The Honda Racing F1 Team heads to the tiny principality of Monaco next week for one of the most traditional and exciting events on the F1 calendar. The Monaco Grand Prix, round seven of the 2006 FIA World Championship, is the one race which all ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team heads to the tiny principality of Monaco next week for one of the most traditional and exciting events on the F1 calendar. The Monaco Grand Prix, round seven of the 2006 FIA World Championship, is the one race which all drivers want to win at some time in their career. The narrow, twisty and bumpy street circuit presents a unique challenge, with a good qualifying position being crucial as over-taking is extremely difficult and the armco-lined streets leave no margin for error.
Monaco is a home Grand Prix for the team's race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, both of whom live in Monte Carlo. It is also a race where both drivers have done particularly well in the past, with Rubens finishing on the podium at Monaco four times during his career and Jenson securing an excellent second position in 2004.
Following a two-car points finish at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, the team has been hard at work on the test track in Vallelunga this week to fine-tune the set-up of the RA106 race car and its Michelin tyres for the Monaco race.
"Like most drivers, Monaco is one of my favourite races and it's always a bonus to be based at home. I particularly enjoy qualifying at Monaco, it's one of the biggest challenges of the year and so important to get right. Overtaking is very difficult around the street circuit so you have to qualify well and get a good grid position. We had a positive test at Vallelunga working on chassis set-up and tyres specifically for this race. We know that the potential is there for the car to qualify well so I'm looking forward to a good weekend."
"I'm really looking forward to this year's Monaco Grand Prix. I had a good race there in 2004, finishing second after a really exciting battle. It's a crazy place to be racing, the circuit is very tight and twisty and you can really feel the speed of the car when the barriers are so close to you. It's a different race than any other on the calendar, with so much history, and it means even more to me as I live in Monaco so it's one of my home races."
"You need good mechanical grip from the car and this is also a circuit where the driver can make even more of a difference to the race outcome. We've been really strong in qualifying all this year and that will be very important for the race as it's almost impossible to overtake except in the pit stops. It's also a fantastic race for the fans who can get so close to the action."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"Monaco is unique in many ways and it certainly has a special place in F1 history. For the teams, cars and drivers, it also represents a tough challenge. The nature of the tight and twisty circuit emphasises different performance areas on the car than at other tracks."
"In preparation for the event, we tested a configuration of the Vallelunga circuit that most closely replicated the layout that we will encounter next weekend. During the test, we evaluated aerodynamic, mechanical and tyre specifications specially designed for the streets of Monaco. All the preparation is done - our drivers enjoy the track - let the weekend begin!"
Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development:
"Monaco presents its own special challenges for the engine, and we have been working hard on improving its performance. We had a positive test around a specially-adapted circuit at Vallelunga, so we are feeling positive for this special weekend in the calendar."