Monaco GP Tyrrell preview

STREET FIGHTING FOR TYRRELL YAMAHA After its fine performance at the San Marino Grand Prix a fortnight ago - where Mika Salo and Ukyo Katayama both ran strongly in points-scoring positions before they had to retire - the Tyrrell Yamaha team...

STREET FIGHTING FOR TYRRELL YAMAHA

After its fine performance at the San Marino Grand Prix a fortnight ago - where Mika Salo and Ukyo Katayama both ran strongly in points-scoring positions before they had to retire - the Tyrrell Yamaha team goes to Monaco in high spirits with the aim of fighting with the front runners in the streets of Monte Carlo.

In preparation for the race, the team tested yesterday (Thursday) at Silverstone in difficult and changing weather conditions. Mika drove 27 laps with a best time of 1 min 30.8 sec and Ukyo 32 laps with a fastest lap of 1 min 30.3 sec.

Harvey Postlethwaite, Managing Director - Engineering, said: "After a promising performance at Imola, I am looking forward to going to Monte Carlo because we can be equally quick there. We are searching very hard for reliability and we tested at Silverstone yesterday a number of modifications to the Yamaha engine."

Postlethwaite added: "For Monaco, we will have some small modifications to the aerodynamics and the steering geometry that we tested on Thursday. Nothing major but small improvements which should help our street circuit performance."

Before leaving the Northamptonshire track, Ukyo Katayama said: "We had a good test today and we continued to improve the car. The new steering geometry feels good."

Ukyo added: "I prefer fast circuits but Monaco is different because its good fun to dice at 270 km/h between walls with an F1 car! And its not every day that you can drive at that speed in the streets without being stopped by the police!"

Mika Salo said: "Last year Monaco was the most difficult circuit to learn and it will be easier for me this time. In 1995 I really learnt the track during the race. I will have to drive a few laps to remember all the curbs but I will have Thursday to perfect my lines. The 024 is excellent and the Yamaha V10 is very drivable so we should be competitive again this weekend. It was a good feeling to fight with the leaders at Imola and we have the potential to be at the front at every race. The Monaco Grand Prix is really tough for the teams and the drivers but what a show for the fans!"

Mike Gascoyne, Deputy Technical Director commented: "Monaco is unique. It's a narrow street circuit, bumpy and dirty with changing grip conditions. Cars will be running with maximum down force and you need an F1 car that handles well in low-speed corners. The track is hard on transmissions and cooling is also important. It's a very difficult race to finish and qualifying is vital as it is almost impossible to overtake. Based on our pace at Imola, which is now a succession of low speed corners and chicanes, the 024 should handle well at Monaco. But we must get qualifying right..."

The Monaco Grand Prix will be held on the unique 3.328 kms / 2.068 miles street circuit in the streets of Monte Carlo. The 78 lap 259.584 kms / 161.332 miles race will start at 14:30 hours local time on Sunday 19 May and is expected to last nearly two hours.

-- The F1 FAQ on the Web http://www.ultranet.com/~mitchmcc

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mika Salo , Ukyo Katayama , Mike Gascoyne