2018 Monaco Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)


2018 Monaco Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Location: Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Race Weekend: 2018 Monaco Grand Prix

Session: Free Practice

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most popular (and most glamorous) race locations however it’s one of the most difficult tracks on the Formula 1 calendar and today wasn’t an exception with teams taking things relatively easy during the Free Practice sessions.

The Red Bull Racing boys both looked strong around this track, as they always do, yet both Ferrari drivers struggled with their tyres however Mercedes despite not running into any problems, simply didn’t have the pace – but don’t forget, this was only free practice and it’s still early on in the weekend.

Here you can see team and driver interviews following the Free Practice session ahead of the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix this weekend…

Ferrari – 2018 Monaco Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Sebastian Vettel


FP1 – 1:13.041 – P4

FP2 – 1:12.413 – P3

Sebastian Vettel: “I think it was a decent day. In Monaco there’s always traffic, and today we had the red flag, so that it was a bit messy. It’s not that easy to get everything together in a lap here.”

“I am not entirely happy about the second and the last sector. So, I think there’s something we can do better. I believe we got the best out of the tyres and on Saturday it will be very close.”

“There isn’t more pressure on this track than on the others, but I think it’s more fun. The track is very challenging and you have no room for mistakes but it’s quite enjoyable.”

“You think twice before trying something here. However, I have a good feeling with the car. Today I trusted my car and even if I was sliding a little bit, I knew I wouldn’t have touched the barrier.”

“We still need to improve, but generally it’s good fun driving around.”

Kimi Raikkonen


FP1 – 1:113.066 – P5

FP2 – 1:12.543 – P5

Kimi Raikkonen: “This first day was not too bad, a pretty normal Thursday. The feeling with the car was not too bad, but this track is always quite tricky to start with, and we were trying many different things.”

“The drive around the circuit is a bit more complicated than in other places; it’s easier to end up making a big mistake, while in a normal place you would just end in a run-off area.”

“You need to be more careful and start pushing when you feel that everything is all right. For sure there are things to improve, but we were able to do what was planned and managed to stay out of trouble.”

“It’s difficult to have a clear picture; in many practice sessions we have seen some cars being very fast on Friday and then in qualifying it’s a different case. Let’s wait and see what happens on Saturday.”

Red Bull Racing –  2018 Monaco Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Daniel Ricciardo


FP1 -1:12.126 – P1

FP2 – 1:11.841 – P1

Daniel Ricciardo: “This is a place I always love driving. It helps when you’re fast but regardless it’s just so much fun driving an F1 car around here.”

“Having the hypersoft tyre gives us that little bit more grip and it’s pretty cool to be breaking lap records. I’m glad that was the fastest lap that anyone has ever done as it felt so quick, but I think on Saturday we will go even quicker again.”

“Some parts of the track are just amazing, Tabac and Turn 12 in particular are a lot of fun. The intention this weekend is to try and win and be dominant.”

“Both cars today ran really well in the sessions and Max and I were fighting for the top spot all day.”

“I think come Qualifying the others will turn it up and I’m sure it will tighten up as you never know what the other teams are doing, but all we could do today was try and top the times, which is what we have done.”

Max Verstappen


FP1 – 1:12.280 – P2

FP2 – 1:12.035 – P2

Max Verstappen: “Today’s performance was good and the car seems to be working really well around here. It actually felt easy to drive with not too many setup issues which is nice, especially on a street circuit.”

“We have a great car but it struggles when we have long straights, you can see as soon as we come here where the straights are not too long we have good pace.”

“We still have to improve but throughout the entire lap we seem competitive, I didn’t quite manage to link all the sectors together but it’s only Thursday.”

“The hypersofts seem to have a lot of grip and they appear to suit the car so this is encouraging for Qualifying.”

“Again, the other teams’ engine modes will make a difference on Saturday but I think we can be a real challenger regardless and put ourselves in the best position to achieve a victory on race day.”

Mercedes –  2018 Monaco Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Lewis Hamilton


FP1 – 1:12.480 – P3

FP2 – 1:12.536 – P4

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been an okay day, we didn’t suffer any damage which is a good thing. I said yesterday the Red Bulls were going to be quick which they were today.”

“As expected, we struggled a little bit more. The car felt good in some places, in others it felt bad. So we have got some things to work on, but we’re not completely in the dark; we’re in a much better place than we were last year.”

“We’re closer to Red Bull and Ferrari than I expected, but we’re still a few tenths off. So we’ve got some ground to cover and pick up if we want to be in the fight for the win.”

“We’ve got to keep working on the set-up and try and see if we can pull out some more potential from the car. The hypersoft felt good, but it doesn’t last very long. It looks good for qualifying but could be interesting in the race.”

Valtteri Bottas


FP1 – 1:13.502 – P7

FP2 – 1:12.642 – P6

Valtteri Bottas: “As we expected it was quite difficult today. We thought that Red Bull and Ferrari were going to be quick here and they were. The car didn’t feel great in FP1 and we struggled a bit on the HyperSoft tyres.”

“In FP2, we got it to work better. The gaps between the three teams are not too big though, which is good. We know our car has a lot of pace, but it is difficult to find the right set-up for this track.”

“If we can find a good set-up and get some good laps in for qualifying, we should be able to fight for the pole, but I think it will be the most challenging qualifying session we’ve had this year.”

“I’m very proud to be driving with my special Mika Häkkinen helmet in Monaco this weekend.”

“Mika has proven in the past that the helmet design and a Silver Arrow are a good combination, so hopefully I will be able to get a good result as well.”

Andrew Shovlin – Trackside Engineering Director

“We’ve had pretty good sessions today with both cars. It’s never easy in Monaco as the track is so short it’s near impossible to put together more than two or three clear laps but both drivers have a good feel for the car and we have identified a few areas where we need to improve the balance.”

“It’s our first proper experience of the HyperSoft tyre which is giving good grip on single laps; however needs a bit of looking after on the longer run.”

“In terms of pace it’s difficult to know where we stand today, it does feel like Red Bull are the ones to watch in qualifying but we’re in much better shape than we were this time last year and we’ve certainly got a car that is behaving more normally. The track is going to evolve a lot over the next couple of days and it can have a big impact on the balance of the car and how the tyres are working.”

“As such, it’s never easy to know how much to change for the final practice session but if we can improve a few issues in certain corners we should be in decent shape for qualifying and the race and be in a position to put some pressure on the others.”

McLaren –  2018 Monaco Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Fernando Alonso


 FP1 – 1:114.637 – P17

FP2 – 1:13.115 – P9

Fernando Alonso: “A tough day. In the first session, I had an issue with the brakes and we lost most of the morning.”

“That was quite disappointing because you need as many laps as possible around here to build up your confidence. The guys in the garage did a great job and the car was fully ready for the second session, when we were able to recover some of those lost laps.”

“Due to the track evolution, you drive one car in FP1, a different one in FP2, and an entirely new one in qualifying, where you are two seconds quicker.”

“So it’s important to adapt – we need to be flexible. Qualifying here is 99 per cent of the race, so once you put a good lap together on Saturday, the race becomes a little bit easier.”

“There’s still more to come from us. Hopefully, we can put a good lap together on Saturday.”

Stoffel Vandoorne


FP1 – 1:14.291 -P15

FP2 – 1:13.077 – P8

Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s been a pretty tricky Thursday, actually. The sessions didn’t go as smoothly as we’d wanted: FP1 was difficult, but we made a big step during FP2.”

“That was when things came together, but I still think we can take another step forward for Saturday and be in a better position for qualifying.”

“Confidence is everything around here. The car was a bit of a handful and a bit unpredictable today, so we struggled a little bit. Still, by the end, we managed to set some decent lap-times.”

“The times are so close – you can’t leave anything on the table this weekend or else you’ll find yourself out in Q1. It’s going to be up to us to make the best out of it, do everything perfectly and do a proper job.”

“Fortunately, I still feel there is a bit to come from us.”

Eric Boullier – Racing Director

“You always think you’re ready for another Monaco Grand Prix weekend, but then you never fail to be awestruck by the sheer spectacle of Formula 1 cars racing at speed around these fast, narrow streets.”

“Today, we had a relatively pain-free pair of sessions – Fernando’s running was delayed this morning by a small brake-by-wire issue, but we ended the day with plenty of mileage under our belts, and lots to analyse tonight and tomorrow ahead of qualifying on Saturday.”

“There’s still plenty of work left to do: neither driver really felt that they had full confidence in their cars today, so we’ll be diving deep into the data to see if we can turn that feeling round for Saturday.”

“Confidence is everything at a place like this, so it’d be hugely beneficial for us if we can address those issues.”

The Formula 1 Girl – Formula 1 Blog 🙂

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