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GP Week : Issue 155
A t Monaco, the parameters were these: a tight, difficult, bumpy circuit with a relatively hard option Pirelli tyre, a genuinely hard (make that ‘durable’) prime tyre and rain always looming around the corner. If you were Kimi Raikkonen, and were looking still for the ‘perfect’ steering feel, you therefore put yourself behind the eight-ball by faffing about with a steering change in FP1 and missing FP2 because of rain. If you were Jenson Button, seeking slow-speed grip around which to display your trademark slow-corner brilliance, you pounded around, searching for tyre temps. And if you were Sebastian Vettel – light of touch, sensitive to grip – you were perplexed by the inconsistencies of one set of tyres to another. If, by contrast, you were Lewis Hamilton, you quickly embraced the McLaren’s lack of slow-speed grip and compromised it with some aggressive brake application and some high-speed commitment that left little or nothing to the great god ‘margin’. Or, if you were Romain Grosjean, and looking to win Monaco for all of France, you blocked your mind to all things ‘technical’ and drove on reflexes – as fragile and as unreliable under pressure as they may be. And if you were Mark Webber, preparing quietly from his home in the south of France, and figuring that a bunch of fourth places ‘on the bounce’ weren’t a bad way to start a season like this, and that Monaco, being Monaco, would be a bit of a leveller, and that the Pirellis would probably respond to a bit of stick, of Webber-like stick, and that he is still mighty quick through real corners like Casino Square, Tabac and the swimming pool ... If you were Mark Alan Webber you got hold of your RB8, you noted a few grip inconsistencies and then you put your head down and gave it everything. Everything, that is, that Vettel could not give it as the final Q-moments 20 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MONACO