The jewel in the crown race of the F1 World Championship takes place this Sunday when Grand Prix cars race around the famous streets of Monaco.
The principality has long been home to the sport’s most glamorous event, with the first Grand Prix held on the Mediterranean coastline in 1929.
The 2014 edition of the sport’s blue riband event offers the Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas team the opportunity to extend their advantage at the top of the world championship table.
Team drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, have been undefeated this season from five starts and the two Monaco residents are hungry for more success this week.
Hamilton has won the last four races, but as a result of his retirement from the opening race in Australia, only took the lead of the world championship from his team-mate after victory two weeks ago at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
Rosberg has lived in Monaco all of his life, and the two Mercedes racers live in the same apartment block close to the track’s famous tunnel.
The German is keen to make it two wins in a row following victory last year, saying: “Monaco is such an important race for everyone. The whole event is so special and every driver dreams of winning around these streets.
“I have been fortunate to win here and I will never forget my victory for Mercedes-Benz last year. Now, 2014 is proving to be a good season for the team and we have been unbeaten since the start of the season. I feel the grid is closing on us slightly, but we are so confident and believe we have many more wins ahead of us.”
Despite their dominance, Rosberg has played down talk that Mercedes could win every race of the season, adding: “Yes, I have heard talk that we can win every race, it is not impossible but to do it Lewis and I will have to be at the top of our game for the whole season. It would be difficult to do it I think, but we will try!”
Hamilton said: “Four wins in a row have really given me a boost and I can’t really say how happy I am just now. I love racing here [Monaco]. My aim on Sunday is to win my fifth race.”
Following a promising start to the season, the Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team struggled for pace in Spain last time out, although both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez scored points.
Team owner, Vijay Mallya, said: “Monaco one of the biggest races of the season and it is important for us to keep pressure on teams around us.
“However, we have to be realistic in our approach. The track does not allow for any errors and to finish with good points you also need some luck. I feel we can perform well and allow us to maintain our point-scoring record.”
The Bicester-based Toro Rosso team are also looking to add further points to their seasonal tally, after failing to do so in Spain. Jean-Eric Vergne has not finished in the top 10 since Australia, while his Russian team-mate, Daniil Kvyat, has failed to score in two races.
The 19-year-old reigning GP3 Series champion said: “Monaco is a great track and I’m looking forward to racing this week. I did not manage to score points in Spain, so I want to do so on Sunday. I believe a good top 10 finish is possible.”