Monaco is a track that, since I went there for the first time back in 2013, I really got a good feeling racing there. I remember Fernando back then explaining a few SECRETS and tricks to me that I still have in my mind today.
Racing with the walls so close is something you're always alert of – you can't drive around Monaco like you do at any other track! You just need to really build your confidence up and make sure that your confidence levels for qualifying are at 100% and that you haven't risked too much or had any big shocks before that session. It's a track that, when it comes to qualifying in particular, is a very TENSE moment– it's the toughest session of the year and where I need to be more determined. It's the easiest track to make a mistake, but it's a challenge I really enjoy.
Wow, I very nearly crashed into ERICSSON last year, but I managed to avoid it! It was a touch of skill combined with a bit of luck! I remember many other Formula 1 drivers crashing at that same point, losing the rear under braking, so my first reaction was to hold the car and hope not to crash, because I completely lost the rear when braking into the chicane after the tunnel. Then, once I recovered the rear, I suddenly saw that I was going straight into Ericsson and I had to avoid him... I don't know how, but I did! I remember my heart rate being really high at that moment!
During that race weekend we use a SCOOTER to go from the hotel to the track and back. It makes it a bit more of a different and special weekend.
In Monaco we get to have the COOLest Hospitality of the year: the Energy Station there is a boat in the sea, with a lot of people and guests supporting Red Bull and it's a great atmosphere.
It feels like another home race for me, as I live in Monaco and during the race weekend I get to sleep in my own bed. It's also not far to walk to the Paddock in the mornings, which is quite cool! It's an UNUSUAL feeling, but it's something I really like to do.
The track itself is unique. I really like it and it's all about your REFLEXES and reaction time – you just drive following your feelings and you have to find the right flow and rhythm in order to do well at this track.
There's many different things to do in Monaco, it's a FANTASTIC place to live. You can go to different places in the city centre; close to the Casino there's also a lot going on and where it's all happening at night. Then there's the area of the port, on the other side of MONACO, which is calmer and a nice area to have a good dinner or somewhere I also like going for a run.
I don't speak FRENCH, but I can now understand it after spending so much time in Monaco. Hopefully one day I will be able to do all my shopping in French without making any big mistakes!
Yes, I do have quite a result's PATTERN in Monaco: DNF in 2014, P4 in 2015, DNF in 2016... So this year it looks like it should be a good one! My Qualis have usually been quite decent in Monaco. Regarding the races, in 2015 I had a very good one, one of the best races of my career I'd say. This year I definitely want to put a good weekend together and see where we end up – a P4 would be good to continue with my result's PATTERN!