The Ferrari team scored points with both drivers in Spain last time out, but Fernando Alonso was only sixth and Kimi Raikkonen a lapped seventh. Both drivers are previous winners of the Monaco Grand Prix, but hopes of adding to their triumphs are low with the continued domination of Mercedes and with the increasing pace of Red Bull Racing.
Raikkonen won around the streets of Monte Carlo back in 2005 for McLaren but knows winning for Ferrari in 2014 will be difficult to achieve. Having run both of the days of the post-Spain in-season test last week, the Finn is hopeful the car will arrive in Monaco much improved.
“So many things can affect your result at this track and I hope we can go better here this time and score some good points, but it’s too early to say how we will be, especially as the cars are very different to last year,” said Raikkonen. “There’s a bit less grip and the cars can be hard to handle, but let’s see what happens in FP1.
“At the last race we had some problems, but the car was a bit better in Spain, even if sixth and seventh place is not at all where we want to be. We are improving little by little, as it is not a simple fix, but we are continuing to work hard.”
“This track is unique, as you have to give your all from the first to the 78th lap. Qualifying can have a big effect on the outcome, an area on which we are doing our utmost to improve. After the last race, we stayed on in Barcelona for the test, which was reasonably positive: we had problems at the start, but by the end, I can say I was pleased with the work we managed to get through. The F14 T is improving and I am sure that, step by step, the results will come, but we must push harder to get them.”
Team-mate Alonso is the only current Formula 1 driver to have won the Monaco Grand Prix on more than one occasion, having won in 2006 for Renault and 2007 for McLaren. He knows the season hasn’t gone to plan so far with a less than perfect car, but hopes to be competitive this weekend, but expects the Mercedes team to continue their domination.
“We have more than one problem at the moment, but it would be nice to have good traction here,” said Alonso. “Even without the best traction in recent years, we have still managed to do well in Monaco including a couple of podium finishes. Hopefully this weekend, we can be competitive enough to be at the front and score some good points.
“The cars have been quite tricky to drive so far this year and now we arrive at a very special circuit with a unique layout that features some risky places. We must wait and see which team is able to better adapt their car to this circuit. As I have said before, having an update which maybe gives you a couple of tenths of a second, is less important at this track than finding a good set-up that allows you to have confidence in the car.
“Monaco definitely offers a difference scenario and is a little bit more open than in the other races where we have seen Mercedes dominate, but they are still the biggest favourites. Even if car performance is not as important here, the car is still the biggest factor. But this is definitely a circuit that can bring some action. We definitely have the potential to improve the car and if we do it in the areas where there is a big margin, then we can hope to have good races and good results.”