Nico, World Championship leader and you’ve owned this race track for the last three years. Does winning here mean more to you than any other venue?
NR: Yeah it does, because it’s my home race. I sleep in my apartment, get out the front door… I’ve lived here all my life, so it’s a very special place. Also, if there’s one race to win then it’s Monaco and the combination of all that makes it the most special race.
How much would it mean to you to win here fourth time in a row, because only Senna has done it and especially after what happened in Barcelona?
NR: I’m aware of the statistics of course, but it’s not something I’m concentrating on or even thinking about, because, as I’ve said even in the past couple of races, what I want to do this weekend is try and win this race, just because it’s Monaco and I love winning here and that’s it. That’s only what I’m thinking about. That’s it.
What’s the psychological value of a victory here in Monte Carlo because both you and Lewis like this race and you’re ahead in wins at the moment?
NR: It’s a great race to win. That’s it. It always gives a positive boost to win this race, for sure, but like any other race but this is just a little bit extra. I love racing here and I would love to win on Sunday.
Obviously in Spain was the first time in your three-year title battle sequence with your team-mate Lewis Hamilton that you’ve taken each other out and both scored no points. Are you in a position now though, personally, with more experience of these tense situations to just put it behind you and focus on winning this weekend?
NR: I don’t know about experience playing into this, but for sure yeah it’s now a thing of the past, not thinking about it anymore. We’ve been through it and now looking forward. Just concentrating on Monaco and I want to try to win here and that’s that.
Has it become absolutely clear what happened with you at the start in Barcelona? So you simply made a mistake by no putting the switch in the right place?
NR: It was in the wrong position. It’s my job to put it in the right position and that’s it. Pretty simple. Not much more to say with that. In terms of formation lap and start, it’s the same as always. Of course you need to think about what you’re doing. There’s a lot going on and that’s it. You need to come up with ways of making sure that everything is done properly. That’s it.
If you were the team principal of Mercedes, what would you tell both your drivers after the incident in Barcelona and before the Monaco race?
NR: I’m not the team principal. That’s not my job to even think about that. I have enough to think about myself to try to win this race, with all respect. I don’t know what I should answer to that. What is your opinion?
Max Verstappen: I would say keep going.
NR: I’m sure you would!
What impression has Max made on you as a driver, from your perspective, what you can see, what impression he’s made on you?
NR: I congratulated him on the win of course, it was awesome and a great job, especially coming for the first time in the car. It’s not to be underestimated, with all the things you need to do, and different steering wheels and everything. For sure that wasn’t easy. And great for F1 also of course, lots of news about that.
For the first time we have the ultra-soft tyre for this race. What scenario do you predict for the weekend?
NR: Just excited to have extra grip in qualifying. That’s it.