Valtteri Bottas ready for first taste of ‘iconic’ Monaco
The Williams driver has finished each of the five Grands Prix he has contested so far in his rookie season, proving to be a close match for Grand Prix-winning team-mate Pastor Maldonado as both struggle to stamp their authority behind the wheel of Williams’ substandard FW35 car.
Although the 2011 GP3 champion has never driven in anger at the Monte Carlo circuit, Bottas believes the tendency of the Principality to reward driver skill rather than mechanical efficiency will allow him to stay in touching distance of Maldonado, whose aggressive style excels in Monaco’s tight streets.
Bottas said: “This will be my first time racing in Monaco and I’m really looking forward to it because it’s such an iconic track.
“It’s definitely the most challenging race on the calendar for the drivers, being an old school street circuit with no room for mistakes and I’m looking forward to the challenge of being on the limit at all times while being so close to the walls.”
The Finn also discussed the difficulty of finding an optimal set-up, adding: “It’s very challenging to get the car right at Monaco as it’s very different to all other circuits.
“There is a lot of undulation, so you need a good car set up to keep all the wheels on the ground around the whole circuit.
“It’s also quite bumpy which affects the ride height of the car.”
Bottas predicts the fragility of the Pirelli tyres will once again be a determining factor in the outcome of the race, suggesting: “In the past tyre wear in Monaco has been quite minimal, but with Pirelli bringing the softs and supersofts to this race the tyre degradation may be more of a factor, although less than we saw in Bahrain and Barcelona.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic