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Ninety years after the first running of the city-state’s Grand Prix, it still reigns supreme on the Formula One calendar
Racing legend Niki Lauda takes a turn at the Grand Prix in 1985

The first place I ever hitchhiked was Monte Carlo. I’d never considered it before, but I found myself sun-cooked and far removed from my lodging—a whitewashed condo somewhere far above the sapphire Mediterranean—with no way to get there.

Sauntering along a narrow footpath near Quai des Etats-Unis in 2016, winding away from Monaco’s gleaming seaside boutiques, I was exhausted but in high spirits. The day had been a cacophony of money, power, and adrenaline I was unlikely to experience anywhere else.

Each year in May, 200,000 of the human beings with the world’s most outward-facing wealth engorge a city the size of New York’s Central Park. They’re here to imbibe Formula One’s dizzying Monaco Grand Prix—this year the sixth race in the sport’s 21-stop global tour and always its most glamorous. “Winning the Monaco Grand Prix is the highlight of any racing driver’s career,” Nico Rosberg, who

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