While a victory is almost certainly out of the question this weekend, Charles Pic
is hoping to use his experience of standing on the famous steps in Monaco to continue Caterham's return to form.
The Frenchman has won in the Principality in both of the senior F1 feeder series, so knows how hard it is to maintain concentration around the tough city streets. Although he failed to finish on his F1 debut there last season, he is looking forward to returning with his new team, which has shown an upturn in performance over the last couple of races.
"Monaco is a great race - and a track I've won on before in Formula Renault
3.5 and GP2,” Pic noted, “It's one of the two city street circuit races [on the F1 schedule] and there's a lot of history there.
“I think, for every driver and fan, it's one of the best races of the year. It's not an easy race because you can't make any mistakes at all during the weekend, but it's also why we love it and why Monaco is so special. It's always fun on track, but it's busy for the drivers – and, as it's right next to France, there are a lot of French fans. We don't have a race in France at the moment, so Monaco's the nearest place to see F1 for all the French fans who really do love our sport. I'm sure it will be good entertainment for them and everyone who goes.”
Ironically, while Caterham has moved ahead of Marussia in the 'division three' battle, Pic's last two results – a brace of 17th places – are lower than those he achieved in the opening three rounds, he knows that Monaco presents the sort of unique opportunity that could present Caterham with points.
"It's true that Monaco, like Singapore, is really tough,” he reflected, “You can hope that it can be a good chance for you to finish in a good position, but with such a tight circuit and so many chances for something to happen it's something we can't control so we have to be focused on optimising the car, extracting 100 per cent for qualifying and then focusing on the race.
“We'll have to make sure we go the right way on tyre choice and strategy, and then we'll see. We've definitely been improving over the last couple of races, so the aim is to carry that through to Monaco."