Monaco GP Preview
I quote Ralf Schumacher : “Driving an F1 car in Monaco is like flying a helicopter in your bedroom”. OK that might be a bit too far fetched, but every driver in F1 aspires to win the Monaco GP for the simple reason that it’s the ultimate test of driver skills. Its unique street layout, including the tunnel, is not found in any circuits on the F1 calendar. Not to mention that the who’s who of the planet are in attendance to watch the pilots braving barriers and each other in their quest for the top set of the podium. Though this race is nothing short of a procession, but it still makes for interesting viewing compared to the Hungararing.
One peek at the winners of this prestigious race and the pedigree required to win this event is obvious. Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and more recently Kimi and Montoya have all won this event with Senna and Schumacher winning it 5 times each.
Schumi Sr has already started his mind games. He expects Alonso to crack under pressure and drop points. I don’t see that happening. But if he does, will it mean that Schumi can apply pressure better than Kimi? So will Alonso concede to Schumacher’s pressure and hit the armocos at Monaco? NOPE. The Spaniard is way too mature for his age, and is second to none when it comes to handling pressure.
As for the circuit characteristics, since just 50% of the lap is on full throttle this is not an engine circuit. Having said that a good engine is vital here, as a good torque from low revs is necessary to exit quickly out of slow corners, of which there is no dearth in Monaco. The tyre compounds are the softest and there’s usually a very heavy wear rate associated to it as a result of the tarmac, as experienced by Alonso and Fisi last year.
Mad rush, that’s what it’s going to be on Saturday. There’s a great mix of inexperience and legends in the field and I wont be surprised to see a couple of the big names drop out of the top 10. I do expect Ferrari and Renault to be there and may be the Hondas on a light fuel strategy.
If you qualify in the top three you are in with a shot at wining this race. Overtaking is impossible on this street circuit and the only place to overtake is while your opponent is in the pits. My hot favorites are the Renaults for this has been a Michelin track since 2002 and though Ferrari will be snapping at their heels, Alonso has what it takes to win this one.
McLaren we so much off the pace that I think a podium would be all they can hope to achieve. But history has proved that if threes any race which can spring a surprise it’s the Monaco GP and both Montoya and Kimi are previous winners here, so they do know how to do it at Monaco.