Monaco GP Preview: Jordan


Jordan Grand Prix is eager to race at Monaco, as the unpredictability of the circuit is a characteristic which suits the team and can offer the hope of a better result even though this is one track where overtaking is virtually impossible. Both Tiago Monteiro and Robert Doornbos know the circuit from having driven there in F3000 in the past. Although Narain Karthikeyan has never raced in Monte Carlo, this will not be his first street race, as he had good results in Macao when he was driving in F3. Straight after the Spanish Grand Prix, Monteiro and Karthikeyan followed a programme prepared by Gerard Gray, Jordan Grand Prix’s physical therapist, to prepare them both physically and mentally for the Monaco race.

"Each race presents a particular challenge to our drivers, particularly being rookies in F1. 2000+ gear changes around a circuit that offers little room for error or run-off ensures Monaco is probably the most mentally challenging race in the Grand Prix calendar. They have to be exceptionally focused for the 78-lap race, more so than any other." Gerard Gray said. "This focus is developed through particular strategies pursued in and away from the gymnasium environment. At this time, both Narain and Tiago are entering into an intense training period preparing for the North American races and then of course the two double-headers in July. It’s this intensity that develops a strong mental attitude in conjunction with physical fitness."

Arriving into the team so near to the start of the season meant that what they were missing physically had to be compensated with appropriate mental practises. So far... it’s moving forward positively," Gray concluded.

Narain Karthikeyan: I cannot wait to drive in Monaco as normally I go well on street circuits. I was fast at Macao when I was racing in F3. Monaco has a great heritage. The race will be hard for the Bridgestone tyres but above all for the gearbox because we change gears so often in Monaco. Qualifying will also be crucial, as there is nearly no room for overtaking; but I am ready for the challenge.

Tiago Monteiro: It is very exciting to go to Monaco, one of the biggest names in Formula One and a dangerous circuit. It is very special for a racing driver to go there. The preparation for Monaco is very important: not only the car has to be well set-up but also the way you prepare yourself mentally. More than in any other places, you need to have everything ready before you go in the car. A single little mistake in the car can have serious consequences; therefore you need to be concentrated at 100% all the time. I think this is a race where we can be good and with a bit of luck we could maybe score a point. I want to keep up with my good result in Barcelona. Usually I have always loved driving on street circuits. When I was in Champ Car, eight out of 19 races were street tracks and I did get on well. So we will see in Monaco in a Formula One car.

Robert Doornbos: I am really looking forward to going to Monaco, as probably all drivers are in the paddock. It is the most famous street circuit in the world and it is very exciting to drive there. I raced there last year in F3000 and I have always enjoyed driving on street circuits as you can feel the speed. It is very challenging for a driver not to make any mistakes and stay concentrated the whole time. So I will make sure I am very fit and do a good job on Thursday.

Trevor Carlin Sporting Director: It will be the first time for our three drivers on this demanding circuit in a Formula One car. Narain, Tiago and Robert have performed very well in the past in street circuits in junior formulas. Therefore I expect Jordan Grand Prix to do better than on traditional tracks and with fantastic reliability from Toyota, we hope to be around at the finish and maybe get some points.

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Published: 16/05/2005
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