Monday, May 16, 2005

Monaco : Time for a change?

After five chaotic races the 2005 F1 season just seems to settling down. Drivers are coming to grips and teams are evenning out in terms of muscle and strategy. Although the scuderia are still in an etherial state of unrealistic chaos , all the others appear to have settled down. Now , i am not bringing BAR into the picture here. They are having a cursed year so far. But all others. The Renaults , the williams , the toyotas and the Mclarens - more than anyone else are all coming to grips. The renault is losing its intial muscle advantage and they must cook up something nasty pretty quickly. Alonso is sitting pretty at the top but not safe. If the last race is any indication then Kimi is on a supersonic drive to the top. The Mclaren is clearly the new benchmark for speed. The toyota is gaining up too and truilly is having the season of his life so far. So in this context , i think Monaco will be that first checkpoint from where the season can well meander in any direction. The result here will provide a glimpse of what is to come. In this special circuit , where overtaking is an ordeal the race order is vital. And the best man i can tip for a win is Kimi. His 1 lap runs for qualifyings have been superb and Mclaren is setting very low times. So if he can just get his nose up there resting in P1 then it is more or less a clincher unless - there is always an unless , with the Mclaren - his machine stops midway. Now there is this another term that gets beaten and bruised getting rolled around by tongues ; traction control. Almost synonymously the renaults come into the picture. The fact that monaco demands good traction control is a side one , my interest is in those first few moments of the race. If the renault with its startup burst of burnt fuel can just nose ahead of kimi then they can try and keep him behind. Now , Michey will need to squeeze every bit of his champion status to bring a performance that would give him a podium. For one , ferrari have been bad at qualifying , for two , they have been average in races , for three , they are being unreliable and four , they start qualifying early. If a red scuderia can finish on the podium then it just reinforces what a champion team they are. But it is an uphill climb.

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