Karun Chandhok is heading to the legendary streets of Monaco fully aware that snatching a good result in the grand prix-supporting World Series by Renault race is going to be a hard ask.
The Indian, who stepped up to the World Series at the end of 2004 after a strong spell in Formula Three, makes his debut in the principality this weekend, and doesn't have much street racing experience to call on as he attempts to make up for a disappointing weekend at Zolder two weeks ago.
“I am so excited about going to Monaco and racing there," the RC Motorsport driver admitted, "I've been watching videos of the Monaco Grand Prix ever since I was four or five years old, and I've always dreamt of driving around there. It's going to be a special feeling driving past the harbour and the famous casino and, for sure, this is a highlight of my career.
“However, I haven't driven a big car on a street circuit before. The only street race I've done was in Formula Asia at Macau, and that was a long time ago, so I'm being realistic about this weekend. If we can get in the top ten, I'll be very happy. We only have half an hour of practice before qualifying too, so that is going to make life very hard indeed!"
In the opening two races at Zolder, Chandhok had to fight back after an accident in qualifying left him at the tail of the grid. Team manager Francesco Rivera, who won the Monaco F1 support race with Giancarlo Fisichella in 1994, reckons there is more to come from the Indian, even if the unique Monaco circuit may not be the place to best highlight his ability.
“I don't think Zolder was a fair reflection of our potential," the Italian insisted, "We obviously want to do as well as we can at Monaco, but I've told Karun that he must remember how Monaco is normally a bit a lottery, and that we should really look to Valencia to get our championship campaign going.”