Michael Schumacher has said that, after years of driving to improve safety in Formula 1, it is ironic that the sport still visits Monaco, but said that the danger was ‘justifiable once a year’.
The seven-time world champion will have a five-place grid penalty in Monte Carlo after crashing into the back of Bruno Senna in Spain, but Schumacher is still looking forward to this special race.
“Monaco is just a circuit of its own very unique character,” he said. “In a way, you could look at it with a big portion of irony with regards to the contradiction that, for so many years we have successfully campaigned for more track safety, and then we deliberately race in Monaco. But in my view this is justifiable once a year, especially as the circuit is really so much fun to drive. Every time you go there, you just look forward to finally getting out and driving the track.
“Of course, knowing that I will lose five positions on the grid does not add to this feeling but this just means that I will have to try even harder. I’m actually quite confident that we should look reasonably good in Monaco due to the hard work that everybody in the team is putting into the development of our car. So let’s make the best out of the weekend.”
Schumacher’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg is also optimistic of a good weekend in Monaco.
“I love the Monaco Grand Prix weekend and it’s a great feeling to be driving at home, knowing that all my friends and family are watching,” he said. “I have always been quick around the streets here, and I believe a good result is possible for us next weekend. The nature of the track should suit our car but as we have seen at every race so far this season, tyre management will be crucial.
“With five different winning teams so far this year, at least ten drivers have the chance to win in Monaco so this could be one of the most interesting races there for years.”
Team Principal Ross Brawn is positive that Mercedescan put two difficult races behind them and return to the front in Monte Carlo.
“The uniqueness of Monaco makes it one of those tracks where anything can happen, particularly in a season that has proved to be almost impossible to predict so far,” said Brawn. “Despite the logistical challenges of the weekend, Monaco is a race that everyone on the team and the drivers really enjoy, and the experience of winning in Monaco is something very special indeed.
“After Nico’s win in China, we have had two more difficult race weekends, but I am confident that we will start to see an improvement in Monaco as the developments that we have brought to the car recently take effect.”