Williams drivers 'at home' in Principality

© XPB 

Monte Carlo is the home base for many Formula 1 drivers, not the least are Williams drivers Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Although racing at home on the twisty track hardly alleviates any challenges for those who reside in the enchanting and posh princedom, a chance for one to sleep in one owns bed does perhaps add to a relaxed atmosphere.

"As a Monaco resident I see the track being built and the grandstands going up in the weeks ahead of the race and the anticipation starts to build," says Valterri Bottas. " Witnessing the whole build up and then the roads forming into iconic racing corners is a very strange but cool experience."

Team mate Felipe Massa echoes the experience of racing in a familiar environment: " With the Monaco Grand Prix I get to see the whole process of how a Formula 1 race comes together way before the fans get there, which is something I would never normally witness. It’s a one off race, especially as I can walk to the track in the morning from home."

Of course the nearness will take nothing away from the usual demands and challenges next weekend's race will pose on the local drivers.

"Although I prefer longer faster circuits like Spa and Monza, nothing can take away from the thrill of the streets of Monaco," admits Massa. "Your first thought is to qualify well, and from there to make sure that you finish the race. If you do that then you are in with a chance of getting some really good points."

Bottas also points to the importance of experience when roaring around the narrow layout.

"It’s not the easiest race on the calendar but that challenge makes it a thrilling circuit to drive – for me it’s the most special race of the year. The first year I drove here I found it challenging so it’s nice to go into the race with some experience under my belt already.

Click here for an exclusive interview with Jenson Button about the McLaren-Honda project

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter