Pedro de la Rosa admits that he doesn't expect Sauber's season to take a turn for the better in the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.
The Hinwil-based squad has endured a trying start to the year and heads to the principality as the only team – aside from the three newcomers – yet to score a point.
De la Rosa heads to Monaco looking to bounce back from his early retirement on home soil in Spain, but he admits that Monte Carlo isn't likely to be the scene of a happy weekend for the Sauber squad.
“My last race in Monte Carlo was in 2002 and I finished tenth in the Jaguar,” the Spaniard said. “For me this is the most difficult circuit of the season, as it is very challenging. You have to really concentrate in order to avoid the slightest mistake. To have maximum track time in the practice sessions and find a good rhythm is very important.
“You need a lot of downforce and a good car for the narrow, slow corners. I'm afraid we may struggle a bit in Monaco, so I don't expect an easy weekend for us.”
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi will hope to avoid a repeat of his past outings on the challenging street circuit, which have ended in him crashing out of GP2 races.
“It will be my first Formula One race in Monaco, but I have some experience from GP2 – although not the best ones. Both races turned out to be short for me when I was involved in accidents. It wasn't my fault and it can easily happen in Monaco.
“Driving there in a Formula One car must be fantastic. I'm really excited and looking forward to it, especially as I can see us improving as there is a positive trend. But I know it will be difficult to continue this in Monaco, as I don't think our car is ideal for slow corners. Of course Monaco is very challenging also for a driver. I'm well aware I have room for improvement, so I will push hard and do my best.”