Last weekend, Formula 1 raced in Barcelona, but already on Friday the drivers are racing through the streets of Monaco for the first free practice session for the Monaco GP. In terms of entertainment value, the race in the principality is often not over yet: the street circuit is very narrow and that makes overtaking almost impossible. Winning positions often happen during pit stops. There are also rumors that Monaco will have to make some changes to remain part of the F1 calendar, but Pierre Gasly thinks the current circuit will come in handy.
“Monaco is both historic and iconic in Formula 1. The Monaco Grand Prix is known all over the world and photos from the early years of this race show how little the track has changed,” said the Frenchman from AlphaTauri ahead of the race weekend . Monaco. “It’s known for the environment and the challenge it poses to the drivers. The race itself isn’t usually the most exciting of the year, but in terms of difficulty for the riders, it’s one of the toughest, if not the toughest, of the year.”
Because the crash barriers are close to the track, the drivers have little room for error. However, Gasly can enjoy that. “Driving at the limit requires maximum concentration and is a real challenge that I really appreciate. It’s a very complicated track with a lot of developments between sessions. You drive at the limit and only a few millimeters past the track barrier. It really gives you a kick,” says the driver, who finished sixth in Monaco last year. “With cars that are very wide these days, it can be almost impossible to overtake. But driving it is one of my favorites and Monaco is definitely in the top three.”
Tsunoda happy with ‘normal’ F1 weekend format
Teammate Yuki Tsunoda made his Monaco debut last year, finishing 16th, the same position he started the race from. The Japanese confirms his teammate’s conclusions that there is no room for error. “This track is unique and you can’t afford to lose driving time by making mistakes because they’re a lot more expensive here. But I won’t change my approach compared to other races,” Tsunoda explains.
He is happy that the first free practice sessions will no longer take place on Thursday, but will simply be completed on Friday. “I think with the new format, which runs from Friday to Sunday like other races, it will be easier to stay focused and keep the momentum. You really have to focus on speed over a lap because qualifying and a good grid position are so important here. Monaco is one of the traditional circuits and you can’t really compare it to any other circuit. It never gets boring, even if the races sometimes look different than on modern tracks. Overtaking is difficult, but overall an exciting event.”