Monaco GP 2023

MAY 26, 2023

Friday Team Quotes

Valtteri Bottas
© Alfa Romeo

Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (1st, 1:12.462): "I felt more confident in FP2 to push a bit more, we had a difficult start but a good end. I think FP1 was quite tricky today, I wasn't happy with the ride of the car but FP2 was much better, the car was a lot more competitive. Compared to Ferrari, I think the handling is still lacking on the curbs and the drops in camber. We need to work on that ahead of tomorrow because you can see that they are still very close, we'll need more for qualifying tomorrow to stay ahead of them. I felt more confident in FP2 to push a bit more, we had a difficult start but a good end. I'm looking forward to qualifying tomorrow, let's see what we can do."

Sergio Perez (7th, 1:12.991): "I will sit down with my Team and go through everything because every millisecond here is going to make a difference. It wasn't a great day today in terms of pace in the car, I think FP1 went a little bit better than FP2. After the changes we made in the car we have plenty of things to review before tomorrow's quail. I will sit down with my Team and go through everything because every millisecond here is going to make a difference. They are just little things, nothing huge is standing out at the moment, so I am not massively worried. It's going to be a real challenge heading into qualifying, it'll be an interesting session. We need to make sure we get on top of the tyres and put them in the window at the right time to get the perfect lap around here."

Scuderia Ferrari

Charles Leclerc (2nd, 1:12.522): "It was a bit of a difficult day as the car is not doing exactly what it is supposed to do. So we need to take a good look at the set-up on my car and then work on it to ensure I have the right feeling with it tomorrow. Here it's all about qualifying, so we didn't do any race runs, just focusing on preparing for qualifying in the best way possible."

Carlos Sainz (3rd, 1:12.569): "In general, I think the day was positive. We were fast in both sessions and the car feels okay on track. There are still a couple of things I want to try tomorrow on the set-up to try and improve, but overall we are quite competitive. Obviously, it was not ideal to finish the session in that way, after a small miscalculation trying to find the limit. Sorry to the team and the mechanics for the extra work."

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Lewis Hamilton (6th, 1:12.960): "I've had an amazing day and I really enjoyed driving out there. I want to send a big thank you to everyone at the factories. To build, design and develop a car is not an easy thing. Everyone's put in so many hours of hard work to get us here. We got a lot of data today; it's not a place to ultimately test an upgrade but the car was generally feeling good. It's a shame we weren't as close as I'd hoped at the end of the last session, but I felt some improvements. We've got to keep chipping away at it and see if we can squeeze some more juice out of the car."

George Russell (12th, 1:13.191): "Monaco is such a unique track so it's not an ideal place to be evaluating updates, but we knew that coming into the weekend. We're just trying to focus on improving around this circuit and qualifying is obviously the most important part of the weekend. We generally do better on Sundays and struggle more on Saturday, so we need to try and flip that here. There were positive signs to take from today's sessions but it's never easy around this place. We made a lot of changes throughout the day, and the car felt improved in FP2. We'll work hard tonight to see what we can do tomorrow."

Andrew Shovlin: "We've had a busy day but ran decent programmes with both cars and managed to cram in plenty of set-up compares along the way. It's difficult to evaluate the update at this track from a lap-time point of view, but from what we can see it's all working as expected. George seemed to have a better afternoon session which is good news as he was lacking confidence in FP1. Lewis has been pretty happy with the car all day but there are a few things we may have done for the second session that cost a bit of pace. We'll look at that overnight. We've also got a good programme running in the simulator to try and find a bit more performance; hopefully we can find a step as even a tenth-of-a-second can be a big difference in qualifying here."

BWT Alpine F1 Team

Pierre Gasly (9th, 1:13.089): "It's always great to be here in Monaco and driving around this iconic Formula 1 circuit. It's been a reasonably solid day for us with some upgrades on the car and it was good to build up an understanding on those and, in general, ease ourselves into the weekend. The car felt much improved between Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2, so I'm happy with our work today and we're in decent shape looking ahead to the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow is Qualifying day, an exciting experience at this place, and we'll be giving it our best to be up there on the grid."

Esteban Ocon (10th, 1:13.162): "Driving here in Monaco is a very special experience; there's really no place like it. On our side, I think it's been a smooth day, where we've run through our programme, tried a few different things and, importantly, did not take any unnecessary risks. I think we have a few more things to go through and test to be really up to speed and ready for Qualifying tomorrow, so I'm sure Free Practice 3, for everybody, will be important. The car feels good, and we're in a strong place looking ahead to the rest of the weekend."

Matt Harman, Technical Director: "It's been good to have a smooth Practice day today where we've been able to assess some new upgrades on the car including the new sidepod, which is a very good step from the previous version. It's been equally important not to face any issues on Friday – just like in Miami – for us to learn and validate our new parts as well as gearing up for the rest of the weekend. Both drivers have been sharp today, bringing their speed and confidence up around this tough track in a sensible manner. We'll keep looking to make improvements on set-up to be well placed ahead of tomorrow's important Qualifying session."

McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris (5th, 1:12.906): "A reasonable day – it's just lovely to be back. Awesome to be back in the car here in Monaco. Feels insane, as always. Good fun out there and got comfortable very quickly, which is always important here. We made a few changes from FP1 to FP2, which were in the right direction, and we definitely got a bit more out of the car, so we'll continue to try to explore that direction, see if we can improve a little bit more into tomorrow. A decent Friday, and I'm probably feeling a little bit more comfortable than I have been the last few weeks."

Oscar Piastri (18th, 1:13.673): "First day in Monaco in an F1 car. It was a bit of a tricky day, it's such a challenging circuit and I've got a bit of work to do on my side, but that's what happens when you're getting up to speed. I think I've got the best out of each corner at least once, I've just got to put them all together on a lap now. We'll keep working overnight and see what we can do. The car looks to be in a reasonable place, but the field is so tight again, so small improvements can have a big impact. We'll keep pushing and look to unlock more pace tomorrow."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal: "We've had a decent first day of running in Monaco, despite a couple of issues on Lando's side which ate into his track time in FP2 and high fuel laps. That aside, we worked through our programme as planned. Lando found a good rhythm relatively soon at low fuel. Oscar, making his first visit to Monaco in an F1 car, was rightly learning more and more run after run. From here, we'll do all the usual Monaco things: keep optimising all the details with the drivers and on the car, do our best to execute our plan smoothly and put good laps together for qualifying and the race."

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

Valtteri Bottas (8th, 1:13.050): "It was a good, productive day and it was what we needed to finally test our new upgrades. I could feel a difference already, a positive one, even though we will have to do some work to refine the package and extract the most from it. It's a promising sign, though, especially since the field is so tight and a small improvement can make a big difference. Overall, it was an interesting day: the track kept improving with every lap and, as always in Monaco, so did my confidence. Traffic is always an issue here but today we were able to navigate through it well. Now we need to focus on qualifying: the feeling is positive, if we can improve a little bit more overnight, we can be there or thereabout."

Guanyu Zhou (13th, 1:13.354): "In general, a promising day for us. FP1 wasn't the smoothest session and it was difficult to find a rhythm, but the later session was a step up for us. The first impressions from the upgrade package are positive, although it's still early days, and I feel there is still a bit of margin, both for myself and the car, to further improve to be ready for tomorrow. We seem to be able to carry on from where we left off in Miami, and I'm looking forward to qualifying. We also looked solid in the long runs, so if we manage to translate today's work into a good qualifying position, we can fight for the points. Tomorrow will be tricky – it always is here – but we can be in the mix for a good result."

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative:

Jan Monchaux, Technical Director:

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Fernando Alonso (4th, 1:12.682): "We completed enough laps today and we were able to get a good understanding of our car here around Monaco. It was important to find a rhythm early this weekend and avoid any issues. In both sessions the car felt good and it's easy to drive which helps at this circuit. There are going to be lots of ups and downs for everybody this year, so we have to be ready to deliver every weekend. Some race weekends we will be quicker than our rivals and others it might be different, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow's qualifying session."

Lance Stroll (11th, 1:13.185): "Every lap mattered in practice today: it's such a short lap around Monaco, it's always tricky to pull everything together, but we got some good running in today and we learned a lot. The AMR23 is working well around here – it's definitely behaving itself – so tonight we'll focus on tweaking a few, final things. The pack has been tight all year – so getting everything right for qualifying will be essential. We'll keep working on the car tonight and see what we can do tomorrow."

Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen (14th, 1:13.457): "It was a decent day and it looked good in FP1, we lost a little bit in FP2 I think with the changes we made to the car. It's very bumpy out there for us in the low-speed, not like the typical high-speed porpoising stuff, but just dealing with the bumps at the apex of the corners. It's Monaco and everything is tight together and you only need to find a little bit then you move up a lot, so it's still all to play for tomorrow."

Nico Hulkenberg (15th, 1:13.520): "It was good fun but challenging at the same time. It's mega fast around here now and it's the first time I drive this new generation of car around Monaco, and I have to say it's probably the fastest thing I've driven around here and it's only Friday, so there's more to come. In terms of running, it wasn't ideal in FP1 with the little kiss coming out of the tunnel. FP2 was okay, we collected a lot of data, and we have some new parts on the car that we need to analyze and see what else we can find."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "It wasn't a perfect day, not bad, but we learned a lot. We need to get a bit further up to qualify well because that defines the race weekend here, so we still have some work in front of us, but everyone knows what we need to do and we'll try to achieve it for FP3. All in all, not a bad day except for the little incident from Nico but it wasn't bad. We need to work a little bit on the set-up of the car so that the drivers feel a bit more comfortable in it."

Scuderia AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda (16th, 1:13.641): "I enjoyed driving around Monaco, but there is still some pace to be found for qualifying, and we have to focus on this as it's going to be really important. We have quite a few big upgrades on the car this weekend, but it's hard to say how well they work because Monaco isn't an aero-efficient track. As usual, we will put it together tonight so we can make it through to Q2 tomorrow, as Q3 seems a bit difficult, but let's see."

Nyck de Vries (17th, 1:13.663): "I'm enjoying this track. I raced here in Formula 2 and Formula E, but coming here as the main series is definitely different. I think it was a solid Friday, in which we made progress throughout both of the sessions. We are slowly chipping away and getting more comfortable with the car on track, but there is still some work to do for the balance. The Monaco track isn't an aerodynamic-sensitive track, so we will need to find more performance elsewhere from the new upgrades. We'll do our homework tonight and we will need to keep it clean tomorrow when there will be a lot of cars on track during Q1, so getting a lap together will be challenging."

Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: "Having missed the Emilia Romagna GP last week, it's been three weeks since the drivers had been on track, so coming here to a tricky track, it was a case of building up the pace lap by lap. We carried over the new aero package that was planned to be introduced in the last event, but it's always very difficult to draw conclusions at Monaco. So far, there seem to be no surprises, so both cars will retain this for the rest of the weekend. FP1 was mainly focused on the drivers and covering the most laps possible to get them used to the car at this track. The balance was quite close already from the beginning, which means it was just a case of tracking the changing track conditions throughout the day. We made a further step in improving the balance for FP2, but it's clear there is still more that we can do for tomorrow, so we will continue to work on the setup overnight to tackle the main weaknesses. Yuki's session ended prematurely after just brushing the apex barrier at Turn 10 and damaging the rims, so he missed out on his long run, but at least this won't have a big impact on his qualifying preparation for tomorrow."

Williams Racing

Alexander Albon (19th, 1:14.217): "It was a great job from the team to get the car ready for FP2, despite being a bit compromised in that session. We need to take a look tonight to see if we can improve the car, however it is tricky out there, but I think it's tricky for everyone. It feels like it always does around Monaco, like you're on a knife edge but that's because you're always on the limit. Ultimately, I think we need to find a few more tenths to fight for Q2 but we'll try do that."

Logan Sargeant (20th, 1:14.238): "The first day here in Monaco is done and it's always a privilege to drive this track. We're not exactly where we want to be and we're missing some pace but, from a driving standpoint, I think I was driving well and that's a positive to take. We'll look to see how we can improve the car for tomorrow and we go again."

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: "Today was a bit mixed with Alex showing some decent pace in FP1 but then damaging the car at the end of the session. Until that point, he was making steady progress and we were investigating the new parts on the car. Although his team did an excellent job to get the car ready for FP2, there wasn't enough of the session left for Alex to really understand the evening conditions and the Soft qualifying tyre. If we can recover to the pace we had in FP1 then we can still mount a useful challenge in Qualifying. However, missing much of a session in Monaco is very costly and we will need to work hard overnight and through FP3 to make up for the lost time. Logan drove well throughout the day; although he has driven here before, tackling the streets of Monte Carlo in an F1 car is a different challenge. He kept the sessions clean and progressed his learning and understanding of the setup throughout the day. His pace was a little bit off where he wanted it to be, but with a little bit more work tonight, he can have a strong day tomorrow and build on his solid start to the weekend."