Monaco still feels like a "childhood dream" for Sergio Perez, with Esteban Ocon preparing for his first crack at the iconic circuit.
Sergio Perez: “When you think of Formula One, you think of Monaco. It’s the most important race and the one we all want to win. When I was a child, I dreamed about driving on the famous streets and I still feel excited every year I race there. To finish on the podium last year shows that anything is possible. It’s such a unique race; a big highlight of the year. Monaco is my favourite track because it’s the biggest challenge. I think the contribution of the driver is greater compared to other tracks. There is no room for mistakes and you need to take small risks to find extra performance. It’s a test of concentration for almost two hours, which is why it’s such a difficult race. The best parts of the lap are the quick sections. The swimming pool is impressive because we carry so much speed and you have to be very precise on the kerbs. Casino is also very quick and with these cars will be quite a challenge. There’s no room for error so you need to be careful that the car doesn’t step out of line through these parts of the lap.”
Esteban Ocon: “Driving in Monaco is going to be a new experience for me because I’ve never raced there before. I used to come and watch the Formula One races when I was young, but I never had the opportunity to race there. It’s strange, because it’s such a famous lap and I know it so well in my head, but it’s always a different experience when you drive a track for real. To get ready for Monaco I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator at our factory, but I still have a lot to learn during the practice sessions on Thursday. It’s a case of taking a step-by-step approach and getting to the limit gently. I normally enjoy street circuits and I am sure I can get up-to-speed quickly. This year Monaco is the closest thing I have to a home Grand Prix because it’s next door to France. It’s a very special place and I always feel a sense of history when I go there. The city is forever linked with Formula One and it’s currenly the number one race of the year. For the drivers it gives a big rush of adrenaline and it’s the same for the fans watching. Everybody knows it’s a big challenge.”