What did we learn from the Monaco Grand Prix?


Well, we learned that the track is an anachronism with today’s Formula 1 cars, they really did have a smashing time.

Two Mercedes, one Ferrari, one Renault, one Force India, one Toro Rosso, one Sauber and probably more, I gave up counting.  The speeds and the narrowness of the track makes it inherently unsafe to continue racing there.  I don’t care how many floating hotel yachts they have in the harbor, or how many “celebrities” attend.  It is no longer suitable for F1 racing and forget the glamour and glitz.  We (the enthusiasts) want to see good racing and not fading rock stars.  And we certainly don’t need footage of the BBC talking heads driving around in a Bentley.

The lucky winner was Sebastian (The Finger) Vettel who was gifted the winner’s position by the red flag (race suspended) coming out six laps from the end of the race.  The idiotic rules then allowed him to change tyres, grease and oil change and a rebuild if he wanted, and he then comfortably finished in front of Alonso (Ferrari) and Button (McLaren).  The rule is stupid.  Under a red flag, the cars should sit as in a parc ferme situation until the restart.  It is a “race suspended”, not “finished” (sort of) and then another start.

The FIA are very good at having stupid rules, however.  Unless you lap within 107 percent of the leader’s time, you are too slow to compete in that race.  Fine.  Everyone agrees with that, except they decided to over-rule that rule and let the dreadfully slow HRT cars run.  If they can ignore a rule, then the rule should not be there in the first place.  Make up your mind, FIA.

We also learned that Lewis Hamilton can be as petulant as Alonso used to be.  Having been called to visit the stewards, he puts this down to racist bias, rather than anything he might have done on the track.  It really is time that young man grew up, and his employers (McLaren) stopped making excuses for him.  “The penalties were frustrating: it’s really tough to overtake around here, and you rarely get an opportunity to do so.  I was racing my heart out and just wanted to put on a good show for everyone.”  Our hearts bleed for you, young man.

Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) put on his usual good showing, and was unlucky to lose 4th in the final dash to the flag.  He is a great talent, and doesn’t hide behind the fact that he is Japanese.

Webber (Red Bull) continues to disappoint.  Unable to make a good start, unable to pass, and will be unable to hold his seat at Red Bull.

The team managers need to look at themselves as well.  McLaren, with countless decades of experience, chose to leave Hamilton’s qualifying lap till right at the end of Q3.  That’s fine if everything stays ‘normal’ and the driver makes no errors, the track does not suddenly have oil on it, or another driver stuffs his car in the wall.  In those situations your driver has no chance of a pole lap.  The answer is to set a ‘banker’ lap first, and then sit and wait.  You don’t have to be Einstein.

And while looking at pit work, Red Bull’s fumbling with tyre blankets is almost unbelievable.  They are no longer a ‘new’ team.  They certainly compromised Webber’s race.

Canada next week, let us hope we get better racing than we did at Monaco, even without the trappings of royalty.