Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Monaco GP Forecast

There's probably going to be a few clouds in the sky on Sunday, but nothing likely to turn into rain. So as far as teams are concerned it's mainly about selecting the softest tyres that they can get to just over half distance with. Monaco is a one-stop race as passing is nigh-on impossible now. We usually use "difficult" to mean "impossible", but at Monaco, it really is the case unless someone has terrible tyre trouble, like Trulli did a few years ago.

Qualifying is, as always, vital and we're likely to see both McLarens and both Renaults fighting for the first two rows of the grid. Ferrari and Honda will be disputing the next two rows with Williams potentially able to get onto the third row. Their car looks good and seems to be working the tyres better than the Ferrari. I'm backing Coulthard and Trulli to be the fastest of the drivers not to make the final session, with Ralf and Heidfeld running them close. Monteiro will make the second qualifying session with an impressive performance in the MF1.

On raceday, we'll see a clean-ish start, just a broken front wing near the back of the field, Villeneuve perhaps, but nothing to trouble the safety car. Montoya leads away having suddenly decided he'd better do something this year and Monaco might just be the place to do it. Then it's Kimi, Fernando; Fisico, Webber, Schumacher, Rubens, Jenson and Felipe, who had a nightmare of a start, just ahead of Rosberg. As always at Monaco the race seems to be settling into a pattern but after ten laps Webber surprises Fisi with a successful move at Ste Devote. The Renault is slow out of the corner and Schuey drags past too. Trulli seems to be struggling with his car and heads a train of cars, with an agitated DC unable to do anything to get past.

Fisichella and Rosberg are the first to pit, but of the leaders Kimi manages to only stay out one lap longer than Alonso and Montoya and so the first three positions look set to remain the same. But Webber is still out and after fantastic pit work by the Williams team the Australian comes out second. Michael and Rubens are running Fifth and sixth, with Fisi and Jenson looking to make the last points positions.

Reliability has been amazing so far, nobody is out yet. Speed is the first retirement, he's been looking increasingly more ragged and finally gets it wrong at the swimming pool, and unfortunately Albers gets caught up in the melee. Twenty laps to go and the safety car is out. But everybody has already stopped and nobody manages to gain an advantage. The order remains the same to the flag, which gives us an unusual podium, with Montoya and Webber taking the first two places. It's looking good for Alonso though, as he's still picking up points over his rivals. Not a great race, but close and exciting. Kind of equivalent to a finely balanced 0-0 draw.


At 2:59 PM, Blogger Elena said...

"We usually use "difficult" to mean "impossible", but at Monaco, it really is the case unless someone has terrible tyre trouble, like Trulli did a few years ago."

What about Michael last year? For a place were overtaking is 'impossible' he sure made it look easy.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger Ali said...

You are predicting Montoya for victory?! I don't think that it is possible for now. And you are predicting that Renaults will not even going for the top positions. Thats a bit hard for me to believe....


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