The hairpin is so tight that the cars struggle to get round it at all and three-time world champion Nelson Piquet famously compared driving around the circuit to riding a bike around your living room.
Monaco provides a unique test of car and driver. It oozes history and the glamorous surroundings provide a backdrop to some of the most iconic sections of track in all of motorsport. The race is considered part of the sport's unofficial triple crown, along with the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours.
Despite having the lowest average speed of any circuit on the calendar, Monaco is also considered one of the most dangerous.
Although a number of changes have been made to the track in recent years to improve safety, errors at most corners are punished with a high-speed trip into the barriers.
Ayrton Senna won there six times, while Michael Schumacher and Graham Hill claimed five wins each and seven of the eight drivers who have won the race more than twice were world champions. The exception was Stirling Moss, widely considered the greatest driver never to win the championship.
|What||Monaco Grand Prix|
|Where||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo|
|How to watch||Sky Sports F1|
On the French Riviera, close to the Italian border, lies the tiny principality of Monaco. Home to 40,000 residents, Monaco covers an area of just 0.8 miles.
The city-state is a tax haven and with its harbour, casinos and swanky bars it has long been a magnet for the rich and famous.
The idea of running a race around the harbourside streets was first proposed by Automobile Club of Monaco president Anthony Noghes, and the first race took place in 1929.
The event was won by a driver entered simply as "Williams" - actually the British racer William Grover-Williams, who did not want his parents to find out he was driving competitively.
The race took place annually for the next eight years and despite being staged only once between 1938 and 1949 it was chosen as the second round in the new Formula 1 World Championship in 1950.
Initially only occasionally included in the calendar, the race has held F1 world championship status every year since 1955, except during the shortened 2020 season.
At 3.337km, Monaco is the shortest circuit on the calendar and although it features the most laps of any race with 78, it is also the shortest race in terms of distance covered.
F1 rules stipulate that a race must last 305km or two hours. Due to the low average speed, Monaco is the only circuit on the calendar where time is the primary consideration, so a 260km distance is raced.
Monaco hosted round two of the inaugural F1 championship season in 1950 and the event turned into a masterclass by the legendary driver Juan Manuel Fangio.
After taking pole position by 2.6 seconds the Argentinian dominated the race, finishing a lap ahead of Alberto Ascari in second and two laps ahead of the third-place finisher, Monegasque racer Louis Chiron.
Only seven of the 20 starters saw the chequered flag.
Three-time world champion Senna, considered one of the all-time greats of F1, won in Monaco six times between 1987 and 1993.
The Brazilian's record could have been even better. He was a fast-finishing second in 1984 when the race was ended prematurely due to heavy rain, and four years later crashed out of a huge lead after losing concentration.
Hamilton also holds the outright lap record after taking pole position for the 2019 race with a lap of 1min 10.166sec.
As it is a town for most of the year and extensive work has to be carried out to convert it to a racing circuit, all the sporting activity is packed into one month.
Over the last few years, the all-electric Formula E has become the first racing event of the year at Monaco in early May. Initially using a shortened version of the track, since 2021 the race has taken place on the Grand Prix circuit, albeit with two corners slightly altered.
Every two years, the middle of the month sees the Monaco Historic Grand Prix festival, with privately-owned cars of yesteryear competing in seven races depending on their age.
The event was most recently held in 2022.
The early summer date means the weather is usually pleasant on race weekend, although rain is not unusual and often causes chaos when it arrives.
There was a mid-race downpour in 2023 which saw a number of drivers slide off the track, while only three cars finished the rain-affected 1996 race.