Ever wondered why Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, and Max Verstappen, along with nearly half of all F1 drivers, settle in Monaco—a country smaller than New York’s Central Park—despite not being born there?

Via Instagram / @maxverstappen1 / @lewishamilton/ @landonorris

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the Formula One calendar’s oldest and most prestigious races. With its long history spanning over nine decades, the Monaco GP has had a significant cultural impact. With its narrow and winding circuit that is comprised of the streets of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, it is often featured in films, television shows, and popular culture. However, Monaco’s involvement with F1 runs much deeper than the race weekend. Do you know that almost half of the current Formula 1 drivers line-up resides in Monaco? Everyone from Max Verstappen to Lewis Hamilton calls the principality their home. While many of these drivers moved from their home countries after joining F1, Ferrari’s racer Charles Leclerc was born here. Beyond the current grid, Monaco is also home to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and retired F1 drivers like Nico Rosberg, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, and Mika Hakkinen. Let’s have a look at what makes Monaco a preferred location for F1 drivers to choose as their place of residence.

Via Facebook / @F1

The city-state on the French Riviera has an area of 0.80 sq. mi, making it the second smallest sovereign state in the world, after Vatican City. In fact, Monaco is so tiny that it’s smaller than New York’s Central Park. Yet, it has a population of almost 40,000 people, making it the most densely populated sovereign state. One-third of its population are millionaires, while many notable billionaires reside in the principality. One of the biggest reasons behind this is Monaco is a tax haven for the super-rich. The local government does not charge any wealth tax, local tax, property tax, or capital gains tax from its residents.

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Charles Lecrac. Via Instagram / @charles_leclerc

It’s a well-known fact that the most prominent F1 drivers on the grid are some of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Hamilton is estimated to earn approximately $45 million annually just by racing for Mercedes, while Max is currently the highest-paid driver with a $55 million per year contract with Red Bull. It’s needless to say not having to pay taxes is one of the biggest benefits for the highly-paid F1 drivers. However, this also creates a lot of trouble for these drivers, who are often accused as tax dodgers in their respective home countries. Max Verstappen has been accused of costing his home country, the Netherlands, a whopping $200 million in taxes.

Via Instagram / @mercedesamg

An opulent lifestyle

Monaco is renowned for its luxurious lifestyle, attracting the wealthy and elite from around the planet. It has the highest density of millionaires and billionaires. As a result, Monaco’s real estate market is one of the most expensive in the world. But the properties often feature stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and top-of-the-line amenities, including private pools, spas, and concierge services. It’s also the preferred destination for yacht enthusiasts, with its marinas hosting some of the largest and most luxurious yachts. Furthermore, the principality boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants and historic casinos. All of it adds up to make Monaco perfect for drivers who wish to live a grand, opulent life.

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Via Facebook / @Visit Monaco

Security and privacy

Monaco is known for its stringent security measures, making it a safe haven for the wealthy. The principality respects privacy, making it an attractive residence for high-profile individuals. The local laws prohibit photography, making it illegal for paparazzi to bother celebrities. The Principality has a high ratio of police officers to residents, with approximately one officer for every 100 inhabitants. Additionally, the city-state employs a comprehensive system of 24-hour video surveillance that covers the entire territory, including residential buildings.

Via Instagram / @charles_leclerc

Suitable location

Monaco is situated on the French Riviera in Western Europe, along the Mediterranean Sea. Its prime location offers several advantages, especially for F1 drivers. Monaco is close to several major cities. Nice, France is a little over 12 miles away, which has an international airport with connections to many global destinations and has good support for private planes. There’s also a heliport in Monaco, helping people reach Nice airport in seven minutes. This makes it perfect for F1 drivers who have to travel extensively between races throughout the year. Also, Monaco’s Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers, combined with a picturesque coastline, makes it an ideal place to live.

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Written By
Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.