Soooo, yeah. Ummm. I was waaaay off base for this weekend’s race. Apparently, my new strategy will be to pick one of the two Red Bulls for the pole and then see if anyone can catch them, or if they break. The race at Monaco is normally a fairly dull affair, spiced up by a few crashes and safety car periods. This one was that way for the most part, but one man was the star of the entire show. Of course, I think my prediction would have been a lot closer to reality had Fernando Alonso not hit a barrier and destroyed his car on Saturday. Having done that, he had to start from the pit lane and try to make up positions. And since I also predicted a nice crash going into Sainte Devote, that had to not come true was well. All of the cars got though cleanly and the race was on.
Mark Webber led away from pole, as another Pole, Robert Kubica, unsuccessfully tried to defend second place on the grid from Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa slotted home fourth and they held onto those positions for the remainder of the race. The real story came from the back of the grid, as I mentioned already. On the second lap, at 170mph, Nico Hulkenberg crashed in the tunnel and brought out a safety car period. Seeing this, Ferrari brought Alonso into the pits to change out his tires. Since he was then good to go according to the regulations, he simply tooled around for another 75 laps, making pass after daring pass on the back markers coming out of the tunnel. He really was a one man show on the track while Webber and the front runners just kept pushing and getting farther and farther ahead. His plan was to take advantage of the track position as everyone else had to dive into the pits to change tires. Obviously, he could not make it to the front of the pack, but by using his strategy and racing his balls off, he made it up to sixth from a pit lane start! Quite the feat at Monaco and certainly helped by the no refueling and safety car periods. In the end, it would be Mark Webber finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica. Interestingly, at the end of the race, there was another safety car period and the race was to end under yellow… meaning no passing. This was a rule that was put into place this season, so I’ve read, and one Mr. Schumacher did not know about it apparently. On the final corner, he floored it and passed Alonso for sixth place, but because of the rule, he was given a 20 second penalty after the race and was bumped back down to 12th place, and out of the points. Here is how the top ten finished and my predictions after that.
And my predictions based on the Thursday practice sessions:
I’m not even going to try and analyze that because this is a screwy race and I was way off. The closest I got was with Sutil and he finished a spot ahead of where I thought he would be. Wow. And I even said I thought it was a good call. Man. What a fool I feel. Maybe I can get back on track when the Turkish Grand Prix takes place in two weeks.