The Formula Renault 3.5 Series makes its annual appearance at Monaco this weekend for round three of the nine-race schedule. Unlike the other eight rounds, there is only one race around the streets of Monte Carlo on Sunday morning. Monaco is the only time Formula Renault 3.5 supports Formula 1, and drivers know more eyes from personnel from F1 teams will be on them here than anywhere else.
This weekend brings Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar back to the scene of his maiden podium in the series he achieved at the track a year ago. Jaafar’s third place for Carlin in the 2013 event was his first podium in the series but was taken in only his third race weekend in Formula Renault 3.5.The ISR driver admits he loves driving on street circuits, and feels Monaco is his favourite track.
“I love racing on street courses and this is my absolute favourite,” said Jaafar. “It’s challenging, as you have so many barriers close to the racing line and you have to be very precise with your driving. One small error can cause big problems, so you need to be on your toes and drive very accurately.
“Monaco is such a cool event. It is the most famous F1 race in the world and I get to race in front of the crowds and the Formula One industry, so it is not only a hugely challenging race, there are some very influential people watching.
“The pressure is always on to do well, but no more so than at this race. But the buzz, the excitement and the fantastic atmosphere give me an extra adrenalin push and I’m hoping that this will help me to put in a strong performance next weekend.”
He knows Monaco is very different to other circuits, and he has been busy preparing himself with fitness and concentration key components to having a good weekend. He arrived in Monaco earlier than he would have any other circuit, and feels ready to go.
“I am very pumped up for this weekend,” admitted Jaafar. “I’ve been very busy preparing for the race in all the different areas including working hard on my fitness, spending time with my engineer on car development and race strategy, as well as walking the track to familiarize myself with it. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of walking this track, it is just awesome!”