One of the most glamorous international destinations meets one of the most glamorous sports in the world this weekend as Formula One descends upon Monte Carlo for the fifth round of the Championship, the 65th Monaco Grand Prix. The smallest ...
One of the most glamorous international destinations meets one of the most glamorous sports in the world this weekend as Formula One descends upon Monte Carlo for the fifth round of the Championship, the 65th Monaco Grand Prix. The smallest remaining sovereign state hosted its first (pre-Championship) Formula One race in 1929, making it one of the longest serving venues in motorsport and perhaps Formula One's spiritual home where glamour sits alongside speed.
In the two week gap between Barcelona and Monte Carlo, the team carried out a four day test at Paul Ricard, its layout having been re-configured to replicate the Monegasque track. Both Nico and Alex benefited from almost 500kms of set-up work each in preparation for their home Grand Prix. Following a marked upturn in performance demonstrated by Nico's points score in Spain, AT&T Williams are looking to improve their current joint fifth position in the Championship on the streets of Monte Carlo
"Monaco is the race of the year. The spectacularly exciting but very narrow track is right in the middle of my home town where I grew up, so it's also a very special race for me. All of my friends are there and the atmosphere is just great. All that has been missing from the mix is a good race result, but let's see if we can change that this weekend."
"This weekend is going to be very cool. It is just amazing to drive a Formula One car through the streets of Monaco. The track gets quicker every session and, once you've built up a rhythm on the track, it is just mind blowing how much adrenaline you build up driving between the armco. Every corner is difficult and, with the changing track conditions, it is obviously important to be on top of your game."
"In terms of set-up, it is most important that the driver has a good feeling about his car and can drive it with confidence. That is one of the key ingredients for setting a quick lap time around Monaco.
"In terms of off track work, Monaco is always the busiest weekend for all the drivers, and that's a challenge in itself. Nevertheless, it is still one of my favourite race weekends of the season. It's as hard as ever to forecast the result for the race. The only thing I can say for sure is that it's going to be a close fight, and that is cool."
Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1:
"We had a productive test last week during which we worked through many different mechanical and aerodynamic set-ups. At the same time, we signed off the upgrade that we will use for the maximum downforce circuit of Monte Carlo."
"Bridgestone will be bringing the "Super Soft" Potenza tyres to this race for the first time and they will make a significant contribution as to how much the street circuit rubbers-in during the course of the weekend. The grip level increase is so large because, in addition to rubber being laid down, a lot of the contaminants on the road surface are lifted."
"Monaco is such a unique track and requires everyone on the team to perform their task perfectly to get a good overall result. There are just so many things that can go wrong, from driver error on such a tricky track, to the set-up and the strategy. As overtaking is quite difficult, qualifying with a good race strategy will be most important. Expect to see mainly one stop strategies around the streets this weekend."