The sixth round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place next weekend at Monte Carlo. Here you can find out some relevant facts and figures for the Monaco Grand Prix...

1. Location:

Covering an area of 1.95 square kilometres, Monaco is the world's second smallest independent state after the Vatican.

It comprises the districts of Fontvieille, La Condamine, Monaco Ville and Monte Carlo.

The state is famous as a gambling paradise and tax haven, and has a total population of 32,000, just 16 percent of whom are true Monegasques.

Monaco is a hereditary monarchy as set down in the 1962 constitution. Its head of state is Prince Rainier III. In 1419, Monaco became an independent state when the Grimaldi dynasty secured power.

2. History:

Since the official launch of Formula One in 1950, Monaco has played host to 50 Grands Prix. The first was won by Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa Romeo. The race distance at the time was 100 laps, amounting to 318 kilometres.

3. Track length:

The circuit covers a distance of 3.340 kilometres. The Monaco course is the shortest GP circuit of all and has more race laps than anywhere else [78]. Even so, at 260.520 kilometres, it has the shortest race distance of the season.

The Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at the usual European start time of 14.00 hrs on Sunday, 23rd May 2004. Qualifying also takes place at the customary time on Saturday. On Friday, however, the Formula One engines will remain silent as the first two free practice sessions have been brought forward to Thursday.

4. Last year:

BMW WilliamsF1 driver Juan Pablo Monotoya won last year's Monaco Grand Prix, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Michael Schumacher (Ferrari).

Ralf Schumacher claimed the pole position with a time of 1 minute 15.259 seconds, while the fastest lap went to Raikkonen - with a time of 1m 14.545s.

5. Did you know?

...Following modifications to the pit complex in Monaco, for the first time teams will have the use of garages in which they can carry out work on the cars. Previously, the cars were ferried back and forth between the work tents in the paddock and the pit lane.

To allow for the extension of the pit area, part of Monaco's harbour has been reclaimed. The track section between the Swimming Pool and the Rascasse corner has been shifted towards the sea, freeing up enough space for a new pit lane, which now runs along the ocean-side of the hill. The pit lane entrance has remained in situ. The new pit building is a two-storey structure. The garages are downstairs and open to the waterside, and above them are offices. The trees were not sacrificed during the construction project, and some branches run unimpeded through the new building.

The timing stands for the teams have remained in place along the start/finish straight, but there is no longer any line of sight from the pit box.