Last year’s Monaco Grand Prix was all about best buddies Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton headed the practice times yesterday, but Alonso will have his work cut out to notch up a third consecutive Monte-Carlo victory.
Who will win F1’s most prestigious race? Read my prediction and make your own below…
Hamilton’s been quick in practice, he was very quick last year, so he’s a shoo-in for victory, right?
Maybe… and maybe not. In Monaco, nothing is every that straightforward, especially if it rains. But in four appearances at the principality Hamilton has two F3 wins, one GP2 win, and one F1 second place to his name. With his McLaren looking on the pace this weekend, he is a favourite for victory, rain or shine.
Ferrari haven’t won at Monaco since 2001 and have admitted to having difficulties with Bridgestone’s super-soft tyre this weekend. Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t need to go throwing points away by making the kind of mistake he did in qualifying last year, so I’d expect him to be conservative this weekend.
Nonetheless his team mate Felipe Massa has never really shone here and admits he dislikes the Monte-Carlo circuit, so I’d expect Raikkonen to be ahead of him.
That leaves three questions: how close will Heikki Kovalainen be to Hamilton, how quick will the BMWs be, and can Fernando Alonso or another outsider get in the mix for victory?
Although he had an excellent run last time out at Istnabul, I expect Kovalainen to be behind Hamilton this weekend. But we shouldn’t underestimate how good he is here – he would ahve won the GP2 race in 2005 but for a problem at his pit stop, and his race last year was ruined by David Coulthard baulking him in qualifying.
BMW seem to be finding their F1.08 tricky to set up, and despite being very quick are not consistently at the same level week in, week out. Robert Kubica has been out-pacing Nick Heidfeld and given his excellent qualifying form he must be a threat for pole position. And at Monaco, that means you’re a contender for race victory as well.
That leaves us with the outsiders. As a twice winner of the race Alonso looks like a good outside bit, but in practice the most eye-catching driver has been Williams’ Nico Rosberg. But realistically, their not going to be in contention unless it rains or they get very lucky with the safety car.
So what prediction does that leave us with? I’m going to go for a McLaren one-two, with Hamilton heading Kovalainen, and Raikkonen in third.
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Heikki Kovalainen
3. Kimi Raikkonen
Who do you think will win the Monaco Grand Prix?