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GP Week : Issue 47
Team-By-Team: Monaco Grand A story of what might-have-been for McLaren after the weekend had started off looking so bright. Hamilton had high expectations on one of his favourite tracks, while Kovalainen too seemed to be confident of a good result. Practice times seemed to reflect this confidence and the buzz around the paddock was that this could be the one shot Hamilton had of a win all season. Well, well, well. Who would have guessed it? A Ferrari on the front row, both in the points and one in the podium. Monaco was kind to the Scuderia, who arrived with more updates after Spain and a feeling that they might just have turned a corner. While Monaco doesn’t give you the best steer on your ultimate competitiveness, the team must be The nightmare continues at BMW. While both drivers were looking forward to racing at Monaco, the results of practice left them gloomy. Getting out of Q1 was going to be tough, and they knew it. Thus it didn’t really seem like too great a shock for the boys when they were duly dumped out of qualifying at the first shout. In any other season it would have been The Renault squad had an air of calm and controlled confidence about it in Monaco, as both Alonso and Piquet fared well in the early running. Indeed, it was Piquet who seemed to have the edge in practice and the Brazilian looked comfortable in the R29 for one of few occasions this season. In qualifying, a perfect lap would have seen Piquet reach the top 10, but in the The talk before the weekend had been of Jarno Trulli. He always goes well in Monaco and hopes were high that in 2009 he may just spring a surprise in the Toyota. Many pundits truly believed he had an outside shot at victory. Practice wasn’t promising though, as both Trulli and Glock struggled with their tyres. Overall, finding the right set-up was proving nigh on impossible, and even the 32 And then came qualifying, and Lewis put it in the wall. Heikki was top 10, but the team was still disappointed. Contact in the race sent things from bad to worse for last year’s winner, while Kovalainen was racing well within the points. But on his day to shine, the Finn stuffed it into the barriers. He has got to stop making these mistakes if he wants to hold onto his seat. happy that on a track that requires so much downforce (their bugbear so far this season) they looked so good. Sure, Red Bull and Toyota’s fall from grace helped them out hugely, but take nothing away from the boys from Maranello. They’re making the kind of steps that could see them competing for race wins in the second half of the season. embarrassing. But this isn’t any other season and BMW are really struggling right now. The race saw a DNF for Kubica and a pretty plucky 11th for Heidfeld, who had battled hard with Hamilton. He was stuck behind Sutil for a number of laps, but even so admitted the car had been too slow for any sort of decent result regardless of traffic ... end brake balance issues saw him spin in Q2 and qualify 12th, albeit only three spots behind Alonso. Come the race and Piquet was the innocent victim of Sebastien Buemi’s moment of madness, which called to an end what could have been a decent race for Renault’s number 2. Alonso raced well to finish seventh, banking a couple more points for the team. old Bahrain set-up didn’t give them the figures they were expecting. Baffled, both drivers slumped out of qualifying in Q1, with Glock plum last. Glock opted to start from the pit-lane and was shocked to finish 10th, while Trulli found himself in traffic and could only come home 13th. Both drivers will be hoping for a return to form in Turkey after a hugely frustrating weekend in Monaco.