I´m certainly not the first one to say it, and you´ve probably have heard it many times before, but it´s a simple truth, there´s no Grand Prix like Monaco.
The charming and glamorous Monte-Carlo neighborhood embraces the challenging street circuit, famous for its particularly tight corners, a layout where the most skillful drivers prevail over their modern Formula One cars.
The lowest speed circuit of the season has been partially resurfaced this year (between turns 7-15 and 19-1) and is also getting faster thanks to the debut of the Pirelli Hypersoft (Pink) tyre compound.
THURSDAY FREE PRACTICES
This morning, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo set a new lap record at free practice one (1.12.126s) faster than 2017 pole time (1.12.178s).
During the second free practice of the day, the Australian driver - who finished third in the podium last year - managed to maximize the performance of his RB14 setting an impressive new lap time record of 1.11.841s.
Qualifying on Saturday is expected to contribute significantly to the Grand Prix history, setting a new record. Whoever takes the pole position knows it will play a significant role to a circuit where overtaking becomes a mission that would suit perfectly a character well known in the Principality, he goes by the name of Bond, James Bond.
If you are a Formula One fan, attending to the Monaco Grand Prix is most likely in your bucket list, but as I can only speak for my own experiences, I´m sharing with you what does it feels to live a Formula One Grand Prix weekend from the spectator's point of view.
This opinion piece is a mix of my views as a fan of the sport and as a reporter as well, as the later couldn´t exist without the first.
The second smallest country in the world, after The Vatican, is as astonishing as every picture portraits, and its beauty is what caught my eye at first sight, but as I started to walk down the little streets from the train station, Monte-Carlo unfolded noticeable before my eyes.
A movie set could ever match its exquisite design.
The picturesque landscape is taken by storm in May, by Formula One.
The sound of the engines roaring through the twisty turns of the circuit mixes with the spectator's heart beatings, accelerating as if they intended to follow the rhythm of the cars.
Traffic wins the streets of Monaco, here walking has its privileges if you intend to get anywhere in time, which is quite a paradox having all kinds of fast cars around you.
Between free practice sessions and qualifying there´s plenty of time to take a stroll through the closest shops.
I´m all about coffee so after having walked a couple of blocks I found myself in a Starbucks store with a nice cup of ice coffee, perfect to recharge my batteries, which have been melting under the sun for a couple of hours at the grandstand.
I must say that the energy coming from a grandstand in a Grand Prix weekend is extremely exciting.
People of all nationalities gather around the same passion for motorsport before you know it, you find yourself friendly talking to the people sitting right next to you as if you meet them from all your life, this is the magic of watching a Grand Prix live.
It´s an experience of a lifetime that gets even more special in Monaco, where the rich and the famous can watch the race from their astonishing yachts.
The cars run extremely close to barriers, pushing drivers beyond the limit.
We all remember the legendary lap of Ayrton Senna on board his McLaren back in 1988, the one that took him to met perfection at a level no other driver has ever reached again in the Principality.
Drivers gamble with corners as tourists do in the Casino, some get lucky, others experience a weekend to forget.
Sometimes rain insists to join the party, changing the team´s strategies.
The bets are back on the table, a new race begins.
Ayrton Senna mastered racing in wet conditions, in Monaco, he became king with six victories to his name.
Last year, Sebastian Vettel was the winner, one of the three drivers (Raikkonen and Ricciardo second and third respectively) to receive the illustrious trophies from the oldest ruling family in Europe, the Grimaldi family.
Who will get in the exclusive list of winners of the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday? You can place your bets, ladies, and gentlemen.