Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend we explore why so many F1 drivers live in Monaco and why it’s such a desirable place to live.
Monte Carlo has attracted the rich and famous for decades, with the Principality often seen as a millionaire’s playground. The jewel of the French Riviera is undoubtedly one of the most desirable and prestigious places to live in the world, with a number of celebrities, sportspeople and business owners making up its near 40,000 population.
Formula One returns to the Principality this weekend for the Monaco Grand Prix. Many of the current drivers live in the city all year round, but why do so many F1 drivers choose to live in Monaco?
It’s beautiful and perfectly located
A huge reason why so many F1 drivers live in Monaco is because it’s so beautiful! Monaco is surrounded by expensive shops, glamorous casinos, a stunning harbour with lavish yachts, and breathtaking natural beauty.
Not only is the weather amazing (Monte Carlo gets more than 300 sunny days a year!) Monaco is also right on the Mediterranean, which means it has incredible access to Spain, France, Italy and many other countries. It is also very close to the Southern Alps, which is a hugely popular place to ski. The small yet spectacular Principality is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Europe – who wouldn’t want to live there?!
The warm weather also provides ideal training conditions for drivers to get out and get themselves in peak physical condition. Monaco is a steep and hilly place that is ideal for the likes of Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas, who loves to get out on his bike around the city:
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Monaco is a tax haven
Monaco is considered a tax haven due to the fact it has extremely favourable tax laws and personal tax policies. As a resident you don’t pay income tax, wealth tax or capital gains tax, while no inheritance tax is applied to direct heirs.
This is extremely lucrative for F1 drivers who basically get to keep all the money they earn from salaries and sponsorship. The tax savings can be substantial compared with living in other countries. According to Fox Sports, French and Swiss taxes can exceed 40 per cent, while Japan’s top rate exceeds 55 per cent. The top tax rate in the US is 37 per cent but states can also take income tax.
Monaco’s tax laws have led to some criticism in the past, particularly for Brits such as Lewis Hamilton. Just last year, world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury criticised Hamilton over his tax affairs.
It’s not just Formula One drivers who choose to live there, though. Many tennis players, including Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, also choose to live in Monaco for tax reasons.
Other reasons why Monaco is such a desirable place for F1 drivers
In truth, there are a whole number of reasons why an F1 driver would choose to live in Monaco.
The high standard of living is certainly a factor, as is the low crime rate in the city. Monaco has a reputation for being one of the most secure and safe places to live in the world and, in recent years, the crime rate has continued to fall. One of the main reasons for this is CCTV, with several hundred street cameras constantly recording the Principality’s activity. Monaco also has the world’s largest police force per capita and per area.
Other desirable things about Monaco are its great schools, excellent health care, friendly residents, use of English as a main language, business opportunities, and overall cosmopolitan lifestyle and rich cultural significance.
It really is no wonder so many F1 drivers choose to live there!
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