Red Bull Race Preview: GP Monaco 2014 Twitter Google Plus Facebook YouTube
Daniel Ricciardo

“In Monte Carlo it’s impossible to do that calm, detached racing driver thing. Every year I’m determined I’m going to approach the weekend in a coldly logical way, and every year I end up bouncing up and down and getting excited. It’s just amazing. The atmosphere in town and down at the harbour, the history of the race, the massive crowd, it’s a real buzz. The track is properly old-school. Driving an F1 car anywhere is special – the speed, the power and the acceleration just blows you away – but here it’s... cool. I know there’s that quote about racing at Monaco being like riding a bicycle around your bathroom – well when I was a kid I used to love riding my little bike around inside the house. It was more fun, there were more obstacles and a bit more danger. That really is what this is like. Experience definitely helps: the driver can make a big difference if he knows the tricks that a fast lap demands.”

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Image of Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel

“Monaco is one of my favourite tracks, it's an absolute challenge. You cannot afford to make one single mistake, because you would easily crash into the railings. Overtaking is only possible with taking an extreme risk. The best place to overtake is before the harbour chicane when we exit the narrow tunnel at 300kph and race towards the first gear chicane. Other than that, it’s all about patience in Monaco and hoping for complete reliability as the suspension and drive are massively in demand around this extreme, uneven rollercoaster of a circuit – it’s immense. In the perfect situation, you would have had a good quali and start from the front. Monaco offers some really great memories with the team, especially when everyone ended up jumping in the pool and one year Mark and I even ended up in the harbour. It’s very special in Monaco and it’s the race where we have our Energy Station with its larger outside area floating in the harbour, it’s a great, great event.”

David Coulthard

David, you live in Monaco and your first Monaco GP was in 1995. What is your best memory of the event?
I had never raced in Monaco in Formula 3, so the first time that I drove the circuit was in an F1 car, the Williams FW17. After the first day of practice I was 16th or 17th in a car capable of winning grands prix. I was in shock because it was so difficult to drive in Monaco. However, with a bit of research and a good third practice on Saturday morning, I qualified third. Unfortunately, there was a coming-together at the first corner with Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger. The race was red-flagged and I had to take the T-car, which was set up for Damon Hill. In the rush to get it ready the Renault engineer had not reset the throttle pedal. You normally have 40mm of travel between 0% throttle and a 100% throttle but because he had not re-set it I only had 20mm. Imagine controlling 750hp with 20mm of throttle travel. I was thinking: “Gosh, Damon, you have so much more power than I have. No wonder he was quicker.” But it was just the software. I ran around in third place until I had a gearbox failure.
If you had to pick one part of the track as your favourite, which part would that be?
Monaco is about three stages. The first is simply getting through the first corner. If you can do that you’re half way to building a lap. I know it sounds ridiculous, because it’s just one corner, but it’s a corner where a lot of drivers get greedy and you can easily crash there. You have to have discipline. Casino Square, going over the rise, is the next tricky part, so you really have to have the confidence to keep the car flat out as you come over the crest. The rest of the section until you come out of the tunnel is straightforward. However, braking as you come over the rise and out of the tunnel is tricky, as I found out in my last year with Red Bull Racing. In qualifying I crashed on the right hand side on the corner, as the car goes light over the rise because it’s bumpy and because you’re turning slightly to the right before turning left at the chicane.
Do you have a favourite overtaking move that you remember?
I don’t remember overtaking anyone! I remember being on pole there, winning a couple of times and I remember celebrating Red Bull’s first podium, with the superman cape.
Do you still have that cape?
I do, indeed. I still have the suits as well. I think it’s on a mannequin in the apartment in London.
Out of the wins you had, which one is your favourite and why?
My second win, in 2002, because it was a pure victory. In the first one, in 2000, Michael [Schumacher] broke his suspension so it was slightly inherited, but in 2002 I led from the start, dealt with the graining phase of the tyres, managed to push when they cleaned up, kept a lead through the pit stops and kept it tidy.
If you had to sum that race up in three words for a driver what would you say?
Ultimate driving challenge.

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World of Red Bull image World of Red Bull

It’s thrilling, it’s supercharged and only the best pilots qualify to compete in the world’s fastest motorsport series. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best of the best in a competition based on speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes, Red Bull Air Race pilots navigate a low-level aerial race track made up of air filled pylons, flying at speeds reaching 230mph while withstanding forces of up to 10g. The objective is to complete the course, navigating the 65 feet high specially designed inflatable pylons known as Air Gates in the fastest possible time. Red Bull Air Race pilots must pass between the Air Gates in the correct position taking care not to touch them with their wings. The pilots compete for points at each Red Bull Air Race and the one who accumulates the most at the end of the season is crowned Red Bull Air Race World Champion. After Abu Dhabi and Croatia, the third race on the 2014 World Championship calendar will see the pilots descend on Putrajaya, Malaysia’s most intriguing city on 17 and 18 May. It is expected to draw over 80,000 local and international spectators. For more information please follow this link:

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Live Demo

On 1 June David Coulthard will take to the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan in an RB7 as our Live Demo team continue this year’s World Tour. The event, which is free for everyone attending, takes place on a 1km long track that stretches from Zheltoksan street to Dostyk street in the city. Anyone who wants to see the raw power of an F1 car up close should come along to see DC performing a thrilling repertoire of burnouts and donuts along the course. Alexander Grinchuk, the famous Ukrainian drifter, will also be there to add more smoke and burning rubber. Entry is free and the show kicks off at 3pm local time, for more info check out:

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The Paddock Experience

If you have a 2014 FIA Media, Photographer or TV Compound Paddock Pass for the Monaco GP, we hope you can join us from 1900hrs on Thursday 22 May

Thirstday invite