Emerson, you never won the Monaco Grand Prix. Does it feel like there’s something missing in your trophy cabinet?
Every race I entered I wanted to win, and Monaco was no exception. I got close to getting it done, but not quite.
Kimi Räikkönen picked up two points, but it was a rather disappointing race for Lotus. Romain Grosjean’s crash at the start must have been quite scary. How difficult is it in Monaco to get through the first corner without tripping up?
Each time I watch Monaco I cannot help thinking how the track has kept its character through the years, even with some changes. Of course, the first corner is always difficult in any race, and Monaco is one of the hardest ones. But just think about Ste Devote without that escape road to the right. It was a lot narrower in my time.
You’re one of a select group of F1 drivers who have made a successful transition to oval racing. Takuma Sato came so close to winning before binning, and Rubens Barrichello was the top-placed rookie. Do you think they’ll add their names to the history books one day?
Sato was obviously committed to win or bust there at the end, and that has to be the attitude in the final laps of a race like the 500. Rubens is very talented and I think he did a commendable job on his Indy debut. With more experience on ovals he should be able to pull some great results.
The other ex-F1 Indy rookie on the grid was Jean Alesi. Sadly Jean’s last minute package wasn’t terribly competitive, but how do you think he conducted himself over his three weeks at Indianapolis, learning the ropes?
It was hard to follow it properly because they were struggling with the package, and I was not at the track. I talked to him a few months ago about this, and advised him to race another oval before Indy. He had a lot of new things to deal with, and it must have been tough.