by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 155
arrived. Seb, instead, sensing grip problems, backed away from Q3 and chose not to fight – and he was correct to do so: Mark’s quickest Q3 lap on options was nearly a second quicker than Seb’s in Q2. Hence the ‘tyre energizers’ – those with the sharper telemetry spikes – came to the fore. The result for Mark was P2 – or the pole on race day, given the five-place grid penalty Michael Schumacher carried over from the Spanish GP. Michael managed to out-qualify his neat and tidy Mercedes team-mate by 0.1 sec and was thus able somewhat to redress a Monaco balance that for him has been out of kilter since his infamous last-lap ‘shunt’ in 2006. Mark zapped Seb. Lewis did so to Jenson. Romain also did Kimi. Only at Ferrari was there an air of mystery: Fernando Alonso, again making the difficult Ferrari look svelte, was only 0.1sec ahead of his team-mate Felipe Massa. Answer? Felipe looked better in the F2012 than he has looked all year. Had Felipe worn Fernando’s ‘Monaco edition’ helmet, indeed, it would have been difficult to have told them apart. Speaking of helmets, I was intrigued to see Kimi Raikkonen painting his like James Hunt’s at Monaco – right down to an exact replica of the JH logo (although James never thought in terms of copyright or ‘branding’!). I thought this quite funny at first. As the weekend wore on, though, you wondered slightly what it was all about. Kimi drove anything but a James Hunt- like lap in qualifying. Where James would have been out there in Michael/Mark/ Lewis territory, dancing with the back end of the car into Casino, or into Tabac, Kimi was ... Kimi, always looking for the right ‘feel’, always keeping everything straight, neat and square. Nothing wrong with that; this is what Kimi is all about. James, though, was a very different animal. As wild as he was out of the car, James was a master of the super-professional, on-the-limit qualifying lap come Saturday afternoon. I think James would have qualified about P4 in that Lotus – James circa 1975/76/77, that is. Anyway, to finish the point: I think Kimi would have been better advised wearing a sleeveless, James Hunt t-shirt (or some such) when he was out of the car; when you paint your helmet in the colours of another driver, and then go out and race in a Grand Prix, that’s a whole different deal. You carry a bit of a responsibility. What will be next? A Jim Clark helmet? A Fangio skid lid? Felipe indeed wearing a ‘Fernando Alonso’ Schuberth? Mark’s brilliant, controlled, second Monaco win centered around two key issues: 1) would he make a decent start? and 2) late in the race, when he would need to make his tyres last, would he be able to deal with the oppo? The answer to the first was yes. Clean and simple. He pushed all the buttons and squeezed all the levers in exactly the right way and the result was a jackrabbit run into Ste Devote. With Romain Grosjean spinning behind him (“Ah! La France!”), and causing mayhem, Mark was then able to relax a little behind a Safety Car. The standing start was the pivotal moment; now that that was done, the re-start, in single-file, would be a doddle. A nice moment for him, that – leading the field at Monte- Carlo with but the Safety Car ahead of him. And no tyre decisions to make. The other critical point came with about 30 laps to go, when Mark and much of his nearest opposition (led by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes) were all Nico pushed things along, but the body-language never spelt 'attack' ... Kimi's 'James Hunt'-themed helmet didn't really help. The Finn, surprisingly, was never really in the contest We thought it was Red Bulls that gave you wings ... 21 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MONACO