Formula E: Maserati MSG’s “season of two halves” comes to an end in London, Jake Dennis crowned champion

Maserati MSG Racing at the 2023 London ePrix

Jake Dennis was crowned Formula E champion in London over the weekend, whilst Monégasque manufacturer Maserati Monaco Sports Group (MSG) Racing secured a sixth-place finish. 

A season that started with such difficulty for MSG Racing was punctuated with memorable and historic moments in the second half of the season, notably a Maximilian Günther win, as well as multiple podiums.

However, unlike in season eight, the Monégasque team didn’t enter into the final stages in title contention. Instead, the title would be played out between Jake Dennis, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans. It was Dennis who took the title in the first of two races in the English capital over the weekend. Evans took the chequered flag in a race marked by accidents, red flags and drama, but a podium finish was enough for Dennis to be crowned champion. Monaco ePrix winner Cassidy was left furious with his team after a collision with teammate Sébasiten Buemi cost him a shot at the title.

“It was a season of two halves”

After a spate of issued penalties, Edoardo Mortara, who has endured a difficult season, was promoted to fifth, providing a healthy margin for error heading into the final race.

MSG Racing were reliant on that margin. Torrential rain wreaked havoc in qualifying and in the race. Neither Mortara nor Maximilian Günther advanced to the duel stages as a result of the conditions, and in a rain-shortened race, neither driver made significant progress from their lowly-starting positions. A topsy-turvy season, therefore, ended with a pointless race.

“It was a season of two halves,” evaluated team principal James Rossiter. “The recovery we’ve displayed as a team is a rare thing in motorsport. It came from a lot of hard work behind the scenes, and on difficult days, we were able to learn the most and come back stronger. I’m incredibly proud of our team and of our achievements,” added the Englishman.

The team are already looking forward to season four, which will once again begin in Mexico City in mid-January. Having got to grips with this Gen3 model, MSG Racing will be looking to return to the front of the grid in 2024.


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Photo source: Maserati MSG Racing

Moneyval: Latest meeting of financial crimes committee sees adoption of several key measures

Monaco’s heavyweights have once again convened for a meeting to approve a number of strategies in the Principality’s fight against financial crimes and to meet Moneyval recommendations. Here are the key outcomes.

The latest meeting of the Committee for the Coordination and Monitoring of the National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering, the Financing of Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Corruption was held on 27th July.

Chaired by Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout, the aim of the meeting was a “complete overview” of the situation, according to a government statement on 31st July.

In particular, the committee examined the “progress of the national action plan for each strategic objective, the progress of the implementation of the recommendations of the Moneyval Committee, the digital asset risk assessment project, and the manual on international criminal assistance”.

During this session, the committee also adopted an action plan of the Department of Tax Services, the action plan of the Council of the Order of Lawyers and Advocates-Defenders, the assessment of the risks related to the financing of terrorism, as well as the Memorandum of understanding adopted by the General Prosecutor’s Office/Public Security Department/SICCFIN contact group.

“The Principality of Monaco reaffirms its total involvement in the fight against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and corruption,” concluded the Prince’s government in its statement.


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Photo by Monaco Life


Dossiers du Rocher: Homes of former officials close to Prince Albert searched

dossiers du rocher

The homes of several high-profile Monegasques, including Prince Albert’s former Administrator of Properties Claude Palmero, have reportedly been searched by police in connection to the claims of fraud, cronyism and corruption made by the controversial website Les Dossiers du Rocher. 

Back in 2021, a website called Les Dossier du Rocher popped up and began sharing apparently confidential documents and emails linked to a group of high-profile officials from the Principality.  

The website accused Prince Albert’s “inner circle”, namely his personal wealth manager Claude Palmero, his chief of staff Laurent Anselmi, his lawyer and childhood friend Thierry Lacoste, and the president of Monaco’s Supreme Court Didier Linotte, of fraud, cronyism and corruption as well as attempting to influence Monaco’s highly lucrative world of property and real estate. 

Homes in Monaco, Paris and Nice searched

All four denied any involvement and filed official complaints, however, French news outlet Le Monde has now reported that the homes of these men were searched in mid-July as part of an investigation into the claims made by Les Dossiers du Rocher.  

The properties are believed to be the offices, primary residences and second homes of the four in locations including Monaco, Paris and Nice.  

Palermo and Anselmi stepped down from their long-held roles within days of each other in June 2023. At the time of their resignations, Prince Albert extended his thanks to the two men, citing their “professionalism” whilst working at his side.

The Palace and Prince Albert have refrained from making any public comment on the recent developments. Monaco’s Attonery General has also refused to be drawn into discussions at this stage of investigations.  

The identities of authors and publishers of the website remain hidden, but Monaco property magnate Patrice Pastor is believed to be among its backers.  


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Photo source: Mony Misheal, Unsplash

32 injured in freak bus accident in Cannes over the weekend

cannes bus accident

Two buses collided on a one-way section of road just off the Place du Général de Gaulle in Cannes on Sunday evening, injuring 32 and destroying several parked vehicles. Here’s what we know so far.  

By the time the dust had settled on Sunday night, the emergency services on the scene of a bizarre bus accident near the Vieux Port had announced that 32 people had been injured in the incident. 19 were sent to hospital with minor injuries and the remaining 13 were treated on site.  

The accident happened at around 6.30pm in a busy part of town located between port and the famous Palais des Festivals.  

According to eyewitness reports, one of the buses was travelling at a high speed against the flow of traffic when it collided with another bus. One of the buses mounted the curb and crashed into the roadside landscaping, taking out several stationary scooters and motorbikes as it went.  

A couple who spoke to France 3 Côte d’Azur and who saw the events unfold said, “We were sitting on the terrace eating [when] we saw bus number 10 travelling at least at 70 kmh. It made a crazy noise. General panic, people got up and ran away. My scooter went under the wheels of the bus! I was shocked, I was just crying, I was scared. Being on the terrace saved our lives. Luckily, we weren’t leaving or arriving!” 

Other eyewitnesses say there was a “huge noise” that was “like an explosion”, and that the “there was a big boom” followed by the smell of petrol.  

cannes bus accident
One of the buses involved mounted the curb and crashed into landscaping, crushing parked two-wheelers as it went. Photo source: Twitter / David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes

A victim assembly point was set up at the Cannes ferry terminal, not far from where the accident occurred.  

Of the 19 people who required hospital attention, nine were sent to the local Hôpital de Cannes, six were treated in Antibes and four were transported to the Centre Hospitalier de Grasse.  

“These victims are fortunately only slightly injured. They have either bruises or light scratches,” said Colonel Nicolas Franck of the SDIS 06, whose team was on the ground in the aftermath of the incident.  

An investigation to determine the circumstances of the accident has been launched, according to Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard.

One of the two buses was towed away at around 10.15pm, and normal traffic was able to resume by midnight. 


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Photo source: Twitter / David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes

Christopher Steiner appointed Prince Albert’s new chief of staff

The Palace on Monday announced that Christophe Steiner will fill the role of Prince Albert’s chief of staff, succeeding Laurent Anselmi who controversially left the position on 30th June.

Christophe Steiner is a 64-year-old Monegasque banker who served as president of the National Council from 2016 to 2018.

He was then appointed Ambassador of Monaco to France and the Principality of Andorra and has also worked within the Commission for the Control of Financial Activities (SICCFIN) and the Service Information and Control on Financial Circuits (SICCFIN).

“I am delighted with the appointment of Christophe Steiner to the position of Director of my Cabinet, a man of great experience who has held the highest political responsibilities in his career,” said Prince Albert II of Monaco in a Palace statement. “His depth of knowledge of public affairs and economic and financial issues will be a major asset to meet the current challenges of our country.”

Steiner succeeds Laurent Anselmi, who was forced to step away from the position of chief of staff after he was implicated in the so-called ‘Dossiers du Rocher’ (The Rock Files) affair.

He will officially take on his position on 4th September.


Laurent Anselmi steps down as Prince’ Albert’s chief of staff


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Image source: Conseil National de Monaco


Delays to be expected on Boulevard du Jardin Exotique until mid-August

boulevard du jardin exotique

Both drivers and pedestrians with be affected by the disruptions caused by works taking place over the next two weeks in the Boulevard du Jardin Exotique area.  

Beginning on Monday 31st July, a flurry of public service works will be happening along the Boulevard du Jardin Exotique and in the surrounding neighbourhood. The majority will be finished by Friday 18th August, while others are more long-term. 

Monaco’s Department of Urban Development is refurbishing the public lighting system on the Malbousquet stairs, as well as creating a new sewer network in the Jardin Exotique area.

The Jardin Exotique project will be taking place exclusively on weekdays between 9am and 4pm, with traffic flow being facilitated by manual pilot. Two-way traffic will be restored outside of working hours, and the overall works are due to end by mid-August. 

Repairs on the stairs are already on the go, with completion of this project set for the end of October. Access will mostly be permitted during the works, with the odd exception. Signage will be erected regarding diversions when needed.

Meanwhile Société Monégasque de l’Electricité et du Gaz (SMEG) will be looking to complete the first stages of connecting up the future electricity substation on Rue Malbousquet. 

The operations carried out by SMEG mean that Rue Malbousquet will be closed full stop to all but residents until Friday 1st September.  


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Photo source: Miguel Teirlinck, Unsplash