If the majority of the F1 field consider the annual trip to Monaco a test of their mettle, perhaps they need to spare a thought for Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat.
The streets of the Principality have long posed a different challenge to the bulk of the F1 schedule, but the Russian is facing a tougher weekend than the rest of the grid as, not only has he not raced in Monaco before, but also claims never to have turned a wheel on an inner city circuit.
Kvyat's route to the top flight, direct from GP3 rather than via GP2, means that he has missed out on the Monaco experience, while his rapid rise up the ranks only briefly flirted with street circuits. Despite that, the Russian was in the Formula Renault field that raced at Pau in 2012 and the F3 Euroseries line-up at Norisring last year, although neither approaches F1 in terms of speed.
“Monaco for me will be an absolutely new experience,” Kvyat insisted, “Not only have I never raced there, I have never even been there on a visit. Of course, I have watched a lot of races from Monaco on TV and a lot of on-board footage. But it will really be a step into the unknown for me, even if I have now driven it on the simulator.
“In fact, I have never raced on any street circuit. I am really looking
forward to the weekend, mainly from a driving point of view, but I also want
to find out what it is that makes this race such a special event for all fans of
The 20-year old has adapted well to the jump from GP3, scoring points on three of his five F1 outings to date, to lie 15th in the overall standings.