Massa expects Monaco to be tough

Tuesday 20-May-2014 10:11

The toughest race of the season will take place in Monaco this week, according to Williams driver Felipe Massa.

Massa believes the combination of increased engine torque and lower downforce will make this year's cars a real handful to handle on the narrow Monte Carlo street circuit.

I think Monaco will be a very, very difficult race," Massa told Autosport during an exclusive interview on Monday.

"We drive with the car a lot more sideways.

"The torque we have from the engine is maybe double what we had last year, and the grip from the tyre is not very high, so Monaco will be a very easy race to crash.

"I think it will be the toughest race of the season."

Despite the spate of technical changes to this year's cars, Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley has played down suggestions that this year's race in the Principality will be drastically different to other years.

"Fundamentally Monte Carlo is always Monte Carlo - I don't think it's going to be really any different to when we've been there in the past," Smedley said.

"Monaco has always been rear, longitudinal wear limited; for as long as I've done Formula One we've always worn out the rear tyres during the race.

"You can allow yourself a bigger margin of degradation, because of how difficult it is to pass there, but the person who manages to keep his rear tyres alive and wear them out less than the other drivers will be the person who dominates.

"It is a different technical regime of the cars,but will it change the spectacle of Monaco? Will it change how we operate? No it won't."

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