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Why is Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix practice on Thursday, not Friday?

The F1 Monaco Grand Prix 2021 starts on Thursday, an unusual time for practice to get underway – but why?

Formula 1 Monaco

We say football stadium, you think Wembley. We say tennis arena, you think Centre Court at Wimbledon. We say Formula 1 circuit, you think Monaco.

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The tight-twisting, glamour-dripping Monte Carlo Bay lap is one that all drivers want to experience, all fans want to witness, everyone wants to win.

Each bend is more iconic than the last, that swooping hairpin, the electrifying roar through the tunnel, the circuit is the ultimate street race.

The 2021 Monaco Grand Prix is screeching into view and drivers will be getting stuck into it earlier than every other Grand Prix due to the unusual four-day period it is held over.

Other race weekends stick to the tried-and-tested Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule for practice, qualifying and the race itself.

However, Monaco has always been unique in the sense that on-track action gets underway on Thursday with a dormant day on Friday.

RadioTimes.com brings you up to speed with the logic behind hosting the Monaco GP over four days, starting on Thursday.

Why is Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix practice on Thursday?

The Monaco Grand Prix was originally held on the weekend of Ascension Day – a bank holiday in the province.

For this reason, racing was paused on the Friday to observe the day and for regular traffic to flow through Monte Carlo.

Large swathes of the circuit are opened and public traffic flows through Monaco as usual, without major disruption.

The day itself has become less significant to locals but the Friday break has remained a tradition to allow businesses and hotels to replenish stock and operate at maximum capacity over the hectic four-day spell.

Of course, there will be less demand for hospitality this time around due to COVID restrictions and the like, but businesses will be keen to ensure they are prepared for increased footfall over the few days.

When is Monaco Grand Prix practice?

Monaco Grand Prix practice will air live on Sky Sports F1 from 10am on Thursday 20th May.

All practice, qualifying and races will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event throughout the season.

Sky customers can add individual channels for just £18 per month or add the complete sports package to their deal for just £25 per month.

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For the full breakdown of F1 races coming up check out our F1 2021 calendar guide.

If you’re looking for something else to watch check out our TV Guide or visit our Sport hub.