The loss of Niki Lauda and expectations for the weekend on track were the central themes when Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel met the media on the Wednesday of the Monaco Grand Prix. For this event, practice starts on Thursday rather than the usual Friday.
Home-grown talent. The centre of attention is clearly Charles, who was in today’s official FIA Press Conference. The Monegasque driver spoke of Lauda, recalling his “availability and how humble he was, given how successful he had been as a Formula 1 driver. He was one of the greats and everyone will miss him.” Then the questioning switched to this Grand Prix. “This is undoubtedly a special race for me and I am very proud to be racing here in Monaco as a Scuderia Ferrari driver. I will do my utmost to get a great result. Our season did not get off to the start we would have wanted”, admitted Charles. “But day by day our level of understanding of the SF90 increases. This is a very unusual track, but I think that all the kilometres of testing we did in Barcelona can be useful even here. The atmosphere in the team is calm and that is proof that we are going in the right direction. As a team, we just have to work a lot.”
A determined Seb. Later in the afternoon, Vettel spoke to the press in the team hospitality unit. He too spoke first of Lauda: “I was fortunate to know Niki and usually we had a chat, which was a real privilege for me. He was always honest in his opinions and I am sure no one can fill the gap that he leaves in our sport”. As for the Monaco weekend, Sebastian said he was ready for this very special race. “Here, anything can happen, because there are so many variables to take into consideration: traffic, barriers, the weather, they can all affect the result somehow. And I have to say we deserve a good result here. We have worked very hard and we still are, but we have not managed to get the results we should have done. We know we still have work to do to improve to reach the level of competitiveness that we were expecting at the start of the season.”
On track. Track action starts tomorrow morning with the first free practice session at 11 and the second at 3pm. On Friday, as usual there is no F1 track activity. Qualifying is at 3pm on Saturday and the 66th Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix starts at 15.10 on Sunday, although this is actually the 90th anniversary of the first race.