Honda: Monaco a great chance for McLaren

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Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa thinks McLaren can be competitive "throughout the weekend" in Monaco due to the characteristics of Monte Carlo's street circuit.

Honda has shown signs of progress this season, while McLaren showed its aerodynamic strength in Spain by being the third quickest car through the technical final sector behind Mercedes and Red Bull. The layout of Monaco's iconic street race takes emphasis away from outright power and instead rewards a good chassis and traction.

"The street circuit itself is a complex and technical circuit, albeit with low overall speed," Hasegawa said. "I believe that our car is rather suited to this type of circuit, so if we can squeeze out the full potential through good balance of the power unit and chassis, I think we have a chance to be competitive throughout the weekend.

"The narrow track and tight corners of this circuit will test any driver, but we have two world-class drivers with skill and experience, so I am looking forward to seeing what this weekend will bring for us."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier echoes the sentiments of the team's engine partner but says the unpredictable nature of Monaco places added importance qualifying.

"For the cars, outright power certainly plays less of a role there, which means car set-up is a delicate trade-off between downforce, driveability and balance," Boullier said. "Monaco is a track where, on paper, it should suit our package more than at other circuits, but one of its unique facets is its unpredictability. The weather conditions often change, accidents are frequent which tend to have bigger-than-usual impacts on a race outcome, and of course overtaking is notoriously - and often, frustratingly - difficult.

"That said, these elements are what make Monaco so special, and we will approach the weekend with a lot of valuable data gathered from the tests, and maximum effort and determination to keep pushing forward.

"The key objectives for us are reliability - especially given Fernando's retirement in Barcelona - and qualifying performance, as this can often dictate where points are scored or missed. We must look to qualifying to give us the best opportunity at the start of the race, and aim to finish in the points on both sides of the garage."