Cem Bölükbasi has been getting to grips with the streets of Monte Carlo on his maiden appearance at the famed circuit. The Charouz Racing System driver says it has been a long-held dream to race there, an opportunity that will finally arrive this weekend.
"It's Monaco, it's something you dream about. Racing in F2 is something but racing in Monaco is something else. So I think this weekend is gonna be exciting. Of course, it's not going to be easy, but I'm very excited."
Since arriving at the circuit, the Turkish driver says his experience has been a little bit different to the usual pre-race build-up. Conducting his track walk for instance while there is public traffic driving the streets was a strange detail to deal with.
"It's been a pretty crazy atmosphere, it's very different. This was one of the craziest track walks I've ever done, with traffic still going by. The bus is still going when I'm doing the track walk, there's a lot of people are just walking so it felt a bit different. But the atmosphere like I said - it's a pretty unique place."
With four rounds in the books this season, Bölükbasi has only taken part in half of them following his Free Practice crash in Jeddah last month.
It has left him with work to do in order to catch back up in terms of building up confidence in the car, something that he believes is coming quicker and quicker with every lap he does in his Charouz.
"We're improving. Each weekend we find something new on the car and so I'm happy with the improvement"
"Missing two rounds was not ideal for this (but in) motorsports, that happens, so I'm not really focused about it. But besides that, it's gone really well. I think we're making massive improvements each race. Of course, it hinders our improvement when we have an accident like that but I've almost never had an accident before. So I think it was meant to happen at some point at this level.
"We're improving. Each weekend we find something new on the car and so I'm happy with the improvement. Each time you do a lap in this car is important and you have to learn from it.
"Barcelona for sure I think in the race is really nice and first race we struggled but in the feature race, I think we put out a much better performance. So I'm happy about that. Unfortunately, we were a bit unlucky with the pit stops but I think overall our pace was really good, especially on the softs. This weekend should be nice."
The Charouz driver says he has been busy logging laps in order to build back the data bank for him and his team. That will be pivotal this weekend with so little time to get a feel of the track before Qualifying.
Building up to the ultimate lap is at the forefront of his mind, as is remaining calm in the face of the biggest pressure on a Qualifying lap of the season.
"Getting into a rhythm is key. I've been doing as many laps as possible. Finishing Practice in one piece. I just need to finish every lap I do and be a little bit patient because this track kind of comes to you buddy. Patience is going to be important and telemetry data of course is going to be really important because we won't do many laps before Qualifying.
"Approach-wise, you kind of have to hope for the best. We have one set less on tyres, so it puts a bit more pressure on you and the car because now, rather than having two sets of tyres to do the optimal lap, you have one set. We have to just put it together and don't make any major mistakes and get on with a Qualifying that is more important than other tracks."
"Having a smooth weekend with no failures and no mistakes would be great. So far, we're moving very well with the learning curve each weekend and I just want to continue getting better each lap. That's the key again because every race is just getting better. Every lap is getting better. So I think we have a good momentum. So we just have to keep that up."