Expectations from the pearl of Formula 1: the Monaco Grand Prix
What are the teams counting on and what should we expect?
Already this week we will be able to witness the race on perhaps the most important track - Monaco.
As you know, this track is known for being the actual pearl of Formula 1, because without this race it is impossible to imagine Formula 1 in principle. So what are the teams counting on, especially when there were changes in the regulations?
The racing engineer of the Williams team, Dave Robson, gave his comments on this
Dave Robson: “The Monaco circuit requires a special approach to the settings. With the cars of 2022, it will be even more difficult to find them because of the bumps and curbs of the city highway, the suspension height will have to be increased, which will cause the car to lose part of the downforce.
In addition to additional steering options and brake cooling, we will not have any new details and parts for testing this weekend, so we will be able to devote training sessions to finding the mood and help the riders feel confident”.
The Williams team drivers also shared their thoughts.
Nicholas Latifi: “It's always exciting to come back to Monaco. This is a track with a rich history and a special status, more unique than any other street track where we perform.
I will be driving Formula 1 for the second time in Monaco, I believe that with new cars and new regulations, the task will be even more difficult than last season. But I'm looking forward to this challenge and I hope we have a good weekend”.
Alex Albon: “The race in Monaco is one of the main events of the season. I live in Monaco myself – a three-minute walk from the paddock, so it won't be difficult to get there in the morning.
This is a real street circuit with a great atmosphere, where the weekend always turns out to be special. We will work hard in training to finish the series of two races in a row with dignity”.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff does not hope for a good result from the team, as he considers the track not suitable for his team.
Toto Wolff: “In the past, the track in Monaco was not the most suitable for us, although, perhaps, because of the large dimensions of our car - it was almost the size of an elephant. But I wonder what results we will be capable of this weekend.
We still have some problems with warming up the tires to operating temperatures, so before the stage in Monaco, my expectations are lower than they would be on any other track. I'm not sure I can explain the reasons for this phenomenon from a scientific point of view, but at least we will have the opportunity to study it, and this will help the team to fully return to the game”.
Probably the most interesting interview will be with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Monaco is his homeland, but he has never earned points in this race, maybe he can this time?
Charles Leclerc: “I can't imagine there wouldn't be a Monaco Grand Prix on the calendar. There are some really legendary tracks in Formula 1, and Monaco is one of them. We must preserve the historical heritage – this is important not only for our sport, but also for the Principality. I've talked about it more than once. Those who make decisions know my position perfectly well. I am in favor of preserving this Grand Prix, and I am not the only one who considers it special.
I really haven't had too much luck here, but I don't believe in bad luck. I am sure that all these incidents that I have encountered here will eventually become a wonderful story.
Let's hope that luck will turn to me this year, because now every point is important. As for gatherings, this happens in motorsport. In the race, I won't think about it and I won't change anything”.
Aston Martin drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll talked about the features of the stage on the city track in Monaco.
Sebastian Vettel: “Every driver has special memories of Monaco, and everyone wants to create new ones. We all know that some significant events in the history of Formula 1 have taken place on this track.
From a physical point of view, the stage will become difficult. Racers will have to give their all behind the wheel of modern cars more than in the past, so there will be an element of endurance during the weekend”.
Lance Stroll: “We all look forward to the Monaco race every year, because at this stage there are unique challenges to be solved, and Monaco is the most urban of all the city championship tracks.
Driving modern cars is much more difficult in narrow turns, so qualifying will be a real test for racers and equipment. The difficulties with overtaking in Monaco will be another test this weekend”.
Alfa Tauri team drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda spoke about their experience of this Grand Prix and said that they hope to have a good weekend.
Pierre Gasly: “The race in Monaco has a huge historical significance, it is a legendary track, because the whole world knows what the Monaco Grand Prix is. At the same time, judging by the photos taken in the years when this race was just started, the track has changed little since then.
It is famous for the fact that it is necessary to configure the car in a special way, and for the difficulties that the racers have to overcome. Perhaps this race can not be called the most interesting of the season, but in terms of difficulty it is among the leaders, if not the most difficult in the calendar.
In order to pilot at the limit on this track, maximum concentration is necessary – this is a real challenge, which I accept with pleasure. I like the most difficult urban track, the condition of which changes noticeably with each session.
You need to go literally a few millimeters from the barriers, which causes a real adrenaline storm. Since the new generation cars are very wide, it will probably be almost impossible to overtake. But in terms of piloting, this is one of my favorite tracks, I would definitely include it in the top three”.
Yuki Tsunoda: "I remember last year: my first weekend in Monaco was very difficult, in qualifying I dropped out of the fight in the first session, and finished the race in the same 16th position from which I started. Now I am waiting for my second visit to this track, and I already understand better how to gradually increase speed from session to session, keep my concentration and strive to get to the qualifying final, then fight for points in the race.
The track is unique there, you can't afford to waste time in training, so you can't make mistakes, because they are very expensive in Monaco. But I'm not going to change my approach to work, it will remain the same as in other races.
First of all, you need to achieve good speed on one fast lap, because qualifying and a good starting position in Monaco are very important. This is one of the famous tracks with a rich history, and it cannot be compared with other race tracks at all.
It is never boring there, even if the nature of the races is sometimes very different from what we see on modern tracks. It's difficult to overtake, but overall it's a very interesting weekend”.
The Red Bull Racing drivers, speaking about the upcoming weekend in Monaco, recalled that at one time they had a difficult time on this track, but now they are determined to fight for the highest results.
Max Verstappen: "The weekend in Monaco is always messy, but this is a unique Grand Prix. Qualification is very important there, because this classic track is very narrow, and your pulse is just off the scale, you experience incredible emotions!
I have to constantly drive at the limit, and racing Formula 1 cars there is complete madness. My performance history in Monaco is not particularly good, but last year I finally managed to win there, which I was very happy about, and when I crossed the finish line, I felt a huge relief.
Sergio and I are doing very well as a team, and, of course, it's great, we are now leading in both standings of the championship. But the season is very long, and as we have already seen, a lot can change”.
Sergio Perez: "The weekend in Monaco occupies a special place among the stages of the season, first of all it is felt during the qualifying final. On Saturday, a very strong rivalry is unfolding on the track, because success in this Grand Prix depends 99% on the results of qualifying.
I like this wonderful track, where you can't make mistakes, because it costs a lot. In 2011, for the first time participating in qualifying in Monaco, I got into a serious mess, losing control of the car at the exit of the tunnel. It was probably my worst accident ever in Formula 1, and yet I like this track, and I love to drive there.
The experience gained in Monaco a year ago is never useful, because every weekend on this track develops in its own way. I think the atmosphere surrounding this Grand Prix and its history make this weekend so special.
Our team has already gained momentum, and now we just have to keep attacking. I want to see as soon as possible how the car will show itself on the track in Monaco, and I intend to give my all”.
Lando Norris spent the last race in Barcelona with a sore throat and a high fever, and after the finish did not come out for a traditional interview.
The press even speculated which of the drivers would be able to replace Lando at the wheel in Monaco, but today McLaren confirmed that Norris would not need a replacement. Therefore, he and Daniel Ricciardo shared their thoughts about Monaco.
Lando Norris: "I'm always looking forward to the Monaco race weekend. It's great to race around the house – I'll be able to sleep in my own bed!
My race was fantastic last year, and although we are not at the same level now, I hope to earn a lot of points. Saturday's qualifying is of key importance, but I wonder how the race will turn out on the new generation of cars.
I use these few days between races to rest and improve my health. The race in Spain turned out to be incredibly difficult, but I am very glad that I earned points for the team. We need to move forward and prepare for the upcoming busy weekend!"
Daniel Ricciardo: "I'm resting after a difficult race and I'm looking forward to the weekend in Monaco. I have a lot of pleasant memories associated with this race, and I hope to create another one behind the wheel of the MCL36 this year, earning points for the team. Monaco always has an exciting atmosphere – it will be great to feel it. In addition, I am glad that the road from the highway to the house will take little time.
After the race in Spain, I, along with the engineers, plunged headlong into studying telemetry to increase the chances of finishing in the top ten. We've learned a lot about the car and the updates, and I believe the team will continue to progress. I hope we will have a strong weekend and fight for points. Let's race!"