George Russell says it will be a privilege to drive around the streets of Monaco this weekend in a Formula 1 car for the first time, but the British racer hopes for a better weekend than he experienced at the circuit twelve months ago during his FIA Formula 2 career.
The Williams Racing driver says Monaco remains an icon of the Formula 1 calendar, but his previous experience around the principality saw him retire from both races in Formula 2, although he would go on to win the Drivers’ Championship with ART Grand Prix at the end of the year thanks to his seven race victories.
Russell has finished all five Grand Prix of the season so far since making his debut in the Australian Grand Prix in March, but the British racer has yet to break into the points as Williams struggles with its FW42, something he will be hoping to change sooner rather than later.
“Monaco is a very iconic circuit and place on the Formula 1 calendar,” said Russell. “It will be a privilege to drive around the streets once again.
“Last year in Formula 2 was my worst weekend of the year, so I hope to make a better job of it this year.”
Team-mate Robert Kubica returns to Monaco for the first time since 2010 having finished on the podium in two of his four previous visits, once for BMW Sauber in 2008 where he finished second to Lewis Hamilton, and then again for the Renault F1 Team back in that 2010 race where he finished third behind Red Bull Racing duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
The popular Pole says he is looking forward to returning to the principality, although after finishing as the last finisher in all five of the opening Grand Prix, he expects another tough weekend for both himself and the team.
“Monaco is a challenging circuit,” admits Kubica. “I remember the streets to be narrow, and now the cars are wider and much bigger, it will be tough.
“It is a special race, one very different to the others on the Formula 1 calendar. Already this year, we have had a street circuit race in Baku with close walls and barriers, but Monaco has different characteristics and I look forward to driving there.”