Daniel Ricciardo expecting strong pace in Monaco

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Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo has spoken of his special affinity for the Monaco Grand Prix, and the Australian driver expects the team to run well at the race after a good showing last time out in Barcelona.

Ricciardo ran well at the Spanish Grand Prix to finish P10, and he is sure that this result will translate into a good result this weekend in Monaco.

“The one thing that should guide us is that Barcelona is a very high downforce circuit and this is even higher downforce – if you have it,” Ricciardo explained in his blog. “So, because we were quicker in Barcelona than the team has been for the last few years, that probably points to us having a positive race here. Certainly we should be stronger than we were last year.”

Last year, Ricciardo retired from the race with 13 laps remaining, but he is confident that a similar disappointment will be avoided on Sunday during his second outing in an F1 car around the streets of Monte-Carlo.

“This is my sort of track. It’s got a real old-school vibe and like all street circuits, it’s a lot of fun. Last year I was really buzzing to race here. It didn’t go how I imagined, I really wanted to be quicker than I was, so this year I’m not going to talk it up too much – but I am confident we’ll be competitive and I’ll show some proper speed around the Circuit de Monaco.”

With the second seat at Red Bull up for grabs in 2014, Ricciardo will be hoping to take advantage of Monaco’s high rate of attrition in order to finish well within the points. The ode of Monaco is that good qualifying usually leads to a good race result, and the Australian driver will be keen on harnessing the one-lap pace of the STR08 during tomorrow’s shootout.

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”