Rio Haryanto is eager to get his first taste of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit in a Formula 1 car this weekend, and believes that the experience will come close to the exhilaration of his debut in Formula 1 in Australia back in March.
The Manor Racing driver has stood on the podium at the street circuit back in 2014 while racing in the GP2 Series, and although he knows a repeat in 2016 is unrealistic, he hopes the team can take any opportunity that comes their way in a sometimes unpredictable weekend, especially if it rains.
“Lining up for my first Grand Prix in Melbourne was a pretty special feeling but I’m sure competing in my first Monaco Grand Prix will come very close,” revealed Haryanto.
“It’s a completely unique experience, which I know from racing here in GP2. I’ve actually been on the podium in Monaco after finishing in 3rd place in 2014 and the atmosphere and sense of occasion is incredible.
“Although we have slightly more realistic ambitions this weekend, everyone knows that this race creates opportunities like no other – particularly if it rains, which at the moment is the forecast for Sunday.”
Haryanto knows the Monaco circuit offers little in the way of respite with the closeness of the barriers ensuring total concentration is needed by the drivers, and the Indonesian racer feels it is an amazing experience when he gets a lap right.
“It’s an incredible experience for a driver,” said Haryanto. “The lap feels so quick and passes by in a flash but at the same time you’re captivated by mastering every single corner.
“It requires every bit of your full focus because it’s such an unforgiving track; the proximity of the barriers mean that one tiny mistake can be very costly. But it can also be very rewarding if you get it right.”