Behind the wheel of Maserati’s Quattroporte Trofeo, its impressive V-8 engine, my soundtrack, I navigate the winding roads of Beausoleil with its tight and sharp corners. Then, there it is: Monaco, with its elegant, centuries-old buildings along the Mediterranean Sea. Many years ago, I stayed near Eze for a short weekend break and vowed that I would return to the French Côte d’Azur, and when I did, things were big. And so it is.
Entering the Paris Hotel, I see a crowd of gear heads following my car with their cameras in the Place du Casino. Yes, that Place du Casino—the fourth turn of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit. Undoubtedly the epicenter of luxury, Monte Carlo is more than just a luxury vacation destination for me. I’m here to see its rich history, especially for driving its famous grand prix route.
On my hotel balcony, the beautiful view of the harbor alone makes the months of planning worthwhile. For the next week, Monte Carlo is my playground. The enticing roar of the engine heightens my excitement. Look in any direction and there will be a cool sports car tearing up the road. I watch the Lamborghini Huracán drive up Beau Ridge towards the casino. It’s time to join it.
With the exception of the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans, the Circuit de Monaco is arguably the most famous course in all of motorsport—its breathtaking scenery is unmatched anywhere else in the world. Since its inception in 1929, the route has remained unchanged. Racing legend Graham “Mr. Monaco” Hill achieved five Grand-prix victories here, but was bettered some 24 years later by Ayrton Senna, who achieved six.
Just after my first turn at Mirabeau Haute is the Grand Hotel Hairpin, where Jensen Button and Pedro de la Rosa collided in 2000, bringing the race to a halt. Driving the long and wide Quattroporte around notoriously difficult turns is actually easier than I expected. Then again, this isn’t a Formula 1 race, and I’m under no pressure to control my speed from one extreme to the other.
Entering the iconic tunnel, the Maserati slowly accelerates as the exhaust pipe echoes with speed. At this moment, there is an undeniable connection between man and machine as the car gracefully races towards the exit in a stunning manner compared to Didier Pironi’s experience in 1982, when his Ferrari ran out of gas and came to an embarrassing halt during the event. . the final qualifier.
I voluntarily stop at La Rascasse to let a group of pedestrians cross. Michael Schumacher stopped here in 2006, involuntarily, when he locked his wheels and slid straight into the wall. The race organizers punished him by deliberately preventing his rival Fernando Alonso from achieving the best qualifying time. No such drama today.
The Quattroporte Trofeo may not be the loudest or most expensive car here, but it’s a rarity in its own right. After this year, Maserati will say goodbye to the V-8 engine, which makes this model, full of Italian craftsmanship, among the last era of the marque. When the Ferrari SF90 Spider joins my orbit, a few more spins seem only appropriate. After all, a power train in its sunset with one paving the way ahead seems only fitting on the Monaco proving grounds.