Williams are aiming to score their first points of the 2013 season at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. It has been a disappointing start to the year for Williams, with neither last year’s Spanish Grand Prix winner, Pastor Maldonado, nor Valtteri Bottas having secured a point. Both drivers have high hopes coming into this weekend however.
“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,” Maldonado said.
“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. We are working hard at the factory to see where we can make improvements and hopefully we can continue improving the set-up of the FW35 and have a better result this weekend.”
Finnish rookie Bottas is predicting a tough time on his first visit to Monaco.
“This will be my first time racing in Monaco and I’m really looking forward to it because it’s such an iconic track. 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.”
“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. There is a lot of undulation, so you need a good car set up to keep all the wheels on the ground around the whole circuit. It’s also quite bumpy which affects the ride height of the car,” he said.