Jolyon Palmer has described Monaco as the craziest track he has even driven ahead of this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix in the streets of Monte Carlo.
The Renault driver, from Southwater, is facing his debut on the track as a F1 driver but knows all about the tough circuit, having already had two wins there.
And that is no small feat with the mean streets of Monte Carlo providing one of the most important and prestigious races in the world, with it’s tight turns and narrow tracks making it the most demanding in the sport.
The 24-year-old secured a pole, fastest lap and race win on the circuit two years ago in his record-breaking 2014 GP2 Series title victory, having previous won a sprint race there in 2012.
On the famous race, Palmer said: “I love it! It’s tight and twisty and the barriers are so close meaning there’s no room for error.
“As a race track it’s the craziest one I’ve ever driven, not just because it’s a street course, it’s a street course like no other; it’s a proper road that’s used by the public every day and it wasn’t designed to be a race track, it’s very bumpy and it’s very easy to make a mistake and end up in the wall.
“It presents a really exacting challenge to deliver a fast lap time as you need to be practically brushing the walls everywhere. To put everything together and to win in Monaco is the biggest challenge in Formula 1.”
The racer goes into this weekend with back-to-back 13th-placed finishes, with his highest position 11th from his five Grand Prix.
On the task of overtaking on the track, Palmer added: “It’s very difficult: firstly you need a good pace advantage on the guy in front, and preferably you want him to make a mistake.
“There are a couple of places: Ste Devote is one, and there’s a DRS zone there too, and then into the chicane is the most obvious opportunity.
“Any overtake attempt you make could end up in contact with your competitor or the wall so you really have to balance the risk and reward.
“You have to get your move right and hope the other guy sees you; even if you do everything right, if your rival doesn’t see you it’s likely there’ll be contact.”
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