2008 Monaco GP preview: Ferrari

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2001, 470150

Ferrari have won 13 championships in the last nine years but haven’t tasted victory at Monte-Carlo since 2001:

Year Best finish Driver
2002 2 Michael Schumacher
2003 3 Michael Schumacher
2004 3 Rubens Barrichello
2005 7 Michael Schumacher
2006 5 Michael Schumacher
2007 3 Felipe Massa

How has F1′s form team of the 21st century gone six years without a win in Formula 1′s most prestigious race? And can they turn the tables this time?

Before 2007 Monace was Ferrari’s Achilles Heel for one simple reason: Bridgestone. The tyres that allowed them to dominate at most circuits on the F1 calendar could not weave the same magic on the unique high-downforce, low-grip Monte-Carlo track.

From 2002-6 Monaco was Michelin’s stomping ground: David Coulthard, Juan-Pablo Montoya, Jarno Trulli, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso all triumphed on the French rubber.

Last year saw all the teams on Bridgestones for the first time since 2007 but McLaren’s short wheelbase MP4/22 proved vastly more suited to Monaco than the F2007. Kimi Raikkonen clouted a barrier in qualifying and eliminated himself from contention for a victory.

But 2008 may finally be the year Ferrari reverses that trend and, if it is, it will prove they can win on anything on the F1 calendar this year.

Ferrari reduced the wheelbase of their car over the winter, just as McLaren lengthened theirs. But though the MP4/23′s tendency to chew its tyres, particularly in Lewis Hamilton’s hands, may work to their advantage at Monaco. It has one of the least grippy surfaces on the calendar, and Bridgestone are bringing the softest tyres compounds they have.

Can Ferrari break their losing streak at Monte-Carlo this year? If so, will it be Kimi Raikkonen or Felipe Massa who wins?

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16 comments on 2008 Monaco GP preview: Ferrari

  1. William Wilgus said on 20th May 2008, 14:12

    Claiming absolutely no expertise for myself, I’ll go out on a limb and predict Massa 1, Kimi 2 Hieki 3

  2. Although it seems Ferrari is the big favourate,as the weather report said,this Sunday it will be rain,so everything can happen.Kimi said in his blog that Ferrari,McLaren,BMW will be very close,I think so. After the qualifying we have 50% answer due to the uncertain weather.

  3. cyanide said on 20th May 2008, 15:28

    If Kubica can nail the perfect qualifying lap, it’d probably make for a great first victory. Apart from him, Monaco’s one of those races where the race belongs to the driver having the day of his life. And I wouldn’t put it past someone like Alonso to score a great victory if he can get a front-row qualifying result.

  4. Rabi said on 20th May 2008, 17:49

    Alonso if it rains, otherwise Hamilton

  5. ninguen said on 20th May 2008, 19:39

    I am veru hopeful this race could be great for Alonso, bt i am afraid that will be very difficult, one of the main concerns of the r28 has been the traction, in other circuits they sacrifice top speed to diminish that disadvantage, but in Monaco it is difficult to get even more downforce adn in monaco traction is maybe the main concern

  6. Scootin159 said on 20th May 2008, 20:52

    My money’s on:
    Kimi, Lewis, Kubica, Hekki, Alonso, Nick, Nico, Mark

    I’d put Massa in there too, but he’s gonna stuff it into a wall.

  7. Wesley said on 20th May 2008, 21:24

    I beleive Alonso and Kubica both have a good shot at winning this race.

  8. I don’t think Ferrari will break the duck this year.

    My head says either Hamilton, Kovi or Kubica will win. But my heart says Go Alonso !

    Of course, I don’t think any of my predictions this year have come to pass ;)

  9. Terry Fabulous said on 21st May 2008, 2:50

    Webber!!!
    Go Mark Go!

  10. the limit said on 21st May 2008, 3:43

    I do hope it rains at Monaco, its been a while since we had a wet race there, and in qualifying I think it could prove especially decisive.
    At the moment, Ferrari have the momentum, and both their drivers have the confidence, but Monaco is the real acid test for how far they have progressed.
    I think they can, and will, achieve it. I really believe that Ferrari have ironed out the shortcomings of the F2007 car, and that the package will be competitive in Monaco. As far as the drivers go, I really believe that Raikkonen will prevail with a lights to flag victory, with Hamilton splitting the Ferrari’s for second.
    The battle for the remaining podium will be between Massa and the two BMW Sauber’s, especially Kubica.
    However, Kovalainen could well be involved, so the closest action may be for the last podium place between those drivers.

  11. Terry Fabulous said on 21st May 2008, 5:50

    The BBC is forecasting rain for Sunday.

    Could it be that the first wet race without traction control is going to be around the Principality??

    Rock and Roll people!!!

  12. Jean said on 21st May 2008, 7:50

    The Ferrari fan in me wishes Kimi or Felipe’ break the duck this year , but logic that Lewis will put his Mclaren on pole makes me think he can win – provided no tyre issues , in which case it could be Kubica’s first.

  13. Euna said on 21st May 2008, 8:38

    I think Ferrari has won 13 championships in the last 9 years, not just 11. What a shame they couldn’t triumph anytime since 01.

    My 2 cents for Raikkonen this weekend, but rain is an exciting factor (despite the fact that rain had been forecast for the last ten years or so but never really been true) and Renault may have some surprises

  14. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st May 2008, 9:25

    Thanks Euna I’ll fix that.

  15. Matt said on 21st May 2008, 10:21

    “Ferrari have won 13 championships in the last nine years ”

    Huh?

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