Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen heads to the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend hoping to continue his run of podium finishes. The Iceman finds himself in third place in the championship and goes into the jewel in the F1 crown off the back of a strong result last time out in Spain where he finished the race just behind winner Max Verstappen.
The Finn has scored three podiums so far this season in Bahrain, Russia and Spain and has a good record here having won with McLaren in 2005.
Raikkonen is also not a fan of the glamorous side of the race and speaking ahead of the event he commented by saying:
The circuit in Monaco is different from all the others, it is a good challenge, but during the race, it depends: if you start at the front it is nice, but if you are down at the back it is very difficult to overtake. Like during all the races, we have a lot of meetings and after that we go to sleep, although all the people obviously enjoy it”. Yet, Monaco gives drivers a unique opportunity to feel the closeness of the public on the grandstands: “When the race is finished, we go slowly back and obviously we can see people and flags, but there are so many people that it is hard to notice.
Ferrari head into this weekend’s race having made up ground on their main rivals in the championship Mercedes who suffered a double DNF in Spain two weeks ago while Ferrari scored a double podium with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ending the race in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Speaking about the circuit in Monaco, Ferrari Technical Director James Allison commented by saying:
It is a circuit, of course, where a good grid position is absolutely everything for getting a good race result. That good grid position comes from a whole weekend where you can’t afford any mistakes. The track changes so much as the weekend progresses that you have to be on it all the time. This is a very high downforce circuit, the corners being so slow, the straights being so short, and the cars which have the most downforce available generally do well on this track.” Formula One comes to Monaco off the back of the post-race Barcelona test where there was much to be learnt: “We spent a couple of days in Barcelona after the Grand Prix through a whole range of technical setups and improvements to our car. It was a very successful test for us and happily we made some progresses. So, we are looking forward to taking more lessons and apply them in Monaco.
In Monaco, unlike any other race on the calendar the opening practice sessions of the weekend takes place on Thursday instead of Friday in a tradition dating back many many years.