The 66th edition of the Monaco Grand Prix takes place this weekend, just a few days after the sad news of the death of former Scuderia Ferrari driver and Formula One legend Niki Lauda.
Scuderia Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc talk about the next round of the 2019 Formula One season, which will take place in Monaco. In 2017, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen monopolised the front row, with Sebastian going on to win, beating Kimi by a little over three seconds. It was the German’s second win on the streets of the Principality:
“Niki leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. He was a genuine motor racing icon. Nevertheless, we are here to race. There’s no doubt that Monaco is the most iconic race of the season, driving uphill at first and then down through the city streets, before going through the very quick tunnel in the dark, coming out into the port section. It’s really unique. For the drivers and engineers, this bumpy track is a world away from the circuits we are used to and that makes it even more challenging. The cars need maximum aero downforce and a set-up that gives the driver the confidence needed to brush the walls to chase the fastest lap time. There’s no room for error in Monaco and with just seven corners and no real straight, overtaking is almost impossible. That’s why it’s vital to qualify well. The track is so short that, in free practice and qualifying, there’s always traffic. You just have to keep going to try and find a clean lap.” – Sebastian Vettel explained, as reported by the Maranello team’s official website earlier today.
The only Monegasque driver to finish on the podium in his home race was Louis Chiron who finished third in 1950, in the second ever F1 World Championship event. That’s where Charles Leclerc finished in Bahrain this year and there’s no doubt the driver of the number 16 SF90 would love to be on the podium in front of his home crowd this weekend:
“The news about Niki Lauda came as a shock to me and to everyone. Whenever we met in the paddock, he was always kind, always willing to talk. He was a great champion and his personality will be much missed in our sport. It’s my first home GP as a Ferrari driver and it’s bound to be a special weekend. I remember as a kid, I would spend the afternoon with a friend who lived in a flat with a balcony overlooking the Ste. Devote corner. We used to play with toy cars while the real ones rushed past beneath us. I always told myself that one day, it would be great to be driving in this race. And yes, that did happen and the fact I’m taking part in a Ferrari this year means I can honestly talk about a dream come true. To do well in Monaco, you need everything in place, from courage to bravura, from luck to having a competitive car. I hope I can put on a good show in front of my own people and I will definitely be giving it my best shot.” – Charles Leclerc added, ahead of the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix.