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Monaco preview quotes - Manor, Sauber, Toro Rosso & more

25 May 2016

The famous streets of Monte Carlo play host to the F1 family this weekend with the eagerly-anticipated Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2016. Those involved look ahead to round six of the season...
Manor

Pascal Wehrlein

“I can’t deny it - I’m super-excited! It’s a race like no other and although they are all new to me in my debut season, it’s such a special feeling – and a privilege – to be competing here. I can’t describe the feeling of racing at this track but listening to others that have really gives me goose bumps. What I do know though is that it’s a race that demands every bit of focus and concentration from the driver. So although I’m itching to get in the car and go, I’m very aware that there’s a lot of preparation to be done between now and the race.”

“It’s the first proper street circuit of the season and one of the most historic events on the calendar. I know I’m going to love it. It’s also going to be pretty busy off-track as we have a lot of partner guests and activities here. It will be a juggling act I think but I want to enjoy every second of my first Monaco Grand Prix.”

Rio Haryanto

“Lining up for my first Grand Prix in Melbourne was a pretty special feeling but I’m sure competing in my first Monaco Grand Prix will come very close. It’s a completely unique experience, which I know from racing here in GP2. I’ve actually been on the podium in Monaco after finishing in 3rd place in 2014 and the atmosphere and sense of occasion is incredible. Although we have slightly more realistic ambitions this weekend, everyone knows that this race creates opportunities like no other – particularly if it rains, which at the moment is the forecast for Sunday.”

“[Driving at Monaco is] an incredible experience for a driver. The lap feels so quick and passes by in a flash but at the same time you’re captivated by mastering every single corner. It requires every bit of your full focus because it’s such an unforgiving track; the proximity of the barriers mean that one tiny mistake can be very costly. But it can also be very rewarding if you get it right.”

Dave Ryan, Racing director

“It’s always exciting to be racing in Monaco. Race tracks don’t get any more spectacular than this one. The programme is no different to any other race really; once you get past the logistical challenges of what is quite a makeshift environment, it has to be business as usual. Pascal and Rio will be looking forward to the weekend I’m sure but they are very mature heads on young shoulders and they’ll be giving this race their full focus, like any other. It’s a very demanding circuit with unique set-up challenges, so we’ll be approaching it in our usual methodical way but taking every opportunity to enjoy it along the way.”

“Monaco is such a distinctive circuit that presents its own unique challenges so it’s difficult for anyone to predict the outcome. But it’s a track that every team wants to do well at and we are no exception. We’ll be ready for any opportunity that comes our way.”

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson

“Racing in Monte Carlo has a long tradition which makes it to one of the most remarkable races in the Formula One season. The track is a lot of fun to drive, but very challenging at the same time. Every little mistake can mean ending up in the barriers. It is all about very precise driving and having the confidence in the car to use every centimetre of the track. I cannot wait to race in Monte Carlo. I really enjoy the atmosphere around the circuit, which also makes it one of the highlights of the season.”

Felipe Nasr

“The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the best races on the calendar. The track on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo is a real challenge – for us drivers as well as for the car. There is a fine line between driving the perfect lap and pushing the car to the limit. I really like racing there as the atmosphere is also very special. Last year I had a great race during which I was able to score points by finishing in P9. I hope that we can have a positive weekend this year as well.”

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat

“When I think of Monaco I always remember the first time I drove there in a Formula One car and went at full speed… The first lap was a bit scary, as it's so narrow!

“Racing in Monaco is therefore always a challenge as you are always very close to the walls, especially at Turn 4 and in the final sector, from Turn 13 to 19.

“I enjoy driving at Turns 3 and 4, they are nice and fast.

“Turn 6 is definitely the slowest corner on track and the braking when arriving at Turn 10 is always challenging.

“Turns 13 and 14 are the fastest and you need to be brave there! It's a very specific and special track, with such a big history, it always takes your breath away when you drive there.

“You constantly need to keep your concentration levels to the absolute limit, and this year will be no exception!”

Carlos Sainz

“Monaco is one of my favourite tracks because it's so special – not only for me, but for all drivers. It's such an exciting and challenging race weekend!

“Turn 1, especially at the start of the race, is very tight and only one car at a time can go through there, so it's easy to see massive traffic jams there if you start from the middle or back of the grid - sometimes you nearly need to stop the car at that first corner.

“Turns 3 and 4 are probably the most glamorous corners of the championship, as we go past the casino and the Café de Paris. It's a very special feeling to drive through here the first time, as well as it being one of the most challenging parts of the track. Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8 I'd call the slow part of the track, with Turn 6 being the slowest of the whole season - it's done in first gear and full steering lock. Then it's flat out through the tunnel, even though it's always a challenge to go flat out during the first lap of the weekend in FP1… You always want to do it but then you end up doing a small lift just to be safe, waiting for your confidence to build up!

“Turn 10 is the bumpiest corner and braking of the calendar I'd say - you just need to check my onboard from last year's race with Ericsson to see what I mean! Turns 12, 13 and 14 are the fastest and nicest corners - this is my favourite part of the track and I can't wait to be racing there again this weekend!”

Williams

Felipe Massa

"Monaco is like another home Grand Prix for me because I live there. I’m not from Monaco, but it’s definitely my town. I pass through the track most of the time when it’s just a road, and then suddenly everything changes and in just a few months it turns into a race track. It’s pretty amazing to see what they do there with the tight roads, and then we go racing there at 300kph. It’s always a very difficult race. It’s very easy to lose your concentration and hit the wall. It’s a very important race for us as drivers, but also for people to enjoy from their boats in the glamourous setting of Monaco. It’s always a really nice weekend for so many people and not just the drivers. I’m really looking forward to an amazing weekend, and some good racing at one of my home grands prix."

Valtteri Bottas

"Monaco is a unique Grand Prix and really challenging as a track for the drivers, especially mentally, as you have to keep focussed for the whole race distance and a good qualifying lap is crucial. It’s a nice feeling when you do a neat lap there. It’s a very busy week – it starts one day earlier than normal, because practice is on Thursday. Normally there are plenty of partners who come to Monaco for lots of events, so it’s probably the busiest race weekend off the track for me as a driver. It’s a big challenge. I’m still missing my first points in Monaco, so I’m looking forward to being able to achieve that. It’s kind of like a home race as well, as I live there. It’s nice being able to either walk or scooter to the paddock!" 

Pat Symonds

"The Monaco circuit is perhaps the most challenging we visit all year, both in terms of car set-up and for the drivers. While we always think of Monaco as a high downforce track, most circuits these days are. What is far more important here is to get a good chassis balance through corners that are generally slower and have a very different surface to those we meet on conventional race tracks. 2016 also sees the introduction of the new ultrasoft tyre. With overtaking difficult at Monaco, there will be a need to get the maximum potential out of the tyre for a good grid position, while managing tyre consumption to have the option of doing a one-stop race. The forecast is for a dry weekend, but one can never rule out rain in Monaco as onshore winds and high hills above can produce a microclimate. We can’t hide from the fact that our performance last year was well below par, and a lot of analysis has gone into determining why. Our hopes for this year, as always, will be to get both cars in good grid positions and race strongly from there."

McLaren

Fernando Alonso

“Monaco is such a special place. I don’t think there are many drivers in the world that can say they don’t like racing there. Because it’s so narrow, and overtaking is almost impossible, it can be incredibly frustrating, but the feeling when you put together the perfect lap, or manage an overtaking manoeuvre, is all the more satisfying.

“It’s a real challenge to get the set-up right for Monaco because of its unique characteristics, but often we see some unpredictable racing there because the nature of it tends to shuffle the pack up. I’m optimistic that we can dial-in our car to suit the track because we have a very well-balanced chassis, so it will be interesting to see how we measure up when the circuit’s characteristics are more likely to play to our strengths.

“The most obvious characteristic of the Monaco circuit is that qualifying is probably more important there than at any other track. Getting through to Q3 in Barcelona for the first time since the McLaren-Honda partnership was reunited was definitely a boost for the team, so our aim, of course, will be to replicate that to give ourselves the best possible chance in Monaco.

“Monaco is a very demanding race, so reliability and strategy will be key in order to maximise the potential in our chassis and power unit at this circuit. After a disappointing result in the race in Spain, I’m pleased to see that our work completed at the test was encouraging, so I hope that can translate to a positive performance for the whole team next weekend. It’s definitely one of the best races of the year.”

Jenson Button

“I love this track - although we are now seeing more street circuits appearing on the Formula One calendar, Monaco is like no other in the world. It requires a completely unique set-up - more traction, high downforce, more steering angle, softer suspension - and the feeling you get driving around there is among the best you experience as a driver.

“It’s not a fast circuit, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel it. The barriers are so close you feel like you can reach out and touch them, and you need absolute 100 percent focus and concentration to get the most out of each lap, every lap - or pay serious consequences. One small mistake and you’ll definitely be punished, which is what makes it such a great driver’s track. It’s a real test, and one we look forward to taking every year we go back there.

“The feeling at Monaco is completely unique. I’ve definitely adopted it as another home race after Silverstone, and after all these years it still does feel pretty surreal driving around your back yard, although while the Grand Prix is in town the place takes on a whole new atmosphere. Despite its long history, it’s still got the glamour, the excitement, the beautiful backdrop, and always produces something unexpected.

“I’ve had a bit of bad luck over the last few races, so coming home with two points in Barcelona was definitely a positive on my side of the garage. Monaco is a completely different ball game, but one where the strengths of our car should shine through a bit more than in Spain if we hook up all of the elements, so I’m excited to see what we can do there. There are so many variables to come together, so it won’t be easy, but our testing programme last week went well so I’m hopeful we can put a lot of that learning into practice come Thursday in Monaco.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“Monaco certainly deserves its status as a true classic on the Formula One calendar, and a jewel in the crown for drivers, fans, sponsors and teams alike. The atmosphere is very special, the setting is stunning, and the speed at which the cars race through the tiny streets of the Principality blows you away, no matter how many times you watch it.

“For the cars, outright power certainly plays less of a role there, which means car set-up is a delicate trade-off between downforce, driveability and balance. Monaco is a track where, on paper, it should suit our package more than at other circuits, but one of its unique facets is its unpredictability. The weather conditions often change, accidents are frequent which tend to have bigger-than-usual impacts on a race outcome, and of course overtaking is notoriously - and often, frustratingly - difficult.

“That said, these elements are what make Monaco so special, and we will approach the weekend with a lot of valuable data gathered from the tests, and maximum effort and determination to keep pushing forward. The key objectives for us are reliability - especially given Fernando’s retirement in Barcelona - and qualifying performance, as this can often dictate where points are scored or missed. We must look to qualifying to give us the best opportunity at the start of the race, and aim to finish in the points on both sides of the garage.”

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

“Heading to the Monaco Grand Prix is always special. There is so much history and it’s such an iconic race for Formula One.

“The street circuit itself is a complex and technical circuit, albeit with low overall speed. I believe that our car is rather suited to this type of circuit, so if we can squeeze out the full potential through good balance of the power unit and chassis, I think we have a chance to be competitive throughout the weekend.

“The narrow track and tight corners of this circuit will test any driver, but we have two world-class drivers with skill and experience, so I am looking forward to seeing what this weekend will bring for us. The new ultrasoft compound will debut in Monaco for the first time, so we are hoping that it will be an exciting race.”

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

“Barcelona was the worst feeling but, like I always say, the true test is how you get back up when you've been knocked down. It was a tough moment for all of us after the race but it's now chapter closed and looking ahead to Monaco. It's an incredible feeling making a car dance through those streets, one of the purest thrills you can have in a racing car. I've not had the best run of results in Monaco in recent years - but last year showed I have the pace to do the job. It's always a different weekend to the rest, with the extra day, the boats in the harbour and sleeping at home; that makes it fun because the whole rhythm is something else to the rest of the season. I'm approaching this weekend with only one result in mind.”

Nico Rosberg

“I was gutted after what happened in Spain - for myself, but mostly for the team. We're in this together and I know how hard everybody works to make these amazing cars, so for us to leave them both in the gravel is the worst possible scenario. But we've talked it through and now it's time to leave it in the past. It's one of my home races next in Monaco - the ultimate driver's track. It's where I grew up and where I still live today, so that always makes it a special weekend. I have memories from every corner going right back to my school days and I always have great support there from my family, my friends and the fans, which gives you that extra boost through the weekend. It's been amazing to win there for the past three years - but I know it will be tough to repeat that with Lewis, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls all so strong now. I'm feeling confident, so bring on the battle!”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“Clearly, Barcelona was tough to take. We came away upset at an opportunity missed - but this is racing. The drivers know how we operate. The team is responsible for giving them the best possible cars and they are responsible for getting the best out of them - and for bringing them home. When we let them down, we apologise to and the same goes the other way. It's a pretty normal culture - we deal with setbacks together and we move on. Now, we go to Monaco and a very different challenge. Once again, we have seen our competitors make steps forward which have given us an even bigger battle on our hands. Red Bull came out on top in Barcelona after a close fight with Ferrari, so it's clear that we are under attack from more than one angle. We cannot afford to drop the ball, so we must remain united, remain strong and hit back hard this weekend.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

“Monaco is a unique circuit requiring unique characteristics from the car, so you can never approach this race with absolute confidence in the performance of your package. That confidence is something which may only grow through the weekend, as the team fine-tunes the car and the drivers dial themselves in to the track. Of all the circuits on the calendar, this is the one where practice is most crucial. If the drivers are to get that ultimate qualifying lap, which is so important given the difficulty in overtaking around Monaco, they need all the track time they can get to find their rhythm. A lap around this circuit requires inch-perfect positioning of the car at every corner - each of which leaves no room for error. It's a track where driver skill very much comes to the fore - although, as always, the team plays a crucial role in ensuring the car is adapted to the specific demands of the circuit and gives the driver confidence to find the limits. This weekend sees the first appearance of the Ultra Soft tyre - which will be particularly interesting given that even the Super Soft has arguably been too hard for this circuit in recent years. We're looking forward to seeing what kind of lap time improvement that might bring - and perhaps even a new lap record. It's set to be an intense battle between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull, so we'll need a perfect weekend to come out on top.”

Pirelli

Paul Hembery, motorsport director

“Monte Carlo will mark the first race for our new purple ultrasoft tyre, which offers the maximum performance and technology that we can put into a compound. However, the large numbers of this compound nominated by the teams for the Monaco GP shows that it is a serious race tyre rather than just a ‘qualifying special’. With the unique conditions of Monaco, and its own specific timetable, the teams will be looking to get a thorough read on the characteristics of the new ultrasoft during free practice. Only then will we have an accurate idea of race strategy, although with the difficulty of overtaking, drivers will be looking to minimise their pit stops.”

Force India

Vijay Malla, team principal

"We certainly took encouragement from our performance in qualifying and the race. It's not easy to introduce a new aerodynamic package during a race weekend, but the team did an excellent job of installing and understanding the new components. We could see the benefits straight away in the data and from the drivers' feedback. Barcelona has never been our strongest track, so to come away with six points means we can feel optimistic for the upcoming races.

"It's always impossible to make predictions. Anything can happen and that's what makes Monaco such an exciting weekend. Both our drivers are strong there, but the first task is to deliver a clean qualifying lap when it matters: we've seen before that qualifying can become a lottery when the track is busy. All being well we've got the potential to qualify in the top ten and score good points.

"It's still the target and we are only 12 points away from fifth place in the championship. We've not enjoyed an easy start to the season with our fair share of bad luck, but with three quarters of the season to go we have plenty of time to catch the teams ahead of us."

Nico Hulkenberg

"Monaco is one of the best weeks of the year. The track, the location, the schedule - it has all the things that make Formula One such a great sport. This will be my sixth Monaco Grand Prix, but I will still feel a huge buzz when I walk into the paddock on Wednesday morning and see everything taking shape.

"The challenge of the track is good fun and very demanding. You build your speed with each session and by the time you get to qualifying you need to be right at the limit. When you walk the track you can't believe that we actually race there because it's so narrow. You need to be incredibly precise because you can't afford even the smallest mistake. Mentally it's very tough because it's corner after corner and there's never a moment when you can relax - even for a second.

"Monaco is one of my home races and I'm hoping that my luck will start to change this weekend. Sometimes you have a spell of unlucky races and there's nothing you can do about it - that's the way I look back on Russia and Spain. You have to put them out of your mind and move on. Monaco is a fresh start and I'm already smiling at the thought of driving around such a fantastic lap."

Sergio Perez

"Monaco is my favourite circuit of the year. It's very demanding, but it's also a track where the driver can make more of a difference. You need to be brave, push the limits and use every inch of the track - that's why it's so much fun in the car. I really enjoy the quicker parts of the lap - Casino and the Swimming Pool - where you need to be accurate and carry lots of speed.

"When I was a child I always dreamed about racing in Monaco. I've had good memories there and some difficult days too. Scoring points last year was special and a very important result for the team. It's always a busy week on and off the track, but it's good fun because the fans can walk the track and get really close to us. It always gives me a lot of energy just being there and soaking up the atmosphere. 

"I'm happy with my results in the last couple of races. We've improved the car and we are moving in a good direction. I think the next run of races will give us the chance to show our speed and continue picking up the points we need for the championship."

Renault

Jolyon Palmer

“I love it! It’s tight and twisty and the barriers are so close meaning there’s no room for error. As a race track it’s the craziest one I’ve ever driven, not just because it’s a street course, it’s a street course like no other; it’s a proper road that’s used by the public every day and it wasn’t designed to be a race track, it’s very bumpy and it’s very easy to make a mistake and end up in the wall. It presents a really exacting challenge to deliver a fast lap time as you need to be practically brushing the walls everywhere. To put everything together and to win in Monaco is the biggest challenge in Formula One.

“[You overtake] with a lot of commitment! It’s very difficult: firstly you need a good pace advantage on the guy in front, and preferably you want him to make a mistake! There are a couple of places: Ste Devote is one, and there’s a DRS zone there too, and then into the chicane is the most obvious opportunity. Everywhere around Monaco takes a lot of commitment. Any overtake attempt you make could end up in contact with your competitor or the wall so you really have to balance the risk and reward. You have to get your move right and hope the other guy sees you; even if you do everything right, if your rival doesn’t see you it’s likely there’ll be contact.

“One (Monaco) race I remember really well from watching when I was young was when Olivier Panis won. I watched this as a little boy - at about five years old - and it was a crazy Grand Prix, seeing Panis win in a Ligier! It just shows what can be possible. It’s a difficult track to overtake but there have been so many legendary races there!

“I won twice in the GP2 Series in Monaco. My first win in GP2 was in Monaco in 2012 in the Sprint race where I nailed it off the start, took the lead at Ste Devote after a messy first corner then controlled it to the chequered flag. Then in 2014 it was pole, fastest lap and race win.”

Kevin Magnussen

“Monaco is always a nice experience, the circuit is awesome to drive and the event is one of the most spectacular of the season. There’s a great history of Formula One there and the whole experience is great.

“Of course you’re aware of all the parties going on but when you’re there to race that is where your focus is. You can’t go mad over a race weekend, you just have to go to bed and know that there’s plenty of opportunity to party other times when you’re not at a race. I’ll happily miss a great party if it means I get to race a Formula One car around Monaco.

“My first experience of driving Monaco was in a World Series by Renault car and I was so excited. It’s just awesome - there’s no other word - as it amazes you how narrow it is and busy you are over the course of a lap. I felt like I knew it so well from watching Formula One on television so many times before driving it myself, but there’s nothing like driving Monaco.

“I’ve always been fast there but I haven’t had the results to show it. The best is yet to come.”

Fred Vasseur, racing director

“We need to stay on the level of what we saw in Barcelona. Getting into Q2 - and trying to get both cars into Q2 - was a good step forward for us and I think that it would show the team’s performance level. Having said that, the results are also dependent on what’s happening during the races and we’ve seen that at the last GPs. For Monaco, if we can get into Q2, having both cars in the points is a real possibility.”

Bob Bell, chief technical officer

“Monaco’s less about what’s needed from the car, it’s more about what’s needed from the driver who needs to keep it on the track, keep away from the walls and let the circuit get faster and faster. The main focus is ensuring the drivers get as much time as possible to build their confidence on the circuit and learn from the track surface evolution.

“[Three tyres and a seriously evolving track] does leave us with a little more work to do as there is an extra compound to be thinking about, especially at a track where the surface evolves - and therefore how the tyre compound works with the surface changes. Monaco is prone to massive evolution and that is a big factor in set-up and strategy considerations.

“It used to be a circuit where you’d bolt on a lot of high downforce elements to the car but now a high downforce configuration is de rigueur in a lot of circuits so this isn’t something we’re so concerned with as a team anymore.

“We do use revised suspension to give additional lock for Loews, but that’s the same every year - it’s not as if it’s a surprise. As it’s a low-speed track, aero is of less relative importance, all we have to do is ensure the car is reasonably well balanced, the braking is good, the traction is strong, cooling is under control. It’s really more about managing the car and giving the driver a predictable car without any surprises.”

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo

“Monaco is really cool, being able to stay at home makes you feel a bit more relaxed and normal, like watching TV before you go to bed and waking up and having my own breakfast.

I remember in 2014 when I got the podium in Monaco I came back to my house with the trophy and champagne and sat there thinking I just had an F1 race an hour ago and now I’m sat in my house, this is weird. Then I had loads of Pizza.

“I believe street circuits like Monaco bring out the best in a driver. Fans, commentators and ex-drivers can see who’s really on it and willing to push it to the limit. That’s what I like about street circuits. It’s visible to the spectators who is running the fine line between risk and reward.

“So far this year we’ve had a win and a podium as a team and I think Monaco provides a great opportunity to add to that. I can’t wait to go there, it’s one of those races you don’t want to get too excited about. If you go to Monaco too excited it can turn around and bite you, so we have to play it cool but I think we have a good chance.

“Monaco is great fun, I have always wanted to do the Energy Station on a Saturday night. It’s an awesome venue right on the water, it’s open air with the pool and they’ve got very good cocktails so that’s where I would go if I could.

“One day I will go back to Monaco as a spectator for a race weekend and do all the things I can’t do now.”

Max Verstappen

“I always enjoy racing street circuits like Monaco because you are really pushing the limit and are very close to the walls, it gives you a great feeling that you are on top of your car and getting the most out of it.

“It’s so difficult to overtake in Monaco, last year I tried and we ended up in the wall, so the most important thing is to have a good qualifying and start and from there on keep it on the track! Monaco is also special because the track is walking distance from where I live so that’s nice to feel like I’m home during the race weekend.

“Naturally there is a lot more attention around driving the car but at the end the most important thing for the driver is just to focus on what you’re doing.

“My favourite part of the track is around the swimming pool section because it’s very fast, to go flat out through the first chicane on a street circuit is nice to do. Also riding the curbs in 15 and 16 feels great.

“My first win in Spain felt amazing, I still can’t believe it! It was a great weekend, a great result and we’ll see what happens in Monaco. The target first of all is just to stay out of the walls, and if you stay out of the walls we can be close or hopefully on the podium.”

Haas

Romain Grosjean

“Monaco is special to me because it’s kind of my home race. We’re beside France and there’s always a lot of people, a lot of fans. It is, of course, special because of all the glamour because it is Monaco. Everyone knows Monaco and everyone wants to be in Monaco. It’s a very challenging track and a very long weekend with lots of demands, but at the end of the day it’s a very nice show.

“It’s pretty difficult to race there. Every city racetrack is complicated. In Monaco, you can’t make any mistakes or you’re straight into the wall. It’s hard to find the right limit of the car. You always have to drive underneath (the limit), unless you’re in qualifying on a very fast lap. It’s very tight there, and it goes very fast between the walls. It’s a great challenge.

“It’s almost impossible to pass in Monaco, unless you take big risks, and in that case you may spend some hours with the stewards afterward. Qualifying is the key. You really want to be on the front row. Once the race starts, you want a good start and try to hang in there. It’s one of those races where the chances to overtake are very low. Something really needs to happen for you to be able to come back if you’re racing at the back.

“Yes, it’s a driver’s track, where you need to have confidence in your car. But, on the other hand, if your car doesn’t give you any grip, you won’t have any confidence, and you cannot make any difference. It’s just finding that very fine balance in between the car, the driver pushing it, and the fact that yes, once you’re very confident, you can actually make a bit of a difference.

“It’s probably one of the most difficult races to win. Everything needs to be perfect, from the first free practice to the end of the race. You need a good pace in practice and, hopefully, get a top-three place in qualifying. After that you need a good start, a good strategy and a good run to the end. It’s very difficult to get that right.”

Esteban Gutierrez

“It’s simply the most iconic race on the calendar. There’s a lot of history. It’s very special to race in Monaco, in general. It’s a very cool place.

“It is one of the most demanding circuits, but it’s very special. It’s very important to keep your focus all weekend, which becomes a challenge, as you have many different distractions around. It’s a very intense event because it’s small, everything’s compressed.

“It’s the most difficult track to overtake. Turn one is an opportunity, and also going out of the tunnel when you brake for the low-speed chicane. Those two places are the most viable for overtaking.

“The car never stops being a factor, but it is true that the driver can have a lot of influence because it’s a track that is very demanding. You can make a lot of difference with different driving styles, and by having the confidence in your car in order to push and get the maximum out of what you have.

“I love turn one, and also turns three and four up at the casino. That part is really special. I like the tunnel and the swimming pool complex, too.”

Guenther Steiner, team principal

“For me, Monaco is a race like all the others. We’re there to perform and score points. However, it’s always special due to the glitz and the glamour. The biggest difference with Monaco are the distances between everything. You have to walk a lot, so I would say it’s one of the most logistically challenging circuits. And during the race it’s quite intense, because if you make even a small mistake you can be in the wall. Overtaking’s difficult too, so there is more pressure on Saturday during qualifying than there’s actually on Sunday, because by Sunday the positions are set and unless something special happens you end up where you start. Saturday will be intense, for sure.

“The [logistics of Monaco] are the most difficult of the year because there’s no space. Everything you need to do you’ll have half the space, and the distances between things are about 10 times further than any other Grand Prix. There’s a lot of walking, a lot of scooter driving and everything takes longer. You need to plan for that because if you need something from the truck, you need to go up in the garage to get it down to the paddock. It’s definitely the most challenging one, logistically, of the year.”