Formula 1: Which F1 drivers live in Monaco?

The Principality of Monaco has always been a magnet for Formula 1 drivers, both past and present, and almost half of the 2023 Formula 1 grid are currently residing in Monaco.

Monaco is a global hub for motor racing. As well as hosting the Monaco Grand Prix, arguably the most iconic race in the world, it also hosts other races such as the Monte-Carlo Rally, the Historic Grand Prix, and the Monaco ePrix. 

This is part of what makes Monaco such an attractive place to live for drivers. The tradition of Formula 1 drivers moving to the Principality is engrained. Former World Champions Mika Hakkinen, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg are all based in Monaco, whilst former stars such as David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Paul Di Resta, Antonio Giovanazzi and Daniil Kvyat also reside in the Principality. 

Why do F1 drivers live in Monaco?

There are many reasons why F1 drivers flock to Monaco. The temperate climate year-long is a big draw; the fact it is English-speaking is a plus; its central location in Europe makes it an ideal base given that many of the races still take place on the continent; and there is also an element of following the crowd. Despite Formula 1 being a pressure-cooker environment, and whilst relationships can often be strained, many on the grid are very close, and it is therefore natural that they live close to one another.

“Where I’ve moved to (Monaco), there are quite a lot of people that I know there, quite a lot of the drivers are there, so there’s a bit more of a social life,” said Lewis Hamilton upon his move from Switzerland to Monaco back in 2012.  

Charles Leclerc during the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

However, the principal motivation for moving to Monaco is often financial. McLaren driver Lando Norris, who revealed his move to the Principality in December 2021, said, “People do many things in life for money. This is just another one.”

The British driver, who is entering his fifth season in Formula 1, added, “It’s something that obviously a lot of drivers go to do and especially, with how racing is, I think we’ve seen for other drivers how quickly things can also go downhill.” Monaco is a tax haven, meaning that residents don’t have to pay personal income taxes. 

This year, nine of the current grid, consisting of 20 world-class drivers, currently reside in Monaco, whilst another, George Russell, is said to be considering a move to the Principality and has been spotted around the area with increasing frequency as of late. Monaco Life takes you through Monaco’s current crop of F1 stars. 

Max Verstappen

The current World Champion has been living in Monaco since October 2015, and currently resides in Fontvieille. The Dutchman had previously been living in Belgium. The Red Bull driver beat Hamilton to win his first title in 2021 before winning the 2022 championship at a canter. Verstappen denies moving to Monaco for financial reasons, stating at the time that his salary “has not changed”. Verstappen is expected to move to Maraterra, the new coastal district under construction in Monaco, upon completion of the works in 2025. 

Charles Leclerc 

Leclerc is not just a resident, but a citizen. The 25-year-old Ferrari driver has been living in the Principality since birth, and reportedly currently resides in the Jardin Exotique area. The Monégasque knows the streets of Monte-Carlo well, but is yet to pick up his first race on the streets on which he grew up. Perhaps 2023 will finally be his year

Lando Norris 

The McLaren driver, who made the move in 2021, reportedly lives in Monte-Carlo. The Brit moved from Surrey to the Riviera and cited financial reasons for his move to Monaco. 

Sergio Perez 

The Red Bull driver lives in the Principality, and last season won his first Monaco Grand Prix, profiting from tactical errors by the Ferrari team to take the chequered flag on the iconic streets of Monte-Carlo. 

Valtteri Bottas 

The Finnish driver, who currently races for Alfa Romeo, lives in Port Hercule. An avid cyclist, he like many others in the Principality such as Mark Webber, make the most of the mountainous local roads and can be seen cycling on the haute, moyenne or basse Corniche, which leads you all the way to Nice. Bottas also competed in the maiden edition of the Beking event in 2021. 

Alex Albon

The Williams driver, who has British and Thai nationality, lives just three minutes away from the paddock during the time of the Monaco Grand Prix. He revealed in an interview with last year’s teammate Nicolas Latifi that by June 2022, he had only spent one month of the year actually in the Principality due to frequent visits to the simulator in the UK. Albon stated financial reasons as a motive, joking with his teammate that he wants “to keep his money”. He added, “Beyond the obvious [financial] reasons, Monaco is just a nice place, the weather is consistently nice and it’s quite quiet.”

Nyck De Vries 

The Dutch driver is set to take part in his debut season in Formula 1 with Alpha Tauri. The 2020/21 Formula E champion has previously said that he likes the communal element of living in Monaco. “I think it is a very sporty community. It is very international and welcoming. Everyone is very open and it is very easy to make contacts and friends. There are lots of sportspeople, especially in racing. It is just a nice vibe. I have the sea in front of me and then the mountains. I am very happy [in Monaco] at the moment,” he said in an interview with The Star

Nico Hulkenberg 

The German is making a return to Formula 1 this season with Haas. He previously revealed that the beauty of the local area was a driving force for his move to the Principality, but another factor was his reported pre-race ritual. Hulkenberg likes to sleep at home the night before a race, and living in the Principality allows him to do that on the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix. 

Lewis Hamilton 

The British driver, who will once again drive for Mercedes this season, holds the joint record for World Championships, which he shares with Michael Schumacher. Hamilton reportedly lives in Monte-Carlo after making the move from Switzerland to Monaco back in 2012. 

Does George Russell live in Monaco? 

The residence of the British driver is currently unclear. Although the London resident doesn’t officially live in the Principality, he has been spotted in Monaco with increasing frequency of late. Russell has reportedly set his sights on moving to Monaco for some time but has previously been hindered from doing so, most recently due to uncertainty surrounding his seat for the 2022 season. 

However, as an established Mercedes driver, he may now have made the move. He has been spotted at Nice Côte d’Azur airport, as well as at some restaurants around Monaco, where he has dined with team principal and resident of the Principality Toto Wolff. Nothing is confirmed, but the signs are – seemingly – that he is close to, or already has, moved to Monaco. 

Does Fernando Alonso live in Monaco?

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso’s residency status is also unclear. It is thought that he still lives in his native Spain, but the former World Champion is also regularly spotted around Monaco. Be it running on the digue or dining at Cipriani in Monte-Carlo, he certainly has a regular presence in the Principality, and perhaps more. 

Nine current Formula 1 drivers are confirmed to be living in Monaco, and if the residences of Russell and Alonso are confirmed, then over half of the 2023 grid would be based in the Principality. The host country of arguably the most iconic Grand Prix is the home of motorsport in more ways than one. 


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Photo above credit: Scuderia Ferrari press office

Prince Albert’s academic visit to ancient city of Padua


Prince Albert II has visited the Italian city of Padua, stopping by at Galileo’s alma mater, the University of Padua, as well as taking in some of the city’s exceptional sights.  

Padua is an ancient place. Older than Rome and home to the sixth oldest university in the world, the University of Padua, which was founded in 1222, it was also famously the setting for Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Needless to say, it holds a sort of magic that only old Italian cities can evoke.  

Prince Albert visited Padua on 27th February in order to visit the university, which boasts an exceptional international centre of excellence in the field of cellular and molecular biology. He started his day with a trip to the Palazzo Bo, seat of the school, and went onto join Daniela Mapelli, the rector of the Anatomical Theatre, for a personal tour.  

The Prince spent the next few hours in meetings with officials from the university, where they spoke on topics dear to him, such as the environment and health issues. After, he went to the Caffé Pedrocchi for an aperitif and then for lunch in a restaurant in the city’s historic centre. 

After lunch, he was treated to a visit to the Basilica of Sant’Antonio and the Botanical Gardens, and then proceeded to the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, where he met with researchers.  

The evening was capped off in Treviso, where a private dinner was organised for him by Mario Moretti Polegato, the president and founder of shoe manufacturer Geox. 


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Work begins on new cultural centre in Beausoleil: Village Charlot

The first stone has been laid for Beausoleil’s new cultural centre, Village Charlot, whose features will include a free library with books from all over the world.

Early renderings of the new community centre were unveiled by the Beausoleil Town Hall in October 2022. On Tuesday 28th February, Beausoleil Mayor Gérard Spinelli, ceremoniously laid the first stone for the construction of the €18.5 million project.

“The challenge is to create a place that promotes exchanges between the communities of Beausoleil, which tend to stay together, to offer them a common vision,” said Mayor Spinelli. “Culture is an essential element in the cohesion between inhabitants, and that is why we want to make it accessible to as many people as possible.”

It is for that reason, said the mayor, that Village Charlot will be free for all, regardless of the space they enter.

The Village Charlot media library will be flooded with natural light. Image rendering by architect Marc Barani.

A new culture hub in just over a year

The entire project is due to be delivered as soon as July 2024. Located between Avenue du Maréchal Foch and Avenue du Carnier in Beausoleil, Village Charlot will feature a media library, a toy library, a room for artistic expression, a digital museum, a restaurant area, a philosophy café, a social centre, an artists’ residence plus four large workshops, and 1,300sqm of manicured gardens.

With glass as its main architectural feature, the media library will look like a large greenhouse, designed to be flooded with natural light. “We wanted the culture to be visible from the street, whether on Avenue Foch or Avenue Carnier. This transparency will allow that to happen,” said project Architect Marc Barani.

The site was purchased by the local municipality in 2008 and the only property left standing on the plot is the 19th century Villa Chêne, which has been completely gutted and will be rejuvenated to form part of the new “village”.

Meanwhile, Villa Emilie – which had to be demolished, will be rebuilt identically to the original, with the addition of an extra floor. This will house the artists’ residence.

The media library will have a collection of more than 30,000 works, some of which will be international books.

The Village Charlot logo is made up of the face of Charlie Chaplin, aka “Charlot”, formed by the five continents of the globe.



Beausoleil unveils first photos of new cultural centre project


Photo above source: Ville de Beausoleil

French pension reform strikes: what to expect on 7th March

The battle over pension reforms in France continues to wage with a few minor skirmishes playing out ahead of the big confrontation set to take place on 7th March.

On Saturday 25th February, a spontaneous “surprise operation” cropped up on the A8 motorway in Nice, where a group of about 60 pedestrian protestors from the CGT union blocked the Nice Saint Isadore exit barrier and were distributing leaflets.

On Monday, a southern region ZOU bus strike occurred, stopping nearly every line from running, followed on Tuesday by one from SNCF, causing massive delays for commuters. ZOU has followed up on the Monday strike with another on Wednesday, when the company took to social media saying there will be “strong disturbances” along with a list of lines that will and won’t be operational.

As for 7th March, this will be the sixth nationwide action taking place and organisers expect it to be a big one.


SNCF has called on members to strike, but as of now, there is no word on how much impact it will cause. In past strikes, SNCF has run one in three trains and two out of five on regional TER lines.

The Air Traffic Controllers union (ATC) may be calling for action from members. Previous strikes have seen some flights cancelled from Nice Côte d’Azur so those with flights that day should keep in touch with their airlines for updates.


The unions for civil servants, healthcare workers, and schools are set to picket, with the possibility that private sector workers will join in. Emergency medical services should remain available.

Unions will be refining the plan for the 7th in the coming days, and a clearer picture of the scale will become known.

Additionally, there will likely be protests on 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day. It is being argued that women, who are most often tasked with child-rearing duties, will be unfairly affected by the change, obliging them to postpone retirement age longer than their male counterparts.

The 9th of March will also see some action as university and secondary school students are planning a walk-out to show support.

 As the picture comes into sharper focus, updates will be available.

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Photo source: CGT Union

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene officially open new Testimonio II crèche

The doors of a new crèche in the Testimonio II development have flung open with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene on hand to celebrate the new addition to Monaco’s community.

While the crèche technically opened its doors on Tuesday 28th February, it was on the following day, Wednesday, that Prince Albert and his wife Princess Charlene officially inaugurated the facility, together with Monaco Mayor Georges Marsan and members of his local council.

Located in the east of the Principality in the Elsa Tower of the Testimonio II building, this new crèche is the 13th childcare facility in the Principality for children aged up to three-years-old.

Designed in a way that maximises space, comfort and technology, the facility benefits from a terrace, several courtyards, bright and functional spaces as well as quality furniture adapted to the different ages of children. Meanwhile, a “garden of scents” has been established to awaken the senses of toddlers.

The site is also eco-friendly with, among its initiatives, the use of partially recyclable bamboo fiber nappies.

In his speech, the mayor said that “improving the quality of life of the Monegasque and resident population, listening to our constituents of all ages, meeting the expectations of beneficiaries and families are part of the Municipal Council’s daily concerns municipal”.

The inauguration included a blessing by Archbishop Guillaume Paris, and a visit led by its Director Karine Le Roch with the Head of the Early Childhood and Family Service, Jean-Luc Magnani.


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Exclusive interview: Daniele Marzocco on building Monaco’s landmark skyscrapers


Photo credit: Eric Mathon, Prince’s Palace



Real Estate: Provence wins over Monaco in Knight Frank Wealth Report rankings

wealth report knight frank

Despite a strong year statistically for real estate in Monaco, the Principality has been overshadowed by luxury destinations just over the border in France, according to the fresh-off-the-press 2023 Wealth Report from Knight Frank.  

Global real estate consultancy group Knight Frank has just published its 2023 Wealth Report and it’s full of surprises, particularly within the Prime International Residential Index, which tracks the annual performance of prime prices across 100 of the world’s most desirable destinations. 

It’s an interesting read. 2021 is considered something of an “anomaly” characterised by “stellar price growth as markets reopened post-Covid, and revenge spending took hold”, writes the group’s Kate Everett-Allen.  

“Off the back of such a boom, you might be forgiven for thinking 2022 would see a return to business as usual. Far from it,” she continues. “Omit 2021, and 2022 posted the highest level of prime price growth on an annual basis (5.2%) since the global financial crisis.” 

Investments tapered off in the latter half of the year as inflation rose, the cost of debt increased, recessions were forecast and markets “went wobbly”, but even so, nearly 20% of the world’s ultra-wealthy added to their property portfolios in 2022, while 15% plan to do so in 2023. 

Monaco holds on to its title as the world’s “most expensive residential market”, but…

Monaco retained its title as the world’s most expensive residential real estate market, but it was among just a handful of Knight Frank’s Top 100 to experience a fall in prime price performance in 2022. 

Compared to the previous year, Monaco fell by 3.8%, leaving it in 92nd position in the rankings. The Principality now sits alongside a number of cities that saw the strongest price growth during the Covid pandemic but are now experiencing decline, such as Seoul (-5%), Vancouver (-7%), Stockholm (-8%) and the two New Zealand hotspots of Auckland (-19%) and Wellington (-24%).  

South of France experiences a year of “no let-up in enquiries” 

The same can’t be said for the south of France, however, which has performed spectacularly well in the rankings. Provence now finds itself in 12th position with a 12% increase, Cannes is in 17th with a 10% rise, Saint Tropez is in 22nd thanks to 9% of prime price growth, and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is just behind in 26th with 8%.  

Knight Frank’s Head of International Sales has described 2022 as a year with “no let-up in enquiries” for property in the region.  

This is expected to continue into 2023, with France featuring in Top Five overseas markets likely to attract property investments from ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWIs). 

“The wealthy are targeting markets offering lifestyle benefits along with currency diversification, stable political governance and high levels of transparency,” according to the group’s Wealth Report Attitudes Survey.  

The era of the “resort” destination 

One clear winner in the Prime International Residential Index is the resort.  

“Dubai leads for the second year running, cementing its status as a second home hub for global UHNWIs,” writes Everett-Allen.  

In 2022, it recorded a stunning 44.2% growth in prime prices, although the report is keen to point out that “values are rising from a low base”.  

The next in the rankings is US ski favourite Aspen in Colorado, with saw a 27.6% rise. Riyadh comes in a close third with a 25% increase.  

“In 2022, resorts shone bright, be they sun or ski locations,” summarises the 2023 Wealth Report.  



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Photo source: Sébastien Jermer for Unsplash