The Monaco Grand Prix is widely recognized as being the jewel in the Formula 1 crown. Each May, the rich, pretty and famous convene in the principality for a weekend of racing; it is the ultimate place to be seen.
However, even for the drivers, there’s a certain sense of excitement surrounding the weekend. It is the ultimate driving challenge, with the unforgiving walls just millimetres away, and to be a great of the sport you need to have won in Monaco.
Ahead of his first Monaco Grand Prix for Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo has made no secret of his own excitement, saying that he cannot kid himself into treating it like any other race weekend.
“In Monte Carlo it’s impossible to do that calm, detached racing driver thing,” he explained. “Every year I’m determined I’m going to approach the weekend in a coldly logical way, and every year I end up bouncing up and down and getting excited!
“It’s just amazing. The atmosphere in town and down at the harbour, the history of the race, the massive crowd, it’s a real buzz. The track is properly old-school.
“Driving an F1 car anywhere is special – the speed, the power and the acceleration just blows you away – but here it’s… cool.”
Interestingly, Ricciardo has never actually finished the Monaco Grand Prix. In two previous attempts, he has retired from the race, with last year’s DNF coming as a result of Romain Grosjean crashing into the back of him.
However, after finally claiming his first podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix, the Australian will be hoping to greet Prince Albert with that infectious smile on the podium in Monaco and perhaps even pass teammate Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship.