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    Monaco Grand Prix

    Only 11 days to go before the glitziest race of the F1 calendar. Sorry if I'm early with this thread - just can't contain my excitement! Is anyone here going?

    The Hamilton-mania here is being ratcheted up even higher by the media in the UK. I read somewhere that "Hamilton has never come lower than first at Monaco". Hello?? That wasn't in F1!

    Don't get me wrong - I really, really like Hamilton very much. He has issued a definite 'wake up call' to the underperformers in F1. Even Alonso is under some pressure and I don't believe his denials of this. Sir Jackie Stewart has said that Hamilton will set new standards in F1. Yes, for rookies 'hitting the ground running' due to the fact that he has been 'groomed' from a young age for this.

    I should clarify that. If another driver (not in his debut season) finished 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd in 4 races at some stage during a F1 season, he wouldn't be doing anything that hasn't been done before. All one could say is that those are 4 very good, soild performances.

    All that makes Hamilton's achievements a bit special is that (1) these are the first 4 races in his debut season, and (2) it indicates that he has the potential to achieve much more. But he has not won a race yet. Alonso already has in 2007 at Sepang. Massa has won 2 races now back to back.

    Plenty of drivers have been in awe of Schumacher and now Alonso. I think it's great that young guns like Massa and Hamilton don't just bow their heads in deference to Alonso. They are making him fight to defend his title. Good for them!

    Fisichella never put enough pressure on Alonso and one could even argue he was much too subservient like a 'domestique' in a Tour de France cycling team. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Fisi routinely sacrificed his own race for his team leader but he certainly seemed not to have the stomach to challenge him.

    Makes me think about the empty platitudes that Alonso uttered at Renault as he was leaving about how "If he couldn't win the title at McLaren, he would want Renault to win because you guys are the best". Groan. Such transparent superficiality. It makes me doubt what Alonso says in public. So I don't believe his statements about Hamilton not being as big a threat as the Ferrari drivers.

    I think we're really seeing what Alonso is made of here. He is being tested by his team-mate. Something's gotta give eventually. I think Alonso is mentally very tough but he isn't fooling anyone with his media denials though. His ego is being bruised - we can all see it. Not on pole in his home GP and not winning there must have hurt big time. The fact that he even attempted such an unlikely overtaking manoeuvre on Massa in turn 1 at Barcelona shows how much pressure he put himself under to succeed. We are seeing what his mettle is made of now. He tried to drive in a 'bullying' fashion towards Massa since he is the 2 time champion. It didn't work. Afterwards, he downplayed the threat from Hamilton in the media. That too shows his immaturity. He needs to react maturely to the threats he is facing. He is instead letting his ego get the better of him.

    The guy who is no doubt really happy is Ron Dennis. His gamble has already paid off handsomely. Poor Pedro De La Rosa (such a nice guy but an underpeformer) seems destined now to spend the remainder of his career as a McLaren test driver. He must be cursing his luck that a rookie could be this good.

    So what about the race? IMHO it's again a straight fight between Massa, Alonso and Hamilton with Kimi bringing up the rear in this quartet. I think Heidfeld and Kubica may well spring a surprise or two as well.

    I think on a tricky street circuit like Monaco, Alonso will probably win with Hamilton next. I don't think the Ferraris will have the advantage here. Monaco is all about driveability, handling, cornering and traction out of slow corners. Straightline speed should count for much less here. I also think the McLaren drivers will fare better than the Ferrari drivers because Monaco is all about precision. Touch that armco and you're history.

    Hope the weather is good there - looking forward to a more entertaining race than Barcelona although overtaking is virtually impossible in Monaco.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I agree with pretty much all your observations, but it will be interesting to see how Alonso performs in Monaco. In my opinion, the precision and consistency required there does suit him, but we have also seen Hamilton is very strong in both areas and at the moment seems to be mentally tougher than Alonso. Those of us who have watched Hamilton's career prior to F1 would not be surprised if he actually dominates his team mate in Monaco. Hype aside, it is a strong possibility.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Sure, it's entirely possible that Hamilton will AGAIN ( ) outperform his more illustrious team leader.

    I merely thought Alonso would be ahead because I think Alonso will more likely than not put in a stronger hot lap in qualification stage 3 than Hamilton. Then in the race, overtaking for Hamilton will be next to impossible given the same equipment (and given the fact that Alonso will be given first choice on fuel strategy having qualified ahead of Hamilton). Still, I shouldn't get ahead of myself here. Let's see how qualification goes. Reliability aside, I wouldn't expect the race order to change much from Qualy 3.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Barring acts of unforseen disaster: acts of god, war, Wally yachts crashing onto the course, Schumi coming out of retirement etc..,

    Hamilton will win if he starts from the pole position.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Slightly off topic... but interesting quote from J clarkson in this weeks 'Top Gear' magazine...

    To encourage overtaking pay GP drivers Pounds25k a year and Pounds1m for each point.....

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    You love your Wallypower boats Jim

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I would like to see speed channel do extra hours of coverage with a walk around type camera showing some of the sights from the few vantage spots along the track.

    Close up eye level views as if you are there, not the crane shots. Other than the pool area there aren't many spectator spots. My favorite location/scene is the fountain outside the casino, but I don't believe people are allowed to watch from there, just the restaurant across the street.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    Sure, it's entirely possible that Hamilton will AGAIN ( ) outperform his more illustrious team leader.

    I merely thought Alonso would be ahead because I think Alonso will more likely than not put in a stronger hot lap in qualification stage 3 than Hamilton. Then in the race, overtaking for Hamilton will be next to impossible given the same equipment (and given the fact that Alonso will be given first choice on fuel strategy having qualified ahead of Hamilton). Still, I shouldn't get ahead of myself here. Let's see how qualification goes. Reliability aside, I wouldn't expect the race order to change much from Qualy 3.



    Monaco's not a track about outperformance, it is sheerly about qualification. Any of the big 4 who take poll have the talent to lap the course well enough to take the victory. I just hope Kimi's car doesn't blowup

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Quote:
    Slightly off topic... but interesting quote from J clarkson in this weeks 'Top Gear' magazine...

    To encourage overtaking pay GP drivers Pounds25k a year and Pounds1m for each point.....




    LMAO! Just gotta love JC's sarcasm..... This thread has certainly built up the anticipation within me already! I hope (wish) Hamilton wins this one..... I cant understand why ppl are going on about him bring given too much credit. He deserves every bit of it and hope he goes on to prove all of the critcs wrong.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I think Monaco will be a real test for Hamilton as far as whether or not he is as good as people say. I KNOW, I KNOW, he has had a great season and has done extremely well. However a circuit like Monaco amplifies mistakes so it will be interesting to see if he's up to the task.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Quote:
    911fan said:
    I think Monaco will be a real test for Hamilton as far as whether or not he is as good as people say. I KNOW, I KNOW, he has had a great season and has done extremely well. However a circuit like Monaco amplifies mistakes so it will be interesting to see if he's up to the task.



    Anybody who has seen him race in GP2 has no doubt about him. The operative word being 'race'..he can definitely handle wheel to wheel action, I cant wait for him to show it.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Hamilton has already won two or three GP2 races at Monaco.

    He is actually better than what people say.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Seems like Hamilton is playing down expectations in the media about his prospects at Monaco. I think he's as hopeful as anything of a great result but he just wants to control expectations somewhat.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Niki Lauda speaks about Hamilton's chances this season:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/6683259.stm

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I can't wait till quali.

    I wonder if Ferrari is undergoing a new aero package for Monaco? Clearly their current setup is not condusive to the short/technique of Monaco (as you said eariler easy)

    Look out for Nico Rossberg. I smell trouble a brewin'!

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    My nephew (jammy, lucky sod ) will be there on Sunday. He's been invited on board somebody's yacht. Don't know how much of the race he'll be able to see from there.

    @Hurst: yeah, I agree about Ferrari. They must surely be doing something to lessen the negative effect of their longer wheelbase on handling in the tight corners at Monaco...

    Rosberg? What about him? He seems to have plateau'd out. I suppose the only thing saving his skin is the fact that his team mate, Alexander Wurz, has been doing even worse than him! Poor Wurz (the superb test driver and 3rd car driver extraordinaire last season) has been a totally damp squib this season. He is cursed with such awful luck too. But, the clock is ticking and Sir Frank Williams is very well known for being very impatient for success and utterly ruthless when it comes to dumping drivers. Ask Mark Webber! Ouch!

    Can't wait till qualification....

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Hamilton does have major attachments (Speedvision lingo). In particular I liked the way he patted Massa on the back on the podium after the last race. It had that 'Good Job little fella' feel to it. Cracks me up!
    If there is no passing and they finish like they started I will not be upset. The skill required to not make a mistake in F1 for an entire race is incredible to watch, as far as I am concerned. I have run many complete race distances on a simulator and that is hard enough. Anyone who thinks it is boring to not have more passing is missing the point.
    To translate F1 into 'American' I would compare it to watching someone making 100 basketball freethrows in a row. To the uninformed, once you watch the first 20 hit, you consider the rest boring and easy - cause they can't understand the difficulty. To the expert basketball observer it is endlessly interesting to see if the next one will go or miss.

    Anyway, I will be watching practice, Qual, and race live on TV. Great weekend (INDY 500 what?). Can't wait for my drive to Montreal.

    Incredibly my dad left his winter home in Andorra just prior to the Spanish GP for his summer home in Soto Grande. He also frequents Monaco but never during the GP. I guess sometimes the apple falls a little farther.
    Cheers all -

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I will keep mum about my reasons for Rosberg, but I stand by my convictions

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Ahhh - so Nico has been given an ultimatum from Sir Frank? Wouldn't surprise me one bit. Having said that, the Williams cars often run well at Monaco although the Toyota engine is hardly earth-shatteringly good.

    Nico's dad, Keke Rosberg, was always very good at Monaco. Maybe he got some good advice?

    Oh well, let's see. I think BMW will be especially strong this weekend...

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Alonso quickest in 1st and 2nd practice today:

    http://www.formula1.com/news/6136.html
    http://www.formula1.com/news/6138.html

    While Hamilton makes his first big mistake:

    http://www.formula1.com/news/6137.html

    If it's just a tyre and front suspension problem for Hamilton, the McLaren mechanics must surely be able to fix it before Saturday practice

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    such an exciting race. Your enthusiasm is rubbing off on me easy

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    The weather forecast predicts rain for tomorrow and for the race, so I think we will have an interesting race, with, maybe unpredictable results.

    If it rains, lets see how many cars finish, and maybe we will see more action than usually (I hope).

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    This is terrible news.

    There are few more wonderful sights than seeing a GP at Monaco in the glorious sunshine.

    But, in the rain, it usually ends up being a very messy race with various multiple car pile-ups. The problem is especially acute at Monaco where cars come round sharp corners with too little time to see a pile up. There are also no run-off areas. The next cars inevitably crash into the back of the melee.

    I just hope it doesn't rain during Qualification or on race day.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    I just hope it doesn't rain during Qualification or on race day.



    I dunno about that , thats shows another side to ones smooth operating and driving skills ....

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    rain really puts the onus on the driver to step it up

    I think it is a magical twist that will only hamper the pagentry but not the quality...

    as long as a Torro Rosso doesn't take out the front griders, I'll be even more happy with some nice rain

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I think if it rains, qualifying could be very exciting with a possiblity of a wildcard on pole. Something like a Williams or even a Toyota

    The best drivers come out in the wet

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Well done to Alonso. Soaked up all the pressure and got the job done when it mattered. Awesome performance from Hamilton too. It was a shame his final hot lap in Q3 was spoilt by Webber. Otherwise Hamilton could possibly have stolen pole from Alonso. Massa too did well.

    Most shockingly of all. What on earth is Kimi up to? The mistake he made was too basic for someone of his experience. Shameful really.

    Can't wait to find out the fuel strategies for tomorrow's race. Plus the weather could play a major part in determining the outcome if it rains...

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Ferrari should give Kimi's salary to Massa! I read that Kimi is paid 8 times more than Massa. Btw, I think Hamilton would have pipped Alonso if he had a clear track.

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    I am somewhat happy that Kimi is at the back of the pack. We will see action at every level.

    First, Hamilton will attempt to ward off Massa for pit strategies. However, this will not be like Renault 04-5, Hamilton will be pushing Alonso

    The top 3 battle will come down to pits, wheel locking, pressure and weather. What a treat

    Second, Rosberg, Button and Kubica will be lurking in the second pack, biding their time and one of them (hint Rosberg) will try to push into the top pack. With weather/cautions/reliability, things could get interesting for a possible podium

    Lastly, Kimi will attempt to pull the Schummacher onslaught from the rear. We know he is a very agressive driver while attacking but only when he's motivated. I think Kimi will realize that a poor showing at Monaco might change the season from the big 4 to the big 3+ others (Rai, Button, Kubica, Heidfeld)... Not a good position to be in if you're the richest driver in the sport...Also not good for Ferrari constructors cup hopes

    What an exciting race! I hope it will live up to the bill

    Re: Monaco Grand Prix

    Excellent performance by McLaren and Fernando. Great job!

     
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