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Monaco preview quotes - Caterham, Pirelli, Force India & more 20 May 2013

Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 19 April 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 21 March 2013 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Mike Coughlan (GBR) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 5 October 2012 Remi Taffin (FRA), head of Renault Sport F1 track operations in the Press Conference
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 2 November 2012 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 John Booth (GBR) Marussia Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 7 October 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 16 March 2013 Alan Permane (GBR) Lotus F1 Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 18 April 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Tom McCullough (GBR) Sauber Head of Track Engineering.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 20 April 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Toto Wolff (AUT) Mercedes AMG Executive Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013

Round six of the championship sees the paddock arrive in Monte Carlo for arguably the most famous event on the calendar, the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2013. So how are the teams preparing for the unique challenge that is the Principality’s streets? Those involved discuss their prospects for the race...

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - 22nd, 2012 Race - DNF

“Monaco is a great race and a track I’ve won on before in Formula Renault 3.5 and in GP2. It's one of the two city street circuit races and there’s a lot of history there. I think for every driver and fan it's one of the best races of the year. It's not an easy race because you can’t make any mistakes at all during the weekend, but it's also why we love it and why Monaco is so special.

“For the car it's completely different than almost any other track, so we are running with a different setup there to optimise the mechanical grip. It's always fun on track, but it’s busy for the drivers and as it's right next to France there are a lot of French fans and I'm sure it will be good entertainment for them and everyone who goes. We don't have a race in France at the moment so Monaco’s the nearest place to see F1 for all the French fans who really do love our sport.

“It's true that Monaco, like Singapore, is really tough. You can hope that it can be a good chance for you to finish in a good position, but with such a tight circuit and so many chances for something to happen it’s something we can’t control so we have to be focused on optimising the car, extracting 100 percent for qualifying and then focusing on the race. We’ll have to make sure we go the right way on tyre choice and strategy, and then we’ll see. We’ve definitely been improving over the last couple of races, so the aim is to carry that through to Monaco.”

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Monaco is one of my favourite races of the year. For me the track is very special, it holds a lot of great memories as over the last few years I've been on the podium every time I’ve raced there. It’s a pretty mad weekend, with a lot of guests and fans everywhere, closer than you see anywhere else in the season, but once you’re in the car it’s very important to have a good flow or you’ll lose time and increase the chance of making a mistake.

“It takes a few laps for the car to really to come in and of course for me this year it will be another new experience with the F1 car, but I'll get the flow back quickly and I have a good team around me so everything should go well.

“Monaco’s also a place where the smaller teams, like us, can do something special. It’s a shorter lap than many of the other tracks we race on, and everyone has to run as much downforce as possible, so outright speed isn’t the key. You need good traction to really attack the exits of the corners, and the package we introduced in Spain had exactly that, so what we want to do is build on the progress we made in Spain, show a bit more of our potential, and with a bit of luck we can come close to the top 10.”

"It's going to be hard to tell if our car will work well there. Last year the team had quite good results so there is good hope. I think the driver is very important there to have a good flow, and we'll see what we can do."

Pirelli
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“In Monaco we’d expect an average of two pit stops per car, because in complete contrast to the last race at Barcelona, Monaco has very low tyre wear and degradation. This doesn’t make the race any less strategic however, as in the past we have seen drivers trying completely different strategies yet ending up very close to each other at the finish. The last race in Spain was won from lower down on the grid than it has ever been won before, so it will be interesting to see if this pattern can repeat itself in Monaco: a track that is renowned for being difficult to overtake on. Because of this, strategy will become even more important than usual, with teams trying to use tactics to improve on their starting positions.”

Paul di Resta, Force India
2012 Qualifying - 15th, 2012 Race - 7th

“Monaco was a rewarding race for us last year and we will try to go there and continue our run of points finishes. It’s really interesting to see how busy the place gets when the race is in town and the atmosphere builds up throughout the week. Racing close to home is really nice because I can go back to my place every night. I sleep in my bed and enjoy my own space. It’s also a chance for my family and friends to come and stay with me, and when the weather is nice, there’s nowhere better.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Wherever we have gone so far the car has looked competitive - and that includes some very different tracks. It’s a good sign for the rest of the season. Of course, Monaco will be the first real street circuit, but I think we will be quick there. The car is very strong in the front with a very neutral balance so it’s very driveable. [Monaco is] a special place for sure. I’ve always liked street races and Monaco is the best street circuit of them all. There’s no room for even the smallest mistake and that’s why it’s different to other tracks. You have to give the walls so much respect and build up your speed. More than anything it’s a test of your mental strength because you keep your concentration for nearly two hours during the race.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“Monaco holds a special place in the heart of every Formula One fan. Its history, the unforgiving circuit and the unique atmosphere of the place make it a highlight of the season. As a venue, it’s one of my favourites and a track where our car has always worked well. We’ve scored points there for the last three seasons and will be aiming to do the same this year.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2012 Qualifying - 9th, 2012 Race - DNF

“I have always been very competitive at Monaco, doing well there in GP2, so I always look forward to this race as I feel very comfortable driving the circuit. You can also feel the history of Formula One as you drive through the streets and tackle some of the really famous corners. Monaco is a very difficult challenge, both mentally and physically, as you have to try and find the limits of the car with no margin for error if you push too hard. Qualifying will be very important at this race and is probably 70 percent of the weekend because overtaking is so difficult and risky. Tyre strategy and tyre management is important as you always use the softer compound of tyres in Monaco and they are very sensitive this year. We are working hard at the factory to see where we can make improvements and hopefully we can continue improving the set-up of the FW35 and have a better result this weekend.”

Valtteri Bottas, Williams
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“This will be my first time racing in Monaco and I’m really looking forward to it because it’s such an iconic track. It’s definitely the most challenging race on the calendar for the drivers, being an old school street circuit with no room for mistakes and I’m looking forward to the challenge of being on the limit at all times while being so close to the walls. In the past tyre wear in Monaco has been quite minimal, but with Pirelli bringing the softs and supersofts to this race the tyre degradation may be more of a factor, although less than we saw in Bahrain and Barcelona. It’s very challenging to get the car right at Monaco as it’s very different to all other circuits. There is a lot of undulation, so you need a good car set up to keep all the wheels on the ground around the whole circuit. It’s also quite bumpy which affects the ride height of the car.”

Mike Coughlan, Williams technical director
“Monaco may be one of the shortest tracks of the year, but it’s the most demanding, especially for the driver. Although the corner speeds are the slowest on the calendar, you have to use as much of the track as possible and the closer the driver can put his car to the barriers the faster he will go. As it is a street circuit the grip levels change the whole weekend so it’s important to give the drivers as much time on-track as possible in order for them to gain confidence, particularly for Valtteri who has never driven here before. Due to the bumpy nature of the track, a good mechanical platform is required. We need to raise the ride-height and increase the steering angle capacity for the tight, twisting corners. We also run with maximum downforce there.

“We made some small steps forward in Barcelona but it was still a difficult weekend for us. We have a number of upgrades for Monaco designed for the unique layout. We need to keep working hard though as it’s not been the start to the year we had hoped for. As a team, we are still focussed on getting the performance out of the FW35.”

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
“Monte Carlo is one of those events that puts everyone under pressure as getting the optimum set up is always a compromise. It takes a huge effort to get right, and we spend more time preparing for this circuit than any other over the year. Monte Carlo is actually counter-intuitive to some other races as we work on slow speed balance rather than high or medium speed. This is because the track has the lowest average speed on the calendar (just 160kph) while the top speed peaks at only 280kph, compared to well over 315kph at the last event in Spain. Furthermore the engine only spends around 35% of the lap at full throttle. Maps are therefore geared to provide torque through the lower rev limits of the engine to deliver driveability and response out of the corners while gear ratios are calculated to give effective acceleration between the turns. The sheer number of turns round the track means that the engine also isn’t given any time off and cooling becomes crucial as a result. With grip and downforce being so important we can’t afford to put any cooling holes or additional louvre panels to help out so we will look at dispersing the temperatures through the water and oil system. It is obvious that with a street track there will be more bumps as the cars run over kerbs, drain covers and other day to day debris. One of the largest bumps is on the run down from Casino to the Mirabeau, which is why you see the cars apparently run off line. In actual fact they are taking the most logical line through this section as if they run over the bump, there is no load running through the wheels. With no load, there is no dynamic force and the engine suddenly hits the rev limiter, causing a loss of time and potential damage to the engine. There are other examples of bumps and lifts throughout the lap but it is not always possible to avoid them so instead we pay particular attention to the shift light pattern and even encourage the driver to shift early to avoid hitting the rev limit too often and stressing the engine too much. Once we’ve completed all the set-up we also work extremely closely with the driver himself. The challenge is to get the driver to a confidence level where he doesn’t even comment on the engine, that is, he knows that it’s doing what he wants it to do. If you’ve done this you know you’ve done your job!”

Jules Bianchi, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“When I was nine or ten years old and used to go to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, I could never have imagined that one day I would be racing here myself. So much of this season is a dream come true but next weekend is certainly one of the highlights for me. It’s a unique race, a fantastic experience on and off the track and the atmosphere is very special. I would like to think that we can have a strong weekend after some positive signs with the new upgrade in Spain. We were not able to make the best of it on race day there but I hope for better things in Monaco.”

Max Chilton, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“I can’t wait for my first Monaco Grand Prix experience at the wheel of a Formula One car. It’s shaping up to be quite a weekend so I hope we can put on a good show for the benefit of all the partners and guests who are making the trip there. It’s a fascinating track and everything can turn on a knife-edge because of factors like the close proximity of the barriers and the importance of qualifying ahead of our immediate competitors. Although this is a very different challenge to Spain, I hope we can carry through some of the benefits we saw from the new developments last time out and have a better showing in Monaco. I have been preparing in the simulator this week and I’m feeling positive about our potential there.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“The Monaco Grand Prix is always one of the highlights of the season, for our team, our partners and the fans. Racing around the tight and twisty streets is an unparalleled experience for any driver and Jules and Max are both very excited and looking to the race weekend with confidence after spending time in the simulator. Jules is also very fortunate to count this as his home Grand Prix and racing so close to the place he grew up in will no doubt be very special for him. It’s a track which really showcases a driver’s ability so we look forward to seeing more of the obvious potential of both of our drivers shining through again. Monaco will not be without its challenges I’m sure and there will be the same heavy focus on tyre management. We do have a few minor developments however, which we hope will keep us moving in the right direction.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 13th, 2012 Race - 16th

“Monaco is unlike any other racetrack in Formula One. A qualifying lap around there is an exhilarating experience for a driver: you turn into corners on the limit and you kiss every barrier at the exit. To get pole position, as I did in 2009, is hugely satisfying and you need to be inch-perfect for 78 laps in order to win the race. It’s a great challenge.

“The average speed around Monaco is the slowest of the year, but it feels very quick. The track’s quite narrow in places and there are some fast sections. The run up the hill from Ste Devote to Casino Square involves some quick changes of direction, as does the Swimming Pool, and the Tunnel is fast, loud and dark.

“Everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has been working flat-out since the Spanish Grand Prix. We’re not yet where we want to be in terms of competitiveness, but I’m confident that we can make another small step forward in Monaco. We’ll continue to chip away at the performance of the MP4-28 until it’s capable of challenging at the front; there’s no other agenda for a winning team like McLaren. The aim for Monaco is to get both cars home in the points, as we did in Barcelona.”

Sergio Perez, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 24th, 2012 Race - 11th

“Monaco is a great challenge for the drivers. It’s the only circuit on the calendar where you have to build up your speed during practice, rather than going flat-out on lap one. You push a little bit harder with every lap, getting a bit closer to the barriers each time.

“But it’s not just the track that makes Monaco special; it’s the atmosphere as well. The grandstands are closer to the track here than anywhere else on the calendar and that gives us a very close connection to the spectators. The huge grandstand between Tabac and the Swimming Pool can get pretty noisy when it’s full, which is great.

“Last year was my first Monaco Grand Prix. I missed out on a world championship point by one position and I’m looking to change that this year. The MP4-28 is improving, as we introduce upgrades and understand its performance better. It was more driveable in Spain a couple of weeks ago, particularly on light tanks. That will be vital in Monaco because qualifying is very important.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has a fabulous record in Monte Carlo. We’ve taken 15 wins - more than any other constructor - through the streets of the Principality and while we’re not yet in a position to challenge for victories this year, we’ll relish the challenge provided by this race and we hope to challenge for more points with both cars.

“Our aim is to continue improving the performance of the MP4-28 in Monaco. The tight and twisty nature of the circuit makes its requirements fairly exceptional, but every kilometre that we complete with the car provides us with useful data because we have a very busy development programme.

“Overtaking opportunities are limited at Monaco, even with the DRS, so qualifying is going to be very important on Saturday afternoon. Both of our drivers know how to turn a quick lap, and Sergio can take a lot of confidence from his excellent performance during Q2 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“Monaco is one of the jewels in Formula One’s crown. It’s an iconic setting and the race has a lot of history. I’m proud of McLaren’s peerless record in the Principality and would love nothing than to add to it this year.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 8th, 2012 Race - 9th

“It’s useless to put races in different categories, because all of them are as important as each other if you want to win a championship. However, as a real special race there is nothing like Monaco; there is no better feeling than to get things going well there. To race in the streets of Monte Carlo is really different from everywhere else and it’s a challenge I look forward to every year. It is very, very difficult - almost impossible in fact - to have a clean weekend down there. I’ve only managed to get it right once before and you really experience the greatest feeling you can get by winning it. My win in 2005 ranks up there with my most memorable, so to win it again would be just as special.

“It’s such a narrow, twisty track; you have to be extra sharp and focused through every single metre. It gives such a good feeling; a fast lap around Monaco. Overtaking is almost impossible, so to really enjoy racing there you have to be in the front. We have to focus on qualifying. It’s a difficult place to race as it’s so narrow and - as I said before - passing is nearly impossible. I was stuck behind Rubens [Barrichello] in 2009 and we had KERS then, but you just couldn’t get past. We’ll have to see how the tyres perform and if there are any good strategies to be made, but the most important thing is to qualify well. It’s difficult to know how good the car will be in Monaco as you can’t simulate its characteristics; certainly not at any of the circuits we’ve visited so far this year anyway. We can say the E21’s been fast everywhere else so let’s hope it’s also fast there.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 5th, 2012 Race - DNF

“It’s going to be fantastic to be racing there again. It’s like a home race to me and it’s a circuit I really love. We were quick there last year so I hope we’re quick again. It’s a crazy week with all the focus and attention, but everyone loves Monaco. I’ve got a week to get some rest before it all starts. I can’t wait. Monaco is a very special event in its own right, and the atmosphere is quite crazy! As a driver you have to stay calm and relaxed and try to do your job. It is a track that doesn’t allow any mistakes. You have to respect it and that is the key there. For me it’s fantastic for there to be so many French fans, and I’m looking forward to their support.

“Monaco is quite a specialist track and it is very difficult to say if a car will be suited to it or not. It’s bumpy on the straights and it’s a very low grip surface. All these things mean that you never know what to expect. On a more normal race track you know more what you are going to get. I hope we will have a pleasant surprise and that the car will suit Monaco’s unique challenges. That would be nice.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“Similar to Barcelona, we will be bringing a new rear wing which follows the same concept as the one we ran in Monaco last year. There will also be a new front wing and some modifications to the floor, so plenty to keep us occupied. We’re confident in the upgrade package for this race and the car has worked well at every circuit so far this season, so there’s no reason it won’t be strong here.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 10th, 2012 Race - 4th

“Monaco is one of my favourite tracks and driving it is an absolute challenge. You can’t even make the smallest mistake; if you do, you’re lucky if it’s just that your lap time is bad. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll end up in the barrier. Overtaking is possible, but only with risk - the best place for that is before the chicane. We come out of the narrow tunnel at more than 300km/h and race to the first gear-chicane - whoever brakes later wins. Ideally you have a good qualifying session and start from far forward.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 2nd, 2012 Race - 1st

“[In three words, Monaco is] dramatic, glitz and busy. [If I were a fan] I’d watch [from] the left-right combination at the entry to the swimming pool, after Tabac. [My best memory of Monaco is] my first win in 2010 - it’s right up there with my best memories of all time.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - 11th, 2012 Race - 8th

“I’m really looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix. The circuit along with the backdrop of the Principality are just fantastic, and the atmosphere is one of the best in the season. The track is one of a kind with extremely narrow streets that will punish every little mistake. This is a great challenge between me, the car and the track, and I always have a lot of fun driving there. In terms of performance, I’m quite positive. We’ve seen that the softer tyre compounds suit us quite well, which gives me confidence we’ll have a good weekend.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Driving on the limit through the narrow streets of Monaco is something special that I am really looking forward to. It’s one of my favourite tracks. I’ve driven there in GP2 twice and competing there in a Formula One car will be even more challenging and interesting. It’s a high-downforce track with a lot of slow corners, and management of the rear tyres will be crucial. After the positive race in Barcelona, I am focusing on building on my performance there.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“The circuit in Monaco is a real challenge for the drivers and the team. The track improves throughout the weekend and it’s important to give the drivers a set-up that gives them confidence as the barriers are very close. For Esteban it will be his first experience in a F1 car in Monaco, but his GP2 experience has given him a good reference. This will be the first race of the season where we use both the soft and supersoft tyres. We have some further updated aero parts to add to the package we took to Barcelona. Coming off the back of our better race pace in Barcelona, our aim is to qualify stronger, as this is particularly important in Monaco where overtaking is so difficult.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 3rd, 2012 Race - 2nd

“Monaco is always a fantastic weekend and it's great to race in the city where I live. Knowing that all my family and friends are watching makes it very special and I love being able to drive from home into the paddock on a scooter! The surroundings definitely make Monaco the coolest track on the calendar and the atmosphere over the weekend is great. I have good memories from the race last year after finishing in second place and I hope we can get another good result this time around. At the moment we have a good car for qualifying which helps in Monaco as it's the most important qualifying session of the year as track position is so important. So that might be helpful for us but there are so many unknowns, especially with the tyres, so we will just have to wait and see.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 4th, 2012 Race - 5th

“Whilst there hasn't been a lot of time since Barcelona, we've been working hard to put the disappointment of the last race behind us and focus on the opportunities ahead. Monaco is one of my favourite races of the year and I love driving the streets there. As a driver, you know that you have to perform on every single lap and it's a challenge that I really enjoy. It's a real experience to see the barriers flashing past at high speed and I love the fact that the fans can get so close to the track making for a great atmosphere. Perhaps more than at many other tracks, qualifying and getting the best possible track position is crucial in Monaco, but we have to keep our focus on Sunday as well and keep working to improve our race pace. Everyone is working really hard and I know we can get there. We just need to keep motivated and work it out together.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“Monaco is a not usually a race to which teams bring many updates because the track conditions change so much across the weekend. The priority is always to get the drivers comfortable with the unique challenge the circuit presents and to give them a set-up they feel confident pushing to the limit. Both Nico and Lewis have historically been incredibly competitive in Monaco and this weekend will certainly allow their talent to shine. The engineering team will be focused on getting the most from our car on the slow, bumpy layout and there will of course be particular emphasis on achieving tyre consistency and durability. Meanwhile, our work continues back at Brackley and Brixworth to fully understand the reasons for our below-par race performance in Barcelona, in order to develop the right solutions for the upcoming circuits where high tyre usage could once again be a limitation for us.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“Monaco is the most famous race in our sport and a special moment of every Formula One season. The narrow streets will give our drivers the perfect opportunity to display their talents and, historically, the team's cars have performed strongly there in terms of pure speed. However, it is clear to everybody in the team that, while we have a strong car right now, we are not able to use that performance properly on Sunday afternoon. Although overtaking in Monaco is difficult, we cannot afford to be complacent in terms of tyre management and we will need to do significantly better than we managed in Barcelona in order to score a strong result. We have only scored points with one of our cars at the past three races and this is something we must improve quickly, beginning next weekend in Monte-Carlo.”

More to follow.

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