My first is the reigning world champion and has already won in Monaco, in GP2 and Formula E.
My second has just won two races out of three this year and is a Monaco resident, just like my first.
My third lives very close to the Principality and has driven for Monegasque team Venturi.
Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske), New Zealander Mitch Evans (Jaguar) and Cannes-born Norman Nato (Nissan) have fond memories of Monaco races, so they talked about them in front of ACM cameras.
In a long format posted on the ACM YouTube channel, Vandoorne recalls his first visit to Monaco, in 2013, racing in the World Series by Renault. For Evans, it was for a GP3 race, in 2012, in his debut season concluded by the championship title. For Nato, it was at the Monaco Kart Cup, then a prestige race for all the young kartmen of the region. In the last edition of the event, Charles Leclerc also won, just like Nato, but in a different category.
“It’s a special place, everything is clean, there are beautiful cars in the streets, and it’s a great place to relax between races,” says the Belgian. When the Mercedes EQ team left the sport, after four consecutive world titles (drivers and constructors, two years in a row), Vandoorne started a new adventure with DS Penske, alongside Jean-Eric Vergne. He really appreciates the Monaco circuit and will enjoy it even more on Saturday at the wheel of a more powerful, lighter and therefore faster GEN3 single-seater.
For Evans, one of the major players in Formula E, Monaco has become a second home, several thousand kilometers from his native country. Like Vandoorne, he especially likes the Bureau de Tabac section on the harbour, because it is “very fast” and “difficult to get it right from start to finish.” For Nato, the favorite section is the Place du Casino, because “it’s an incredible feeling to pass there, very fast, with a race car”.
“It’s a perfect circuit for Formula E, you can be very creative and overtake just about anywhere,” adds Evans, pointing out the number of overtakes at any Monaco E-Prix, compared to other categories racing every year in May in the streets of the Principality. The other interest of Monaco, for the three local drivers, is that the asphalt is always of good quality, and often new, which ensures a very good grip.
For Nato, the Monaco E-Prix is always an “exciting” race and for Evans it is above all “unpredictable”. So the Kiwi driver does not make any prediction for Saturday, but he would like to do slightly better than usual: he almost won in 2021 and finished second in 2022, behind a Belgian guy called… Stoffel Vandoorne!