Team and drivers report on the Monaco Grand Prix, Round 6 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship, in Monte Carlo.
In some ways, it was rather a boring race, as I never had a clear track ahead of me! All the same, it’s always exciting to race at Monaco, especially when you score points. In the closing stages, Sutil did a good job in front of me passing Jenson and Fernando at the hairpin, but I was coming up behind and couldn’t get past as of course they blocked me. It was a good race of course, finishing eighth and picking up four more points. After some unfortunate races earlier this season, I said good luck and bad luck come round in equal measure and today everything went well for us. On top of that, it was clear that our car was very strong today and in fact I set my best lap really early on with a lot of fuel, as the rest of the time I was in the middle of the pack which was frustrating, as my car was faster than those ahead of me. I’m pleased to be eighth, but I am looking forward to doing better in the coming races.
My start off the line was fine and I decided to go for the inside as I saw the usual brake locking up ahead and thought that would be the best place to go. But there was a bit of a road block and Bottas was able to go round the outside of me which cost me a position. In the first stint, I struggled on the Prime tyre and after the stop, I was better on the Option, but from then on I was stuck in the pack. As for the crash, I could see that Grosjean had got a good run out of the tunnel and that he was close, so I defended my line and the next thing I knew he was over the back of me. I haven’t seen it on a TV yet, but at the moment I believe it was a misjudgement on his part and a costly one that was quite dangerous, even if we are both okay. This race can be frustrating, as I was in a train, but I didn’t have the pace to move forward. Now we need to move on and try and make a step forward for Canada.”
In many ways this was a typical Monaco Grand Prix with plenty of excitement, but not much overtaking. For Jean-Eric to start from tenth on the grid, after getting into Q3 yesterday for the first time in his F1 career and then cross the finish line in eighth place is an excellent result. It proves that our car performance is improving and that the team is doing a good job, but Monaco is the one track on the calendar that is more about the driver, so congratulations to Jev for keeping out of trouble and maintaining his concentration on this very long afternoon. Having started on the Option, his tyres were holding up well and the team on the pit wall did an excellent job to call him in for his pit stop immediately after Massa’s accident, even before the Safety Car was deployed. However, the red flag meant that everyone was able to fit fresh tyres, so this cancelled out the advantage we had hoped to have over those who were in trouble with their tyres. Then, towards the end, the Raikkonen-Perez incident eventually gave us a well deserved eighth place. Starting from twelfth, Daniel dropped a position at the start and stayed in 13th place throughout until lap 62, when he was hit from behind by Grosjean, coming out of the tunnel and he had to retire. When he had some clean air, he was lapping strongly, but the Safety Cars and red flags did not work in his favour.