MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS 2013 MONACO GRAND PRIX PREVIEW…
Formula One´s most famous race, the Monaco Grand Prix, takes place around the streets of the principality on Sunday 26 May for the 71st time.
• Just three of the past 30 Monaco Grands Prix have been won by a car starting outside the top three –
• The race has a very high 80% risk of Safety Car intervention with a total of 14 Safety Car periods in the past ten years –
• Last year´s race featured just 25 pit stops for tyres, the second lowest figure of the entire season (after Austin, 24 stops) –
• Only three DRS overtakes took place at the last three races combined, and 21 competitive non-DRS passes –
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.
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.
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.
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.