Monaco Grand Prix Preview
Not only is Monaco one of the most famous places on the Formula 1 calendar, it’s also considered as the most luxurious race of the year!
The track can be challenging for drivers – with it’s narrow roads, tight corners and limited overtaking opportunities it’s really all about setting your mark in qualifying and making sure the car is pushed to the limit with respect for the track and it’s conditions!
Below you’ll be able to see track information, driver interviews and unseen images from around the paddock! 🙂
Monaco Grand Prix Preview – Press Conference
Press Conference Part One
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Jenson Button (McLaren), Esteban Ocon (Force India)
Q – Jenson, 2009 Monaco Grand Prix winner and World Champion, of course – welcome back! Unusual circumstances to say the least. What level of preparation have you done for this race and how feel do you feel you know the 2017 McLaren F1 Car?
Jenson Button – “First of all, it’s great to be back! It’s good to see so many faces that I haven’t seen for six months – apart from TV obviously.”
“The preparations have been good, I haven’t obviously driven the car – these new regulations are….. not perfect but there was an option for me to do half a day in Bahrain which I thought was absolutely useless for me to do as it’s a completely different type of circuit.”
“I said to the team, I think it’s best to do a few days in the simulator and us drivers, we love the simulator and I was ready to go.”
“Most of the stuff is the same, there are a few new things which are different and there are a few things to learn but it’s still a racing car – you just get used to it being a little bit wider.”
Q – The McLaren was competitive in Alonso’s hands in Spain in Qualifying and this track is now McLaren’s best chance of scoring points. I guess you need them now after Sauber bagged some points in Spain. This substitute appearance is supposed to be fairly low pressure – do you feel there is a lot of pressure on you to score points for the team?
Jenson Button – “Definitely not, I’m very relaxed. I’m very excited actually and it’s interesting coming back for one Grand Prix. Being in Monaco is very special, I’ve won here before and I’ve lived here for 17 years.”
“I’ve had wonderful experiences here and it’s really exciting but I don’t feel any pressure – none at all.”
“I will get in the car and do the best job I can, that’s what I’m here to do and everything I do in life is the same – you want to be competitive, you want to have the best results and get the best out of yourself.”
“Fernando has done a good job and I think it still proves that the car is working well – I drove it in the simulator and I drove the upgrade – we should be reasonably…… reasonably competitive.”
Q – Nico, three consecutive points finished and you have three time qualified in the top eight this season – does it feel like it’s all starting to come together with Renault?
Nico Hulkenberg – “Yeah it does, especially with Barcelona! Sunday was a good race for us and although we had quite a bit of help from some colleagues.”
“Overall, the global situation is good – the team is hungry and working pretty hard, little updates coming every weekend and this is an important season.”
“I think we are putting ourselves in a position where we can constantly battle for points which is the target and ambition for the year so it’s all promising and all good.”
Q – Esteban, five points finishes out of five and a career best fifth place in Spain. That’s some start to the season this year – you must be absolutely delighted. Presumably the target is to be troubling your team-mate every weekend and getting in front of him?
Esteban Ocon – “Yeah, I’m pleased with the start of my season with Force India. The target was to be scoring points at every race and that’s what we are doing at the moment.”
“The car is always improving and I always feel on my side, we could have done a little bit better.”
“For the first three races, I was still learning and if we had put all the details together, then more would have been possible.”
“I’m pleased with that though, scoring points at every race, improving all the time and always getting closer to Sergio (Perez) and now we are also having the same lap times.”
Q – You’ve never raced at Monaco before despite racing in some series that have been here but Force India has a strong record here with both cars finishing in the top six in the last season. How have they prepared you for this race and what’s your own research shown you about how the race unfolds?
Esteban Ocon – “Yeah, unfortunately I’ve never been racing here. I’ve just been here to watch the race in previous years when I was a reserve driver.”
“I’ve been spending a lot of time in the simulator and it’s like I know the track already because I have been playing it on games since I was so young! I’ve been around the track as well and a lot of days in the simulator – a lot of research on the internet for me and watching just onboard laps from Jenson and all the guys…..”
Jenson Button – “The old guys”
Esteban Ocon – “The old guys, yeah! No, it’s been good and I think I can’t be more prepared to arrive.”
Press Conference Part Two
Felipe Massa (Williams), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing), Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)
Q – Felipe, let’s start with you! Another driver along with Jenson Button who we’ve just been hearing from, who though he had done his last Monaco Grand Prix at the end of last year! How special is it to have another chance to race on the streets of Monaco again? Was it one that when you announced your retirement, you thought – I’m going to miss that race?
Felipe Massa – “Yeah, first of all, it’s a big challenge to race here in Monaco. For sure, I was thinking last year that maybe I will miss that challenge – but it’s always a different challenge in Monaco.”
“You’re learning things all the time and there’s so many corners so it’s quite tricky – a big challenges for everybody.”
“Tyres are wider, big tyres, the car is bigger and the track is still quite narrow.”
Q – Daniel Ricciardo, 2016 Monaco Grand Prix pole-sitter of course, the expression ‘unfinished business’ was invented to describe situations like yours this weekend and after what happened last year – is the car going to be suited again this year? What’s going through your head?
Daniel Ricciardo – “We’ll wait and see! Certainly, yeah – looking back on last year – a bit of unfinished business and I will see what I can do. I definitely come here with good feelings and good vibes, the confidence level is still high and we’ve got some new parts on the car.”
“We’ve got more this weekend and more Monaco specific too so hopefully it will give us more than it did a couple of weeks ago.”
“It’s hard to predict before the weekend – I think this weekend we might have a chance. If you put everything together in qualifying round here, it can give you a good chunk of lap times – it’s just having that level of confidence around here which helps and then we will see what happens after this weekend.”
“This is a fun one yeah – I’m looking forward to it.”
Q – Pascal, great result last time out, career-best in eighth position in Spain. One stop strategy, perfect execution by you – what did that mean to you and the team?
Pascal Wehrlein – “I think it was great for everyone and it has given us big motivation. Of course, the start of the season was difficult and for the team in my third race.”
“To score a few points is great and everyone is pushing really hard. As I said, it’s giving us big motivation.”
“We have some new parts on the car this weekend so hopefully in the future we can see results like this more often.”
Monaco Grand Prix Preview – McLaren
Circuit Information – Monaco Grand Prix Preview
Circuit Name – Circuit de Monaco
First Race – 1950
2016 – Lewis Hamilton
2015 – Nico Rosberg
2014 – Nico Rosberg
History Lesson – Monaco
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of Formula 1’s highlights. It takes place on the tortuous streets of the principality and the intoxicating mix of glamour and history makes it one of the most prestigious raced for drivers and teams to win.
It was first run in 1929 and it featured on the inaugural world championship calendar in 1950, since then the track layout has remained largely unchanged.
What makes the race special?
Monaco is F1’s original street track. It’s made up entirely of public roads and every metre of the 3.337km/2.074 mile layout tests the drivers skill and bravery.
The race has been won by many great drivers in history with Ayrton Senna holding a record of 6 victories – 5 of them being won with McLaren between 1989 and 1993.
Bet you never knew….
There wasn’t a Monaco Grand Prix for four years! This was between 1951 and 1954.
The closing laps of the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix. A late rain shower caused chaos! Up to five drivers were in a position to win but they all either crashed out or ran out of fuel. In the end, Ricciardo Patrese won for Brabham – one lap ahead of second-placer Didier Pironi who ran out of fuel.
Some photos from around the paddock – enjoy! 🙂
There’s lots more coming soon ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix so make sure you check back for all the latest! 🙂
Photos – Kym Illman F1