Monaco is out to turn heads and re­mains a race like no other

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