Formula 1 heads to its ‘jewel in the crown’ race in Monaco this weekend, and McLaren-Honda driver Jenson Button is looking forward to the weekend having won with the Brawn GP team en route to winning the 2009 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship.
Button has stated that he believes that Monaco is what Formula One is all about, given the brilliant atmosphere that is present during the weekend and also the challenge that the track presents; He understands that you need a strong car around the Monte Carlo circuit, to be able to maintain concentration and make sure you get the best grid position in Qualifying.
“In many ways, Monaco is what Formula 1 is all about. You’ve got lots of glamour, a brilliant atmosphere and one of the most demanding racetracks on the calendar,” said Button. “Every corner is a huge challenge and that’s so thrilling for a driver.
“It’s true what they say – Monaco is the jewel in the crown of the Formula 1 calendar in every sense. It’s a real test of man and machine working in harmony to hook up the best lap, and maintain that consistency lap after lap.
“It’s very easy to make mistakes there, and you need complete confidence in the car and incredible control and accuracy to get the most out of a lap. Qualifying is so important because overtaking is famously tricky; we’ve been steadily improving our starting positions since the beginning of the season, so I’m hopeful we’ll see further progress on Saturday.”
Button also added that the challenges of the circuit highlight the importance of good balance and drivability and believes that the steps forward he and the team have made in the last few races should see him improve this weekend.
“Monaco is a low-speed circuit that doesn’t rely that much on aerodynamic performance, but you do need good balance and driveability. I’m hopeful we can sort out the balance issues we had on my car in the last race, so Monaco should see an improvement,” added Button.
“After a disappointing race in Barcelona, naturally it’s easy to be frustrated when you step out of the car, especially when you feel you deserved more. I firmly believe that we’re making solid progress, which is why having a difficult race is hard to take. However, we’ve put that race behind us and I think we’ve a decent chance of continuing our upward trend in Monaco.
“I love Monaco; I won there in 2009 and the feeling you get driving there is absolutely mega. While nothing beats the feeling of racing at your home grand prix, Monaco has become an adopted home race for me, so driving around these famous streets so close to where I live makes it even more special.
“Racing at Monaco is an incredible challenge – being precise on turn-in, hitting the apex and balancing the throttle, while being as patient as possible to get the best exit, is a real art. The flow of corners in the middle sector – from Mirabeau, into the Hairpin and on to Portier – is particularly tricky, as it’s so easy to go a foot off the racing line and end up in the wall.
“Monaco always produces great drama, which just adds to its legendary status as one of the best Grand Prix on the calendar.”