Monaco Grand Prix action is on this weekend, and Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi is looking to turn things around.
By Warren Adamson
The Monaco Grand Prix is considered the most prestigious racing event in the world with the 2014 installation aiming to build on its reputation. The 2014 edition is set for this weekend (May 23–25) with free practice commencing Thursday at 10:00 (European time). The race is scheduled for 14:00.
With the dominance of Mercedes-Petronas and Lewis Hamilton on a four-race winning streak, some people are wanting a different winner to keep the season exciting. In the past five races, the Mercedes Team has won all five with German Nico Rosberg claiming a victory in Australia. Since then it has been a Mercedes one-two in every race, lead by Englishman Hamilton.
With the new engine regulations and aerodynamic requirements, the Silver Arrows have adapted the quickest and have produced a dominant car that the rest of the field are finding difficult to keep up with. Defending champion Sebastian Vettel sits fourth in standings with 45 points, 55 behind leader Hamilton. It’ll take the Red Bull team a lot to catch up to Mercedes, but Vettel doesn’t give up that easily. Looking back his previous race in Spain, he says, “I think the step we made in Spain was quite good in terms of speed and tire-wear result. I think we have an explanation for it, so we need to confirm and see here and in Canada. Here [in Monaco] it is not a real race track, but historically it has always been a good reference of where you are as a driver, but in terms of ranking it shouldn’t be any different.”
Vettel went on to comment about the two leaders and the prospects for the race: “You have to respect overall that Mercedes has a very, very strong package, so I guess they will be very strong here. Nico and Lewis are very good around here, so they will be the ones to beat. Maybe we will be a little closer; I think Barcelona was a step in the right direction in terms of race pace. In qualifying they were quite far away, but the target for sure is to put in a very good qualifying because that is already more or less half of the job already done on Saturday.”
Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi has failed to score a point in his Caterham-Renault, retiring in his last race with brake failure. He’ll be looking to do something special this weekend: “Monaco’s also one of the shortest tracks of the year, and because it’s not a really high speed circuit, it’s one where the gap to the cars ahead is always less. That’s obviously good for us as one of the smaller teams as it means we have a better chance to do something special and I think it would be a fair reward for us to have something to celebrate after a couple of tough last races.”
“I know that everyone in the team is working even harder than ever to fight back from where we are right now—the amount of hard work and effort that’s always put in is one of the things that most impresses me about our team whenever I’m on track or at the factory, and it’s about time our luck changed.”
Image: “Vettel” by Nick Webb/Flickr
Kamui Kobayashi, Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel