Next stop: magical Monte Carlo!
“Monaco is always a huge weekend. When you think of Formula One, you also think of Monaco because it’s just such a special event. There’s so much history and the buzz around the town creates an amazing atmosphere. We try to treat it like any other race weekend, but everything is a bit different in Monaco – the garages, the schedule, the logistics.
“As a driving experience it’s one of the biggest challenges of the year. There’s no room for mistakes because the walls are so close. The track improves each session and you need to build up your speed all the way to qualifying. It is definitely the most important qualifying session of the year because overtaking is really difficult on Sunday.
“I’m feeling pretty upbeat ahead of Monaco. Even though we didn’t get the result we wanted in Spain, the work we did across the weekend and during the test was useful. We learned a lot about the car, about the new updates, and where we can find performance. It will be interesting to see how we perform in Monaco because it’s a unique track, but I feel positive about the next few races because I think they will give us an opportunity to show our true potential.”
“I love everything about Monaco. It’s so different from any other race weekend and I enjoy every moment. The location is beautiful with all the yachts in the harbour and I feel the same excitement every time I go back there. It’s the race everybody wants to go to and it’s one of those events where the fans can get close to the action. I think anybody who loves Formula One needs to go to Monaco and just experience the atmosphere during race week.
“The circuit is my favourite of the year because it’s difficult for the drivers. I’ve always enjoyed driving on street circuits and Monaco is the best of them all. When you go out of the pits on Thursday morning for the first time you can’t believe how narrow the track feels. There really is no room for errors and I think that’s what Formula One needs. If you make a mistake at some circuits, you get away with it, but in Monaco you really pay for it. It’s a different challenge and it tests you more than other circuits.
“The key to Monaco is building your confidence. It’s important to have a smooth lead up to qualifying because you need to feel totally comfortable in the car by the time qualifying begins. There’s always big track evolution so you need to be on track at the right time too. Q1 is always a a lottery because there are so many cars on track and it’s not easy to find space to complete a clean lap. If we can get good track position for Sunday then I think we’ve got a good chance to score points.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal
“I learned a long time ago not to make any predictions about Monaco. It’s unlike any other circuit on the calendar and in that sense you don’t know what to expect until you get on track and see how the car is performing. We want to be fighting for points come Sunday and I think we’ve got every chance of doing so. As a team we’ve picked up strong results in Monaco in previous years and we know how important it is to be reactive to whatever situations arise and flexible with the strategy.”