Both Force India drivers, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, have finished in the points in every race they’ve finished thus far in 2014.
To keep up the streak, as the team currently sits fourth in the Constructor’s Championship, both drivers described how precise you have to be on the streets of Monaco.
“In terms of precision it’s right up there with Singapore as the toughest race of the year,” Hulkenberg said in the team’s pre-race advance. “You never get a break during the lap; you are always working hard because it’s corner after corner. Even the straights are really short and it’s high-speed for such a narrow track. I particularly enjoy the swimming pool area, which is very quick, and the two right-hand corners before the tunnel.”
Added Perez, “It’s a big challenge and I have always believed it’s a circuit where the driver can really make a difference. So you always have the chance to do something special there. It’s not the most difficult lap of the year, but you have to always keep your concentration.”
Hulkenberg enthused about the magnitude of Monaco from there.
“It’s the event of the year. Your heartbeat goes up when you arrive there and walk over the bridge into the pits,” he said. “The place looks amazing with the buildings, the scenery and the mountains. Of course the biggest thrill is driving the track because it’s so unique and gives you the biggest excitement of the year.”
You can see the Monaco Grand Prix weekend starting at 4 a.m. ET, Thursday, with Practice 1 live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra. Practice 2 is on NBCSN at 8 a.m. ET Thursday.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.