Round Six of the 2014 Formula One World Championship brings us to Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix, held at the Circuit de Monaco;
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a busy few weeks for me, both on track and away from it, but I’m pleased to be getting back to racing again next weekend. And what a place to get back to it! Monaco is just incredible to drive and any driver will tell you that’s the race they want to win. So many great names become legends around this circuit. It’s an honour to fight for your place amongst them and a real test of your skills behind the wheel. The last few races have been just incredible. I honestly never expected I’d win four consecutive grands prix in my career and I’d love to continue that run here. I’ve had some work to do in terms of getting the car exactly as I want it after the weekend in Spain: it was so close between our cars at the end and I need to keep pushing to find any extra edge I can. The car has been strong at every race so far and I’m sure it’ll be the same in Monaco, so we should be set for an entertaining weekend.
Nico Rosberg: “Monaco: my home town! Obviously, I associate many wonderful memories with this place. It’s where I grew up and where I now live as an adult. But in sporting terms too, I have had some great moments there: in particular last year when I won there for the first time in my Formula One career. That was an absolutely incredible feeling. Driving a Formula One car there is simply fantastic and it’s an event every driver looks forward to each year. Overall I was quite pleased with the last race weekend in Barcelona. Disappointed, of course, not to have taken the win but happy that the team achieved another one-two finish. The Championship battle is very close and to re-gain the advantage at my home race would be fantastic, so I’ll be pushing harder than ever to make that happen. I had a productive day of testing in Barcelona where we made some good progress with braking and starts: two areas that I feel are costing me time at the moment. Hopefully that will give me the extra edge next weekend. It should be an exciting weekend and I can’t wait to get started.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “We came away from Barcelona with plenty of positive points and the most encouraging was that our development package worked, which allowed us to maintain a healthy gap to our rivals on that circuit. But Monaco is a different story every year. It’s a place that rewards driveability, confidence and a strong qualifying performance. Most of all, though, it’s about avoiding mistakes: the drivers have no room for error and neither do the team. We have been pushing hard since the last race and nobody will be backing off in our teams at Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. We are heading to Monaco with our feet on the ground because it is a place that can bite you if you get over-confident. We have a quick Silver Arrow and Lewis and Nico are specialists around the streets. But we need to bring every piece of the puzzle together if we want to maintain our run of success next weekend.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “We’re very pleased with the result in Barcelona. It’s an amazing achievement to take five wins in a row and even more so to have four consecutive one-two finishes. It’s a tremendous endorsement of all the hard work from everyone at Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. Another highlight was to once more see a great demonstration of the level of competition between our two drivers. To be separated by just six tenths at the flag proves once again just how evenly matched they are. Monaco, of course, is a very different prospect. It’s a tough event both logistically and practically for the team and also highly demanding for the drivers. Building momentum through each session is crucial and the unforgiving nature of the track can make even the smallest mistake a significant one relative to your weekend as a whole. Any track time lost around Monaco is a missed opportunity, more so than at any other circuit, so it’s crucial to get it right from the very first lap on Thursday. We won there last year with Nico which was a fantastic result at the time and Lewis has also been impressive there in the past, including taking a victory of his own in 2008. It’s a driver’s circuit and both Lewis and Nico are on top form, so we’re expecting an exciting contest. The circuit itself is so unique that it’s difficult to predict which teams will be strong at this race. Certainly, we wouldn’t expect to have the same margin of advantage as we enjoyed in Barcelona. But we’re nonetheless hopeful of another good performance.”
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