Monday, April 15, 2024

Pascal Wehrlein: “Monaco is a race everyone wants to win”

Pascal Wehrlein enters this weekend’s legendary Monaco E-Prix knowing that he needs a huge performance at the Circuit de Monaco, after seeing his title lead almost destroyed in Berlin.

The championship leader saw his advantage reduced from twenty-four points to just four following his home double-header, with Nick Cassidy being hot on his tail. Wehrlein endured a mixed weekend in Berlin, with the German having made a mess of qualifying ahead of the first of two races in the capital city. As expected, though, he fought through the field to claim sixth in the opening race, before finishing the second race of the weekend in seventh.

Whilst he still scored some solid points, it marked a dramatic turning point in the championship, with the momentum very much being in Cassidy’s favour. Where better to turn things around than Monaco, though, with the iconic street track hosting the ninth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship this weekend.

It’s the one circuit on the calendar that Wehrlein admits “everyone wants to win” at, with the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver being part of the group.

“For me, this is one of the coolest tracks in motorsport. It’s perfect for Formula E and the races we contest. It’s great for overtaking and the speed is good, too. On our street circuits, we don’t usually have much room and we have to be careful not to make a mistake – and not only in the first corner after the start.

“That’s also the case in Monaco. The whole race is a challenge. Every driver, it seems, makes an extra special effort. After all, Monaco is a race everyone wants to win.” 

Unlike most races in Formula E nowadays, the entire E-Prix will be conducted over just one day, making for a “tight schedule”. It means any mistakes will be more costly than usual, given that there will be less time to repair the car.

“For us all, it’s a long day that starts early and finishes late,” Wehrlein shared. “With this tight schedule, there’s very little time to study data extensively. That takes some adjustment. You actually have to arrive at the track in Monaco with everything already sorted.”

“Every lap is a pleasure on this historic racetrack” – António Félix da Costa

Credit: TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

On the other side of the Porsche garage, António Félix da Costa heads to Monaco knowing exactly what it takes to win at the historic circuit, following his unbelievable win in Season Seven.

The Portuguese driver enters this weekend on the back of having also endured a bit of a disappointing E-Prix in Berlin, where his pace wasn’t rewarded. Da Costa retired whilst running towards the front of the first race after being hit by Jake Dennis, before finishing fifth in Race Two. All will be forgotten, though, if he can claim another rostrum in Monaco, a venue he believes is “a great fit” for the all-electric series.

“We’re facing one of the coolest races of the year, no question about it. Formula E is a great fit for Monaco and this circuit. We deliver spectacular races with constant changes in the lead – exactly what the fans love. I’ve been lucky enough to win in Monaco before. So, to come back now as a Porsche factory driver with this team feels fantastic.

“Every lap is a pleasure on this historic racetrack. We’re all very lucky to have the opportunity to race here every year in Formula E. What I like so much about Monaco is the rich history of the race. On top of that, there are numerous big names who have immortalised themselves on the winners’ list here. I find all of this incredibly fascinating.”