Petr Ptacek has described the Formula Renault Eurocup races that he will contest on the streets of Monaco this weekend as a “great challenge”.
The Renault-powered single-seater category has been enlisted to support the FIA Formula 1 and Formula 2 championships in the iconic Mediterranean principality and the star-studded event will mark the first time the Czech driver has ever raced on a street circuit.
“It’s definitely going to be interesting to drive on a street track for the first time and Monaco will count as the most unique circuit I’ve ever tackled,” the 16-year-old said.
“It’s going to be a great challenge; the type of circuit where you need to be brave and committed in qualifying. Overtaking is really difficult so the higher up the grid you start the races the better it normally is for your final result.”
The 3.33km Monaco lap takes in some of the most famous corners in world motorsport – including Casino Square, the Swimming Pool Complex and La Rascasse.
But with only a 50-minute practice on Thursday morning to fine-tune Petr’s BhaiTech Racing car before qualifying at 07.55 on Friday, being able to quickly find an optimum set-up will be vital.
“There isn’t too much driving in the practice so that will restrict how much time we have to work out which is the best way to go with the set-up for quali and the races,” Petr explained. “Also, some of my rivals drove in Monaco last year so I’m expecting them to be one step ahead. But that just makes me even more determined!”
The Parmigiani Watches-supported driver arrives in Monaco in confident mood after securing his first Formula Renault Eurocup podium at Silverstone Circuit two weeks’ ago. But he’s also aware that the Circuit de Monaco will require a certain degree of caution.
“I think we can do a decent job this weekend,” he said. “Finishing P3 at Silverstone was a good feeling. However, I think we can do even better. We’ve looked at the data and we’re more sure about what to do with the car going forward.
“But I’ll need to be a little bit careful this weekend. Monaco is a track where it’s easy to make a big mistake. I think it’s okay to tap the barriers as you find the limit – as long as you don’t crash into them. It’s a crazy challenge but one I’m looking forward to.”
Petr’s Monaco Grand Prix schedule will get underway with Thursday’s practice at 08.00 (local time), before qualifying starts at 07.55 on Friday. His first race will go green on Saturday at 10.15, while Sunday’s final race is scheduled to start at 12.00.