There's always a special frisson about Monte Carlo. Something fabulous about witnessing Grand Prix cars on the streets.
Toyota's Pascal Vasselon summed it up well. "Monaco is exceptional and even people who have been involved with F1 for several years are still amazed by the cars on this track," he says. "You are so close to them, with so many visual references. I'm always really enthusiastic about going there. At other circuits we are protected, a long way from the cars, with long run-off areas, and you tend to lose visual references. But at Monaco you really see and feel the performance."
Back in the days before every race was televised, we regularly saw just three per year - Monaco, Silverstone and Monza. Personally, two races cemented my fascination and then fanaticism for F1 - Silverstone '69 and Monaco '70.
Another thing Vasselon said about Monte Carlo that rings so true is that performance factors differ. The tyres and the drivers are more important. Chassis and engines still matter, but not so much. The simple explanation is that the average speeds are slow. From the engine point of view, most of the lap is tyre limited, and at lower speeds the aerodynamic package brings less performance than at a circuit like Barcelona.