Lewis Hamilton during practice for this year's Monaco Grand Prix, the 72nd running of the famous race
Street signs become a tad academic during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend
The cramped streets of Monte Carlo give the grand prix a unique atmosphere
Red Bull Racing has ruled Monaco in recent years. Mark Webber won for the team in 2012
Jenson Button won in 2009 on his way to the world championship with Brawn Grand Prix
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton recovered from a puncture to win the Monaco Grand Prix in 2008
Michael Schumacher parked his car to block the circuit and disrupt qualifying for the 2006 race
Renault's Jarno Trulli took the only victory of his Formula 1 career around the streets in 2004
Ill-fated Jaguar Racing scored a rare podium in the 2001 race, thanks to Eddie Irvine
The crazy 1996 street race was eventually won by Olivier Panis in his Ligier
Monaco master Ayrton Senna scored the last of his six victories at the track in 1993
Senna fended off a determined Nigel Mansell in a thrilling climax to the 1992 event
Ayrton Senna claimed pole with a stunning lap in 1988, but crashed in the race
In 1984 Ayrton Senna served notice of his talent by finishing second in an unfancied Toleman
Riccardo Patrese won in 1982 after a mad finish in which four potential winners hit trouble
Ferrari legend Gilles Villeneuve won in the Principality in 1981
Derek Daly's Tyrrell was sent flying in this dramatic first-corner incident in 1980
Patrick Depailler recorded the first of his two grand prix victories at Monaco in 1978
The short-lived Wolf Racing team claimed victory in 1977 thanks to Jody Scheckter
Niki Lauda sped to back-to-back Monaco victories for Ferrari in 1975 and 1976
Jackie Stewart powers his Tyrrell through the tunnel on his way to glory in 1973
Jean-Pierre Beltoise won in the rain in 1972. It was his only F1 win and BRM's last
Jackie Stewart and wife Helen survey the harbour from the Hotel de Paris
Graham Hill was brilliant around the streets and won five times, including this 1969 success
The 1967 race marked Denny Hulme's first F1 win, but was overshadowed by the death of Lorenzo Bandini in an accident
Jim Clark never won at Monaco, but started on pole position for Lotus in 1962
Stirling Moss drove intelligently to win in 1961 in his underpowered Rob Walker Lotus
The start of the 1959 race, which ended with a first grand prix victory for Jack Brabham
Juan-Manuel Fangio charges up to Casino Square on his way to victory in 1957
Stirling Moss won the 1956 race for Maserati despite late pressure from Fangio
The 1950 race, won by Fangio, was only the second-ever world championship F1 race
Rudolf Caracciola's win in 1936 was the first of two for the mighty Silver Arrows Mercedes
The first Monaco Grand Prix was held in 1929 and was won by William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti
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.
But Monaco's unique nature means it has often been the scene of unpredictable and even downright shocking results. Olivier Panis and Jarno Trulli recorded the only grand prix victories of their careers in 1996 and 2004 respectively.
When it comes to sheer drama, however, few races can match the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix. Once long-time leader Alain Prost had crashed out in changeable weather conditions, Brabham's Riccardo Patrese looked likely to win. But on the penultimate lap, Patrese had a spin, handing the lead to Didier Pironi who promptly ran out of fuel.
The drama wasn't over: Andrea de Cesaris should have assumed the lead but also ran out of fuel. That would have left Derek Daly at the head of the field, but his damaged car stopped with gearbox failure. Patrese, having resumed the race after his incident, thus crossed the line to claim his first grand prix victory…
It's one of many incidents that have punctuated the race's history. Click on the picture above to see our collection of Monaco's stand-out moments.