It seems like the least natural fit in the world – a selection of the world's fastest and most skilled drivers let loose around the sinuous streets of a European city in 750bhp single-seater racing cars.
Despite the slightly unhinged nature of the concept, the Monaco Grand Prix has been thrilling race fans since 1929, when British racer William Grover-Williams won the inaugural race in his Bugatti.
The critics of the circuit, which is laid out around the streets of Monte Carlo, might point towards the ludicrously tight layout that almost completely rules out on-track overtaking moves.
Indeed, the 2003 race was notable for containing no overtakes over its 78 laps and 161 miles, winner Juan-Pablo Montoya making up places during the fuel stops.
Nevertheless, Monaco remains one of the most spectacular events on the Formula 1 calendar, not least for the way the proximity of the buildings and unyielding crash barriers seem to emphasise the speed and noise.
This year's race is the 72nd running of the Monaco Grand Prix. Up to 2012, McLaren has been the most successful manufacturer around the streets of the Principality, racking up 15 victories.
The late, great Ayrton Senna recorded an amazing six of those in a remarkable spell between 1987 and 1993. However, the Brazilian's qualifying lap in 1988, when he set a lap time that was a remarkable 1.4sec quicker than his McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost, remains one of the greatest moments in Monaco history.
Graham Hill was another driver with an uncanny knack of winning at Monaco. He scored a hat trick for BRM between 1963 and 1965, then added another two successes with Lotus in 1968-69.