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Monaco GP: Preview - Williams

NEWS STORY
19/05/2008

Speed and glamour combine this weekend as the teams descend upon the streets of Monte Carlo for one of the highlights on the world's sporting calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix. The jewel in Formula One's crown, Monaco is the smallest remaining sovereign state and hosted its first (pre-Championship) Formula One race in 1929, making it one of the longest serving venues in motorsport and perhaps the sport's spiritual home. The two week gap between the Turkish and Monaco Grands Prix afforded the team a three day test at Paul Ricard in France last week. With the circuit's layout having been re-configured to replicate the Monegasque track, the team tested a new aero package which will be rolled out for this weekend's race. Nico and Kazuki benefited from a day's running each laying the ground work for a competitive outing at the sixth round of the Championship.

Nico Rosberg: I am very much looking forward to racing in Monaco. Actually, I am very much looking forward to the next two races. Monaco is a true Williams track, and Canada should be as well. We'll certainly have a much better chance at both than we had in Turkey and I believe Monaco is the one race where we can, with a bit of luck, maybe get on to the podium again.

It will be a great weekend as it's also my home Grand Prix. My family and friends will all be there and, for once, the journey to the track will be a short one, just a 100 metre walk! I can't wait!

Kazuki Nakajima: I think Monaco will be a big challenge for me. It's a track at which I didn't do particularly well at when I raced in GP2 last year, and this is my first race in a Formula One car there. It's not an easy track and to get it right takes great skill and precision, so it's a big test for all the drivers.

The team has always seemed to get the car to work well at Monaco, so I hope I can draw upon their experience and use it to my advantage. It's a really glamorous race and the atmosphere will be pretty special. As its Nico's home Grand Prix, it would be good if we can do well there.

Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1: Monte Carlo is such a great circuit for Formula One. The drivers and engineers have to deal with so many extremes that doing well there is a real achievement. As a street circuit, Monaco has typically very low grip levels at the start of the weekend, but that significantly changes as the Bridgestone rubber is laid onto the track by the cars during practice and qualifying. In fact, the circuit evolves so much from one run to the next, it's quite difficult to evaluate set-up changes.

Maximum downforce is the key, as well as the driver getting plenty of laps in during practice to get acquainted with the circuit. We will have some aero improvements on the cars for Monaco, which should improve our competitiveness and enable us to fight for points.

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