2016 Monaco Grand Prix Preview.
Getting back up.
Lewis Hamilton: Barcelona was the worst feeling but, like I always say, the true test is how you get back up when you’ve been knocked down. It was a tough moment for all of us after the race but it’s now chapter closed and looking ahead to Monaco. It’s an incredible feeling making a car dance through those streets, one of the purest thrills you can have in a racing car. I’ve not had the best run of results in Monaco in recent years – but last year showed I have the pace to do the job. It’s always a different weekend to the rest, with the extra day, the boats in the harbour and sleeping at home;
that makes it fun because the whole rhythm is something else to the rest of the season. I'm approaching this weekend with only one result in mind.
We're in this together.
Nico Rosberg: I was gutted after what happened in Spain – for myself, but mostly for the team. We’re in this together and I know how hard everybody works to make these amazing cars, so for us to leave them both in the gravel is the worst possible scenario. But we’ve talked it through and now it’s time to leave it in the past. It’s one of my home races next in Monaco – the ultimate driver’s track. It’s where I grew up and where I still live today, so that always makes it a special weekend. I have memories from every corner going right back to my school days and I always have great support there from my family, my friends and the fans, which gives you that extra boost through the weekend. It’s been amazing to win there for the past three years – but I know it will be tough to repeat that with Lewis, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls all so strong now. I’m feeling confident, so bring on the battle!
Under attack from more than one.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: Clearly, Barcelona was tough to take. We came away upset at an opportunity missed – but this is racing. The drivers know how we operate. The team is responsible for giving them the best possible cars and they are responsible for getting the best out of them – and for bringing them home. When we let them down, we apologise to and the same goes the other way. It’s a pretty normal culture – we deal with setbacks together and we move on. Now, we go to Monaco and a very different challenge. Once again, we have seen our competitors make steps forward which have given us an even bigger battle on our hands. Red Bull came out on top in Barcelona after a close fight with Ferrari, so it’s clear that we are under attack from more than one angle. We cannot afford to drop the ball, so we must remain united, remain strong and hit back hard this weekend.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): Monaco is a unique circuit requiring unique characteristics from the car, so you can never approach this race with absolute confidence in the performance of your package. That confidence is something which may only grow through the weekend, as the team fine-tunes the car and the drivers dial themselves in to the track. Of all the circuits on the calendar, this is the one where practice is most crucial. If the drivers are to get that ultimate qualifying lap, which is so important given the difficulty in overtaking around Monaco, they need all the track time they can get to find their rhythm. A lap around this circuit requires inch-perfect positioning of the car at every corner – each of which leaves no room for error. It’s a track where driver skill very much comes to the fore – although, as always, the team plays a crucial role in ensuring the car is adapted to the specific demands of the circuit and gives the driver confidence to find the limits. This weekend sees the first appearance of the Ultra Soft tyre – which will be particularly interesting given that even the Super Soft has arguably been too hard for this circuit in recent years.
We're looking forward to seeing what kind of lap time improvement that might bring - and perhaps even a new lap record. It's set to be an intense battle between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull, so we'll need a perfect weekend to come out on top.