Fernando Alonso heads to the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix with renewed enthusiasm having sat out the famous race last year.
Faced with an uncompetitive car in 2017, Alonso took the opportunity to skip Monaco, competing in the Indy 500 for the first time instead. But this year Alonso heads to Monaco with a vastly improved McLaren and says he’s looking forward to seeing how the MCL33 performs there.
“Heading back to Monaco will be really exciting after a little break last year!” says Alonso. “I loved the Indy experience of course, but Monaco is also a really special place to go racing, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a famous venue for a grand prix.
“It’s one of the most technically challenging circuits of the year simply because of the level of skill and concentration you need to get around lap after lap 78 times, as well as negotiating the traffic, strategy, weather and everything else this crazy race throws at you.
“I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel there for the first time in two years and seeing how our car performs. For sure, we know the limitations of our package, and a slow-speed track such as this requires a totally unique set-up compared to anywhere else on the calendar, but it’s up to everyone to adapt and get the most out of our equipment.”
Alonso describes racing in the streets of Monaco as “a bit like throwing a dice” as anything can happen at Formula 1’s most famous venue. And as is often the case on the tight, wall-lined circuit, Alonso points to qualifying as being key to a successful weekend.
“Monaco is one of those tracks that tends to level the playing field a little and it’s a bit like throwing a dice. As we saw in Spain, even if you qualify well it doesn’t mean you won’t fall victim to drama which can change things around. So, we need to maximise everything on Saturday, and then fight hard on Sunday to earn as many points as possible.”