LIFESTYLE TAG Heuer Drone Show: A flying lap through Monaco

5 min

TAG Heuer Monaco 2022 Drone Light Show: feel every corner, every chicane and every straight as we take you on a lap around the Monaco circuit.

TAG Heuer Monaco 2022 Drone Light Show

Every corner is a thing of beauty. Every turn opens up a portal to a different time, a panoramic view of the Mediterranean, a picturesque scene of cascading baroque buildings. Even when you’re driving through Monaco at breakneck speeds, the track must feel different. It’s more intimate, more exhilarating. Most circuits in the world are custom-built for racing. Here in this principality, there’s a contract, an understanding between the Monégasque people and racing drivers. The locals gift the drivers their streets for 3 days and in return, the drivers must put on a show. Like good guests, they must keep the driving fierce but clean. They must race, but with respect. They can’t just run amok like raging bulls in a porcelain city.

That’s what makes Monaco more than just a racetrack.

That’s why we’ve named a chronograph after it.

That’s why Monaco is like our spiritual home.

On race weekends, you’ll see fans wearing, comparing and talking about their TAG Heuer Monacos. So many of our ambassadors have also come up trumps here. Our DNA as a brand has been written on courses like this. But what is it like to actually drive here? What do you see, hear and feel through those visors, behind those steering wheels? With the Monaco Grand Prix on the horizon, we thought we’d give you a sense of what it’s like to be in the driving seat. We’re going to take you on a literary flying lap through the streets of Monaco. But first, a little history lesson.

Collage by Romaric André, Seconde/Seconde/

The jewel in the crown of motorsport

The first Monaco Grand Prix was raced through the narrow, bumpy, winding and hilly streets of the tiny principality by the Mediterranean in 1929 — more than two decades before the Formula One championship began in 1950. The race today is still run on much the same circuit because there are few other possible layouts within the confines of the city. With hairpins, narrow corners and a flat-out tunnel, the circuit is also a great leveler among cars and drivers. It’s the jewel in the crown of motorsport. It’s every racing driver and every racing fan’s favorite.

A literary flying lap around Monaco

You’re strapped into your Formula One car seat. (Pick any model from any era.) Your hands are one with the steering wheel. You’ve got your helmet on, your eyes are focused on the short straight ahead of you. Along the sides of the track, you see the crowds settling against a backdrop of barriers, Belle Époque buildings and flourishing yew and sweetgum trees. The sun has lit the top of the green trees bright yellow, making them look like beacons illuminating the way.


It’s lights out, you put your foot on the accelerator and fly off your starting position. You switch to tunnel vision. The sides of the track turn into a blur as you sprint up Boulevard Albert Ier, to the tight Sainte-Dévote corner, named after a chapel just beyond the barriers. A historical detour: when a Monégasque prince gets married, the bride lays her bouquet in the chapel. Back to the racing. You switch to second gear at the right-hand bend. This corner has seen many first lap accidents. But since they’ve removed the mini roundabout on the apex of the corner, it’s now wider, leading to fewer racing incidents. You then head uphill along Avenue d’Ostende, past Beau Rivage, before changing down for the long left-hander at Massenet. Ah, this is where your steering needs to match the notes of the French opera composer whose name graces this turn. The long, left-hand corner hugs the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, which has a bust of Massenet in front of it.

Collage by Romaric André, Seconde/Seconde/

As your car swings out of Massenet, the stakes get higher. You’re at the famous Monte Carlo Casino – its stained glass and marble and gold atrium streak by – before quickly reaching the aptly named Casino Square. From the highs of the gambling district, you snake down Avenue des Beaux Arts, the next short straight, avoiding an enormous bump on the left of the track. Phew, it’s just a reminder to keep your wits on this unique racetrack. You keep going until you meet the tight Mirabeau corner, slide into the turn and take a short downhill burst to the even tighter Fairmont Hairpin. You wish you could drop into the Fairmont, soak in the breathtaking views from the balconies of the hotel but unfortunately, you’ve got a lap to complete here. Focus up.


You curl your car around the beautiful hairpin and head even further downhill to a double right-hander called Portier. And now the track opens up into the famous tunnel. The sunshine leaves us momentarily, the sound of your engine bounces off the walls of the tunnel as you mash the pedals with your feet. If your ears weren’t ringing already, they will be now.

Collage by Romaric André, Seconde/Seconde/

Out of the tunnel, there’s light again. Not only is there light, there’s the light blue sea too, filled with yachts and boats and people staring at you from their plush decks. OK, concentrate. You’ve got to brake hard for the tight left–right–left Nouvelle Chicane. The chicane is generally the only place on the circuit where you can overtake. But on this literary lap, you’re in first place. Don’t get carried away though as up ahead is a short straight to Tabac. Oh and look, more fancy yachts to your left. You reach Piscine, a fast left–right followed by a slower right–left chicane which takes the cars past the Rainier III Nautical Stadium. Its swimming pool complex, which is being refurbished right now, gives its name to the corner.


Following Piscine, you find a short straight and then a quick left, which is immediately followed by the tight right-hander called La Rascasse. A “rascasse” is a type of scorpionfish found in the Mediterranean. Urban legend has it that there was an old fisherman’s bar in Monaco called La Rascasse, which gave its name to the corner. And now a new bar, with the same name, hangs over the Rascasse corner. Maybe you can grab a drink there after your lap? You’re almost there. La Rascasse takes you into another short straight that precedes the final corner, Virage Antony Noghès. Noghès organized the first Monaco Grand Prix. Your hands loosen up on the steering wheel as you come around the corner, a tight right-hander. You switch gears and get back onto the start-finish straight.


And there you have it, you’ve just completed a literary flying lap of Monaco. Not bad for a circuit that often leaves people searching for words.