The winners and losers from Monaco

May 17, 2010

 

Bernie Ecclestone's predictions have a habit of coming true. Photo: Jenkins, Pasternak & West

Winners

Red Bull Racing. Well here they are again, a one-two in the highest downforce circuit of all. They are looking unbeatable as long as they keep up the pace of development – which they most certainly are – and are able to keep the cars reliable.

Mark Webber. One of my memories of Mark is from a couple of years ago when I was waiting in the Red Bull Reception area to meet with Christian Horner, Mark arrived, not in a limo or sports car, but on his mountain bike having ridden all the way from his Buckinghamshire home to the Milton Keynes offices, he looked like he’d just had a stroll round the block. He’s a competitor through and through and now he’s got the momentum we could be looking at an Australian world champion for this first time in thirty years, with Alan Jones having won in a Williams in 1980.

Damon Hill. Damon was the driver representative on the stewards panel for the Monaco Grand Prix and had the pleasure of handing out a fine to his old adversary Michael Schumacher. Schumacher overtook Fernando Alonso (not an easy thing to do) after the safety car had pulled into the pit lane. I am sure that Damon did a professional job and it was all fair and above board, but nonetheless it must have been a good feeling!

Robert Kubica. Kubica continues to impress and fuel rumours that he will be moving to Ferrari in 2011 (although Mark Webber is now another candidate for this job – both he and Kubica are good mates of Alonso). He is certainly giving a much needed boost to the transformed Renault team.

Losers

Mercedes. Mercedes compounded their lack of performance relative to the big three (Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and McLaren) with a major blunder during qualifying. Although Rosberg did look fast at times he ended up seventh and Michael was demoted to twelfth, so still some points, but not looking good in terms of title contention.

McLaren. McLaren are one of the most professional F1 teams to have ever raced. So I’m sure that the fact that they left a cooling duct cover on Jenson Button’s car was a huge embarrassment. But even this was probably not as embarrassing as the fact that the first person to realize that this had happened was the BBC’s Ted Kravitz. Once Jenson was slowed behind the safety car his engine overheated and he was out of the race.

The New Teams. The Monaco Grand Prix is well known for its attrition and sadly not one of the new teams made it till the end of the race – although Chandhok (HRT) and Trulli (Lotus) were looking like finishers until they decided to do some F1 acrobatics together at La Rascasse. Bernie Ecclestone has also been quoted as suggesting that one of the new teams may not make it till the end of the season – and if you remember his comments about USF1 at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2009, his predictions have a habit of coming true.

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