Grand Prix 2014 Monaco Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Monaco. The jewel in the crown. Where the crowd is closer and the colours are brighter. A truly unique track on the F1 calendar and everyone has massive love for it. Well actually they don’t. A lot of voices point out that there is hardly ever any overtaking, the races are dull and the track is just not suitable for modern F1. I, however, am not one of those because I absolutely love Monaco.

For me Monaco is one of the most exciting sporting events on the year. Some people have the cup final, I have Monaco and despite the cries of ‘dull races’ if you think back on It we always have drama at Monaco. Whether it be the three car train and the bumper cars behind of 2011, The team orders of 2007, Schumacher hitting Montoya in the tunnel in 04, Panis coming through the carnage in 96, Mansell all over the back of Senna in 92 or even the wet race no one wanted to win in 1982, there is always something to talk about at Monte Carlo.

So why do people think its dull? Well it is true that it is not easy to overtake so you are never going to see wheel banging and people charging through the field. Its just not going to happen. If that’s what makes an exciting race for you then, yes, you’re going to find it dull. However this is a track that is surrounded by walls and is completely unrelenting when it comes to errors. The drivers have to be completely concentrated throughout as one error would result in disaster. Throw in the fact that track position is everything and more often than not you’ll get cars holding up people who are far quicker and you get a pressure cooker situation. Sometimes you can actually feel the nerves sitting in your arm chair at home knowing that drivers are gritting their teeth as one false move means they’ve made a mess of their race.

Which brings me to this seasons new cars. We keep hearing comments from pundits about how they’ve never seen so many errors and how the drivers are really having to get a hold of the cars. This to me means that we should expect a very interesting Monaco. If the cars are difficult it means mistakes are more likely to happen which means we could be in for a topsy turvy race with a high attrition rate. You only have to go back to the race in 1996 and even a glance at 2004 to see mixed up races in Monaco can produce a completely unexpected result.
Due to the nature of the circuit its is also somewhat of a car leveller which means the driver comes into play a lot more. If you look at previous winners it appears to be a track number 2 drivers come to the front on. I suspect this is to do with a sudden confidence boost they have that they are not being beaten hand over fist by their team mate.

So where are we with this season? Well despite the pressure from his team mate I still think the only person who can beat Lewis Hamilton this year is Lewis Hamilton with the radio transmissions in Spain reminding us that he is certainly a worrier when things don’t feel 100%. Rosberg is always good at Monaco and it will be interesting to see what happens to Lewis if he does lose one. Despite the playing field being levelled somewhat by the track I can't see past another Merc win if they finish the race or don't mess up. We haven't seen this sort of dominance by a team since the Williams era of the mid 90's and its not going to go away quickly.

Red Bull are certainly best of the rest with a great recovery drive from Vettel in Spain and a steady but impressive podium from Ricciardo. Its pretty certain that Seb will have it in his head that this is where he is to stop the charge of his new team mate but he’ll need to have better luck with mechanical failures if he’s even going to get the chance to do that.

The team mate battle at Ferrari finally hotted up in Spain but it was still Alonso he came out on top. Some debate over whether he only managed it due to the better strategy but there is no question that Alonso pulled a pretty handy move off on Kimi near the end. Kimi does not have the best rep at Monaco although having said that Alonso hardly has an outstanding track record.

The dark horses? Well Grosjean had a blinder of a race in Spain despite his car having a fault and being massively under powered down the straights for the entire race, not to mention the fact he was complaining the whole car pulled left when he braked, so it could be that the car leveller that is Monaco will allow him to dice it out proper at the front. Bottas appears to be getting closer and closer to the front each race and Hulkenberg is always worth a punt if you are after a dark horse, however Perez has been keeping him at bay of late.

So Moanco – do you love it? Do you hate it? What are well expect from this years race?
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I think this is the next big chance for the Saubers, Marussias and Caterhams to score points.
I think this is the next big chance for the Saubers, Marussias and Caterhams to score points.

I'm expecting the least amount of finishers we'll have all year and at least 2 safety cars.

This could be Max Chiltons moment!
I like the setting and the barriers, and the on board shots always blow me away. But this is for me the dullest race of the year. I want over taking, thats what racing is for me. Watching a procession of cars that cant pass each other because the track is too narrow and twisty is dull no matter how close they are to the walls.

I'm hoping for rain to add some chaos.
It'll look pretty but it'll be dull. Another Mercedes 1-2, almost certainly, and time for Vettel to prove who's boss to the Aussie up-start ;)
I always look forward to Monaco for one reason alone, the quali., as that is when you see the drivers giving it everything on a very unforgiving circuit.

The race itself is, in my opinion, mostly an anti-climax. I desperately hope to be proven wrong :D
Not sure about the Mercs here. This race was not won by Williams in 1992 or 1996, it was not won by Ferrari in 2002 or 2004, it was not won by Red Bull last year. I've got an odd inkling it might be Ricciardo's Trulli moment.
But they do gear the car for acceleration rather than top speed which might help.
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