MAY 21, 2012
McLaren aims to improve Monaco record
Already the most successful F1 team at the Monaco GP, McLaren is looking to extend that record in Monte Carlo this weekend.
Despite not taking its first victory around the famous streets until 1984 -- that controversial wet race stopped when Ayrton Senna was set to overhaul Alain Prost - McLaren can now boast no fewer than 15 Monaco wins!
Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have both won in Monte Carlo, Lewis in 2008 and Jenson (for Brawn GP) the following year. Hamilton in particular, is overdue some good fortune in 2012.
"Monaco is up there with Silverstone as the place I most want to do well at," he says. "Even though Monaco has the slowest average speed of all the circuits we visit in a season, it always feels incredibly quick. That's because the acceleration is so rapid and the walls so close: there really is no room for error.
"Apart from the run-off at Ste Devote, and the tiny escape roads at Mirabeau and the harbour chicane, there's no room to make a mistake. But when the stakes are at their highest, I just find it more exciting."
Button adds: "My win at Monaco in 2009 remains one of my favourite victories. Monte Carlo is a place where every driver wants to win, but achieving it is so satisfying because you know you've conquered one of the toughest circuits in motorsport.
"I remember last year having a fantastic car beneath me and feeling really confident that I could challenge for the win. As it happened, circumstances beyond our control (a late red flag facilitating tyre changes for the leading contenders) worked to pull that opportunity away from us, but I go back to Monte-Carlo with a little bit of unfinished business. I'd love to add my name to McLaren's Monaco winners' list."
"This year we'll be running Pirelli's supersoft compound for the first time - which should be interesting. And while our car isn't especially suited to the tighter confines of a track like Monaco, I'm optimistic of getting on top of the balance issues that have affected me for the past two races. It's going to be a fantastic weekend."