Besides all the politics and negotiations and courts there is still F1 racing going on. It is Monaco weekend. Let’s start with a reminder that unlike the other GPs, the Monaco weekend starts on Thursday with the first two practice sessions, Friday is day off.
Usually the teams arrive in Monaco with heavily revised, much more downforce generating aero package. The new regulations however restrict the teams in what they can do with the downforce and as a result we may not see as many obvious changes as in the past few years.
The most successful team in the history of Monaco GP is McLaren. McLaren drivers won this Grand Prix 15 times already, including 3 out of last 4 races in 2005 (Raikkonen), 2007 (Alonso) and 2008 (Hamilton). This year however the favourites will probably be Brawn GP cars. Their cars are believed to be better suited to this tight street track than the cars of their main competitors this year – Red Bulls. The favourites may also want to watch out for Ferrari, the most improved car in Barcelona two weeks ago.
With overtaking almost impossible in Monaco the qualifying will be very important. Equally important will be to keep out trouble and to stay clear of the walls. Going light in qualifying may result in favourable starting position but it may also compromise the strategy in case of an early safety car.
Ferrari and McLaren are the only teams that will use KERS in Monaco. BMW Sauber and Renault will race without it.
Last year we had wet race in Monaco. This time the weather seems to be sunny but not too hot. Some weather sites however predict chances of rain for Sunday.
Bridgestone is bringing the super soft and soft tyres for the Monaco race, an escape from their 2009 philosophy of bringing tyres that are two steps apart for each race.
Four previous Monaco GP winners will line up on the grid this year – Jarno Trulli, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton. The best Monaco result of the current championship leader Jenson Button is 2nd place from 2004.
Photos and images: BMW Motor Sport, Bridgestone Motorsports