Grand Prix 2012 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

For the first time in 3 decades there have been 5 different winners in 5 races and it's not exactly been the status quo winning races as not many people would have had Rosberg and Maldanado winning this early in the season and after Australia not many people would have bet on Alonso winning before the start of the European season. This is also when drivers like Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonnen and Schumacher havent won this season and the way things are going there could be 8 winners after 8 races which could almost be unprecedented.

Indeed, one thing that 2012 has shown is that no one team has been consistently fighting for the win at all five 5 races, while Lotus have possibly had the most consistent pace of the top teams, problems in the first two races meant they were unable to be competing for the win while Kimi might have been unlucky to not come away with at least one win in Bahrain and Barcelona where strategy troubles robbed him the top step but two podiums have shown that he still has the pace despite being away from the sport for 2 years.

The big surprise of the weekend was a first victory for Maldonado and a first victory for Williams since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, a win which was merited with no outside help apart from the disqualification of Hamilton from qualifying and the effect of this is unknown as to how the race would have been different but in the race Pastor drove the wheels off the car and did extremely well to keep a rejuvenated Fernando Alonso behind in an updated Ferrari on home soil. Considering Ferrari's early season struggles, for Alonso to be joint leading the Championship with Vettel is no mean feat at all.

The field is very tightly packed as well with the top 7 drivers being separated by 20 points, this time last year it was nearly 100 with Vettel claiming 4 of the first 5 races. This year that is not the case and for once Barcelona served up a classic which in my opinion was the best race of the season, finally there was close racing from 1st down to last with the outcome not being decided until the last few laps.

Going into Monaco there is no point prediction what the running order will be as the likelihood is it'll change again, for all we know the Force India's could suddenly be at the front and Lotus might only be fighting for points, it certainly makes for extremely fascinating viewing as no-one is dominating the Championship, in the city of the high rollers and casinos, it remains who will strike lucky in Monte Carlo and claim the big win, it will certainly not be boring, after all, if even Barcelona can provide an entertaining race, surely most places can (with the exception of Valencia!)
I'd say retirement is certainly more likely than a win at the moment. It has gone back to 2010 when it was just painful to watch him. Obviously many of his problems this season hasn't been his fault, but it isn't a coincidence that Rosberg is beating him so comprehensively.

Anyone else here going?

Lucky git. :p
Anyone else here going?
This should teach you to hang round the media press room!
I'd say retirement is certainly more likely than a win at the moment. It has gone back to 2010 when it was just painful to watch him. Obviously many of his problems this season hasn't been his fault, but it isn't a coincidence that Rosberg is beating him so comprehensively.

He will retire, I think that's a certainty, but he went well at Monaco in 2010 until the unfortunate ambiguous safety car rule screwed his result. he was also on for a decent result last year until an engine fire put him out. The grid penalty is more of a problem here than at most circuits, but with a clean race I'd put him a possible top 5. If it rains, then a podium. It would take a lot of stuff to happen to give him a sniff of a win.

Schumacher has always divided opinion, and trawling not606 and Andrew Benson's frankly lopsided blog on him quite surprised me. Benson's blog was tabloid cack, and the responses to it seemed generally in Schumacher's favour over the Senna incident - it was a racing incident. I still maintain Michael should shoulder the main responsibility, but Senna was very indecisive and as such maybe the penalty is harsh. Yes, Petrov got the same penalty in Korea last year, but where wasWebber's for hitting Kovalainen at Valencia? Not606 is very different, as it seems a bit like a meeting of the BRDC the day after Adelaide 1994.
Tough to predict any results at the moment. His experience certainly will help round Monaco though. I'd agree Schumi penalty was harsh, but it is the trend of stewards today to ignore the actions of defending drivers and slap penalties onto the overtaker, regardless of their actions. The point though isn't so much whether he should've got a penalty, but whether he should've stayed in the grand prix. He missed the breaking point by a mile (granted it was further back than usual, but Michael should've known that having seen prior to this Senna was struggling); he should've been more decisive. Though Senna moved very late, a move I personally consider bad racing, Schumi should've had the reactions to do something about it. The move he tried was never going to come off in a million years. Pressure is building on him, but he's been in this situation a few time since his return. A few good results will turn things around.
This was the race I enjoyed the most last season I have to say. I think the fact its Monaco so any overtaking move is 50% likely to end up in crash bang wallop added so much to the excitement of the close running. I certainly was out of my chair everytime anyone even remotely had a look. At one point I thought Vettel, Button and Alonso were going to take each other out and Kobi was going to come through to win!

It was also proved last year that even with knacked tyres its still possible to fend off the guy behind you if you drive well so I expect someone to try that(probably Perez!) and chaos and traffic to insue.

I also think the likes of Caterham, Marussia and HRT must be rubbing their hands together on this one, espeically with the possibility of rain, because if they're are going to be a high number of none-finishers this is likely to be it. Last year Jarno Trulli won the battle of the midfielders and ended up 13th. 3 more guys out (and lets face it Hamilton, Kobi and Sutil could all have gone out from bumps and scrapes) and he'd have picked a point up. So if I were the Caterham guys I'd take it easy otherwsie they might be out too and Marussia might grab the point and then Mr Fernadez will be buggered. Well Charles Pic might. Timo Glock is always dam awful at Monaco!

The funny thing is that at this point we'd usually be saying how Monaco is a leveller when it comes to cars so expect some surprises! Could we get a more level playing field? jeez!
I always look forward to Monaco in spite of myself, really. I know that it's usually dull, but just occasionally it serves up a cracker.

I think Safety Car(s) will play a major role, given how close the top cars appear to be on performance. My perception - and Jez will be able to confirm or deny this! - is that the Ferrari and Mercedes have been somewhat harder users of tyres than the others so far. At Monaco this is a much less important factor, so any of Rosberg, Schumacher or Alonso for the win may not be out of the question, providing they can qualify well, and Nico and Fernando, at least, often do.

On the other hand it's the 40th anniversary of Jean-Pierre Beltoise's great against-all-the-odds win at Monaco in '72. If it rains, why not Perez, Grosjean or even Kovalainen? Obviously if it rains as hard as it did then, Maylander will lead from lights to flag. :(

Perhaps I need to go for a lie down now.
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