Nyck de Vries
“Monaco is one of the highlights of the season, something of a home race for me as I live there, and it’s also very special in terms of the track itself and the atmosphere over the weekend. I am looking forward to it a lot, but naturally, for all of us in the race team, we will still be thinking about our colleagues back at the factory and everyone in the region affected by the terrible floods. Resilience seems to be very strong in the region and I have seen everyone working very hard, so I hope the situation will improve as quickly as it can.
I’ve raced in Monaco before, in fact my first Formula 2 win came at the Sprint race there in 2017 and in 2019, I won the Feature race from pole position. It’s very special, but now being part of the main event in Monte Carlo is going to be very cool. When I’m driving normally around Monaco, I am reminded that for one week it’s a race track, especially the part from turns 5, 6, 7 and 8, basically from Mirabeau Haute, through the Hairpin and then Mirabeau Bas, just before the entrance to the tunnel, as I turn left there to head for my apartment. It means I even get to sleep at home. One year, I thought it might help me feel the racing environment more if I stayed in the team hotel, but it just didn’t quite work because then I only brought my toiletry bag on the scooter driving between my home and the hotel!”
“We have been living through a very difficult situation in Faenza and the surrounding area, and it was impressive to see how everyone in the community was pulling together to do something to help those people really badly affected, and to clean up the city. But now my job is to focus on this weekend’s race and do the best I can.
I had never raced at Monaco until my first year in Formula 1 in 2021, and last year I qualified 11th. There’s a very special atmosphere over the four days. I think it’s an enjoyable and unique track to drive, especially in qualifying. It’s all about confidence; how close you can get to the barriers and how much speed you can carry into the corners, and that makes Saturday very exciting from inside the cockpit. It’s the most important day, as it is so hard to overtake in the race. So, while I am preparing, I’m trying to find a set-up more suitable for qualifying, rather than over a long run.
You need to have a lot of respect for the track, build up speed gradually and get as much track time as possible, while also considering that track evolution is quite big and the lap times usually improve significantly during each session. Overall, I think experience counts a lot in Monaco though and this will be my third race here, so I know how to approach it and I am definitely more prepared than I was the first time.”