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Button: Monaco trumps other F1 street circuits

  • November 28, 2019
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McLaren-Honda star Jenson Button says this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix remains “like no other in the world”, despite the F1 calendar having welcomed a growing number of street circuits over the years.

Having hosted its first grand prix in 1929, Monaco has since cemented its reputation as one of the world’s most iconic motorsport venues.

F1’s appetite for racetracks set in city centres is evident, with the Singapore Grand Prix already considered a modern classic, while there has been increasing interest and buzz around the new Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan. However, Button believes Monaco remains the jewel in the F1 crown.

“I love this track – although we are now seeing more street circuits appearing on the Formula One calendar, Monaco is like no other in the world,” said the Briton, who won in Monte Carlo during his 2009 title-winning campaign.

“Despite its long history, it’s still got the glamour, the excitement, the beautiful backdrop, and always produces something unexpected.

“It’s not a fast circuit, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel it. The barriers are so close you feel like you can reach out and touch them, and you need absolute 100% focus and concentration to get the most out of each lap, every lap – or pay serious consequences.”

Button is chasing a third consecutive points finish this weekend, something he has not achieved since 2014. With the twisty and narrow streets of the Principality putting less emphasis on outright power, the 36-year-old believes the Circuit de Monaco will suit his Honda-engined MP4-31.

“[Monaco] requires a completely unique set-up – more traction, high downforce, more steering angle, softer suspension – and the feeling you get driving around there is among the best you experience as a driver.

“It is a completely different ball game, but one where the strengths of our car should shine through a bit more than in Spain if we hook up all of the elements, so I’m excited to see what we can do there.

“There are so many variables to come together, so it won’t be easy, but our testing programme last week went well so I’m hopeful we can put a lot of that learning into practice come Thursday in Monaco.”

McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier already said the British team could be the fourth fastest squad in Monaco and beat Ferrari thanks to a superior chassis.

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