Romain Grosjean heads into his sixth Monaco Grand Prix looking for a third points finish of 2017, with the Haas F1 Team racer having secured top ten finishes in both Bahrain and Spain so far this season.
Monaco is the closest Grosjean has a home race in 2017 before the French Grand Prix makes its return in 2018, but the glamour of the event in the principality makes it quite a show for Formula 1.
“Monaco is special to me because it’s kind of my home race,” said Grosjean. “We’re beside France and there’s always a lot of people, a lot of fans. It is, of course, special because of all the glamour because it is Monaco.
“Everyone knows Monaco and everyone wants to be in Monaco. It’s a very challenging track and a very long weekend with lots of demands, but at the end of the day it’s a very nice show.”
Grosjean admits confidence in his car is key to getting the most out of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, with that confidence making the difference between having a good weekend and not.
“It’s pretty difficult to race there,” admits Grosjean. “Every city racetrack is complicated. In Monaco, you can’t make any mistakes or you’re straight into the wall.
“It’s hard to find the right limit of the car. You always have to drive underneath (the limit), unless you’re in qualifying on a very fast lap. It’s very tight there, and it goes very fast between the walls. It’s a great challenge.
“It’s a driver’s track, where you need to have confidence in your car. But, on the other hand, if your car doesn’t give you any grip, you won’t have any confidence, and you cannot make any difference.
“It’s just finding that very fine balance in between the car, the driver pushing it, and the fact that yes, once you’re very confident, you can actually make a bit of a difference.”
Grosjean knows the importance of a good qualifying around Monaco, as passing is extremely difficult, with a trip to the stewards likely if you get it wrong.
“It’s almost impossible to pass in Monaco, unless you take big risks, and in that case you may spend some hours with the stewards afterward,” said Grosjean. “Qualifying is the key. You really want to be on the front row.
“Once the race starts, you want a good start and try to hang in there. It’s one of those races where the chances to overtake are very low. Something really needs to happen for you to be able to come back if you’re racing at the back.”