Jenson Button, the world championship leader, thinks this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix is going to be too close to call. As the teams and drivers arrived in Monte Carlo yesterday, with practice due to take place tomorrow, forecasting a winner of the 78 lap race is proving difficult as there have been four different victors in the first five races of the season. Button, who leads the standings by three points, is expecting an exciting weekend.
"I think the result is extremely tough to call this year because there are a lot of very competitive drivers in the field," said the Briton. "So I'd like to think there's a good chance of a slightly unpredictable race this weekend." Button is one of six drivers currently in Formula One who have tasted success around the streets of the principality, with the McLaren-Mercedes man triumphing there last year when he was racing for the Brawn GP team.
"I think every driver will agree with me that it's the first race you would love to win in a Formula One car," added Button, who has raced eight times in Monaco before. "Winning last year was one of the highlights of my season, and also of my entire racing career. "It's a race you grow up watching, so you know the circuit, every corner, by heart before you've ever driven there. "It's a race every young driver dreams of winning, and I love the place.
"Even though I've been racing there for many years, the sensation of speed you experience when you first drive a Formula One car out of the pits and up the hill is something you can never fully anticipate. "The acceleration is incredible, and the walls are so, so close. "As Prince Albert handed me the trophy and I lifted it above my head, it really dawned on me what I had achieved. "To hammer a car around the Monaco circuit, in between those walls, the Armco barriers, it's like driving a go-kart around your living room." * Compiled by Graham Caygill, with agencies