Round 6 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, theFormula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2014, sees the sport heading to the French Riviera, for arguably the most celebrated event on the F1 calendar. The Marussia F1 Team’s Jules Bianchi was born just along the coast in Nice and the Monaco Grand Prix is as close as it gets to a home race for the Frenchman. It is also the race where Max Chilton secured the best finish of his debut season last year, so he’ll be hoping for a similarly strong performance with which to extend his current record of 24 finishes in 24 races.
John Booth, Team Principal: “We head to Monaco off the back of a very successful two days of testing in Barcelona last week. Of course, the two circuits are very different, therefore plenty of homework has still been required to prepare for this race and the business of adapting our set-up developments to suit the very specific demands of this track will continue right the way through this week. On the one hand, this is an event that calls for plenty of preparation and focus; on the other hand, we have to place a great deal of faith in the skill of the drivers, as this forms a major part of a team’s overall performance in this race. This is the closest Jules gets to a home race, so it is a special weekend for him. Equally, Max secured a good result here last year and I’m sure he has every intention of repeating, if not improving, on that this time around. This is a tough and challenging weekend but one where the rewards can be significant if everything comes together. We are in a good place in development terms and it would be nice to see that progress continue in Monaco this weekend.”
Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari Engine & Electronics Deputy Director: “The Monaco Grand Prix is a special event on the calendar, not only for the fascinating and unusual location, but also for the technical characteristics of the track, which traditionally represent something unique in the season. This year, the challenge is made even more complex by the many innovations introduced by the 2014 Regulations. For example, with the same gear ratios throughout the season – then identical gears to tackle a fast track like Monza or a slow and tortuous circuit such as this – it’s impossible to intervene with those specific adaptations that were usually made for this race. With the current power unit then, there is an excess of torque available at low rpm, which requires a great deal of attention by the driver in managing the drivability of the car, not only while accelerating but also braking. Hence the teamwork becomes even more important in the optimisation of all parameters, to be able to take advantage of all the … potential, considering also that, unlike all the previous tracks, overtaking in Monaco has always been and will remain very difficult.”
Max Chilton: “Next to my home race at Silverstone, there’s no better atmosphere than at the Monaco Grand Prix; it’s electric. It’s perhaps the most demanding race on the calendar, but at the same time, a fantastic experience from start to finish and I really enjoy the track’s unique challenges. Last year I secured my best result of the season here, so I’ll be hoping for more of the same, if not better. We had a really good test last week and the progress was clear to see. Although we aren’t expecting the timesheets to read in quite the same way as the Barcelona test, what we can be encouraged by is the work we have done to improve the set-up of the car and we can now translate those improvements through to the next events, to help us achieve a realistic next step over the course of a race weekend.”
Jules Bianchi : “The Monaco Grand Prix is always very special, not least because it is really my home race. It is also nice to go there feeling optimistic for a positive result. We made some good improvements with our package during the test in Spain and I left there knowing that there was even more to come, so I am excited for the weekend. There is no track quite like Monaco. It’s a very distinctive challenge and extremely demanding; a real test of the driver. Last year I had a few problems and could not complete the race. I’m hoping for better things this time around and for the Team to be able to show more of the progress we have made.”
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