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2014 Monaco Grand Prix Photo Diary

We don’t usually cover events here at Calibre 11, but it’s worth making an exception to that rule, because the Monaco Grand Prix is an event absolutely worth a few photos. The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the highest profile events on the world sporting calendar and, it must be said, also one of the oddest, given the mix of high-powered cars and tight, narrow streets. Like overtaking? Then Monaco is not for you. But despite these challenges, it is without doubt the most famous Grand Prix, largely due to the incredible scenery and the myth of the city itself.

This was my second Monaco Grand Prix, having been in 2010 when Mark Webber came out on top. Few people probably remember that it was an Australian double that weekend, with Daniel Ricciardo- Webber’s eventual replacement at Red Bull- winning the warm-up race.  While I already had my tickets for this years race, I was delighted to get an invitation to join TAG Heuer for the weekend.

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand PrixMost of the photos in this post were taken on the Saturday during before and during qualifying.

The Vantage Point

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren MercedesThe TAG Heuer Loge was located directly opposite the pits in the same grandstand as many of the television and radio commentary boxes. For those who know the track, the view follows the cars after they exit Tabac and La Piscine on the run towards Rascasse. We had a great view of the McLaren garage, the team sponsored by TAG Heuer today and a partner since 1985.

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix TAG HeuerWhile Jenson Button (below) would have been disappointed to miss the top-10 in Saturday qualifying, his rookie teammate Kevin Magnussen had a great run and qualified eighth fastest. That’s not where McLaren want or expect to be, but it’s the reality of their position at the moment. 2015 and Honda-power can’t come fast enough, even though we’re not yet 1/3rd of the way through the season.

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix TAG Heuer

McLaren-Mercedes in Pitlane

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG HeuerThe Monaco pit lane is the smallest and most cramped in Formula 1 and was packed with people in the hour leading up to qualifying- it was surprising how close you could get to the drivers- McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen below.

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 Kevin MagnussenIn fact, so chronic is the lack of space that many of the large team transporters remain parked on the hills outside of city. The pits are more mobile laboratory than your usual garage, with not a drop of oil to be seen. Below you see the two McLarens having their final adjustments ahead of qualifying, with each car stripped of their carbon-fibre body and nose.

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren Mercedes

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren MercedesAnd speaking of noses…here is a close up of the McLaren proboscis.  Even a mother would think twice about loving this year’s designs.

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren Mercedes

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren MercedesWhile I spent most of the time at the McLaren pit, I couldn’t help but wander down to Martini Williams to grab a shot of one of Formula 1’s nicest touches. Every year since his death in a Williams-Renault in 1994, the Williams team has carried the famous “Senna S” on the inside nose of its cars as a tribute to the Brazilian who only started three races for the team.

This year being the 20th anniversary of Senna’s death, the Williams team have adopted a different logo that you can see below.

Ayrton Senna 20 Years Sempre SennaWilliams don’t go out of their way to publicise the logo, but it’s a nice on-going tribute to the Brazilian who was a 6-time winner at Monaco.

TAG Heuer Branding at the Track

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix TAG HeuerWhile Rolex are the official timing sponsor (they are the sponsor of the timing..but have nothing to do with the actual timekeeping!) of the Monaco Grand Prix, TAG Heuer has had a separate sponsorship agreement with the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) since 2011, meaning the track is covered in TAG Heuer logos as you can see below.

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix TAG Heuer

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix TAG Heuer

 

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren Mercedes

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren Mercedes

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren MercedesPleasingly, TAG Heuer’s sponsorship extends beyond trackside banners to include the uniforms of the Grid Girls, which were a little more demure than in previous years…

Tag Heuer grid girls atmosphere. Monaco Street Circuit.

Monaco GP Friday 23/05/14

The Monaco in Monaco

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 17 Chronograph Steve McQueenWell, it had to be a Monaco didn’t it? I took along my 2005 TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 17 Chronograph to the race- it’s fitted with the strap from the 2009 40th Anniversary Monaco, which I think suits the watch perfectly. Here are a few shots of the McQueen Monaco in its “natural” environment.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 17

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 17 Steve McQueen

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer Monaco McQueen

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren Mercedes

TAG Heuer on the Water

TAG Heuer at Monaco Grand PrixOf course, the thing about Monaco is that the race is only half the story of the Grand Prix weekend, with each of the teams and sponsors investing heavily in seeing who can organise the best party. TAG Heuer’s function was on-board the imposing SeaDream II. To get there you could walk…or you could take one of the Grey TAG Heuer-branded speedboats- below.

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix TAG HeuerWaiting outside the entrance to the boat was the new McLaren 650S Spider, which looked sharp in the same deep blue hue as the sky. It was the first time I had seen the upgraded McLaren, and to be honest I prefer the original MP4-12C. While the original car was a little conservative, it at least had it’s own identity, while the new 650S borrows the front-end of the McLaren P1.

McLaren 650S Monaco Grand PrixAs we waited to board, a couple of the enemy came by, most likely to let down the tyres on the 650S.

Fernando Alonso Monaco Grand Prix 2014Of course, the views back into the harbour were spectacular…it’s hard to take a bad photo in Monaco.

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG HeuerSeveral members of the McLaren team joined the party on the boat, including Kevin Magnussen (below with TAG Heuer CEO Stephane Linder) and Racing Director Eric Boullier.

S.Linder_Magnussen

TAG Heuer party 2014As the night wore on, the party got to watch new TAG Heuer ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo score for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer…and for those not interested in the Football, there was always this view back towards Monaco Harbour.

2014 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 TAG Heuer McLaren Mercedes

What about the watches?

TAG Heuer MikrotourbillonSAh, yes watches. Not the main focus of the weekend, but there were some fantastic watches in the TAG Heuer Loge, including collectors who owned a Monaco V4, Mikrotimer 1000 and of course several Monaco Twenty-Fours. Here is TAG Heuer R&D guru Guy Semon’s watch: a MikrotourbillonS.

My sincere thanks to TAG Heuer for a great weekend and the chance to get much closer to the cars and the action than I thought possible. The Monaco Grand Prix definitely should be on everyone’s bucket list, whether you like Formula 1 or not.

 

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  • Philmo

    Much appreciated DC, given the close linkage TAG/Ron Dennis/Monaco/McQueen and F1 being a fave sport 🙂
    Lovely MTS.
    My son's a petrolhead too, so he was just a tad pleased to receive, for his birthday recently, a vintage blue McQueen I'd had restored, more so having learned further of the Monaco history, and for making a few new Monaco friends 🙂

    • Cool gift…he's a lucky man!

      Shame my birthday has just been….

  • DM.

    As much as I appreciate the history and glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix, in terms of racing and race tracks, it's Suzuka for me.

    • Agree 100%. For me, it would be Spa, Monza or Suzuka, with Singapore the choice of the new races (for the same reasons that Monaco is a cool event).

      dc