By Pat Espresso

Monaco Grand Prix And so to Monaco, F1’s blue riband event in a billionaire’s playpen. And the Red Bulls threaten again to dominate. Christian Horner has already warned his rivals that the inestimable Adrian Newey and his team have been working to make the RB6 as grippy on the Principality’s slow-speed twists as it has excelled at the previous five venues. It’s ominous for the rest of the grid that Horner is feeling so bullish, ahem, about Monte Carlo. Lewis Hamilton, a contender for racer of the season despite slipping behind in the championship standings, will be desperately hoping his luck can change this weekend. His mature drive in Barcelona coupled with the storming entertainment he provided in the flyaway races has only increased his reputation. He must be due a decent points haul soon to reflect his drives, which seem to have reached an even higher level to last season. How much longer can he continue to grin and shrug off his disappointments while his teammate, distinctly lacklustre in Spain, keeps increasing the points gap? F1 is all about results and no one can deny Button has earned his points, but only the most blinkered fan would rate him higher than the Stevenage flyer. Let’s be honest – do you imagine that Schumacher would have kept Hamilton behind him for an entire race

The newly-revitalised leader of the Mercedes team – sorry Nico, but it’s increasingly obvious! – will be heartened after Spain and eager to use the sport’s most glamorous venue to announce his comeback as a real contender in F1. His performances at Catalunya and Shanghai have proved that he is probably the best defensive driver on the grid, revealing that he has forgotten none of the dark arts of racecraft. He will be desperate for the best qualifying position possible in Monaco, where the narrow confines of the circuit will allow his defensive skills to be used to utmost effect. Poor Rosberg must be scratching his head at the turnaround in his fortunes which will only help put a spring in Schumacher’s step.

Ferrari have announced that they are on the hunt for more downforce, which most regard as the only way to counter the awesome might of the Red Bulls. Fernando Alonso is showing why he is the wiliest driver on the F1 roster by quietly amassing a respectable haul of points without really setting the streets alight with his pace. Like a true world champion, he recognises that it’s not the fastest car that will bring him the crown by November but the most consistent. The biggest puzzle for Ferrari has been Massa’s inability to drive on harder tyres. Like Button, he seems most vulnerable when the car is not working to perfection. He needs to find his form soon to stand a chance of staying with Webber and Vettel. And he might have a word with Rob Smedley to stop broadcasting his helpful driving hints over the airwaves. How humiliating is that?

While Kubica continues to mop up a few points per race, Renault seem to be some distance behind the frontrunners. The ragged Petrov, though, can normally be relied on to provide entertainment for spectators – either on the track or exiting it at great speed. But the biggest spectacle at Monaco could be the unwelcome clash of the hotshoes at the front charging up to the grid’s also-rans on the narrow, unforgiving track with no handy run-off areas to provide collision-avoiding escape routes. It is almost certain that bad luck will play a part in the fortunes of several drivers in the greatest race on the F1 calendar. The big question is who will be the winners and losers?

2 Responses to “MONACO GRAND PRIX”
  1. Oscar says:

    Another good post from Pat. I think Schumey will be quick here…….. possible podium?

  2. Zagott says:

    Thanks Oscar. It will definitely be a place where Schumey can show if he’s still the man, but I doubt it

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