Williams rookie Valtteri Bottas says he is eager to race on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit for the first time in his career.
The Finn has never driven in the Principality but insists that he is ready for the challenge.
“This will be my first time racing in Monaco and I’m really looking forward to it because it’s such an iconic track,” he said.
“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.”
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado has failed to finish either of his two Monaco Grand Prix in Formula 1 but is nonetheless eager for the weekend.
“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,” he said.
Both drivers are wary of the importance of qualifying and preserving tyres in Monte Carlo.
“Qualifying will be very important at this race and is probably 70% 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”, said Maldonado.
“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,” added Bottas.