Fernando Alonso: “Monaco is in its own league”


Fernando Alonso remains pointless after the opening five races since his return to the McLaren team, and after seeing his chances of points ended early through a freak braking issue caused by tear-off visor in Spain, the Spaniard remains positive that points will come sooner rather than later.

Heading into the Monaco Grand Prix, at which he has twice tasted victory in 2006 and 2007, Alonso insists it is still one of the best places on the Formula 1 calendar, and knows the importance of qualifying, strategy and concentration around the tight and twisty street circuit.

“Monaco is one of those circuits that’s in its own league,” insisted Alonso. “Although it’s almost impossible to overtake there, it still produces one of the most impressive and exciting shows on the Formula 1 calendar.

“As a circuit and as a place, it’s completely unique, and this is what makes it so special. There are three areas you have to focus on for this grand prix – qualifying, concentration, and strategy.

“Saturday is where you can increase your chances of getting a good result from the weekend, so this will be our first objective, and I’m hopeful we can continue to strengthen our qualifying performance and improve our starting position.

“On Sunday, the most important thing is concentration – the streets are so narrow and twisty that there is no margin for error – so if you can do this and also maximise your strategy, you have the best chance of moving up the order by the end of the race.”

Looking back at his home race in Spain two weeks ago, Alonso admitted it was a frustrating weekend not just for him but everyone involved with the team. He is determined to turn his fortune around this weekend however, and insists he will be pushing to secure the team’s first points of 2015.

“My home race in Barcelona was obviously a frustrating weekend for the whole team; we were unlucky with how my race ended and we firmly believed we could’ve achieved a positive result there,” said Alonso.

“Our fighting spirit is still strong though, and we’re determined to take that to Monaco and see how much progress we can make there. I’m hopeful our car will perform better there than in Spain, and we’ll be pushing again to get into the points.

“Monaco is a tough challenge, mentally, but that’s what makes it even more rewarding when you hook up a perfect lap. I’ve always enjoyed racing there and I’ve enjoyed victory there twice – in 2006 with Renault, and the year after with McLaren. Winning there is an unforgettable experience.

“It’s also a truly unforgiving circuit, so making mistakes comes at a high price. But Monaco is Monaco, one of the best races of the year, and the reason that the drivers love going back there each season.”