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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #1
Qualifying analysis - can strategy, or rain, defeat Ferrari?
Felipe Massa will start from pole position for the first time at Monaco on Sunday, and you have to go back to 2000 since Ferrari last did that. And to 1979 since a Ferrari poleman - future champion Jody Scheckter - actually won the race.

After locking out row one Massa and Kimi Raikkonen are understandably confident. However, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen say they are on race strategies that should allow them to challenge for victory. Much could depend on the weather, however, with rain forecast…

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 15.787s, P1
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 15.815s, P4
Massa had a good look through Raikkonen’s telemetry after his first run, but picked up a lot more pace than he had expected to and admitted that he was very surprised to be on pole ahead of his team mate, who said he messed up Ste Devote on his second run and thus had to try and make up for that all through the rest of the lap. There is a suspicion that the F2008s were running lighter than the McLarens, but in any case they seem to maintain their performance with a fuel load, whereas the silver cars lose a little pace.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 15.839s, P3
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 16.165s, P4
Hamilton said he was surprised by the pace of the Ferraris, and that although his McLaren was very quick in the first sector it lacked traction exiting Portier and the chicane, and that the pace just wasn’t there in the final sector. Kovalainen, who had clobbered the wall at the Swimming Pool in morning practice, and who is almost certainly running the heavier fuel load yet again, said he had a good run and was mystified why there was a relatively large gap to the three cars ahead of him.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 16.171s, P5
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 16.455s, P13
Kubica was in his customary fifth place, but felt he might have gone a little quicker had he not had Hamilton in front of him on the out lap of his best run. While trying to create a big enough gap between his BMW Sauber and the McLaren he let his tyres cool too much, and suffered as a result. Nevertheless he was a lot happier than Heidfeld, who struggled all weekend on a circuit on which he has shone previously, and his inability to generate sufficient heat in his Bridgestones left him 13th overall.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 16.548s, P6
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 16.479s, P14
Rosberg has been on it all weekend for Williams and was delighted with his sixth fastest time in the FW30. Besides Massa, he was the happiest guy in the top six. Nakajima showed flashes of speed, but again failed to make Q3 after making too many errors on his quick laps.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 16.852s, P7
Nelson Piquet, 1m 16.633s, P17
Seventh seems to be Alonso’s current slot, and Renault’s modest goal in qualifying was to make it through to Q3. This he did easily, but Piquet struggled yet again and was only 17th after suffering a small brake problem in Q1.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 17.203s, P8
Timo Glock, 1m 15.907s, P11
Trulli was grateful to make the top 10 again after all his problems had sapped some of the confidence you need to go really quickly here. Glock was really disappointed not to make the top 10 after running ahead of his team mate for much of practice. He said his first run in Q2 was good but that the last two sectors just didn’t come together on his second try.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 17.343s, P9
David Coulthard, 1m 15.839s, P10
Once again Red Bull got both cars into the top 10, with Webber ninth and Coulthard 10th. It was bittersweet, however. While the Australian had few problems, the Scot hit the wall hard exiting the chicane and was mystified why. He thought he might have locked a brake, which turned his RB4 sharp right into the wall, but even so the violence of the swerve surprised him and the team are currently investigating to see whether there was a mechanical fault that triggered the incident that prevented him from taking his place in Q3.

Honda
Jenson Button, 1m 16.101s, P12
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 16.537s, P15
Button complained that yellow flags prevented him from exploiting the potential of the Honda’s improved front-end grip. Barrichello complained of traffic and yellow flags too, but was cleared by the stewards of holding up Fisichella.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 16.806s, P16
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 16.955s, P18, starts P19
Bourdais said Massa held him up on his first run in Q1 in the STR3, but that it didn’t make much difference as he struggled to ‘read’ the new car. Locking brakes hampered his second run, and he also felt he lacked sheer grip. Vettel, meanwhile, felt that he should have stuck with the soft tyres instead of the supersofts and lost grip over the lap as a result. The German received a five-place penalty as his STR3’s gearbox was replaced prior to Saturday morning practice.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 17.225s, P19
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 17.823s, P20
Sutil said he quite liked the feel of his VJM01 but had to pass cars in the first sector of his good lap. On the positive side, the team had cured his tyre graining problem from Thursday. Fisichella’s 200th Grand Prix start will be from 20th place even though Vettel got a penalty, because the Italian also got one for having his gearbox replaced in the morning. He complained that Barrichello held him up, but the stewards deemed that the Brazilian had no case to answer.

David Tremayne
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #2
IMO, Rosberg needs to be in a better car. I think he could have challenged for pole in a MacLaren.
He used to be faster than Hamilton in GP2.
Should be a good race.
 

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Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco GP in his McLaren Mercedes even after hitting the barriers and being forced to pit for a new rear tire. Hamilton now has a 3 point lead in the championship. The other Mercedes driver, Heikki Kovalainen, came in 8th after never recovering from a car that stalled on the starting grid. The changing weather made for an interesting race with almost all of the top runners having at least one incident of some type during the race.
 

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Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco GP in his McLaren Mercedes even after hitting the barriers and being forced to pit for a new rear tire. Hamilton now has a 3 point lead in the championship. The other Mercedes driver, Heikki Kovalainen, came in 8th after never recovering from a car that stalled on the starting grid. The changing weather made for an interesting race with almost all of the top runners having at least one incident of some type during the race.
It was nice for MM to win for a change :thumbsup:
 

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WOO HOO!!!!!!

Merdedes Racing lol
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #6
That was an exciting race. I feel sorry for Sutil, who drove an incredible race with an inferior car. I am a Ferrari fan, but Raikkonen didn't look like a World Champion.
Hamilton drove a great race.
 

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That was an exciting race. I feel sorry for Sutil, who drove an incredible race with an inferior car. I am a Ferrari fan, but Raikkonen didn't look like a World Champion.
Hamilton drove a great race.

Bad for Sutil and as well, Kingfisher, Sutil probably lost a nice bonus for getting the 1st kingfisher points for the season and kingfisher lost a huge amount of F1 money for the rest of the season, Bernie won out though, not like he needs the money
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Monaco race analysis - Hamilton plays it to perfection

26 May 2008
Monaco race analysis - Hamilton plays it to perfection

After McLaren’s whitewash in Monte Carlo last season, few were predicting a Ferrari victory in this year’s race. However, all that changed after the red cars locked out the front row on Saturday. What no one could have predicted, however, was how just how unpredictable Sunday’s race would be.

On a day when it all went wrong for Ferrari, with both team and drivers admitting mistakes, McLaren made the best judgement calls. That, allied to some stunningly consistent pace from Lewis Hamilton, was enough to put the Briton back in charge of the championship standings…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 18.510s, P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 17.282s, P8
It all seemed over for Hamilton after he punctured his right rear tyre after hitting the wall exiting Tabac on the sixth lap, but McLaren switched to a one-stop strategy and got him going quickly enough that he only dropped to fifth. He passed Alonso and Raikkonen when both made early stops, then outran Kubica and Massa and was thus able to refuel on lap 54 and stay in the lead. The final safety car could have ruined it for him, but he kept his head for a brilliant triumph which he described as the highlight of his career. Kovalainen’s car wouldn’t engage a gear at the start of the formation lap so he had to start from the pit lane with a new steering wheel. When he got a clear road he flew, but eighth and the final point was the best he could muster on another unlucky day.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 17.933s, P2
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 20.251s, P14
When Kubica took the lead from spinning Massa on lap 16 it seemed that perhaps this was going to be a really big day for BMW Sauber. But a graining set of rear tyres in his second stint cost him dear, as did Hamilton’s great strategy switch, and only fast pit work when the team changed him from wets to dry tyres late on put him back ahead of the Ferrari. Second, nevertheless, was a great result for the team.

Heidfeld had an appalling weekend, but seemed set to make amends as he was up to fifth by lap 12 when Alonso assaulted him at the chicane. The resultant heavy damage sent him tumbling back down the order, on a Sunday he would rather forget.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 17.886s, P3
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 16.689s, P9
Massa looked in control in the wet early stages, but gradually this one slipped away from him. He lost the lead to Kubica after spinning at Ste Devote on lap 16, got back ahead in the early stops, then fell behind again when Ferrari had to switch to dry tyres as the track dried out. Third was a disappointment after the high of his pole position.

Things went wrong for Raikkonen even before the start when a wheel location problem put Ferrari beyond the three-minute warning signal on the grid and ultimately resulted in a drive-through penalty that dropped him from second place on the 13th lap. Then he needed a new nose on lap 27 after an off at Ste Devote. Thereafter he was running fifth, a long way behind Sutil, when the second safety car threw him a lifeline. He muffed that by losing control exiting the tunnel when the race went live again on lap 68, and took his nose off again on the Force India. Ninth just about said it all for the Finn, as he lost his championship lead.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 19.036s, P4
David Coulthard, 1m 42.112s, Retired lap 8, accident
A strong drive, which at some points saw him set a string of fastest laps, brought Webber a deserved fourth when things had shaken down, and a healthy five points. Coulthard was out of luck again, sliding off into the barrier at Massenet after seven laps.

Toro Rosso
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 18.787s, P5
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 41.150s, Retired lap 8, accident
At last Vettel got something back, after a string of disappointments. Running Toro Rosso’s STR3 for the first time, he put in a drive that saw him lap quicker than Webber did in the Red Bull RB4, and took a great fifth place. Bourdais was unlucky after a promising charge in the opening laps, sliding off on the river at Massenet and hitting Coulthard’s crashed Red Bull.

Honda
Jenson Button, 1m 19.562s, P11
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 19.574s, P6
Barrichello was always a points contender with a strong drive in the midfield which, on lap 42, led to a fastest lap. He benefited from the Sutil-Raikkonen clash to take sixth and his first points since 2006. Button’s race was ruined on the opening lap when his brush with Heidfeld exiting the Swimming Pool removed his front wing.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 21.270s, Retired lap 61, accident
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 19.910s, P7
Williams had one of the fastest cars in the race, but it all went wrong early on when fast-starting Rosberg tagged the back of Alonso’s Renault on the opening lap. That prompted one stop for a new front wing, then came another after he got involved in the Alonso-Heidfeld bump. He had a great scrap with the Spaniard, laps down, but then crashed heavily on the race’s 61st lap, bringing out the safety car for the second time. Nakajima was always in the thick of the midfield battle, and brought his FW30 home seventh for two points. In terms of what might have been, Monaco was its traditional disappointment for Sir Frank in his 600th Grand Prix.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 17.869s, P10
Nelson Piquet, 1m 31.187s, Retired lap 48, accident
Alonso had an adventurous afternoon, as he had promised. He walloped the Massenet wall the lap of the Coulthard-Bourdais incidents, pitted for a new right rear wheel, and later pulled off a good pass on Webber. Then he pushed Heidfeld into a spin at Loews on lap 12 and soon had to stop again, for a new front wing. After a fierce battle with Rosberg he had a big bounce over the kerb strips on the exit to the Swimming Pool when he had changed early to supersoft tyres before the track had dried out. Piquet fought well in the midfield and battled Vettel, but an early tyre change like Alonso’s caught him out and led to retirement.

Toyota
Timo Glock, 1m 19.618s, P12
Jarno Trulli, 1m 19.830s, P13
At one stage Toyota seemed on the pace, but gradually they fell away. Glock spun three times and finished 12th, just ahead of Trulli. Both found themselves on the wrong tyres at the wrong times.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 22.039s, Retired lap 68, hit by Raikkonen
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 32.849s, Retired lap 37, gear selection
Oh, what could have been! Poor Sutil and poor Force India! They both worked so well in the race, as the German moved up the field despite a very heavy fuel load. A great drive, allied to the misfortunes of others, put Sutil in fourth place, behind only Hamilton, Kubica and Massa, when Rosberg crashed on lap 61. Then Raikkonen misjudged things coming out of the tunnel when the race went live again on lap 68, and suddenly the great dream was over. It really doesn’t get much crueller than that. Replays suggested there was little the Finn could have done to avoid contact and the stewards apparently agreed, though they did admonish Sutil for a separate incident of passing under yellows. Fisichella, meanwhile, did not perform anything like so well, and quit his 200th Grand Prix with gear selection problems.
 

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Lewis drove an excelent race and I couldn't believe when Sutil was taken out by Kimi. I really wanted Sutil to keep his spot since he drove amazing in the rain and drying conditions!
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #10
Same here. Monaco has a tendency to showcase the true caliber of the drivers.
You can bet that Sutil's name has landed on the top teams future short lists.
 

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I hear you! I think Sutil is going to stay with Force India because the Indian owner has a lot of money to pay him in the future as the car is only going to get better!
 

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>>because the Indian owner has a lot of money to pay him in the future as the car is only going to get better!<<

Hehehe... Jenson Button and Jacques Villenueve said the same thing and look how their careers got stalled/died. Sutil and his managers will take the path that gets him to a better car as fast as politically safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I hear you! I think Sutil is going to stay with Force India because the Indian owner has a lot of money to pay him in the future as the car is only going to get better!
Sutil was on MacLaren's 2008 wish list above even Rosberg.
Despite multi million dollar offers from MacLaren, the teams were unwilling to release either driver, and in came Kovalainen in a Renault / Alonso deal / swap.
 

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Naturally I feel sorry for Sutil, but it's difficult to fully blame Raikkonen - he hit a small wet patch which I would doubt he saw with the light differential within and without the tunnel. He braked, got lairy, and eventually drove the Ferrari into the Force India. Unlucky. He ended up without reward regardless.

Hamilton was unbelievable - catching the barrier is usually end of race - but he caught enough of it to manhandle it back to the pit. Great pitwork again by McLaren and really you have to say he deserved this one. Delighted for him. Felt like I did watching DC in his two Monaco wins, that something would let go, but fortunately not.

He should really be on a roll going into Canada - can Ferrari rediscover their pace? Monaco is normally a one-off - so I'm not getting my hopes up too much...

Heikki again with woeful luck - when will it change?
 
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