Not much of excitement in this race. Funny thing is that most duels were between team mates. At different parts of the race, both Williams, both Toyotas, both Jordans and both Renaults were driving back to back. Teams resolved the possible conflict by getting one of the drivers into the pit.
What was obvious in the last race finally materialized in this one. McLaren is the quickest beast in the field. Kimi demolished everyone else and even Montoya could be on the podium if it wasn’t for the problem with the fuel rig that cost him quite a bit of time. It was bloody well time to see Darth Vaders cheering :).
Similarly, Fisichella could be in for the podium, but the nose problem made that only wishful thinking. Alonso drove as good race as previous ones, but Renault was not on par with McLaren.
And this was Barcelona. I wrote 6 weeks ago that if you are not close in the title race after Barcelona, you have almost zero chances of ever getting back in the race. Both Ferrari and Schumacher knows that. This track puts the hardest pressure on the left tyre and it was left that suffered. Even though Schumacher says that he is not sure that only tyre is to blame, I think that Bridgestone has problems with too-close relationship with Ferrari.
All the dominant teams left them in the previous years because they did not want to put up with the fact that Ferrari always had the best tyre choice. And until this year they seem to had enough data to pick the right tires. But with the new one-tyre-set for entire race system, I believe they simply don’t have enough data to work with, as opposed to Michelin which has other 4 front running teams. They admitted they were the guilty party in the first races. In Imola they were lucky as the race track temperature was lower than other races and they work way better in such environment.
What to expect from Monaco? If McLaren gets into the pole, they will win. Basically, whoever gets into the pole will probably win, except if running on low fuel, so much that following drivers stay 6-7 or more laps longer on the track and overtake them in the pits. I don’t like Monte Carlo, as it is the place where “excitement” comes from shunts and incidents, not racing. We’ll see.
p.s. I watch each race in Belgrade’s Sport Cafe, with a group of friends. We are going there for several years now. Each year Cafe has some prizes for visitors, sponsored by Mercedes or by some of the Ferrari affiliates. You need to either guess the race winner or who will drive the fastest lap. Our group won the prize draw several time and this time if was my turn. This year, Puma is the sponsor.
My prize is unique polo-shirt (it even has “sample” written on it) from their new collection. It’s not only just M size (which is too small for my muscular ;) build) - it’s Ferrari branded too. :) It would make a nice present to someone…