Paul di Resta says he is ready for the challenge of F1's most difficult circuit as he prepares to make his debut in the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Force India driver goes into the weekend chasing a third points finish of the season and a return to the top ten for the first time since round two in Malaysia.
The Scot last competed in the principality some six years ago while competing in Formula 3 and he admitted that racing in the Monaco GP would be the realisation of a dream.
“Monaco is one of those races that every driver dreams about,” he said. “It's one of the most challenging circuits of the year and one of the 'big' races in motorsport. Monaco is also where I live these days, which means I will have two 'home' races this year. With all the yachts in the harbour there is always a real buzz to the place and I know it's going to be an exciting weekend.
“Obviously to go around the streets in a Formula One car, where I normally drive my road car, will feel very special. I've raced there before in Formula 3, but that was six years ago and it will feel totally different in a Formula One car. Qualifying is normally the key in Monaco. It used to decide your race. We'll have to see if it's any different this year with the nature of the Pirelli tyres and the different strategies, but I think overtaking will still be very difficult. I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge.”
Team-mate Adrian Sutil said he too was looking forward to the race on a circuit that needs more respect than most.
“Monaco is a very special place for me,” he said. “I've always liked street circuits, but I also have great memories there. It's a circuit where I've usually gone well and 2008 was a great race for me, even though we didn't get the result we deserved. It's a special race weekend in general. It's a little bit longer because you have Friday free and you can let all the glamour soak in. But after the weekend it's nice to go back home and back to reality.
“Monaco has no margin for error. Some of the modern circuits are too easy, but Monaco is a real old traditional place. The barriers are close but you respect the limit more and you have to build your speed up slowly through the weekend so that you don't go over the limit.”